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post #1 of 80 Old 01-08-2019, 07:31 AM - Thread Starter
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Audiophile wars

Ethan Winer calls out Paul McGowan...


Another video by Ethan :


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post #2 of 80 Old 01-08-2019, 08:01 AM
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Thanks to Ethan for finally (and professionally) asking Paul McGowan to discuss his technical opinion(s).
Can't wait for this to happen. If it happens.
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If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough – Albert Einstein
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post #3 of 80 Old 01-08-2019, 08:03 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Ratman View Post
Thanks to Ethan for finally (and professionally) asking Paul McGowan to discuss his technical opinion(s).
Can't wait for this to happen. If it happens.
I would have to say that I am inclined to side with Paul McGowan who expresses a more rational and balanced point of view. He allows for the possibility that there are things beyond our understanding at this point in time, that we cannot measure and don't even know to look for. Any sane, rational and balanced thinker would concur.

Ethan Winer on the other hand has fallen into the trap of thinking that science has all the answers and that everything is measurable. How do you measure something if you don't even know that it exists and are too dogmatic in your view to even consider the possibility of it's existence.
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post #4 of 80 Old 01-08-2019, 09:11 AM
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Paul is a saleman. It's his "point of view" to sell his products. Sane, rational and balanced thinkers are also ……. oh never mind.


If you're religious. Have faith in Paul's "pitch". Believe what he preaches without facts or proof. And... tithe.


Let's see if Paul takes up the offer. I may be wrong, but I bet it won't happen.


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Originally Posted by Stephan Mire View Post
He allows for the possibility that there are things beyond our understanding at this point in time, that we cannot measure and don't even know to look for.
So did Rod Serling.



If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough – Albert Einstein

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post #5 of 80 Old 01-08-2019, 10:01 AM
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Always with this mythical "undiscovered" science that can't be explained yet is somehow able to be exploited by snake oil salesmen.
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post #6 of 80 Old 01-08-2019, 02:20 PM
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Watched all of the first video and hardly any of the 2nd because the null test device is simply a hardware version of a test David Hafler, Peter Walker of Quad, and others have talked about for decades so nothing new really except Ethan has cleverly turned it into a single box for testing, I guess.

Ethan is correct on every point he makes and Paul is incorrect.

Hearing Paul [who is not an electrical engineer but sure likes to stand in front of all sorts of electrical test/measurement gear in his videos] say "Tim ber" made me wince and I was just about to write a post correcting him but I see Ethan beat me to it.

Where I differ with Ethan is that he seems to think measurements will sway Paul's followers.

What I'd like to see is Ethan challenge Paul to a DBT on [competent] amps/wires/AC power cords using any music and peripheral gear he wants, proctored, level matched, and synchronized by Ethan. Paul will lose.

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post #7 of 80 Old 01-08-2019, 02:33 PM
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Originally Posted by m. zillch View Post
Where I differ with Ethan is that he seems to think measurements will sway Paul's followers.
Never happen. It's like a cult.
Science sucks! It's all about faith in your leader/teacher/"marketeer"



If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough – Albert Einstein
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post #8 of 80 Old 01-08-2019, 05:22 PM
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Believing is Seeing.

Trust Your Ears.

Night and Day difference.


Audio objectivists will never totally win against the audio subjectivists. It's too much fun to believe there's something there even though there's not.

The human brain is a touch egg to crack.

Audiophile sales people possess Pinocchio genes.
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post #9 of 80 Old 01-08-2019, 05:40 PM
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Trust Your Ears.
"But whatever you do, be sure not to shut your eyes and use your hearing by itself. That "double blind" nonsense is just meant to confuse you and is part of the global conspiracy started by Sound and Vision magazine. . . because. . .because they want to keep high end audio products all to themselves and not let other folks ever get to taste the good stuff. . . and the moon landings were faked, they even made a movie about it."
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post #10 of 80 Old 01-08-2019, 10:01 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by m. zillch View Post
Watched all of the first video and hardly any of the 2nd because the null test device is simply a hardware version of a test David Hafler, Peter Walker of Quad, and others have talked about for decades so nothing new really except Ethan has cleverly turned it into a single box for testing, I guess.

Ethan is correct on every point he makes and Paul is incorrect.

