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Cognitive bias regarding names/marketing of dac chips

Human Bass

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#1
I'm a bit of linguistic nerd and I have been noting how the the words used in the branding/marketing seem to align way too perfectly with what people claim to hear.

The most glaring example is with ESS Sabre line of chips. First the name of the company already has an SS, what invokes an idea of sibilance. Then you have Sabre, a sword, a sharp object of steel. So quite a funny coincidence that ESS dacs are said to have a cold, analytical, sharp sound, heh?

In opposition of that, there is AKM with their "Velvet sound" marketing. The Velvet already invokes something smooth to the touch, warm. But I would go a step futher and claim that the fact that AKM share 2 letters with wArM already tricks our minds into make this association.

Just some trivial food for thought regarding cognitive bias I wanted to share.
 
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#6
Same for "Burr Brown" where people tend to describe as warm and smooth sounding. The name invokes a fuzzy feeling on me, sounds like a good name for a large soft teddy bear. Even saw someone describing the dac signature as chocolaty, smooth and inviting :p
 

digitalfrost

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#7
I think similar things apply when people are evaluating expensive speaker cables. If the cables are red, they give a nice midrange, if they are black the improve bass etc.
 
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Human Bass

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Thread Starter #9
Same for "Burr Brown" where people tend to describe as warm and smooth sounding. The name invokes a fuzzy feeling on me, sounds like a good name for a large soft teddy bear. Even saw someone describing the dac signature as chocolaty, smooth and inviting :p
Thats another great example
 
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Human Bass

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Thread Starter #10
I think similar things apply when people are evaluating expensive speaker cables. If the cables are red, they give a nice midrange, if they are black the improve bass etc.
Oh, i remember a case of a guy reviewing audioquest cables named after monuments and such. The cable named after the London Tower Bridge sounded had a sound signature "typical of audio gear from british companies". Such a coincidence

6:20

 

SJ777

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#11
Oh, i remember a case of a guy reviewing audioquest cables named after monuments and such. The cable named after the London Tower Bridge sounded had a sound signature "typical of audio gear from british companies". Such a coincidence
You can't blame anybody for good marketing, I suppose (we've all got to eat). But you can blame people for buying cables that remind them of Tower Bridge (or that have a sound signature typical of audio gear from British companies).
 

Vasr

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#12
Ok, I admit my impression of audio brands/equipment has been colored by the name. I admit my mistakes and repent.

My biases...
Benchmark - Top of the Class, standards for others to follow
PS Audio - Always a footnote in Audio history, never the main body
Schiit - The Haagen Daaz of audio. Scandinavian exterior hiding heartland recipe
Okto - Teutonic, clean, sterile, inflexible
March Audio - Progressive, resolute, getting ahead
Magnepan - Good non-stick coating, will last forever
Revel - For the enjoyment of revealing equipment
Hypex - Overhyped amp boards for the nerdy DIYer, comes with LCD lighting for the gamer
Purifi - Cleans your audio sources of all impurities for the cleanest sound
Sound United - SuperPAC with dark money behind glitzy marketing brands
Topping - The sprinkling you need on the top of your audio stack for that extra kick
Parasound - Winner of para-audio competition for customers with special needs
Behringer - What happens when pistol manufacturers get into audio - loud, hot, one heck of a punch
AudioQuest - Always seeking the top in audio, never finding
Tannoy - the equipment you buy to annoy your neighbors
Cambridge Audio - Pretentious equipment for the don flats
Anthem - Equipment for the audio evangelists
NAD - I get nothing from this equipment, no soul, nada
Arcam - Why webcam makers should never get into Audio
...
SMSL - smh
 

dfuller

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#13
Marketing is crazy like that. I've owned AD/DA with both AKM and ESS parts... And if anything, the AKM parts are a touch quicker sounding than the ESS. That said, the differences are so subtle that I guarantee I couldn't differentiate between the two reliably, even with different analog sections.
 

Killingbeans

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#14
Too bad this thread is not in the speaker discussion subsection. It would open a huge can of worms wriggling with shameless use of superlatives in the naming convention :p

Arcam - Why webcam makers should never get into Audio
To me it's: Hand assembled by Scarecrow and The Joker.
 
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stevenswall

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#15
I used to think Cirrus Logic sounded cold and analytical and lifeless.

And Wolfson sounded warm and organic and full.

Then I did some AB listening with a boyfriend at the time between different sources and my Cowon R... Neither of us could reliably tell the difference.
 

mansr

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#18
Same for "Burr Brown" where people tend to describe as warm and smooth sounding. The name invokes a fuzzy feeling on me, sounds like a good name for a large soft teddy bear. Even saw someone describing the dac signature as chocolaty, smooth and inviting :p
Since the TI takeover it's been all cowboy hats, six-shooters, and rodeos.
 

majingotan

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#19
More common thing I see: Delta Sigma Chips = emotionless, flat, unengaging ; R2R = Analog, Engaging, Full Bodied, Holographic, more flowery audiophoolery terms
 

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