Audio Science Review = Rebuttal and Further Thoughts

@crymeanaudioriver @amir_asr You are sitting there worrying if this or that other useless tweak like a cable makes a sonic difference.

I don’t worry about my equipment unless it fails. I never worry about tweaks or cables. The last time I had to choose a cable was after I purchased my first DAC and transport in 2019.  I auditioned six and chose one, the Synergistic Research Atmosphere X Euphoria. Why would someone with as fulfilling a life as me worry about cables or tweaks and it is in YOUR mind that they are USELESS.

@prof "would it be safe to say you are not an electrical designer or electrical engineer? If so, under what authority do you make the following comment" - concerning creating a high end DAC out of a mediocre DAC.

Well, I have such a DAC, built by a manufacturer of equipment and cables for his and my use. It beat out a $9,000 COS Engineering D1v and $5,000 D2v by a longshot. It is comparable to an $23,000 Meridian Ultradac. Because I tried all the latter three in comparison I say this with some authority, the authority of a recording engineer (me), a manufacturer (friend) and many audiophiles who have heard the same and came to the same conclusion.

Another DAC with excellent design engineer and inferior execution is the Emotiva XDA-2. No new audio board but 7! audiophile quality regulators instead of the computer grade junk inside, similar high end power and filter caps, resistors, etc. to make this into a high end DAC on the very cheap ($400 new plus about the same in added parts).

@russ69 We must be neighbors. I frequented Woodland Hills Audio Center back in the 70s and 80s. I heard several of Arnie’s speakers including a the large Infinity speakers in a home.


@prof if this is a rant, we are used to your rants by now. If this is a discussion please post your system photos, components, and measurements in your profile. 

If you are at your end game great, we have a thread here to discuss. If you are stuck on your journey post a concern in a new thread.


@prof I wrote the prior response while you were posting your admission. 

Martin and you contribute better posts on ASR than the vast majority.  You don't go off topic and start to talk about pizza toppings, wine, sport cars, soft drinks etc.  Why do you go nuts over information someone with greater knowledge has to offer here?  You'll note that you have been subject to written limitations on topics and criticized for your subjective views.  I agree with those subjective opinions I've read on ASR since a month ago, seeking out "normal" members who can articulate why they choose equipment and music rather than state, its' the best, the cheapest and forget the rest. 

I think my survey of reviews of the Benchmark L4 and your analysis of it and preference for the CJ speaks volumes concerning it's value and quality; however, it also indicates that despite reviewers stating there are no negatives, it is lacking in some factor that makes it less preferential.  You said it was body and warmth.  Same with their older DACs.  However, the older DACs can be upgraded to have that 3 dimensional, full bodied and warmer sound with modification of parts.  The engineering is sound as is the basic construction.  I don't know if the L4 can be modified to sound "better."  If it could, I bet I would like it.  

In reality I think it’s all misplaced nervosa.

Where we all want to talk about the war (even if we say we don’t!), in some fashion, but the forum won’t let us.

Even though this is probably the best place for us to talk about it all, as other places are just boiling slug fests where it’s all lowest common denominator, no decent quality of communication, and nothing changes.

Additionally, the societal/economic position/connections and intellect, etc, of the denizens of this forum, makes for a ripple effect in western society that is like 20-50-100:1 greater than any other given similar size or mass of people on a given forum.

And... if there was ever a time for a ripple effect of that nature, it would surely be now.

Come on children, all together now:’ We all live in a yellow submarine…’

Interesting thread. Many, including myself, believe that blind testing and A/B testing in general is flawed and not a reliable means to test for differences, identification or preferences between gear. The reasons are many and posted on many other forums including ASR.

I feel one must live with a “change” in gear for a period of days and over this time will come to better understand how the sound/music has changed. Yes, I trust we humans can decide this for ourselves with time.

Removing a sense, sight, does not necessarily make for a more accurate or statistically significant result. I think these short A/B comparisons place additional stress on the ear/brain processing and completely blocks the potential for a useful outcome. My system NEVER sounds very good when I am under stress or anxiety. Never. I have found changing a cable for evaluation during these times is not wise.  

I am confident many greatly over emphasize the role of expectation bias and have fallen for the perceived benefit of blind testing. Much better to listen over days in your home with your eyes open and shut.

So many variables with blind and sighted A/B testing. Many we certainly don’t even understand in 2022. Give yourself time with the change and you can trust your senses in the end. Give yourself time to know how you engage with the music. How are your reacting to the change mentally, emotionally and even physically? More enjoyable? Less enjoyable? Listening longer or shorter periods of time? More or less relaxed and “into” the music?