Hearing Paul [who is not an electrical engineer but sure likes to stand in front of all sorts of electrical test/measurement gear in his videos] say "Tim ber" made me wince and I was just about to write a post correcting him but I see Ethan beat me to it.
How do you know Paul isn't an electrical engineer?
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post #11 of 80 Old 01-08-2019, 10:04 PM - Thread Starter
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Watched all of the first video and hardly any of the 2nd because the null test device is simply a hardware version of a test David Hafler, Peter Walker of Quad, and others have talked about for decades so nothing new really except Ethan has cleverly turned it into a single box for testing, I guess.
What he has clearly demonstrated every time he changed a pair (brand) of cables, or compared completely different cables on "1" and "2", is that THERE WAS a notable difference; heard and seen on the screen.
Even after his obligatory fumbling with Null pot, the visible and audible remainder of difference above the "deep null" shows that there is a difference between "1" and "2". And most definitely not just a static (consistent) noise/hiss of the circuit/components, and most definitely not attributable to EMI picked up from the air - remnants of the musical content that he is playing on "1" and "2" are easily recognisable.

But... the very need to fumble with Null-pot every time a change is made already speaks against what he is trying to convey as a fact.
Last time I looked, none of the commercially available HiFi components had a "Deep Null Adjustment" pot, so... what now?
His device clearly demonstrates that every time you change anything in the system - even if it's "just cables" - you will end up with SIGNIFICANT difference between the "L" and "R", not to mention the difference between now and what was there prior to the change!
This is the ONLY indisputable fact that he has proven with his Null Tester.
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post #12 of 80 Old 01-08-2019, 10:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Stephan Mire View Post
How do you measure something if you don't even know that it exists and are too dogmatic in your view to even consider the possibility of it's existence.
Wouldn't cryptozoologists argue essentially the exact same thing? There's people who believe that the sound of sticks banging in the woods might be bigfoots communicating over vast distances. On their expeditions into the forest they find broken branches and soil depressions they can't explain. If you found yourself out and about shopping for camping equipment and were approached by someone selling "Bigfoot Deterrent" to keep you safe in your tent at night, would you entertain the offer? There's no proof that the product hasn't worked, and the seller doesn't even know how it works.
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post #13 of 80 Old 01-08-2019, 11:35 PM
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a common sense, rational person believes that everything in a system matters. to what degree is why all the arguments rightfully exist.
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post #14 of 80 Old 01-09-2019, 12:30 AM
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Well, it is true there is more to hearing than sound measurements.

The brain is a mighty complex beast, and it uses technologies we're only starting to do in smartphones. This is because human senses are poor instruments of detection and over millions of years, the brain has evolved ways to adapt.

It has been demonstrated that hearing is easily influenced by both sight - what you see affects what you hear, as well as memory - what you've heard and understood before also influences your hearing. The first you can see via one of the "pah pah dah dah" demo videos where the same sound is played, but the visual is changed. The latter has a demo where a heavily filtered sound is played, then it's explained what it really saying, and then every time the filtered sound is played, you understand it. You can even replay the test and you can decipher the sound.

And lets not forget how playing something just a bit louder makes it sound "better" automatically. After all, it's a common salesman trick - make the system you want to sell just a bit louder and people will flock to it.

This means you can't really just "hear" the improvement - you can listen to the exact same audio system, and depending on what you're looking at, it can sound completely different. Likewise, what you listened to before can influence what you hear. This also means it's trivially easy to manipulate people to say which system sounds better - there are plenty of people who say an MP3 file sounds better than the uncompressed version.

That's why we have both double blind tests and null tests. These attempt to eliminate the other human senses from influencing the opinion of the audio. After all, its not like manipulation hasn't happened before. And really, does anyone want to admit that someone managed to make them say a $5 MP3 player was better than a top of the line $1,000,000 system? I'm sure with enough preparation and trickery (including switching the visuals - play the MP3 player while making it appear the premium system is in use and vice versa) it would be possible. Or even just using the MP3 player the whole time while the premium system remains "off".
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post #15 of 80 Old 01-09-2019, 12:46 AM
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Well, it is true there is more to hearing than sound measurements.

The brain is a mighty complex beast, and it uses technologies we're only starting to do in smartphones. This is because human senses are poor instruments of detection and over millions of years, the brain has evolved ways to adapt.

It has been demonstrated that hearing is easily influenced by both sight - what you see affects what you hear, as well as memory - what you've heard and understood before also influences your hearing. The first you can see via one of the "pah pah dah dah" demo videos where the same sound is played, but the visual is changed. The latter has a demo where a heavily filtered sound is played, then it's explained what it really saying, and then every time the filtered sound is played, you understand it. You can even replay the test and you can decipher the sound.

And lets not forget how playing something just a bit louder makes it sound "better" automatically. After all, it's a common salesman trick - make the system you want to sell just a bit louder and people will flock to it.

