Nearly all manufacturers do not advertise/exhibit their product measurements? Why?

After my Audio Science Review review forum, it became apparent that nearly the only way one can determine the measurements of an audio product is wait for a review on line or in a publication.  Most equipment is never reviewed or is given a subjective analysis rather than a measurement oriented review.  One would think that manufacturers used tests and measurements to design and construct their products. 

Manufacturers routinely give the performance characteristics of their products as Specifications.  Those are not test measurements.

I searched the Revel speaker site for measurements of any of their speakers and could not find any.  Revels are universally lauded for their exceptional reviewed measurements.  Lack of published manufacturer measurements is true for nearly every speaker manufacturer I've searched for on line, perhaps several hundred.   Same is true for amps, pre-amps, DACs, transports, turntables, well you get the picture.  Do they have something to hide?   I doubt the good quality products have anything to hide but poor quality products do.  

ASR prides itself in providing "true" measurements that will aid in purchase decisions.   Why don't the manufacturers provide these measurements so that reviewers can test if they are truthful or not?

Then there are the cables and tweaks for which I suspect that there are inadequate tests available to measure sonically perceived differences but which objectivists believe don't exist or are "snake oil."  

Well, please chime in if you have some illuminating thoughts on the subject.   

I would have loved to see manufacturers measurements on my equipment and especially those that I rejected.  


screw measurements.

yet to really get get excited reading measurements. nothing wrong or right about measurements......they are data points with dubious value.

OTOH listening to music does get me emotionally involved and it’s fun. and i have faith in my listening perceptions as to long term satisfaction.

show me a system built with just with measurements, just one time. never done once. why is that? easy.....not relevant to the result. i rest my case.

Really? If you were now aware of them, would it change your rejections or adoptions?


I would have loved to see manufacturers measurements on my equipment and especially those that I rejected.  

I prefer to listen to music and not measure the equipment. How can you possibly measure all variables that determine what reaches your ear?  Perhaps manufacturers should require hearing tests prior to obtaining permission to purchase equipment.

Just like alleged performance figures/data for cars, trucks and motorcycles. All data is suspect buy what you like. 

Could it be because nobody uses a component in isolation but in a "system" with a group of components making the measurements of the system, taken in context of the room they are used more important?



Hot topic these days but meaningless, i bet still many people buy only specs, most likely they are rich to throw away money.

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From the ASR forum, I stated, unequivocally, that equipment should be heard in a system in a room to determine a purchase. Regardless of the test measurements. Test measurements in sound only get one so far (ASR/Amir’s golden standard). Hearing is the platinum standard (me). Everyone has different music preferences and hearing capabilities (the physical and the learned from none/novice to experienced/golden ears). Knowing that, even if the measurements are the same, there generally are sonic differences one can hear and prefer.

I prefer tube amplification and multi-driver dynamic speakers in my room and system. The equipment is not perfect as tubes incur higher distortion than solid state (generally) and multi-driver systems have their own problems such as time alignment, phase shifts and dynamic compression.

@kota1 knows this and amply contributed to the ASR forum. I choose/chose my equipment, cables, tweaks based on hearing them in my listening rooms, not because they measured well or at all.

However, the query remains as to why don’t manufacturers supply their own test measurements and depend on reviewers?

Knowing measurements of the equipment I own, borrowed or owned "may" have  helped eliminate some wrong choices in the past.

My audiophile friend who is also a car sales manager of many decades reads car test measurements and comparisons with ample scrutiny. He gave me an example today that in one review, one sports car had 600 horsepower and the other 490 horsepower yet in a race, the 490 always beat the 600. Why, well what was left out of the review was that the 490 car had one ton less weight than the 600. Could that have been the reason? Probably.

ASR insn't infallible but 99% of the time you can do the opposite of what ASR says and be in good shape.

ASR is the Shock Jock of the audiophile world, posting rediculous claims supposedly backed up by numbers, to create havoc and clics.  Unfortunately, the controvsy is making them rich.


@petg60 There are high end product buyers based on specs alone.  Why don't high end manufacturers who are so proud of their products provide test measurements in addition to specs?  

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You know the one "measurement" that consumers check frequently is online reviews. If a product is poorly engineered it gets one and two star reviews because it doesn’t perform, that is a metric that vendors pay attention to as well. The cable nazis lose their mind about cables they never tried and have been conditioned to hate. Yet when you see hundreds of people LOVE this or that brand of "expensive" cables it seems like it if it wasn’t well engineered that wouldn’t be the case. 



