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Thread: Food for Thought ........some more 'Ethanism' !

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    Forum Administrator twich54's Avatar
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    Default Food for Thought ........some more 'Ethanism' !

    While I know some folks think he is a total nut job, Ethan Winer probably does know and understand more than most audiophiles and certainly more than most 'audio fools'

    take it for what you wish ...............

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zvireu2SGZM&app=desktop
     
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    Super User amey01's Avatar
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    Agree Dave.

    Ethan Winer goes too far for me - and it is easy to see he has a product to sell from his opinion.

    But at least his opinions are formed in fact and knowledge - unlike most audiophools as you say.
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    Super User Gordon Gray's Avatar
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    Poking the hornet's nest my friend?

    IMHO, I think this forum has had sufficient discussion of EW in the past but if people want to bring Lazarus back from the dead, have fun.

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    Forum Administrator twich54's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gordon Gray View Post
    Poking the hornet's nest my friend?
    Not at all Gordon, you do realize there are two sides to every coin don't you ?
    Dave

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    Super User Gordon Gray's Avatar
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    Dave,

    If there is something new to learn that hasn't been said / discussed, absolutely.

    Otherwise it's the same old O vs S discussion kinda like the watching the movie Groundhog Day again and again and .............

    Gordon

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    He lost me when he said, "...specs are a better way to judge equipment than listening." I have found gear that has good measurement specs, but doesn't sound good. I'll continue to trust my ears. After all, if it doesn't sound good, why bother? I do agree with him that there needs to be a more accurate way to describe manufacturer's equipment measurements, as some don't mean anything, really.
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    Super User RCHeliGuy's Avatar
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    For what it is worth Ethan is still working on his "null box" and he is taking it extremely seriously. He is now working with an analog design expert to help tweak it to extreme sensitivity.

    He just added a copper Faraday box to put around one of the more sensitive parts of the measuring box to increase the null depth as he calls it. He had an issue with radiation from a line level section in the uV range. 0.00001 V

    When it is done, it will be able to compare an analog music signal with the signal at every stage down the chain including the other side of speaker cables adjusting for gain to show exactly what changes have been made to the signal at each stage. This will measure any distortion, phasing, frequency response changes along the way. Technically it is measuring everything. The real question is how you analyze it. You will empirically be able to compare the before and after signals at an extremely high resolution.


    No matter where you fall on the Spectrum of O vs S, this sounds like it could be a valuable tool. It should be able to detect extraordinarily subtle differences well beyond the the perceptions of human hearing.

    However the data will only record accuracy to the original signal.

    Interpreting the data is the tough part. For example people in general tend to like some THD but don't like IMD.

    If this system were "smart" it could hear the differences between the source and the output and tell you if you would like it That's where your ears come in.


    None of that should be controversial since it is just another tool.

    The only time I could see it becoming controversial is when it finds no measurable difference in a signal between components that people are convinced make a difference. That's where the gnashing of teeth will inevitably happen.
    Last edited by RCHeliGuy; 09-19-2017 at 05:45 AM.
    Mark
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    Super User Brad225's Avatar
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    He lost me with his proclamation of only specs matter. The topography of the amps ss or tube doesn't matter.

    If that wasn't enough, the segment on his web sight of the women tying him to a chair and stripping naked to explain audio finished it off.

    Not that there is anything wrong with naked women, just hard to take him seriously with that on his site.

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    He does seem a bit over the top sometimes

    But he has a point. If two amps produce identical output it doesn't matter how the output is generated.

    I don't believe that he created a comprehensive list of every spec required to prove the two amps had identical output.

    The issue is only how complete the specs are.

    Let me use a VERY specific example:

    SS amps clip and tubes attenuate at their limits. Those are very different actions and this is measurable and something you can hear.

    You can try to compensate for this by using a SS amp with much higher headroom so it never clips which removes the artifact, but then you don't get the attenuation which is basically analog compression at the limits of the tube amp.

    Therefore the two will never sound the same because of how they are designed.

