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  • wakibaki
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Words that are meaningless in the context of an audio review
I've google searched for this list, but either my search criteria are bad or it isn't out there.

My apologies if this is not an original topic.

As the title says, I'm trying to compile a list of words that are employed by audio reviewers and forum pundits in their descriptions of the performance of equipment that don't actually convey anything useful.

A couple of words that have come to my attention recently are 'uninvolving' and 'fatigueing'. Both of these at first sight are characteristics that I wouldn't want my equipment to have, but on reflection they're so unspecific that I feel that the reviewer might just as well have said 'I don't like this equipment, but for no good reason I can put a name to'. Since the whole purpose of a review is to provide specific descriptions of equipment characteristics, I've come to feel that the inclusion of these words automatically discredits the reviewer

Another word I'm not too happy with is 'thin', but perhaps you don't share my view. Anyway, I'm going to leave it open to others now to make some contributions.

w
  • Last Edit: 05 May, 2012, 09:41:33 PM by wakibaki
wakibaki.com

Words that are meaningless in the context of an audio review
Reply #1
Ask 10 people for their definition of 'muddy' and you'll get a wide variety of conflicting explanations. . 'Thin' I take as a lack in the lower frequencies but again, someone else may have a totally different definition. I've had 'fatiguing' audio that had lumpy response in the upper frequencies and again.....  I have no idea at all of what 'uninvolving' might mean.

  • Last Edit: 06 May, 2012, 07:39:47 AM by Frank Bicking

  • skamp
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Words that are meaningless in the context of an audio review
Reply #2
  • "analog sounding" (isn't everything we hear analog?)
  • "musical" (we're all listening to music, right?)
  • "effortless" (in contrast to a constipated amp taking a dump)
  • "involved" (in contrast to a lazy DAC that really doesn't give a damn)
  • "euphoric" (it's the reviewer who's on cocaine, not the gear!)
  • "lively" (it lives!)
  • "authoritative" (the reviewer's gear is letting them know who's the boss - whip not included)
  • "focused" (high end audio gear doesn't much care for distraction, especially when it's chinese)


…to name a few.
See my profile for measurements, tools and recommendations.

  • Speedskater
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Words that are meaningless in the context of an audio review
Reply #3
Way back in 1990, J. Gordon Holt wrote a 152 page book (or booklet)

The Audio Glossary

Three of skamp's words are defined:
musical, euphonic, focused

Kevin Graf :: aka Speedskater

  • stephan_g
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Words that are meaningless in the context of an audio review
Reply #4
This glossary?

BTW, "euphoric" (excited) != "euphonic" (purposely pleasing to the ear).
My little "blogalike":
http://stephan.win31.de/music.htm

  • wakibaki
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Words that are meaningless in the context of an audio review
Reply #5
Way back in 1990, J. Gordon Holt wrote a 152 page book (or booklet)

The Audio Glossary


This is indeed useful as it contains many redundant redefinitions of existing words, but I fear the author's intentions and mine are directly at odds when compiling our lists.

Thanks, skamp, for your 'few'.

w
  • Last Edit: 06 May, 2012, 03:41:07 PM by wakibaki
wakibaki.com

  • bug80
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Words that are meaningless in the context of an audio review
Reply #6
Another classic: danceable

  • smok3
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Words that are meaningless in the context of an audio review
Reply #7
some of these:
"Music had a vail lifted with greater depth and space, with nuances rendered with increased accuracy."
PANIC: CPU 1: Cache Error (unrecoverable - dcache data) Eframe = 0x90000000208cf3b8
NOTICE - cpu 0 didn't dump TLB, may be hung

  • greynol
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Words that are meaningless in the context of an audio review
Reply #8
I think I remember that one. Wasn't it about something like a mains or cat5 cable?

Waki, you've seen the discussions about the nonsense about PRaT?  Often a good troll magnet.
13 February 2016: The world was blessed with the passing of a truly vile and wretched person.

Your eyes cannot hear.

  • mzil
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Words that are meaningless in the context of an audio review
Reply #9
"Butterscotch"

  • andy o
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Words that are meaningless in the context of an audio review
Reply #10
Another classic: danceable

Ah, those days when Gizmodo was at least a little bit reasonable.

  • wakibaki
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Words that are meaningless in the context of an audio review
Reply #11
Waki, you've seen the discussions about the nonsense about PRaT? Often a good troll magnet.


Pace, rhythm and timing?. Yes. I'm not trying to attract an argument though, I just set out to provide a straightforward clarification to a questioner on another forum, and although I knew there were many such words in common use, I just couldn't bring very many to mind. I googled for a list, but I couldn't find one.

The link to the Holt 'Glossary' is great. I recommend it to anyone with a few minutes to spare, a greater condensation of arrant nonsense in one place would be difficult to find. I'm going to re-work it to remove all concessions to rationality and re-post it with any additions contributed here. It won't be a quick job though, I've only read from A to C and I had to leave off, I can only take so much in one dose.

w
wakibaki.com

Words that are meaningless in the context of an audio review
Reply #12
This glossary?

BTW, "euphoric" (excited) != "euphonic" (purposely pleasing to the ear).


"Euphonic" is typically used when talking about tube amplifiers. The kind of distortions they introduce have sort of a "smoothing" effect, like pouring molasses on every meal you have. I guess some people like it that way.