If I ever saw this on the Monroney of the next car I buy, I'd pass on it knowing it wasn't designed by one who loves to drive.

'nuff said.

All the best,

@fleschler , generally a dealer will be more than happy to provide and compare measurements if you ask and help you make a decision in the context of what you are trying to achieve, the size of your budget, your room, etc, both online dealers and brick and mortar. Some people feel dealers will just upsell you. With social media today they can’t survive for long if they make a bunch of customers unhappy and the good ones all know that. The bad ones don’t survive. 


“Why don’t high end manufacturers who are so proud of their products provide test measurements in addition to specs? ”


Why not reach out to manufacturers and ask them? I am sure if you’re seriously considering their gear, they may provide the measurements. If all else fails, buy the gear and send it to ASR for measurements.

@lalitk +1 on gathering info from dealers. Maybe someone here will start a a new site, "Audio Measurement Review" so we can make it more convenient. Too much banning at ASR to make that site very useful for your other suggestion.

@carlsbad Apparently you haven’t read the Audio Science Review forum with over 1000 posts to date. Amir threw me off after the first two hours with maybe 50 to 100 ASR member comments, taking neutral statements out of context, perverting my comments and defaming me.

@kota1 Unfortunately, upselling is common. Like Mark Shifter who had me purchase the Dynavector XX1 after owning the 20X, Ruby and D2. It was a poor tracker, I couldn’t see the stylus easily and something else I didn’t like (a long time ago). Or selling me Audionic M33? speakers with an 81db efficiency low impedance being driven with Dynaco Mark3 monoblocks-big mistake (hey I was 25, I relied on the store owner and didn’t know the measurements-would have made my decision not to purchase them). Some sellers just didn’t know any better selling me expensive Magnan IC cables, OCOS (did work here) with Martin Logan Monolith IIIs when he was using high powered Audio Research amps and top of the line front end/pre-amp which he knew I didn’t have (I had a Classic 60 amp and SP14 pre-amp).

I think there's several reasons for audiophile manufactures not providing measurements for their equipment.

It's clear that audiophiles don't trust measurements to be representative of the resulting sound quality and even fewer would know enough about the measurements to understand the limitations of the information.

I don't think there's any industry standards for audiophile components, so without an expectation for universal measurements it really wouldn't be possible to make any comparisons anyways.  The last thing any audiophile wants is a designer chasing a specification.

I think there are some specifications that could provide some insights for listeners if they were available.  There has to be some correlation between some measurements and user preferences, but without the measurements it's impossible to know. 

@lalitk Well, cartridge manufacturers generally do provide higher end cartridges (above $1000) with frequency response curves.  I remember even Grado's cheap cartridges did.   I use those measurements as I don't like rising high end cartridges (Lyra for example) and prefer flat responses (Dynavector for example).  Cartridge manufacturers maybe the best at providing test measurements and specs that will determine how well the product/cartridge mates with the tonearm and pre-amp.

@kota1 Yes, Audio Measurement Review where dealers can post their test measurements.  It's a start.

@fleschler I don't often read the ASR trash. But other people quote it.  I heard ASR panned the EtherRegen switch and that put me over the top in my decision to buy it.  Great switch.  

They haven't banned you yet?

@fleschler ​​​​​​,

Manufacturers can provide anything upon request to reviewers, that is normal for all industries, then reviewers can verify the supplied measurement, if having the same measurement tooling, and transfer findings regarding production consistency. For the public i am not sure that could be possible (you could always ask of course) and if so, would you be sure that said measurements correspond to the specific model you purchased or to the general one?







If anyone has a contact with a manufacturer feel free to share this thread, maybe they can post?

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Manufacturers (or, more accurately, designers) measure certain parameters of their gear as part of the design process, and then they listen and voice the product to achieve the final result. Selected measurements are used to develop the product specifications, which are summarized in the published manual. I suspect most manufacturers believe the product specifications provide sufficient information about the product performance so that buyers can make an informed purchase decision. If they believed it would help sell the product, then they would probably provide a full set of performance measurements. As you implied, there are exceptions such as Lamm that provided measurements of each amp and preamp they sold, and there are others. There are also designers/manufacturers who take pride in achieving certain performance measurements, such as Cees Ruijtenberg at Sonnet Digital Audio (formerly Metrum Acoustics) [linearity plot from Sonnet’s Pasithea DAC/preamp].

