Couldn’t disagree more. dont buy based on price, buy what sounds best. I don’t think I have “golden ears” but gear does sound different. Equipment is “voiced” by EVERY manufacturer, choose what you like and move on. assuming everything sounds the same is folly. It’s not about measurements but what YOU like. We don’t all have the same hearing. Some of us are old. Some of us don’t tolerate sibilant sounds. This hobby should be fun, explore gear and find what you like.I can't help but noticed there are subjectivists on ASR (or anywhere else). These subjectivists believes different electronics sound different even if measurements are the same or are below hearing threshold. They would often describe the sound they hear as "smooth," "warm," "harsh," etc. to differentiate different electronics.
I have asked the question: what makes these electronics sound different then? And the answer I usually get from these subjectivists (and sometimes pseudo-engineers) goes something like this: "Each part and component used (i.e. resistors, capacitors, etc.) along with the circuit design will affect the sound."
As a trained EE, I can tell you with 100% certainly, that is a load of bullshite. It is a myth fabricated by the industry (manufacturers, reviewers, dealers, distributors) and pushed on to the consumers to make HiFi appear as an infinite choice requiring the art of component matching for a true connoisseur to enjoy. Manufacturers, dealers and distributors want this myth to exist because it helps them sell more HiFi, reviewers wants this myth to exist because it also helps their business but it also helps stroke their ego to make them come across more sophisticated and knowledgeable than they really are.
If you are not convinced that this is bullshite, let me attempt to use layman's logic to explain why.
If you want to build/engineer anything, one of the first steps in doing so, you must define the desired end state specifications. By definition, all specifications can be measured. For instance, building a home, you need to defined how many floors, sq. footage, how many bathrooms, height of ceiling. No builders will eyeball the dimensions and say, "Yeah, that looks about 10 ft wide."
If you cannot measure or quantified in standardized units, how do you know how much more "smooth" or "warmth" or "air" an electronic needs (or how much you are putting in there.)? How do you know resistor A vs. resistor B is the right one to use to reduce the "harshness" by X amount? If you were the engineer and you got feedback from a customer saying they need more "lush" in the midrange, what changes do you make in your design?
All that can be measured in electronics are measurable today (actually decades ago). So the next time you think you noticed a difference between two electronic components that are the same in spec or specs below hearing threshold, I encourage you to level match using a multimeter and have someone administer a blind A/B test to you. It will be eye opening.
EDIT/SOME SUMMARY POINTS FROM THIS THREAD:
1) Golden Ear Myth. So long as one is able to pass an hearing test with a good margin conducted by an audiologist and done some listening training (Such as Harman's How to Listen app, only available on Windows.), no one can claim they have a better hearing than you. And anyone who claims they have golden ear are straight out a charlatan.
2) The what if? What if we really aren't measuring everything out there. First, there must be scientific evidence that there are sonic difference that we have yet to be able to measure or even know about. Then the scientific community can investigate on how to measure it. Such as a blind AB conducted in a scientific manner demonstrating such a sonic difference exists. To date, no such scientific evidence of "what if" exists.