My understanding is that, in the audio context, "objective" tends to be used with reference to measurements made by instruments. For sure these are useful, but you need to make sure *which* measurements, within *what* ranges, actually make a difference to sound. One trick of the fraudiophile end of things is to produce cables which have objectively measurable superior performance, but only at frequencies that are totally irrelevant to audio (is "skin effect" the right term?). Or to advertise amps that are flat up to 50KHz; great for talking to bats, but quite irrelevant for music.
Since we are humans, everything is subjective... we just pretend that things are "objective". Just compare what was considered an "objective" view on certain things 10 years ago and what is "objective" today.
And when it comes to audio... please! When human ears are involved, everything said *must* be subjective.
And what we should have learned by now: Just because a certain amount of individuals claims the very same thing, it says nothing about the truth or objectivness of the claim. What we know today is just a tiny, tiny part of what we didn't know yesterday. We can't be so self-obsessed to claim that we know an objective truth... we're just working in a certain direction - as a common effort that might be obsolete tomorrow.
Or to advertise amps that are flat up to 50KHz; great for talking to bats, but quite irrelevant for music.
I know almost nothing of philosophy but I've often felt that people believe they are being objective when what they're actually doing is simply repeating things that they believe to be true and accept as facts, which is one of the traits they object to in subjecivists
SNIP'Objective' can also apply to subjective data. ABX tests, for example, involve subjective self-report, but the reports are checked against objective fact (the true identity of X) and mathematical probability.SNIP
QuoteThere's actually a modest, steady level of audio 'objectivism' online these days, between this place, audioholics , AVSforum (the latter two are wobblier but that's because they don't mandate 'proof of claim'), Don't forget about Head-Fi! Even though it's a great forum with some users reincarnated from this website and looking at things from a purely scientific point of a view I have seen some quackery topics on there. Some which make me cringe. Anyway I thought I would chime in seeing that you were mentioning other audio forums on the net.
There's actually a modest, steady level of audio 'objectivism' online these days, between this place, audioholics , AVSforum (the latter two are wobblier but that's because they don't mandate 'proof of claim'),
I migrated here from Head-Fi. Even if you are a audio "objectivist" hanging out at Head-Fi can make you start to question if the neurons in your brain are functioning properly. I won't go into my ideas of the psychology behind it, but what I think is best summed up by the people who say that audiophilia is a religion. I'm glad a forum like this exists. It reminds me that audio can be a fun and inexpensive hobby, not a mass of subjective insanity.
As far as the objective vs subjective argument, I think it's important to remember that things other than the sound can determine how we perceive that sound, and these things are actually important and not just points for ridicule. We are not Vulcans from Star Trek. Audio is a holistic experience. Music sounds better in a comfy chair. I like my headphones because they have wood cups, even though listening tests indicate the wood cups probably make no audible difference.
All jokes about Patrick82 besides, you see far, far more pro-DBT statements on Head-Fi that on virtually all other audio forums save here.
What funny is I used to go to meets a lot and listen to a lot of equipment (I've pretty much heard everything including hours spent on the Mighty Orpheus setup worth over 20k). After a while I started to question the setup I had and if it was really worth it (could I really tell the difference between my 3k amp and my little small integrated amp/dac combo). I came to the conclusion the answer is no. Then I asked why? Then I started to read a lot of threads in this forum. I still have questions but I am a firm believer and will repeat that the law of diminishing returns HITS HARD with audio.
2) I had another handle on Headfi and I was very pro-DBT with a lot of things. I even gotten into some *shouting* matches over cables at a meet. Yeesh (basically I wanted to use my cables which were Monster cheapos and the guy refused claiming I would "ruin" his setup). However, I would say the majority of senior guys are not pro-DBT and will go to great lengths to tell you that their 5-10k tube amplifier makes their <insert vocalist> come alive and that no digital reproduction can come close.
3) I with you except I don't have the time or believe the barrier to entry is too large. I think you can make a do-it yourself amplifier that is probably 90% of what you can buy for a fraction of the price. I once had a very candid discussion with a builder at a meet of one of the more popular vendors on HeadFi (I will not say who) but the fact is their 400-500 product is worth about $20-30 dollars in parts!
It means that, insofar as the audio world has shifted over to be more headphone-centric, pro-DBT sentiment increases - but if the market swings to the other direction, towards speakers, it may decrease.
head-fi has been mentioned as a place where subjectivists are in the majority. I find that forum to be more fact-based than the audioasylum.com PC Audio forum.