I suspect raw product measurements are sometimes massaged before they are documented in the published specification, and that every single measurement used in the design process does not always make it into the specification. However, when preparing the published specs, the manufacturers probably don’t stray too far from actuality in the event that John Atkinson, Amir, or another entity or publication decides to actually measure the piece and publish the results alongside the published specs. My Aerial LR5 speakers were measured by Thomas J. Norton, and the measurements were published in a review by Michael Fremer.

As examples of why specs may vary somewhat from the raw measurements:

  • Amplifier manufacturers like to show their amp’s power doubling when measured from 8 to 4 ohms, so they might take the power measurement at 4 ohms and divide the result by 2 to obtain the published power at 8 ohms, even though the actual power at 8 ohms may be greater than published,
  • a preamp’s output impedance measurement may be reported as the single value measured at 1K ohms, instead of the range of values from 20 to 20K ohms, because potential customers may realize the higher output impedance values that sometimes occur in the lower frequencies would cause a low bass roll-off when used with a power amp having a low’ish input impedance, and
  • speaker efficiencies and minimum impedances may be reported in a manner to maximize those performance parameters and thereby reduce the potential for lost sales to folks whose amplifiers are not powerful enough to drive low efficiencies or low impedances.

For an on-topic interview, Google "Why John Atkinson Believes Measurements Matter."

@carlsbad Yes, I was banned in less than 2 hours.  You can read about it on the Audio Science Review review on Audiogon.

@mitch2 The real problem are cables and tweaks.  Where are the electric and/or acoustic specifications (let alone measurements).   So much puffery and exaggerated promotion without a hint of specs or measurements, in general.

As to equipment, your examples of specs not conforming or relevant as measurements is also common.   So often power output at reduced impedances are lower and occasionally at 8 ohms lower than actual.  Impendence mismatches can be a problem.  I purchased Legacy Signature IIIs from a guy with a Boulder amp and some boutique tube (unknown) preamp.  They sounded quite awful which the seller admitted as the reason he was selling them.  I brought a Sherwood 7100 16 watt 1970s receiver.  It blew the seller away.   Great mid-fi sound, including decent bass.  He had already ordered other speakers so he let me buy the Sigs.  Legacy speakers post high efficiency but they have low impedances with occasional sharp phase angles.  While many decent 35 watt receivers can power them with good current/power supplies, other amps one would assume could power them (especially the bass) with 70 watts can't.  

I still think most manufacturers could do better.  Even the speaker company I want to buy my future speakers from has very limited specs (Von Schweikert).  

This reminds me of the Carver Corp. claim in the 80’s that their amps could replicate the sound of any other amp design by adjusting the “transfer function” which was Bob’s buzz word for frequency response plus noise/ distortion profile.  Unless I’m mistaken these amps are not regarded as belonging in audio Valhalla.  The idea that ASR can characterize how an amp will perform with speakers using their methodology is just as suspect today as when Julian Hirsch did it for Stereo Review.  But it is also hard to make the case that an amp that demonstrably alters the signal by its performance can somehow be more high fidelity than one that “measures well”. 
And who would believe manufacturer’s specs anyway?  Independent reviewers are needed for credibility. As long as their credibility is trusted. I trust John Atkinson in Stereophile more than Amir or the shills at Ab Sound.

I bought a nice bottle of cabernet sauvignon and poured a glass for me and my friend.  I took a sip and declared the wine delicious. My friend took a sip and immediately spit it out and said it tasted like $#*t!

But both glasses of wine yielded the same measurements when run through a spectrophotometer. Go figure!

We all hear things differently and prefer certain types of sound.  Can't measure that.

OMG, stop with the circular logic.  A is wrong but B is right, oh wait, no C, no I meant A. 

@crustycoot , yes, Carver amps are rightly in the audio "Valhalla" of the 10 Most Significant Amps of All Time according to TAS. I am happy to say, deservedly so:


The 2 most important numbers when buying a piece of audio equipment:

1) Physcial dimensions.  Will it fit in my space?

2) Price.  Can I afford it?

