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   Home » Playback Listening » An interesting comment, worth replying: Feeding Cats and objectivism. (3 posts, 1 page)
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01-31-2013 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat

Boston, MA
Posts 9,914
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 1
Post ID: 18954
Reply to: 18954
An interesting comment, worth replying: Feeding Cats and objectivism.

 pure sound wrote:
.... the most interesting aspect to me is reading about how he makes the appraisals he does ie assessing equipment by the impact that well understood, "content loaded" classical music can/should have on the listener. While I've no doubt that most of the equipment he uses would fulfil the requirements of some fairly strict technical criteria, he does seem to be the ultimate subjectivist,
Actually I do not feel that there is any conflict between subjectivism and objectivism as if objective data does not benefit subjective sentiments than it was wrong data or wrongly interpreted. In audio unfortunately we are way more pre-sold (thank to the stupid hi-fi industry) to deal with absolutely wrong data, or put in this way “irrelevant data”. We quantify irrelevant data and feel that the outcome of this quantification has a direct relativity to our senses. Unfortunately it is not always the case. Pretend that you are a cook and you are cooking for a Cat. You can use your best cooking algorithms to cook the tastiest food and invest humongous amount of skills to cook your favorite Bouillabaisse but it might not necessary what you Cat might consider tasty.


Sound is in very same way but unfortunately it is very hard, almost impossible even to talk, not to mention corroborate, with most of audio people about the subject as “audiophiles” are generally ill-equipped in cultural appreciation of their “hobby”. They can deal with accumulation of amplifiers, soaking speakers diaphragm, measuring plate currents, gluing needle to a cantilever but those action, even they impact sound, has very little truly human service. For instance you “pure sound” the “manufacturer/distributor”, when did you see a customer come to you and request that he wants some kind of solution from you that would make specific renderation of let say Verklärte Nacht to move from acceptance and forgiveness to unsettled disappointment... only by the means of playback?

Ref: http://www.pinkfishmedia.net/forum/showthread.php?p=1914570&posted=1#post1914570

Romy The Cat

"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
02-01-2013 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
United Kingdom
Posts 247
Joined on 03-01-2008

Post #: 2
Post ID: 18957
Reply to: 18954
False objectivism
The idea that there is a comprehensive objective measurement in playback is surely as absurd as the idea that there is a comprehensive objective measurement in female attractiveness. Sure, it is unlikely you'd find a girl hot if her BMI is >25 but if you are the kind of man for whom that or any other reductive measure is a *sufficient* criterion then you have no idea what attractiveness is.
02-01-2013 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Posts 339
Joined on 05-23-2009

Post #: 3
Post ID: 18961
Reply to: 18957
The state of mind formerly known as taste
In the past, people described the reaction to things aesthetic as dependent on "taste". This seems like an exact metaphor. Everyone's palate is unique as best we can tell. there is no well prepared meal from a taste or nutritive standpoint that will satisfy everyone. Taste (gustatory) can become more discriminating through experience; it can also change simply through the aging process. Even somewhat dull monarchs from times past were fairly good judges of artistic quality simply because they had seen the best for many years. As for aging, young people (who don't blast everything through the headphones) have greater sensitivity to high frequencies while older people have less sensitivity to them. Also things unfamiliar take time to become more familiar. And no,  none of us has a true understanding of what someone else's metric of playback quality (or physical attractiveness) is.  But neither does it matter how reductive (unitary) or comprehensive (cosmic amplitude) it may be. It is still their measure in all its glory  - so to speak. Since people are constructed on a basic plan, a fair amount of agreement can often be achieved by diners or listeners who have somewhat similar sociocultural experiences. There also may be analyzable factors that have some partial relationship to verbal reports of subjective experience.  But the taste of the meal or the effect of the playback can never be experienced except in oneself as the final arbiter.
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