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  1. #91

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    Quote Originally Posted by BlueFox View Post
    Since the placebo effect keeps getting thrown out as an explanation for why a stereo sounds better with a cable upgrade, I decided to try and find some evidence for it. Granted, I just did a quick Google search, but all I found were studies in the traditional definition of the placebo effect. That is with individuals in drug studies showing medical improvement while being in the control group taking the placebo. So far, I haven't seen anything saying some people hear differently when no difference exists.

    What appears to be happening is some people do not understand what is occurring with medical studies involving drug placebos, and are taking that phenomena and misapplying it to other situations that are irrelevant from the placebo perspective.

    I suppose it is possible that one could imagine a different sound from a stereo when it doesn't exist. After all, some people hear voices in their head, but they appear to be a very small minority part of the population. On the other hand, a more rational explanation for hearing a difference in a stereo after a change it because there is a difference.
    Not true.

    A Placebo LIKE effect in audio, is meant to describe a similar situation to the medical scenario of, when someone knows something has been altered, changed, improved, or adjusted, they hear a difference.
    Often even when removing the difference or adjustment, and the person is not aware of the change back, they still perceive a difference.

    It is a very well known effect. Same as how mood affects how a system can sound at times, or when one is tired it sounds more strident etc.

    Our brain is in control, not the ears.

    Often spending a large sum of money on something, will release chemicals in the brain, and create a mood that facilitates one almost "Hearing what they expect or hope to hear", whether true or not.

    Kinda like how when you first drive off the lot with a new car. The car seems so fantastic, but a few weeks or months later.....kinda just normal.
    Last edited by kevintomb; 04-22-2014 at 07:33 PM.

  2. #92

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    Quote Originally Posted by kevintomb View Post
    Not true.

    A Placebo LIKE effect in audio, is meant to describe a similar situation to the medical scenario of, when someone knows something has been altered, changed, improved, or adjusted, they hear a difference. Often even when removing the difference or adjustment, and the person is not aware of the change back, they still perceive a difference.

    It is a very well known effect. Same as how mood affects how a system can sound at times, or when one is tired it sounds more strident etc.

    Our brain is in control, not the ears.

    Often spending a large sum of money on something, will release chemicals in the brain, and create a mood that facilitates one almost "Hearing what they expect or hope to hear", whether true or not.

    Kinda like how when you first drive off the lot with a new car. The car seems so fantastic, but a few weeks or months later.....kinda just normal.
    Sorry. This is just psuedo-science. While it sounds nice, and makes skeptics feel good, it has no relvance to the real world.

  3. #93

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    Quote Originally Posted by kevintomb View Post

    A Placebo LIKE effect in audio, is meant to describe a similar situation to the medical scenario of, when someone knows something has been altered, changed, improved, or adjusted, they hear a difference.

    Often even when removing the difference or adjustment, and the person is not aware of the change back, they still perceive a difference.
    When "they" were asked to describe the imaginary difference, how did they describe it?

    Quote Originally Posted by kevintomb View Post
    It is a very well known effect. Same as how mood affects how a system can sound at times, or when one is tired it sounds more strident etc.

    Our brain is in control, not the ears.
    If bias is such an insurmountable attribute of the brain, why is there a field of economic research which concerns successful methods of "debiasing" consumers"? I asked this question back in post #41 and cited credible research references on the topic. The question was ignored then. Do you have a credible answer?

    Quote Originally Posted by DarqueKnight View Post
    Another example from the field of economics is "Shrouded Attributes, Consumer Myopia, and Information Suppression in Competitive Markets", Gabaix, X., and D. Laibson, Quarterly Journal of Economics, 121(2), 505-540, (2006) (link):

    "Firms often shroud the negative attributes of their products, particularly high prices for complementary add-ons.