#s 3-99 present the catalyst for infinite debate, and lots of fun between friends on audio forums.  #47 is my personal favorite.  But, I'm certain there'll be some disagreement on this.

@waytoomuchstuff , I would add a third most important number,

3) Can I return my purchase after 30 days , no questions asked.

The reason for not providing infinite measurements from the manufacturers is a simple answer. Most engineers feel that non-engineers can't interpret the data. Secondly, the sales staff writes the specification, not the engineering department, pretty much useless unless independently measured. 

I understand a few measurements, but not most...I do not understand how any of the measurements relate to whether I will like the sound of the amp...

If you spend a lot of money on audio equipment, it is helpful to have a basic understanding of specifications and how those might affect successful partnering of equipment.  Examples include how the relationship between amplifier power and speaker sensitivity affects dynamic performance, as well as how input/output impedances, speaker phase angles, and impedance fluctuations with frequency, can affect the successful partnering between equipment.

I do not agree with the statement that specifications are "pretty much useless unless independently measured".  I cannot remember any cases I have seen with wholesale deviations between published specifications and published measurements by a third party, such as Stereophile.  I would not purchase expensive audio gear without reviewing the specifications as due diligence to verify the gear is likely to serve the intended purpose. 

Speaker manufacturers use measurements as a necessary tool in their development, but they're not necessarily to any good use to the buyer as it pertains to being a worthwhile reflection of their sound in certain respects. In some cases though they can be of use, like the measurements supplied to the pro compression drivers of my speakers where we used them as an outset (before taking measurements ourselves) for making filter notches and a peak suppression in an active configuration. The supplied measurements by the manufacturer turned out to be rather spot-on, we just used our own measurements to hone in more precisely on the specific notch and suppression frequencies in the tweaking process, while also to be the wiser on the actual, overall frequency response. 

What I would like to see supplied with speakers, and which I believe to be relatively indicative of a speaker's performance in selective areas, is distortion numbers at frequency intervals over their entire spectrum and at low to high SPL's. Distortion numbers in the bass for example can amount to double digits at higher SPL's, but the more headroom the lower the distortion and the cleaner the bass. The same essentially goes for the remainder of the frequency spectrum. At least in that regard - i.e.: distortion numbers - I see speaker manufacturers hiding the ugly facts from exposition here, rather than honestly feeling them "irrelevant" to the consumers. 

@phusis Great discussion of speaker performance.  My Legacy speakers marketing targeted very low bass distortion.  Distortion numbers at frequency intervals at low and high SPL as well as bass=very indicative of a speaker's capability.  Speakers which have less good (even defective) measurements can still work well under certain circumstances (room, matching system, types of music).  I don't know their measurements but I find that I really enjoy listening to Maggies on voice and small combos but not for orchestral music, big band or heavy rock as a possible example (I've heard LRS to Tympanis to 20.1s over 35 years). 

As to measurements and reviews, all I get for cable and tweaks are subjective reviews.  Are there no good measurements/tests for them (I would suspect at least acoustic tests to view their effect on, frequency, dynamics, distortion and other acoustically testable phenomena)?  .  


"...all I get for cable and tweaks are subjective reviews.  Are there no good measurements/tests for them..."

Cables put different loads on the amplifier as does the loudspeaker. So a proper test for a cable's sonic signature would be to use an amp that is susceptible to those changes and a loudspeaker that has wildly different loading across the frequency spectrum. You would not be measuring the cable individually but the entire system's output. You would have to have a baseline system to do this...which would be our own system in most cases.  

@fleschler , re: specs for cables Mogami lists fairly extensive specs with each cable it sells:

Mogami Gold:


Configuration mogami guitar cable w2319d
Part No. W2319
Conductor Details 12/0.18TA
Size(mm²) 0.305mm² (#23AWG)
Insulation Ov. Dia.(mm) 1.6Ø (0.063")
Material PE
Color Clear
Sub-Shield Ov. Dia.(mm) 1.8Ø (0.071")
Material Conductive PVC (Carbon PVC)
Color Black
Main-Shield Served-Shield Approx. 38/0.16TA
Jacket Ov. Dia.(mm) 5.0Ø (0.197")
Material PVC
Color Black
Roll Sizes 100m (328Ft)
Weight per 100m (328Ft) roll 3.5Kg

