Golden Boxes and Golden Ears are a Boring Lie--not a troll thread I swear!

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by justnick, May 10, 2015.

  1. justnick

    justnick Gold Supporting Member

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    I wrote a column for the Volume Treble Bass site titled "Golden Boxes and Golden Ears are a Boring Lie." It was inspired partly by some recent TGP threads. Needless to say I welcome responses, discussion, and criticism (even angry criticism!) if anyone's interested.

    http://volumetreblebass.com/justplay02/
     
  2. chankgeez

    chankgeez Member

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    Clarke's Third Law:

    "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." - Arthur C. Clarke
     
  3. somedude

    somedude Member

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    After a little over 10 years on TGP I've concluded that something will sound better if:

    A) It costs more,

    B) The manufacturer's website lists a long line of intangibles that go into the manufacturing that can't be measured,

    C) It's made of unobtanium, or

    D) All of the above.


    Bonus points if it has a snazzy paint job.
     
  4. justnick

    justnick Gold Supporting Member

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    I, for one, am a sucker for a snazzy paint job.
     
  5. NewDr.P

    NewDr.P Member

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    Here we go again.

    Rich collectors that are better at shopping and posting gear pics online than playing will be bitter reminded of their lack of talent and poor players that actually gig will be bitter at the prospect of only being able to afford off the shelf gear.




    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  6. ryandfl

    ryandfl Supporting Member

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    I've got golden ears - don't tell me I'm a lie.

    In fact I hear differently than other people period. I wear hearing aids and my internal EQ is shifted differently than most people.

    As long as the volume is high, I hear things in audio quality that most people don't, based on conversations with other people.

    Result, I'm largely in it for the tones. I'm not the best player in the world.
     
  7. gibs5000

    gibs5000 Member

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    Great article, much appreciated and very refreshing..... And now back to which Klone is the closest to the real deal articles :D

    But seriously, good job my friend, great writing.
     
  8. willatkinson

    willatkinson Member

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    Many musicians place too much emphasis on talent and too little on art.
     
  9. willatkinson

    willatkinson Member

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    Oh, and great article, by the way.
     
  10. ERGExplorer

    ERGExplorer Member

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    The most amazing part of that piece was the residency with the "non-musician" students.

    Among the private music students I've been blessed with over the years, I've occasionally accidentally gotten such students because I encouraged someone who, in their own mind, had no talent or skill, but just loved music. "I can't sing! I don't have rhythm!" But they could sing along with songs they really loved, in perfect pitch and rhythm!

    I love being able to help someone learn to ignore the self criticisms and to make music, even if only for their own enjoyment.

    I know that's not the main focus of the discussion here on TGP, but it was the most amazing part of that column, a basic concept that it's not the gear, and not even the practice (necessary for smoothness, but not for inspiration) but just getting on with using your own voice and heart that lead to making music, so a hearty Thank You! for the link.
     
  11. to_be_released

    to_be_released Member

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    As always, well written Nick.

    I also can hear things that other people I know can't. I don't consider it to be having golden ears, I consider it to be not having lost as much hearing, and having had more practice at differentiating instruments/notes. For the first of those, my hearing certainly isn't beyond the normal capabilities of the human ears, and for the latter, anyone can improve that with time and effort - it's recognition in the brain rather than receiving more information from the ears.

    Typically, people who claim to have golden ears claim to have capabilities beyond the well and repeatedly measured human hearing range, or even claim to have hearing beyond the measurement capabilities of reference microphones and the best scientific equipment. Neither of these claims, to my knowledge, has ever been scientifically verified. Furthermore, neither of these claims is helpful for the production of good music. All it really ends up doing is allowing people to make appeals to authority that never have a chance to get refuted because the person claiming authority refuses to acknowledge any test.

    Your hearing aids may be artificially altering the frequency response of your hearing, but if anything that removes your hearing from what is normal, making it worse, rather than better. It certainly doesn't make your suggestions of what tones sound good any more valid than anyone else's.
     
  12. chankgeez

    chankgeez Member

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    The man with the golden pedal:

    [​IMG]

    6,000,000 guitarists can't be wrong.
     
  13. cbm

    cbm Silver Supporting Member

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    Great article, Nick. I also chafe against the superstition of the musical / audio gear community. It's an arena where once an idea takes root, it's very difficult to dislodge it with fact. This leads to a tendency towards conformity and an existential conservatism.

    In the gear world there are good bargain products, and good pieces of expensive gear. Correspondingly, there are bad examples across the price spectrum. I'm as guilty as the next guy of the gear quest thing, particularly with fuzz tones, but there it's more to get unique flavors, not a quest for a platonic "best".
     
  14. ChampReverb

    ChampReverb Silver Supporting Member

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    Then again, you could say pretty much the same thing about eating at McDonalds or smoking cigarettes.

    -bEn r.
     
  15. melodiusthunk

    melodiusthunk Bronzd & Supported Member Silver Supporting Member

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  16. gripweed

    gripweed Member

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    Brilliant Nick! Thank you. Too many guitar players believe in mojo etc. Unfortunately nobody will ever convince them that they are wrong.
     
  17. Tom Von Kramm

    Tom Von Kramm Vendor

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    Mojo is a real phenomenon! It is just localized in the extreme and completely unfalsifiable. ;)
     
  18. PlexiFuzz

    PlexiFuzz I know karate. Voodoo, too.

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  19. smolder

    smolder Gold Supporting Member

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    Meh... Make all of the generations you want.

    I try to be smarter, have better tone, be prepared for any playing situation, and play better. The vast majority of the day I don't have a guitar in my hands or nearby. I often have a computer screen or a smart phone. How can I be better with a spare ten minutes in the doctors office or anywhere else? I'm on here and other forums reading, trying to learn.

    Also, yah, I have too much gear... But it's learning... And part of the deal. Be critical if you want, but if I have the opportunity to play, I do. Otherwise... I'm still working on it.
     
  20. la noise

    la noise Supporting Member

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    My favourite comment re: justnick's article. Thanks for this!
    It really is true... and so heartening when you can help push or
    pull someone past those artificial limitations. :aok
     

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