    A "curse of debiasing" suppresses unshrouding. Debiasing a consumer improves consumer welfare, but no firm can capture or even partially share these benefits. Firms receive lower profits when they interact with debiased consumers. Debiased consumers know how to avoid high-priced items. Moreover, firms cannot drive away such debiased consumers without losing (profitable) myopic consumers as well. Debiased consumers can pretend to be myopes, enabling the debiased consumers to take advantage of the traps that firms set for myopes." (p. 531)

    Quote Originally Posted by kevintomb View Post
    Often spending a large sum of money on something, will release chemicals in the brain, and create a mood that facilitates one almost "Hearing what they expect or hope to hear", whether true or not.
    What accounts for our wives, girlfriends, (and sometimes sisters) being able to perceive small performance improvements in our audio systems, yet they have no interest whatsoever in audio, and often have a strong bias against it ... particularly with regard to huge speakers in "their" living rooms?
    Last edited by DarqueKnight; 04-22-2014 at 09:01 PM.
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  4. #94

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    Quote Originally Posted by cnh View Post
    Excuse the digression. But the Placebo effect in Medicine does NOT mean that the "effect" is imaginary or did NOT happen. The problem Medical Science has is to explain just HOW the MIND is affecting the BODY in a VERY VERY tangible and REAL way. It is producing an effect that actually heals the body in many cases.

    Otherwise an interesting discussion.

    cnh
    So, you're saying the placebo effect means that if I believe my system sounds better, it actually will in reality sound better. This sounds like a sweet career opportunity to me! I go to somebody's house, they give me $429 and I believe their system sounds way better than before they gave me the $429. I am perfectly suited for this job, because I will believe anything for $429.


  5. #95

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    Quote Originally Posted by On3s&Z3r0s View Post
    So, you're saying the placebo effect means that if I believe my system sounds better, it actually will in reality sound better. This sounds like a sweet career opportunity to me! I go to somebody's house, they give me $429 and I believe their system sounds way better than before they gave me the $429. I am perfectly suited for this job, because I will believe anything for $429.

    I'm not saying that at all. That's why I prefaced my comments as a "digression". In the medical situation the Mind and the Body are ONE unit that affect each other.

    Raife understood the difference in his response. The Mind can heal the body in certain instances but it cannot "magically" transform the "external" world--the world that is not the body. We're not talking about magic, after all. lol

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  6. #96

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    Quote Originally Posted by cnh View Post
    I'm not saying that at all. That's why I prefaced my comments as a "digression". In the medical situation the Mind and the Body are ONE unit that affect each other.

    Raife understood the difference in his response. The Mind can heal the body in certain instances but it cannot "magically" transform the "external" world--the world that is not the body. We're not talking about magic, after all. lol

    cnh
    For the record, I got that... just couldn't resist the opportunity to pick up a little extra scratch.

    For some reason this reminds me a little bit of George Costanza's position on reality... "It's not a lie if you believe it."

  7. #97

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    Kinda like how when you first drive off the lot with a new car. The car seems so fantastic, but a few weeks or months later.....kinda just normal.
    My now one year old car is just as fantastic as the day I bought it.
    'Political Correctness'.........defined

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  8. #98

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    Quote Originally Posted by kevintomb View Post
    Not true.

    A Placebo LIKE effect in audio, is meant to describe a similar situation to the medical scenario of, when someone knows something has been altered, changed, improved, or adjusted, they hear a difference.
    Often even when removing the difference or adjustment, and the person is not aware of the change back, they still perceive a difference.

    It is a very well known effect. Same as how mood affects how a system can sound at times, or when one is tired it sounds more strident etc.

    Our brain is in control, not the ears.

    Often spending a large sum of money on something, will release chemicals in the brain, and create a mood that facilitates one almost "Hearing what they expect or hope to hear", whether true or not.

    Kinda like how when you first drive off the lot with a new car. The car seems so fantastic, but a few weeks or months later.....kinda just normal.

    This is the same logic spewed out on many audio forums from those not willing for one reason or another to further their audio journey. If you don't care to go any further, cool, stay where you are and rock on....just don't pretend we all should stop our journey because you care not to further your own.

    While your comments hold some merit, if your 17 years old, those of us into audio for any length of time are well aware of such and have moved past that eons ago.

    I just love cable threads....

  9. #99

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    Quote Originally Posted by tonyb View Post
    I just love cable threads....
    Because they are never about cables. They are all about belief, and philosophy, and the nature of science, and economics, and the human condition. This stuff is better than Shakespeare!

