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Old 24th September 2013 | Show parent
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Originally Posted by SoSueMe ➡️
I'm not answering your post directly, but rather just making some general points based on what you said...

Let's say you have two mono preamps and two 'matched' mics (no two mics are never truly matched, by the way, and you can absolutely pick one out over the other in a thorough scientific comparison).

You place the mics close to each other (about 1/2 inch or 1.25 cm to avoid shadowing - don't get closer than that). Each mic goes into its own preamp. Even if the preamps were identical, you *will* hear a difference between the two files in a thorough scientific test. Since microphones and their positioning arguably have a more profound effect on the signal than a mic preamp, generally speaking, this effect will overshadow any minute differences in *most* NON-identical preamps. Who is going to argue that most preamps have a more profound effect than the mic, its position, and its surrounding environment?

So what does this mean? It means that the test above is scientifically irrelevant, and people perform tests like these on gearslutz all the time. The only reason I'm making this post is to help out and bring comparisons up to a level that are actually scientifically relevant (don't be afraid; this is a good thing). If anyone's interested, I'll help you do this. If you want to see what a real scientific comparison looks like on a forum, look here.

Yes, there is the argument of real-world experience in the room with the mics and the preamps. But, most of us do not have that luxury. I personally believe it is possible to get way more out of file comparisons than what is typically posted on these boards.

So, how do we differentiate/remove the mics from the equation in the above test so that we take the next step in coming up with a meaningful comparison? We record at least one more performance, but NOT before we switch the preamps. We also keep a record of this (very important). If the files are properly executed, the mics can essentially be "nulled out" so that their unique characteristics do not contribute to what we're really trying to compare here: The preamps.

Once the two files (at minimum) are recorded, they can now be cut up, sliced, randomized, and level-matched so that they can be implemented into a test that will give back meaningful results, not a bunch of placebo that doesn't do anybody any good. Again, I can do this last part.

Also, the same thing can be performed with two stereo preamps and four 'matched' mics.

And Rumi, I won't scrutinize anything you post on here. I'm just offering help if anyone wants it. At any rate, I'll probably eventually pick up the Pueblo and do a comparison between it and my SMP-2A (Forssell).

Your points are very valuable, and thank you for posting them!
Some years ago I did many comparison tests, but after that test with the CD de-magnetizer, where it turned out in the end that we were comparing bit-identical files (and two participants still could hear the difference!), I stopped doing comparisons. (Interestingly enough a physics professor bought that CD de-magnetizer when I put it on ebay after those tests. I would have loved to hear why he does that, since he must know that there is nothing magnetizable in a CD.)

I still wonder how people can hear the power cord of their amplifiers - a few feet of lenght, after miles of cable coming from the power plant. And you have to turn the amp down, switch cables, turn the amp on again, and then say "Ah yes, now the lows are in place again, the highs are much less strident, and the mids are just so smooth - this is why I spent $500 for that cable!" Even if there actually is a difference between the "tone" of power cables, you are not able to tell it with such a test.

I thankfully accept your offer to help in these tests!

And yes, the first time I read your first post, it was "Oh well, let's see where this thread is going now", but you've proven that you are a very valuable contributor. Thank you!

I will do the Nebula vs. hardware test in the link you've posted. I like Nebula a lot.