Behavioral Review Strategy for System Change Evaluation

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pardales

I have decided on a new strategy for evaluating new gear in my system. I pay attention to 2 things.

Do I listen to more whole albums?
Do I listen more (total time)?

I keep track of whether I listen to whole albums in my head. I jot total time down on a notepad. I keep track of this for several weeks after introducing a new component into my system.

Then, I rely on this to help me determine whether a new component is an improvement in my system or not. If I listen more, it is an improvement. If I listen less, it is not.

No more questions like: "are the highs more extended?"; "is the bass tighter?"; "is there more midrange bloom?"; just cut to it: ARE YOU LISTENING MORE SINCE YOU ADDED COMPONENT X OR NOT?

 :D
 
« Last Edit: 11 Jun 2011, 01:35 pm by pardales »

Geardaddy

Re: Behavioral Review Strategy for System Change Evaluation
« Reply #1 on: 11 Jun 2011, 01:49 pm »
Very wise approach.

If you are parsing through sonic details rather than basking in the music, something is wrong.... 8)

pardales

Re: Behavioral Review Strategy for System Change Evaluation
« Reply #2 on: 11 Jun 2011, 10:35 pm »
Very wise approach.

If you are parsing through sonic details rather than basking in the music, something is wrong.... 8)

Thanks. Thus far it has served me well. In many ways it is easier to observe one's overt behavior than to interpret and reinterpret what you think you are hearing.

JLM

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Re: Behavioral Review Strategy for System Change Evaluation
« Reply #3 on: 11 Jun 2011, 11:44 pm »
In general it seems that you're measuring listener fatigue. 

I've found that gear that produces excessive detail makes my brain work too hard and leads to listener fatigue (and ruins poorer/older recordings).  In effect listening becomes an exercise in analysis, not the emotional experience that I'm after.

Instead I strive towards coherence (a natural presentation that single driver speakers do by definition), imaging (again single driver speakers provide better focus and therefore naturally improve detail without the fatigue), and palpability (solidity of images, fullness of tone).

MttBsh

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Re: Behavioral Review Strategy for System Change Evaluation
« Reply #4 on: 13 Jun 2011, 11:10 pm »
I tend to listen A LOT after adding a new component - because I select new equipment carefully (maybe only 1 or 2 pieces a yr, including cables) so they always bring some form of improvement. With that improvement comes a need to listen to all my best recordings, and this goes on for a few weeks as the components break in and I get used to the new sound. Then it's eh, I'm over it and back to my usual listening habits.

I have had the luxury in recent years of being single of an almost nightly routine. After taking care of business, around 10PM I pour myself a generous and ice-cold Bombay martini, shut off the lights and settle into my lush leather sofa for a solid half hour of high volume audio bliss. It really is a wonderful way to end the day.

Matt

TheChairGuy

Re: Behavioral Review Strategy for System Change Evaluation
« Reply #5 on: 13 Jun 2011, 11:43 pm »
pardales,

It's an interesting concept...but, def not a Critic's Circle topic.

Can you find another circle somewhere here on AC for me to move it to?

Thx, John / co-Fac / Critic's Circle

pardales

Re: Behavioral Review Strategy for System Change Evaluation
« Reply #6 on: 14 Jun 2011, 12:15 am »
pardales,

It's an interesting concept...but, def not a Critic's Circle topic.

Can you find another circle somewhere here on AC for me to move it to?

Thx, John / co-Fac / Critic's Circle

Really? Wow, I thought I had actually nailed it because the topic is about a general strategy for reviewing equipment. I'm certainly open to suggestions and try to be respectful of site rules. If a better spot is located please move at will.   :scratch:
« Last Edit: 14 Jun 2011, 09:55 am by pardales »

Letitroll98

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Re: Behavioral Review Strategy for System Change Evaluation
« Reply #7 on: 14 Jun 2011, 02:43 am »
I agree with John, that it doesn't fit in the circle for equipment reviews, but I also agree with pardales that there really isn't a circle that it fits into.  And the subject is very worthwhile as I had been noticing the same thing after going through a bout of cable reviews and equipment changes.  We got rid of the general audio circle why?

JohnR

Re: Behavioral Review Strategy for System Change Evaluation
« Reply #8 on: 14 Jun 2011, 02:49 am »
Dan, you know how it works here. Please don't make this kind of foot-stamping post, it's very tiresome that it keeps going on and on when the guidelines for circle creation are quite clear I think. A proposal for a "systems" circle would be welcome, but the proposal has to be made along with a commitment to keep it on track. The latter being the hard part (or rather convincing me that it isn't just going to be a dumping ground for anything and everything including content that has a fine place in your circle for example).

TheChairGuy

Re: Behavioral Review Strategy for System Change Evaluation
« Reply #9 on: 14 Jun 2011, 05:26 am »
Well, it's not ideally situated here...but scanning ALL the other circles at AC it would seem to be less suited anywhere else  :wink:

So, here it will stay unless anyone has better ideas on it :scratch:

Sometimes, life throws you a little curveball  when you expected a heater down the middle :)

Elizabeth

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Re: Behavioral Review Strategy for System Change Evaluation
« Reply #10 on: 14 Jun 2011, 07:36 am »
The problem of wondering if a change is beneficial is difficult.
If I would start critical listening, then the enjoyment of the listening experience is diminished.
But then worry over was it better than before...
So the OP idea is very good for a long term evauation.
I had the experience of stopping listening after a change.And it took awhile to actually realize i had stopped listening! that ws back in the 1980's.
Now, i am listening all day every day since i retired!
I STILL get into listening for the sound instead of just for the music as a curse of tweaking some stuff recently.

Eric

Re: Behavioral Review Strategy for System Change Evaluation
« Reply #11 on: 14 Jun 2011, 02:47 pm »
Well, it's not ideally situated here...but scanning ALL the other circles at AC it would seem to be less suited anywhere else  :wink:

So, here it will stay unless anyone has better ideas on it :scratch:

Sometimes, life throws you a little curveball  when you expected a heater down the middle :)

Or worse, it throws a hard high one under your chin when you crowd the plate

borism

Re: Behavioral Review Strategy for System Change Evaluation
« Reply #12 on: 16 Jun 2011, 03:42 pm »
I made accidentally a similar observation and it certainly was not planned like in the OP. At the time, I had a SS amplifier which seemed to interact with my speakers in such a way to emphasize the high frequencies. To make it worse, my living room is untreated and has many windows/reflecting surfaces. On some recordings the sound could get harsh. At one point I became aware of a particular repetitive behavior of turning on the system, starting to play some music and then finding some reason to leave the room, like remembering something needing to be done etc. Ultimately, I changed the amplifier and the speakers with good result. One could argue, however, that treating the room acoustically, which I didn't do, would have produced the same positive effect for less money.