  10. #100

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    So the difference I notice after adding Mit Speaker Cables and interconnects, Signal Speaker Cables and interconnects, and Audioquest, interconnects and cables means me and my wallet experienced the PLACEBO effect on 3 different occasions, but I did notice a difference after the first purchase, that's why I made 2 other purchases. So perhaps it was not said PLACEBO effect but the difference good cables do make.
    Last edited by gudnoyez; 04-22-2014 at 10:05 PM.

  11. #101

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    Quote Originally Posted by kevintomb View Post
    Kinda like how when you first drive off the lot with a new car. The car seems so fantastic, but a few weeks or months later.....kinda just normal.
    Consumers who do a lot of research prior to buying a vehicle report greater satisfaction long after the sale compared to people who buy a vehicle based on impulse and aesthetics. This goes back to the concept of the debiased consumer. A trained (well informed, debiased) consumer is not going to be swayed by appearance and marketing hype, they are going to be swayed by customer service reputation, reliability ratings, reasonable maintenance requirements, and value. They will be thrilled by these attributes long after the sale because the value will still be there. Conversely, an untrained (poorly informed, biased) consumer can and will be swayed by external, superficial factors that have nothing to do with value and performance. Then, when the reality that they paid too much for what they got sinks in, or simply that the "flash" they were so impressed with months ago contributes nothing to value, performance, and long term satisfaction, they have buyer's remorse.

    By the way, I know quite a few people who are thrilled with vehicles they purchased years ago. I'm one of them.

    Quote Originally Posted by F1nut View Post
    My now one year old car is just as fantastic as the day I bought it.
    I haven't bought a vehicle in a while, but my one year old monoblock amps are more fantastic than the day I received them.
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  12. #102

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    Also, too, might seem like hair splitting, but looking at this as an example of placebo effect is a mis-characterization. Accusing someone of hearing something that isn't there as justification of its price is more accurately an example of rationalization (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rationa...isambiguation) -- see the making excuses or post-purchase rationalization links).

    If you don't want to follow the links, in a nutshell it says your brain will make you think the thoughts that avoid you feeling shame or guilt or whatnot. Like if you think, "People are starving in Ethiopia and these jumpers cost more than the annual per capita income in Ethiopia, but they are worth it because my stereo sounds AMAZEBALLS!!!!!" when, in fact, the jumpers don't sound any better than stamped, gold-plated sheetmetal, that would be rationalization.

    Not saying anyone here is doing that, just saying the DSM calls this rationalization, not placebo effect.

  13. #103

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    I think a better example of rationalization is constantly trying to justify (rationalize) the erroneous belief that jumpers, cables, and power cords do not make any difference by quoting pseudo-science and using faulty logic.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BlueFox View Post
    I think a better example of rationalization is constantly trying to justify (rationalize) the erroneous belief that jumpers, cables, and power cords do not make any difference by quoting pseudo-science and using faulty logic.
    Makes me wish we had a like button.
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  15. #105

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    Quote Originally Posted by kevintomb View Post
    Our brain is in control, not the ears.
    Are "you" in control of your thoughts? That is, is your consiousness and awareness in control of your brain? Or, is your brain controlling your consciousness and awareness?

    If the latter is happening all the time, I would suggest you find the nearest psychologist and have a talk.

    If the former is what's taking place, you should be able to temporarily overcome your brain controlling your biases when intently listening to high fidelity audio from a stereophonic audio system.

    The next time you listen to music, test yourself to see how aware you are of what you are listening to. Make a conscious effort to sit and listen to the music. Be aware of what you are listening to and hearing. Notice the soundstage width, depth and height. Notice the tones, clarity, and detail. It sounds as though you are not doing this if you feel that your brain is "controlling" your ears. Your brain is a body part, just like your ears. A necessary body part? Yes. But, it's not your brain that makes your consciousness aware of what you are hearing in a direct sense. It's your consciousness that is aware of what you are hearing. Your ears and brain are just transport "mechanisms" to reach your consciousness.
    Taken from a recent Audioholics reply regarding "Club Polk" and Polk speakers:

    "I'm yet to hear a Polk speaker that merits more than a sentence and 60 seconds discussion."

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  16. #106

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    The Zen master speaks.
    'Political Correctness'.........defined

    "A doctrine fostered by a delusional, illogical minority and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a turd by the clean end."

