Indentical measurments = Identical performance?

I’ve been doing A LOT of thinking lately. In particular, about the importance of audio measurments for source components like DACs and CD players.


Let us first assume that we have 2 identical DACs or 2 identical CD players. You wouldn’t dare suggest that the same models sound inherently different, now would you? Well we can prove that the output of each device in this scenario is identical by doing a null test. We capature the output of the DACs and CD players and learn that their waveforms (let’s say a 30 second clip) are identical. The only time we might see a difference is in an engineering/manufacturing hiccup...and that is RARE considering we have globalization in the modern world today followed by quality control standards that are not necessarily difficult to get right.


And so, if put to practice, any 2 digital audio components that have similar enough measurements should sound identical. For example, a DAC with a SINAD or SNR or 120 dB vs one with a SINAD or SNR of 123. Tiny differences in linarity and frequency response above 20 KHz are not audible to us humans anyway.

Because most of our listening dare not go up to 110 dB, which is the threshold of discomfort. You could only listen for up to about 30 minutes at this level without risking hearing loss! For this reason, the ideal listening level is below that!


Should we forget about what companies try to sell us as high-end and focus purely on measurements with respect to accurately reproducing digital audio?


Here’s what’s really funny. The Chord DAVE performed worse with respect to measurments than the Chord Hugo TT2! Just see audio science review.


Lastly, I consider ASR the best objective website on the internet, bar none. Because if Amir really had a business relationship with any of these audio companies, their flagship or most expensive products would always perform at the very top; we see that is not the case and measured performance is all over the place!


Looking forward to hearing from you guys. Let’s not turn this discussion into a flame war. If you disagree with what I’ve written, just tell me why. I will investigate.




I’m beginning to think jack isn’t really a hifi guy. I’m beginning to think he’s paid by ASR. Who are you trying to convince? You’re not. You’re just trying to wind people up. 

To misquote William Bruce Cameron  "everything that is important can be measured, but not everything that can be measured is important"  

All measurements are science. The problem is whether the measurements done are complete. The Stereophile measurements are perfectly good. But they are not sufficient to describe the sound produced. I've seen measurements that sometimes give good clues to the sound. They just aren't the classic ones used in ads or in Stereophile. As an example I once had a friend select a cartridge based on a frequency sweep, a separation curve and a 1 kHz square wave  with no clue to which cartridge it was and it turned out just as he predicted. But this was one case and he couldn't do it in most cases. He got his clues because he had modified cheap Grado pickups and done extensive measurements on what he was changing.