Originally Posted by Bob Olhsson
Dr. Richard Heyser, a research engineer at Cal Tech's JPL Laboratory, His work silenced this nonsense for a decade or so but since he passed away in 1987 the "measures perfect=sounds perfect" B.S. has been creeping back out of the woodwork. Heyser, incidentally, is the father of modern acoustical measurement.
Funny you should mention Dr. Heyser - that's what put me on the path of fear and loathing of Mr. Winer (well, actually it was the Bella Abzug glasses and Fluffy The Cat that sowed the initial seeds of doubt). I had paraphrased something that Dr. Heyser had said (supported by the real-world experience of John La Grou) and Ethan dismissed it and me somewhat rudely — after which, I made it a point to stop visiting gearslutz and serendipitously found my way here.
And as much as I try to be gracious and understanding of those who have apparently lost at genetic roulette, I find the ongoing verbal pummeling he has taken at the very capable hands of Mixerman; JJ; Weedy; Dwoz; Aardvark; John Eppstein (my brother in Harvey Brooks); yourself . . . well, everybody . . . to be most vindicating and I'll admit, awfully gratifying. But then, Mr. Winer does seem to inspire affliction. On the other hand, it was his affable demeanor and sage council on audio measurement and acoustic treatment that inspired me to seek out the expertise and products of Glenn Kuras and GIK Acoustics - so I owe him a debt of gratitude there...
In the meantime, let me leave you all with some quotes by the venerable Dr. Heyser:
"Nature does not solve equations."
"At the present state of sound reproduction technology, the audio engineer shares the professional goal of a magician."
"The effect that modern sound reproduction strives to achieve is the creation of an acceptable illusion in the mind of the listener."
"If we wish to understand how to 'measure' what we 'hear,' then we must deal with subjective perception and the illusion of sound."
"The actual sound field in a listening environment is not identical to the sound field which we may perceive..."
"One of the worst-kept secrets in audio engineering is that what we hear does not always correlate with what we measure."
"Those whose principal professional involvement is based on the listening experience tend to develop a subjective viewpoint with value judgments seldom related to instrumental measurement."
"One of the most belittling experiences is to deride the 'black art' of a craftsman who gets consistent results by a certain ritual which he cannot explain and then to discover that his actions in fact held a deeper technical significance than we understood at that time from our simplified model."
"If we measure the frequency response of a system, and do it correctly, then we know everything about the response of that system. We have all the technical information needed to describe how that system will 'sound.' But the information we have is not in a system of coordinates that will be recognizable by a subjectively oriented listener...That is the root cause of the continuing fight between subjective and objective audio. It is not that either is more correct than the other...rather it is due to the fact they do not speak the same language."
"The next time you hear an argument between a technologist and golden ear about the audibility of certain types of distortion...is it possible they do not agree because each have [sic] a view through a different window?"
"You out there, Golden Ears, the person who couldn't care less about present technical measurements but thinks of sound as a holistic experience. You're right, you know."