  17. #107

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    Hey, now and zen I get it right!
    Taken from a recent Audioholics reply regarding "Club Polk" and Polk speakers:

    "I'm yet to hear a Polk speaker that merits more than a sentence and 60 seconds discussion."

    "Green leaves reveal the heart spoken Khatru"- Jon Anderson

    "Have A Little Faith! And Everything You'll Face, Will Jump From Out Right On Into Place! Yeah! Take A Little Time! And Everything You'll Find, Will Move From Gloom Right On Into Shine!"- Arthur Lee

  18. #108

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    Quote Originally Posted by BlueFox View Post
    I think a better example of rationalization is constantly trying to justify (rationalize) the erroneous belief that jumpers, cables, and power cords do not make any difference by quoting pseudo-science and using faulty logic.
    Surely you guys aren't talking about me..because I already stated that high quality jumpers make a difference over low quality ones (Notice I said quality, not price) due to the fact that they carry an analog signal. I'm not debating that at all. I just think it's a little funny when you can sit there and pick out the things that DK picks out when comparing cables...especially something as otherwise insignificant as a jumper cable. Things like this give me a bit of a laugh...

    http://i148.photobucket.com/albums/s...pse85ad2a9.jpg

    I want to believe everything on that chart, but honestly I don't see how it's possible to pick something apart in that detailed of a way when you can't even listen or compare the differences between each item being tested at the same time. Your mind can play tricks on you, especially when it comes to comparing items at different points in time, and that's why I threw out the "Placebo Effect" references. Maybe DK "really" does hear those differences and can accurately identify each and every one of them, even when hearing them at different times...so who knows. Or maybe I'm just flat out wrong about this whole thing? I'll tell you what...I just picked up a new Audioquest Vodka HDMI cable, and boy was I surprised. Comparing it to my old $4 Dynex cable, my God. There was a distinct aromatic difference emanating from the whole set! You know..that amazing smell you get when wafting off the top vents? With the Dynex there is only a slight burning smell, but the Audioquest further refines each and every detail of that smell. It's slightly clearer, and more well refined. You can almost smell the oil burning off the PCB's. Not only that but I've noticed a nice fresh fried chicken aroma immediately after viewing a KFC commercial with the new cable. The Dynex lacked clarity and difference between smells during commercials. Needless the say the Audioquest is the clear winner! I can't wait to sample the Masters at Augusta! Fresh cut zoysia grass....Mmmm. Or "Rush"! I always loved the smell of gasoline and race cars :D
    Too many good quotes to list..waiting for some fresh ammo. :)

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    Quote Originally Posted by headrott View Post
    Are "you" in control of your thoughts? That is, is your consiousness and awareness in control of your brain? Or, is your brain controlling your consciousness and awareness?

    If the former is what's taking place, you should be able to temporarily overcome your brain controlling your biases when intently listening to high fidelity audio from a stereophonic audio system.
    Have you ever accidentally pressed the button during the hearing tests?

    I rest my case.



    PS - Control of the brain is easier said then done. The key is "Subconscious" bias, and the last time I checked NO human is fully in control of their subconscious.
    Last edited by villian; 04-23-2014 at 05:18 AM.
    Too many good quotes to list..waiting for some fresh ammo. :)

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    Sorry for the triple post, but it's not letting me add to my last post anymore...

    Quote Originally Posted by DarqueKnight View Post
    I have never heard or seen a difference in audio or video performance with any digital cable I've tried, whether it was optical, coax, or HDMI. The last digital cable comparison I did was in 2009...

    I compared HDMI cables made by Acoustic Research ($20), Rocketfish ($85), and Monster Cable ($130). There was no performance difference among them. I subsequently compared the $20 Acoustic Research HDMI cables to $8 Monoprice HDMI cables, didn't see or hear a difference between them, then returned the AR cables.