This means you can't really just "hear" the improvement - you can listen to the exact same audio system, and depending on what you're looking at, it can sound completely different. Likewise, what you listened to before can influence what you hear. This also means it's trivially easy to manipulate people to say which system sounds better - there are plenty of people who say an MP3 file sounds better than the uncompressed version.

That's why we have both double blind tests and null tests. These attempt to eliminate the other human senses from influencing the opinion of the audio. After all, its not like manipulation hasn't happened before. And really, does anyone want to admit that someone managed to make them say a $5 MP3 player was better than a top of the line $1,000,000 system? I'm sure with enough preparation and trickery (including switching the visuals - play the MP3 player while making it appear the premium system is in use and vice versa) it would be possible. Or even just using the MP3 player the whole time while the premium system remains "off".

so does all this mean people will be happier knowing the measurements are best even tho brain/ears might like something else more?

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post #16 of 80 Old 01-09-2019, 06:40 AM
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I liked that video Ethan made with a girl. Very humorous. I know, off topic.

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post #17 of 80 Old 01-09-2019, 06:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Stephan Mire View Post
I would have to say that I am inclined to side with Paul McGowan who expresses a more rational and balanced point of view. He allows for the possibility that there are things beyond our understanding at this point in time, that we cannot measure and don't even know to look for. Any sane, rational and balanced thinker would concur.

Ethan Winer on the other hand has fallen into the trap of thinking that science has all the answers and that everything is measurable. How do you measure something if you don't even know that it exists and are too dogmatic in your view to even consider the possibility of it's existence.
I think the answer lies somewhere in between. It's like many of the new archaeological discoveries - They are made by re-examining fossils collected decades ago. I think that the measurement capability is there, but that not all the characteristics required have been identified in those measurements.
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post #18 of 80 Old 01-09-2019, 07:08 AM
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post #19 of 80 Old 01-09-2019, 12:05 PM
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Clean up your AC power!

http://www.psaudio.com/products/dir...-20/#tab-specs

Audiophile sales people possess Pinocchio genes.
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post #20 of 80 Old 01-09-2019, 12:16 PM
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And lets not forget how playing something just a bit louder makes it sound "better" automatically. After all, it's a common salesman trick - make the system you want to sell just a bit louder and people will flock to it.
Great point and 100% true but there's a really important element to this which people often overlook: it doesn't matter if a device has a visible blinking red light on it that goes off when it is the one in use or if it simply plays more quietly (or more loudly). SUCH INDICATORS ACT AS TELLS SO THE TEST IS NO LONGER BLIND; IT IS SIGHTED. So worrying if people tend to prefer (or dislike) louder devices is actually secondary. Playing any such device in a "DBT" without level matching using instrumentation to negate the level change means the test is invalid.
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post #21 of 80 Old 01-09-2019, 12:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Stephan Mire View Post
How do you know Paul isn't an electrical engineer?
"No, I am not an “accredited” engineer meaning I never went to engineering school and never received a degree. The highest letter degree I have ever received was from my high school."

SOURCE: Paul McGowan, November 21st, 2017, 7:31 AM

From a comment appearing roughly a third of the way down this page in response to @Glimmie , an AVSforum member.

http://www.psaudio.com/pauls-posts/are-cables-bs/
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post #22 of 80 Old 01-09-2019, 12:39 PM
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I would have to say that I am inclined to side with Paul McGowan who expresses a more rational and balanced point of view. He allows for the possibility that there are things beyond our understanding at this point in time, that we cannot measure and don't even know to look for. Any sane, rational and balanced thinker would concur.

