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What electronic audio products you want tested most

What electronics audio product you like to see tested more

  • Power and Integrated Amplifiers

    Votes: 250 60.0%
  • Headphone Amplifiers

    Votes: 72 17.3%
  • Home Theater AVRs

    Votes: 127 30.5%
  • Home Theater Processors

    Votes: 85 20.4%
  • DACs

    Votes: 130 31.2%
  • Streamers

    Votes: 104 24.9%
  • Combo DAC and Headphone Amplifiers

    Votes: 98 23.5%
  • Phono preamp

    Votes: 41 9.8%
  • DSP (digital signal processors)

    Votes: 149 35.7%
  • Vintage audio products

    Votes: 100 24.0%

  • Total voters
    417

Cahudson42

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After the great new Audyssey review, really need to look at the DSP-408 and it's App.

And compare which does what - better. Or not at all
 

Koeitje

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I changed my vote to also include DSP's, but in addition to that I would also like more active crossover reviews. Pro-audio active crossovers might be a nice basis for good subwoofer integration, but I have no idea how they would perform. For example the DBX 234xs has caught my attention.

As for DSPs, the Dayton Audio DSP-408 is not very expensive. And the Behringer DCX2496 is a very popular model, I'm curious how those would measure.

@amirm do you ever use anything from DBX for your installation business?
 
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I like to get a gauge of what categories of products I should be testing more (electronics only). So please vote.

As usual, I won't necessarily listen to you all. :D But like to have the data anyway.

If you are a visitor and not a member, this is your opportunity to join and have your voice heard.

You can vote for more than one product but please be selective.
I'd be really interested in headphone or speaker impressions. Harder to measure objectively though, so I understand why they are left out.
 

Ron Texas

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My vote is for AVR's. These are complex products but have the benefit of large production runs and lower margins than so called audiophile gear. I don't usually find amplifier or DAC testing to be that interesting as these categories are mature. There are exceptions for budget units from Crown and the A800, but lots of amplifiers today are built with the same modules from Hypex and Ice. Similarly, with DAC's even cheap ones test at levels of inaudible distortion and noise. Occasionally, there is an interesting outlier like the Yaggi with it's outsized hype and shrunken performance/price ratio.
 

balletboy

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Apr 13, 2020
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Dac with an ADC or a phonostage with digital out
The Devialet Expert does that, both pairs of RCA inputs can be programmed as phono inputs, it has a very decent phono amplification unit and the usb is 2-way providing a 24/192 stream because everything that comes in whether analogue or digital gets converted to 24/192 PCM.

Apparently the analogue inputs (that Amir was using when he blew it up) do not measure as well as the digital. That is no problem for users, all of whom will be feeding digital into one of the many digital inputs, and many use the system wirelessly and it has its own 24/192 wireless protocol called Devialet Air. I expect the analogue inputs only get used for phono sources, so the measurements are less critical, which is why testing them exclusively made no sense. I use mine using a direct ethernet link from my Roon server.

One of the reasons I bought Devialet is because I use two tonearms (on the same deck) and there are precious few phono amplifiers that can handle two phono sources at the same time. The most flexible is the Cyrus Signature, that can handle four, and has an optional external power supply, volume control and balanced outputs - all ideal for phono to active speakers with XLR inputs. If it did A/D it would be perfect!

The Expert 140 reviewed by Stereophile has a phono amplifier with slightly less functionally and I think only one set of RCA inputs. It still works the same way, with A/D and usb output. The reason being is that unit was almost certainly made to a price point of €5,000. At that pricepoint users are probably using high output cartridges so they don't need a state-of-the art MC phono amplifier.

I've recorded quite a few albums using Vinyl Studio and stuck them in my Roon library. They sound exactly the same as when playing the vinyl because the system is of course doing A/D and D/A all the time, which seems to have no effect on the sound quality.
 

Objectivist01

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Now I think we have a sample of DACs and headphone amps which measure well, for a beginner person who is not into headphones would interested in getting an integrated. So imo a linear no nonsense interstates under 500 $ range should be a valuable shootout to many. Or even active speakers which accurately measure under 500.
 