    I did see and hear a big difference in audio and video quality when I switched from a PS Audio Power Plant Premier AC regenerator to a PS Audio P5 AC regenerator. The difference in pixel sharpness is easily seen in figures 6, 7, and 8 of this thread:

    If power quality can affect the integrity of a digital signal it is reasonable that transmission line quality could also affect digital signal integrity.
    Worth noting that I agree 100% with you on this one. I think most people would rather simply blame a signal cable (Even a digital one..carrying a digital signal..which in itself cannot alter anything..) than research the interference they're picking up. Rarely is the cable to blame if it's carrying a digital signal, or the digital signal itself. The blame is on the other garbage be carried in/on/or around (By design or not) those digital cables that's effecting what you see and hear. Things like; Power quality, power factors, stray currents, poor grounds, poor transmission line quality. So much has to do with actual power, and not an audio or video signal itself. Great review you did on that btw, been trying to catch up on all the threads and info you've posted. I'm starting to see what you're saying about training yourself to overcome a placebo effect...interesting stuff.

    Quote Originally Posted by BlueFox View Post
    The latest example in my experience was with the cable used to connect my Bryston BDP-1 digital file player to my Auralic Vega DAC. Originally, it was a Shunyata Python AES digital. Later, Shunyata released the Anaconda version, which they said they wanted to get right before release, and I upgraded. As soon as I put it in I knew this cable was better, much better.

    Last December I added a second 20 amp line for my amps, and this removed another layer of haze from the music. However, it exposed a high frequency harshness on some recordings, especially older rock CD files. This was at the same frequency as the slight tinnitus in my left ear, so it aggravated it. My first thought was it is a digital artifact now being exposed, so I bought the Vega since it is a better DAC, and it has digital filters. Using this DAC, the noise was either eliminated, or tamed enough to be present, but not irritating as before.

    It was at this point I added the Anaconda AES digital cable, and the noise just disappeared. This was completely unexpected, and I was totally surprised at that result. It works so well that I now have filters turned off on the DAC, the clock set to 'Exact', and am very happy with the final sound.
    You should seriously try some Ferrite cores if you haven't already. Could've saved a lot of money...

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/10pcs-TDK-Fi...item415ec88f95

    Quote Originally Posted by headrott View Post
    Most importantly villian (*not to diminish others' right to bash those who value expensive wire*); after reading DK's two threads regarding blind tests and early stereophonic evaluation, can you now see why blind tests are not suitable for stereophonic evaluation?
    Still researching and reading. I can see some merit, but no promises. I'm traveling and have a full plate right now, but we'll see what holes I can find in my spare time :)

    Quote Originally Posted by DarqueKnight View Post
    What accounts for our wives, girlfriends, (and sometimes sisters) being able to perceive small performance improvements in our audio systems, yet they have no interest whatsoever in audio, and often have a strong bias against it ... particularly with regard to huge speakers in "their" living rooms?
    The Placebo Effect. You just gave yourself the answer. Who are they? Do they mean something to you on a personal level? Did they hear a difference?

    What you'll more than likely find is that a significant other, family member, close friend, etc *will* hear a difference. A random guy off the street will not (If what the others are experiencing is a placebo effect). They hear it because there's an underlying desire to please those that you know and care about. That contributes greatly to a placebo effect.


    Quote Originally Posted by cnh View Post
    Excuse the digression. But the Placebo effect in Medicine does NOT mean that the "effect" is imaginary or did NOT happen. The problem Medical Science has is to explain just HOW the MIND is affecting the BODY in a VERY VERY tangible and REAL way. It is producing an effect that actually heals the body in many cases.
    Exactly.

    Likewise, I believe that a listener (Trained or not) experiencing a Placebo Effect would actually hear something. Just to make sure we're all on the same page. But, just because they hear it, doesn't make it real.
    Too many good quotes to list..waiting for some fresh ammo. :)

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    And yet your entire argument gets thoroughly and handily destroyed when Raife backs up his findings of change in sound with corresponding scope plots. You *may* be able to fool the human brain but you can't fool the test equipment that virtually always backs up his findings.

    Game, set and match.
    Good day to you. I SAID GOOD DAY!
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    The best kind of jumpers are...none. I don't understand the purpose of more than one set of binding posts unless you're biamping or have an active setup.
    "He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. And when you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you." Friedrich Nietzsche

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    Quote Originally Posted by villian View Post
    But, just because they hear it, doesn't make it real.
    That has to be the dumbest statement about audio I have ever read. Seriously, reread what you wrote. What a retarded thing to say. That's sig material right there.