  • knutinh
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Words that are meaningless in the context of an audio review
Reply #13
3-dimensionality

  • skamp
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  • Developer
Words that are meaningless in the context of an audio review
Reply #14
BTW, "euphoric" (excited) != "euphonic" (purposely pleasing to the ear).


I did mean "euphoric" though. Remember, reviewers personify the gear and make it seem alive (see: "lively"). Incidentally, stimulants are known to produce euphoria, and some of them largely increase one's appreciation of music. Though I have no idea what audiophiles are on.

See my profile for measurements, tools and recommendations.

  • Nessuno
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Words that are meaningless in the context of an audio review
Reply #15
3-dimensionality


That is the very meaning of the word "stereo"...

By the way: boys, I don't see the point in this thread, actually.
... I live by long distance.

  • PoisonDan
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Words that are meaningless in the context of an audio review
Reply #16
Another classic: danceable

I'm surprised nobody mentioned "foot-tappityness" yet. 
Over thinking, over analyzing separates the body from the mind.

  • ech3
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Words that are meaningless in the context of an audio review
Reply #17
Warm.


  • Zarggg
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Words that are meaningless in the context of an audio review
Reply #18
3-dimensionality


That is the very meaning of the word "stereo"...

Technically, stereo is two-dimensional.

Three-dimensional would be in the realm of 5+ channel surround-sound.

  • greynol
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Words that are meaningless in the context of an audio review
Reply #19
Two points can only define one dimension (two dimensions requires three non-linear points, thee dimensions requires four non-coplanar points). The brain is successfully able to create a thee-dimensional image with only two ears, however.

Some of these words aren't so bad (pace and rhythm excluded), it just depends on what they're used to describe.
  • Last Edit: 07 May, 2012, 01:14:39 PM by greynol
13 February 2016: The world was blessed with the passing of a truly vile and wretched person.

Your eyes cannot hear.

  • Nessuno
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Words that are meaningless in the context of an audio review
Reply #20
3-dimensionality


That is the very meaning of the word "stereo"...

Technically, stereo is two-dimensional.

Three-dimensional would be in the realm of 5+ channel surround-sound.


Semantically "stereo" is ancient greek for "solid". Ever heard about "stereoscopic" photography?

Technically stereophony aims to reproduce a three dimensional space in front of the listener: left, right and depth. Surround only differs in the portion of space that tries to reproduce, with depth extending also round and behind the listener.

@greynol: I don't think the geometrical analogy makes much sense in this case, time being involved, which is what actually "fools" the ears (and as you yourself said, the brain between) in perceiving depth or, better, relative distance of virtual sources.
  • Last Edit: 07 May, 2012, 12:30:40 PM by Nessuno
... I live by long distance.

  • greynol
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Words that are meaningless in the context of an audio review
Reply #21
It was not an analogy; it was a clarification and was not directed specifically at you.

You didn't say anything about height.

Regarding your other point, you only need to read the initial post.  Posts have already been binned for violating TOS #2 and I should have done the same with the other TOS #2 violation (see update below), but it would probably have been interpreted as censorship and as a result be incorrectly seen as justification for what is actually inappropriate behavior.

If you (that is to say general "you") don't like the discussion, don't participate.


UPDATE: That post and my response was binned too (not by me, but it was probably for the best).
  • Last Edit: 07 May, 2012, 06:55:39 PM by greynol
13 February 2016: The world was blessed with the passing of a truly vile and wretched person.

Your eyes cannot hear.

  • Woodinville
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Words that are meaningless in the context of an audio review
Reply #22
With the way that most audio equipment reviews are carried out, I think that the answer for "what words are meaningless" is "all words".

Sorry, I think we're missing the cargo ship here.
-----
J. D. (jj) Johnston

  • greynol
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Words that are meaningless in the context of an audio review
Reply #23
To add to that, it's also a shame since sometimes two pieces of gear might actually sound different objectively.
13 February 2016: The world was blessed with the passing of a truly vile and wretched person.

Your eyes cannot hear.

  • ZAPNSPARK
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Words that are meaningless in the context of an audio review
Reply #24
The following words were collected from an actual 2 part review in
an audio webzine. It's not a complete list.
Can anyone guess what was being reviewed?

Airy
Anemic
Anvil-taught
Assertive
Balanced
Bassy
Billowing
Bite
Bloom
Bold
Brassy
Breathy
Bright
Brittle
Broken
Buzz
Clarity
Clean
Clear
Closed
Clouded
Coherence
Compressed
Confident
Damped
Dark
Dense
Detail
Detailed
Diminutive
Distinct
Dynamic
Ear-grabbing
Eargasmic
Effervescent
Elegant
Exotic
Extended
Fast
Feathery
Flair
Flavored
Flowing
Fluffier
Fluid
Full
Glare
Grain
Harsh
Hollow
Impactful
Laid-back
Liquid
Liveliness
Magical
Midrange-centric
Muddy
Musical
Natural
Neutral
Occluded
Open
Overdone
Personality
Pleasing
Polite
Punchy
Refined
Rich
Romantic
Sexy
Slippery
Slow
Smooth
Sophisticated
Sparkling
Spitty
Strained
Subtle
Syrupy
Tasteful
Textured
Thick
Thin
Tight
Transparent
Veiled
Vivid
Warm
Wholesome

Cheers.

ZAPNSPARK