Back To Top


Part No. W2319
DC Resistance at 20°C Inner Conductor 0.064Ω/m(0.020W/Ft)
Shield Conductor 0.026Ω/m(0.0079Ω/Ft)
Capacitance at 1kHz, 20°C 155pF/m (47.3pF/Ft)
Inductance 0.3µH/m (0.092µH/Ft)
Electrostatic Noize* 0.13mV Max.
Electromagnetic Noise At 10kHz* 0.07mV Max.
Microphonics* 0.3mV Max
Voltage Breakdown Must withstand at DC 500V/15sec.
Insulation Resistance 100000 MΩ × m Min. at DC 500V , 20°C
Flex Life 11,000 cyles
Tensile Strength (26°C, 65%RH) 303 N
Emigration Non-emigrant to ABS resin
Applicable Temperature -20°C‾ +60°C(-4°F‾ +140°F)


Canare shows extensive specs on cables as well. I only use pro cables,  they're built to withstand a lot of abuse and as long as you keep guage, length, connectors in mind shouldn't be any difference in most cases. 

Well those two cable manufacturers do publish their test measurements.   It's too bad that the Canare and Mogami tried in the past 10 years by friends (4X) said that were mediocre for playback, not bad just uninteresting. They purchased more expensive cable which they preferred the sound.  Too bad, another instance where test results don't translate into better sound for playback.  They sounded flat and uninteresting, not open sounding either.  However, for professional use in recording, they are probably ideal with a perfectly flat frequency response and interacts well with other pro gear.   Years ago I tried some pro cables (could have been Canare) and also found that dull and uninteresting.   Maybe cables designed for recording are not compatible with reproduction/listening back for enjoyment.   

@fleschler , re: cables I am using Mogami XLR in a 9.2.7 home theater with predominantly active speakers. The runs to my surrounds and surround height speakers are more than 10 feet. It works very well and I think to make it noticeably better would cost $$$$. With an interconnect I want transparency, with a power cord I want dynamics.  

As I previously said, equipment must be matched to a system and in a room.   If it sounds best to you, that's fine.  ICs are the most common beta test that I have done in 25 years (about 90%, maybe 100 designs).  Fortunately, after all those trials, the manufacturer has had only three designs in 10 years.  Power cables and speaker cables appear to be easier to design with less than half a dozen each in the same period.  The ICs I use cost $750 a pair, about 15 times more than Mogami, so you're right about cost.  

The measurement I focus on the most is my room using Audyssey, ARC or REW. 

Makes prefect sense, dull, boring cables to record music. Does it record only dull boring music?  The only thing this shows is the need for controlled testing. 

Power cables and speaker cables appear to be easier to design

Geometry designed to lower inductance (i.e., twisted, star-quad or braid) and sufficient gauge to conduct the current should get you most of the way there with power and speaker cables.  However with SCs, and perhaps irrationally, I have found a sonic preference for multiple, individually insulated, small diameter solid core wires (e.g., Harmonic Technology with foamed PE insulation or Cardas with individually enameled wire).  OTOH, I also like the sound of my vintage Western Electric wire as both speaker cable and power cable, and I am using 7awg WE wire to power my large monoblock amps, which supports my thoughts on geometry and sufficient gauge.  

djones51, you described why I decided to audition Mogami cables. If they are used in the studios to record music I can at least capture that much fidelity. I also took a page from the pros by going with active speakers although I don't use pro monitors. I like JBL speakers a lot for the same reason, in my man cave, a lot of studios use JBL. 

However, studios use LONG runs of lots of cables. If you want recordings made with high end cables try Mapleshade Records, WOW, very good.

I did not deride Mogami cable. If test measurements make it ideal for recording or mastering, that’s what pros should use. If it happens to work in a home system, that’s great too. I only reported what it sounded like in a few upper mid-fi and one high end system. My own experience had the same result with Canare cables.

High Fidelity (brand) cables (defunct) were so much worse than pro-cables. They actually made us cringe at the sound and wanted to leave the listening rooms we heard them in.

A very cheap yet good beginners IC is the original Monster Interlink 300. It is relatively neutral with a slightly plummy bass and modestly rolled off highs but is inoffensive. Decades ago, nearly all my friends used it. I tried it but my boutique cables are superior. Further iterations by Monster are bright/hard sounding. The designer made this one off cable for Monster than began his own line of high end cables.