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Hey, @amirm . Can you test the SMSL M200 and other budget balanced DACs, please? We're spoiled for choice with overachieving budget headphone amps, but there aren't many options for high performing budget balanced DACs to pair them with

Thanks
 

MattHooper

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AUDIOPHILE AFTERMARKET AC CABLES !!!!!!!!


I know folks here (me included) hold them to be snake oil, but I think that's a great reason to test them. To have some more documented results on the internet.

If Amir is reading, I wonder how you would test them?

I'm sure you could test their electrical properties relative to stock power cables to get some obective measurements.

But there's also the "but they SOUND different" people (even if it doesn't show up in measurements). So a listening test would be good too.

Most high end AC cables are claimed to change the sound of pretty much whatever you plug them in to. So it seems to me a good test would be something like having two units of the same DAC (ones with detachable power cables). Send both their signals to a pre-amp or switch to be able to switch between them playing the same track/test material. Then blind test them. Do a control test first between the DACs using their stock AC cable to determine they sound the same. Then put the expensive AC cable on one, and do the blind test switching between them. See how it goes.
 
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Voted for amps, dacs, dsp, and vintage

More amps for sure, and it would be cool vintage ones too. Out of sheer curiosity it would be nice to see how some of those 1970s integrated amps measure up. Tubes, vintage or modern. I’m not a tube guy, but so many swear there is magic in those bottles. I think it‘d be cool to see.

Dsp because I think its the most interesting thing out there and I know the least about it.
 

Robbo99999

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I would have voted for speakers as #1 if they were on the list, failing that I voted for more home theatre equipment & DSP products as there's lots of room for quality improvement in that technical field and things like DACS are further down the list as they've become so good lately that it's more important to avoid the few lemons more than anything else. I voted for headphone amps too as a mid-importance thing.

EDIT: actually I'd also put headphone testing as tied at #1 with speaker testing, but I appreciate that would mean purchasing more measuring gear. Oratory1990 is already doing it (team up?), but I guess it doesn't mean that another wouldn't hurt, and maybe there's stuff to learn above & beyond what Oratory1990 is doing or from a slightly different angle. It would round off the site though, and speakers & headphones are the two most influential pieces of equipment in terms of impact/influence on sound quality, so it makes sense to focus resources/efforts on the big wins. Pieces on EQ (room EQ / headphone EQ & associated DSP equipment/software) are all essential and to me coming 2nd in importance directly after speakers & headphones.
 
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Would love some attention on desktop amps for bookshelves. Seems like the market is sparse..... Dayton 150, Allo + double, ICepower, & Emotiva Basx A 100 seem to be the leaders in the "affordable" desktop amps, with an insane amount of trash available in this space.. No indication on which would be best! Lots of noise..... no signal :(
 

EJ3

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Preamp!! What do you guy use if you have a DAC and a turntable?!
refurbished APT/Holman Preamp by Peter at quirk audio or by Vince (former APT chief tech) at AudioProz (has lots of good info available to read or download & not just on this unit.
 

EJ3

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The fact is that it was exactly the iPhone camera that has obliterated compact cameras despite being x10 the size. Nothing significant is left between iPhone and a good DSLR. So I’m rooting for a great AVR to emerge that will cancel the need for anything other than ultra premium separate components for the fringe of the fringe, hard-core, money-no-issue gear fans. And I see no intrinsic reason why such AVR should now cost $10K+.

It is fallacious to think that something cannot be done simply because it has not been done before. Think of the scene in Space Odyssey 2001 when Bowman pulls out HAL’s chunky components one by one. Can you imagine a supercomputer on just one spaceship take that much space now? There is no reason to believe that at their current massive sizes an AVR’s circuitry cannot be just a hair’s breadth away in terms of performance from the top class separate components.

Who, among non-professionals, care what was possible for home audio in the past? As a consumer in this field I’m only looking into the future to have my (growing) needs fulfilled. Smartphone has cancelled vast number of separate products for most people. I am looking for a great AVR to do the same to the home audio industry: one box with great all around performance, and that’s it.

View attachment 42295
When a part of the box stops working, the whole thing is out until repaired or replaced. That's why DVD/Blu Ray players built into TV sets didn't work out.
 
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