    However IF you had an attenuation circuit in the SS amp that attenuated the signal below it's capacity you "could" create this very specific artifact. To my best knowledge such a circuit doesn't exist, but "in theory" it could.

    So what you are arguing is theoretical vs. empirical.

    So yes if two amps produce identical output it doesn't matter how they do it.

    The question is what specs are necessary to describe amps to the point where the human ear can not discern a difference between them if the specs are the same.
    Last edited by RCHeliGuy; 09-21-2017 at 06:08 AM.
    Mark
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brad225 View Post
    He lost me with his proclamation of only specs matter. The topography of the amps ss or tube doesn't matter.
    ................................
    That's an over simplification!
    But in the end, specs don't matter. What matters are measurements and even then they have to be the correct measurements.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Speedskater View Post
    That's an over simplification!
    But in the end, specs don't matter. What matters are measurements and even then they have to be the correct measurements.

    "Ideally" complete specs would be the results of correct measurements, but we all know that there isn't very good standardization in testing criteria to generate the specs that manufacturers publish.
    Mark
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    Quote Originally Posted by RCHeliGuy View Post
    "Ideally" complete specs would be the results of correct measurements, but we all know that there isn't very good standardization in testing criteria to generate the specs that manufacturers publish.
    I seriously don't think it is feasible to measure everything we would need to measure in order to make a correct assessment of sound quality. Even if we could measure evertything that we needed to, would we be capable of interpreting the results?
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    There was a web article about how one major receiver manufacture that used the same basic circuit in 3 price lines would write the spec differently for each product.

    Some manufactures write specs that any of their products can better any way any how. While other companies specs are based on the best unit in the warehouse with the Sun and Moon aligned.

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    Super User RCHeliGuy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by amey01 View Post
    I seriously don't think it is feasible to measure everything we would need to measure in order to make a correct assessment of sound quality. Even if we could measure evertything that we needed to, would we be capable of interpreting the results?
    Maybe historically, but we are at a tipping point for a huge amount of AI / analytics that are being commoditized and made easily available.

    This was a facebook post from a friend of mine who has a company that designs real time inspection systems using sonar, lasers, optics and other sensors.

    "Working with a customer, showing off some (unreleased) new tech. Imagine 3D image acquisition and processing at >15 billion pixels per second and real time post processing at 24 TFLOPS. Yeah. Now you see why I stay too excited to sleep"

    An off the shelf GTX 1080 has 2560 parallel processing Cuda cores and can do some amazing image or audio processing.


    I would argue that we have all the tech we need right now to measure anything we want. We just need the software to do the analysis. At some point the software will learn how to listen on it's own.

    At that point the software would make suggestions for speaker and furniture placement, know where to put acoustical treatments and be able to tell you what component might be worth changing to get an improvement in sound quality.
    Mark
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    Super User JonFo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RCHeliGuy View Post
    ...
    I would argue that we have all the tech we need right now to measure anything we want. We just need the software to do the analysis. At some point the software will learn how to listen on it's own.

    At that point the software would make suggestions for speaker and furniture placement, know where to put acoustical treatments and be able to tell you what component might be worth changing to get an improvement in sound quality.
    Very true, this is coming. Not only will a system be able to tell you how to treat the room and ideally place the gear, it will also self-adapt. Today's Room Correction will look as quaint as a tone control from a '50's receiver.

    For a glimpse of the future, look no further than Apple's upcoming $350 HomePod speaker. This thing performs an analysis of its location and the room environment it is in whenever it powers up using the microphone array of the Siri Mic, then performs some pretty intense analytics (possibly cloud server assisted) and loads up the fairly significant DSP capabilities with a model that leverages the 360 degree mid/high speaker array to 'beam' the music in the most balanced way into the room.

    That is an incredible feat, mostly because any person can obtain one, plop it pretty much anywhere and it will sound good. Put two of them as a stereo pair in a room and anyone, I mean anyone will have superior audio results with no effort. Dynamically adaptive sound systems are the future.

    Meantime, I'm planning to get a $20K Trinnov processor and go through hours and hours of setup and calibration the extract the most out of my setup
    Jonathan

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