    H9
    "Appreciation of audio is a completely subjective human experience. Measurements can provide a measure of insight, but are no substitute for human judgment. Why are we looking to reduce a subjective experience to objective criteria anyway? The subtleties of music and audio reproduction are for those who appreciate it. Differentiation by numbers is for those who do not".--Nelson Pass

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    Quote Originally Posted by Face View Post
    The best kind of jumpers are...none. I don't understand the purpose of more than one set of binding posts unless you're biamping or have an active setup.
    That's what I was thinking, about 3 days ago...

    Around 1989, The Absolute Sound ran an article touting the application of Armorall to a CD to improve the sound. I applied it and by god it worked very time. That was until I ask someone to play a mix of treated and untreated discs and let me guess which was which. Curiously the improvement vanished.

    I've been listening to the same set of speakers for 26 years so I now they are burned in. Some days they sound awesome and some days they sound too bright or too dull, or not enough SDA on the right....Point being unlike the caps which are 5% tolerance, my hearing is 20%.

    I envy those of you who have the 1% hearing tolerance.

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    Quote Originally Posted by OldmanSRS View Post
    I envy those of you who have the 1% hearing tolerance.
    But that's just it...
    People can be trained to hear better. If you don't believe me, talk to a Navy Sonar Tech about how extensive their training in just hearing is. (The MEPS medical officer who did my hearing test was a Naval Doc and was trying to convince me that I should switch from Army to Navy and be a Sonar Tech...I didn't but I did a bunch of research into their training.)
    In researching the role, I discovered that these folks are indeed trained to hear better and to process out the vast amount of useless minutiae in what they are hearing. It isn't all about listening for a ping return. It is listening for screw noises (propeller noises for ye land lubbers) or cavitation changes to determine speed or heading...those guys can do some amazing stuff when they are trained to listen for certain things.
    "Unwad those panties and have a good time man. We're all here to help each other, no matter how it might appear." DSkip
    I may have an addiction... RTA-15TL, SDA 2, LSi25, LSi15, LSi9, LSi7, LSiCx2, LSiFX, LS/FX, RT/FX, DSW MP2000...and that's just the Polks...

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    The non sonar techs or otherwise untrained among us, might miss the improvement from a $400 jumper.

  27. #117

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    Quote Originally Posted by Face View Post
    The best kind of jumpers are...none. I don't understand the purpose of more than one set of binding posts unless you're biamping or have an active setup.
    This is a really good point. It seems a little strange that among all the mods everyone makes to these speakers, including replacing the binding cup/plate, I've never seen someone consider just removing that extra set of binding posts that no one uses anyway. Am I missing something or would that not be a pretty sensible way of eliminating the extra expense of an unneeded set of spendy posts plus jumpers and avoiding the chance of any of that affecting the sound.

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    I've never owned a pair of the models that require jumpers, but aren't they there for the purpose of bi-amping? Don't the two sets of binding posts feed different output paths, and so if you do not bi-amp then you need a jumper? You can't just remove one pair of binding posts.
    Good music, a good source, and good power can make SDA's sing. Tubes make them dance.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nspindel View Post
    I've never owned a pair of the models that require jumpers, but aren't they there for the purpose of bi-amping? Don't the two sets of binding posts feed different output paths, and so if you do not bi-amp then you need a jumper? You can't just remove one pair of binding posts.
    I think that was Face's point. They are for bi-amping, but I haven't heard anyone on the forum talk about bi-amping their speakers as their preferred setup. I don't see any reason you couldn't remove one pair of binding posts if you change the internal wiring so that the crossovers are all wired directly to the remaining pair. It should be electrically the same as jumpering the posts on the outside of the box, right? And back to Face's point, it could only improve the signal path by simplifying it.

  30. #120

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    Yes, but all you'd be doing is moving the jumper inside the cabinet by doing that, not to mention permanently disabling the potential to biamp. I'm not saying it wouldn't work, of course it would.

    Ray, it would be an interesting addition to your study. What if you used Cardas Litz to do the jump on the inside of the cabinet? How does this perform compared to the various selections of speaker wire on the outside of the cabinet?
    Good music, a good source, and good power can make SDA's sing. Tubes make them dance.

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