Ethan Winer on the other hand has fallen into the trap of thinking that science has all the answers and that everything is measurable. How do you measure something if you don't even know that it exists and are too dogmatic in your view to even consider the possibility of it's existence.
But science DOES have all the answers in this case, with speakers its a different story as position room treatments reflections etc can all color the sound output from a speaker. However with something like amps and cables or other interconnects, its actually very simple. Feed a known signal into the amplifier say a sine wave or other signal say a series of tones. You know what the signal is supposed to look like the output is a known factor, then feed that signal into the amplifier or speaker cable and measure the output, if its the same then there is no difference between cables or amplifier etc. You would expect to see some variation between the output from amplifiers, because of various components along the signal path from generation to output, but you can measure those differences and if they are below a certain threshold, what that is I can't personally tell you and that is where the arguments are based, then it is essentially inaudible at the output end. From a strictly electrical perspective measuring the differences, if any from input to output are very simple and established by literally decades of scientific research.
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post #23 of 80 Old 01-09-2019, 12:39 PM
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it is great that this guy is passionate about his work but seriously why do these discussions always have to surface? It is like saying my dad can beat up your dad, personally who cares. if person "A" wants to spend his/her money on something and they feel good about it great but why make person "A" feel like an idiot for doing it. Why can't we just get along
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post #24 of 80 Old 01-09-2019, 12:51 PM
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it is great that this guy is passionate about his work but seriously why do these discussions always have to surface? It is like saying my dad can beat up your dad, personally who cares. if person "A" wants to spend his/her money on something and they feel good about it great but why make person "A" feel like an idiot for doing it. Why can't we just get along
Because there are unsuspecting customers getting scammed out of money when entering this hobby by an industry that is borderline criminal.
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post #25 of 80 Old 01-09-2019, 12:59 PM
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it is great that this guy is passionate about his work but seriously why do these discussions always have to surface? It is like saying my dad can beat up your dad, personally who cares. if person "A" wants to spend his/her money on something and they feel good about it great but why make person "A" feel like an idiot for doing it. Why can't we just get along
I think part of it is that many people would rather those same people spend that money toward better speakers than dump money in super expensive cables. I mean ultimately hell if you want to drop $1000/foot for speaker cables, and get cable lifts and all that jazz go for it, but your not going to hear a difference, you might think you do because you want to justify to yourself the money spent. BUT if you spent that extra say $2000 on the speakers instead you are much more likely to end up with a real world difference. But you have many people, well some, that fall into the "Monster Cable" hole where maybe they just don't know any better. Its really about making an informed decision in what your buying.
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post #26 of 80 Old 01-09-2019, 01:07 PM
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In the 60's/70's fake doctors wearing traditional white coats appeared in ads promoting how safe cigarettes were to the public. This is unscrupulous and immoral. There was backlash and I think lawsuits so the advertisers did marketing research and discovered the best workaround was to use established, well known actors at the time who portrayed doctors on popular TV shows and to add a quick disclaimer in the beginning of the ad that "I'm not a doctor but I play one on TV". For gullible people it was just as good as using people dressed in white lab coats.

This is said to be one of the first examples but it was not the last:

I've met Matthew Polk. Other than for this series of ads he does not wear a white lab coat, ever, but boy does this stuff work well on gullible people:

http://us.v-cdn.net/5021930/uploads...9/4/4/1902.jpg
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Because there are unsuspecting customers getting scammed out of money when entering this hobby by an industry that is borderline criminal.
Including me over 20 years ago.
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post #28 of 80 Old 01-09-2019, 10:31 PM
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Thanks to Ethan for finally (and professionally) asking Paul McGowan to discuss his technical opinion(s).
Can't wait for this to happen. If it happens.
My bet is we won't hear a peep out of him.

Sales of things like this, are harmed by exposure to scrutiny by people like @Ethan Winer

P. S. This will give people a rough idea of what kind of profit they make on such 3 conductor 8AWG wire. Here's an example per foot:
http://www.wireandcableyourway.com/...iABEgKnbfD_BwE

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post #29 of 80 Old 01-10-2019, 12:19 AM
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Great point and 100% true but there's a really important element to this which people often overlook: it doesn't matter if a device has a visible blinking red light on it that goes off when it is the one in use or if it simply plays more quietly (or more loudly). SUCH INDICATORS ACT AS TELLS SO THE TEST IS NO LONGER BLIND; IT IS SIGHTED. So worrying if people tend to prefer (or dislike) louder devices is actually secondary. Playing any such device in a "DBT" without level matching using instrumentation to negate the level change means the test is invalid.
And that was the point of my post - hearing is not the sense of sound alone. It's a sense that combines what the ears hear, what the eyes see, and what the brain knows to produce "what you hear". So in a sense, the qualitative people have a point, there is more to hearing than what can be measured. But that is because hearing is more than what comes from the speakers.

That said, and knowing this, you need double blind testing because you want to compare the equipment and eliminate things like "so shiny amp" from influencing the results. The goal is to test the equipment in a controlled manner - the only difference should be the equipment and not ones emotional state. It's why humans make lousy comparators.
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post #30 of 80 Old 01-10-2019, 07:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by m. zillch View Post
My bet is we won't hear a peep out of him.

Sales of things like this, are harmed by exposure to scrutiny by people like @Ethan Winer

P. S. This will give people a rough idea of what kind of profit they make on such 3 conductor 8AWG wire. Here's an example per foot:
http://www.wireandcableyourway.com/...iABEgKnbfD_BwE
Yes but PS Audio rubs unicorn and fairy blood on the cable which gives it extra powers lol
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