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Should ASR bother testing stuff with mediocre manufacturer specs?

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#21
I think you've done a great job in finding hidden gems. Focusing on items of high performance/$ and items that push the limit would be my preference...I'm not sure it's worth spending time on mediocrity...
 

Xulonn

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#22
I wouldn't measure old (no longer sold) devices and the devices that specced low. Life is too short. There are so many new devices on Aliexpress every month!
There are many budget-constrained audio enthusiasts who can only afford the more expensive components if they buy used them usded, and the used market is quite large. What you suggest is more in tune with retail consumerism, not the hobby of audio. (Then again, "upgrade-itis" and consumerism are drivers in keeping the used market buyer-friendly.)

Review sites that rely on audio manufacturer and retailer advertising dollars, of course, would never test older, used audio components. ASR is a unique planet in the audio universe.
 

restorer-john

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#23
Review sites that rely on audio manufacturer and retailer advertising dollars, of course, would never test older, used audio components.
That said, Stereophile have unlocked many reviews of gear from yesteryear, which always makes for great reading.
 

Xulonn

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#24
That said, Stereophile have unlocked many reviews of gear from yesteryear, which always makes for great reading.
Indeed, John. I've noticed that too. I know they have pushed the nostalgia button with reviews on things like the Fisher 500C receiver and Klipschorns., but I couldn't find a discussion of their policy on reviewing vintage gear, or a way to view a list of old/vintage component reviews, old or recent.
 

Wombat

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#25
How does one determine if gear is mediocre without first testing it, unless the manufacturer is kind enough to post mediocre specs or it is so bad the flaws are audibly obvious?
 
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RayDunzl

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#26
I wouldn't measure old (no longer sold) devices

No longer sold new, or no longer sold used, or both?


There are so many new devices on Aliexpress every month!

The cloned clones of cloned clones?


1573255755714.png


Waaaaaaaaa..... (an old Japanese expression, usually indicating displeasure, I picked up at NEC)

1573255824998.png
 

Speedskater

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#28
Some manufactures are very conservative with their specs. Where even a used and abused unit can pass the specs. While other manufactures will use the best unit in the warehouse and wait for the correct Moon phase to test it. And test setups from manufacture to manufacture can vary a lot. So I don't put much stock in any measurement specs.
 

restorer-john

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#29
Some manufactures are very conservative with their specs.
There are a few companies who deliberately publish conservative specs and guarantee those specifications will be equaled or bettered.

Accuphase is one such brand. They don't cherry pick inputs or conditions for THD, they give a number which is well above the highest THD across the 20-20Khz bandwidth. When you peruse their actual test graphs (and the ones supplied with the gear in the box), you see they are terribly conservative in the numbers.

1573282874556.png


For many years, they misspelt guarantee as "guaranty".

1573283342642.png
 
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Frank Dernie

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#30
That said, Stereophile have unlocked many reviews of gear from yesteryear, which always makes for great reading.
HiFi News has had a page of re-reviews and/or new reviews of older kit for quite some time. Tim Jarman has a fairly regular column on vintage stuff, some of which he buys, refurbishes and tests.
He also has a room at their annual show where he is playing music on inexpensive vintage kit which shows how small the advancement in hifi has been in real audible terms (IMHO of course).
 

restorer-john

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#31
HiFi News has had a page of re-reviews and/or new reviews of older kit for quite some time. Tim Jarman has a fairly regular column on vintage stuff, some of which he buys, refurbishes and tests.
He also has a room at their annual show where he is playing music on inexpensive vintage kit which shows how small the advancement in hifi has been in real audible terms (IMHO of course).
Sounds like he and I would get along really well, Frank. :)
 

pwjazz

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#32
How does one determine if gear is mediocre without first testing it, unless the manufacturer is kind enough to post mediocre specs or it is so bad the flaws are audibly obvious?
Well that was the point behind my question, manufacturers sometimes are kind enough to post mediocre specs, as for the AVR that I linked.
 

audimus

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#33
Given how few of the current and future equipment are likely to post mediocre specs, this thread seems like begging the question.
 

JJB70

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#34
I think that the real question here is what constitutes adequate sound quality. If you use audio gear as a tool to enjoy music then if you have a good recording you really don't need particularly exotic or SOTA hardware to enjoy it. A poor recording will still be a poor recording regardless of how good audio gear is, although it is also true that great music and/or performances are still hugely satisfying even if badly recorded or replayed.
 

Xulonn

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#35
Accuphase is one such brand.
Good info, John. I've been looking for a preamp with 1-500,000Hz frequency response.

Unfortunately, at age 77, the upper limit for my hearing is only 497,000Hz, and my subwoofer only goes down to 3.16Hz.

Silly Emoticon.jpg
 

pwjazz

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#36
There are a few companies who deliberately publish conservative specs and guarantee those specifications will be equaled or bettered.

Accuphase is one such brand. They don't cherry pick inputs or conditions for THD, they give a number which is well above the highest THD across the 20-20Khz bandwidth. When you peruse their actual test graphs (and the ones supplied with the gear in the box), you see they are terribly conservative in the numbers.

View attachment 38305

For many years, they misspelt guarantee as "guaranty".

View attachment 38306
Those specs look perfectly adequate to me for that kind of unit. When I started this thread, I had in mind stuff like this:

1573315519235.png


THD+N of 0.08% means a SINAD of about 62dB, and when it was tested, it produced a SINAD of 63dB on one channel and 61dB on the other. I think most people on ASR would not consider that "adequate" performance for a DAC yet there it is, stated by the manufacturer clearly and accurately. Yes there's a lot of marketing fluff surrounding it, but the spec didn't lie.
 

pwjazz

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#37
BTW, I should have mentioned that the ASR review of the Airist R2R DAC generated a lot of useful discussion on this and other forums, and gave objectivists some good data to combat the mythos of R2R DACs, so in that sense it was really valuable. Maybe a lesson here is to get people to just pay more attention to manufacturer specs before they buy something or fall for the marketing BS.
 

JJB70

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#38
If a manufacturer provides accurate specifications then customers can make an informed decision, and if their decision is not informed by accurate specifications which have been published by the manufacturer then the buyer can't blame the manufacturer. Sometimes I do wonder about reactions to less than great measuring gear when it actually matches or betters the manufacturer advertised specification. Of course measured performance specifications are not everything, a person can entirely reasonably decide that the specifications are acceptable and value the industrial design, or liker the price etc.
 

restorer-john

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#39
Sometimes I do wonder about reactions to less than great measuring gear when it actually matches or betters the manufacturer advertised specification.
Totally agree. There have been a number of products savaged by the readership in such situations. Realistically, you've got no business lambasting a product where it meets or exceeds its own published specifications.
 
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#40
Those specs look perfectly adequate to me for that kind of unit. When I started this thread, I had in mind stuff like this: Massderp Airist Windpipe
THD+N of 0.08% means a SINAD of about 62dB, and when it was tested, it produced a SINAD of 63dB on one channel and 61dB on the other. I think most people on ASR would not consider that "adequate" performance for a DAC yet there it is, stated by the manufacturer clearly and accurately. Yes there's a lot of marketing fluff surrounding it, but the spec didn't lie.
You see, not many ppl have a chutzpa to bring up % to dB calculator and punch in the numbers! And even after that they cannot decide if 62 is bad or good. Judging by consumer AVRs and speaker amps - 62 might be perfectly adequate. And more so, that ppl would pay 350dol for it. Let's do it this way - pay one dollar for each THD+N percent. This airduct Duck should cost no more than $62! :)
 
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