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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: 256 60.5%
  • Headphone Amplifiers

    Votes: 73 17.3%
  • Home Theater AVRs

    Votes: 128 30.3%
  • Home Theater Processors

    Votes: 85 20.1%
  • DACs

    Votes: 131 31.0%
  • Streamers

    Votes: 104 24.6%
  • Combo DAC and Headphone Amplifiers

    Votes: 99 23.4%
  • Phono preamp

    Votes: 42 9.9%
  • DSP (digital signal processors)

    Votes: 150 35.5%
  • Vintage audio products

    Votes: 100 23.6%

  • Total voters
    423

Koeitje

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#41
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 cannot be just a hair’s breadth away in terms of performance from the top class separate components.

View attachment 42295
In what sense does an iPhone crush compact cameras? The only reason compact camera's stopped selling is because an iPhone was good enough in most situations. Even if they would use the same sensor you still lack zoom lenses, a proper flash shoe and ergonomics. And let's not start talking about rx100's and such...

Besides you can already buy what you want in 2 parts. NAD master series pre en power....and the price is even pretty fair considering the parts used.
 

Vovgan

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#42
In what sense does an iPhone crush compact cameras? The only reason compact camera's stopped selling is because an iPhone was good enough in most situations. Even if they would use the same sensor you still lack zoom lenses, a proper flash shoe and ergonomics. And let's not start talking about rx100's and such...

Besides you can already buy what you want in 2 parts. NAD master series pre en power....and the price is even pretty fair considering the parts used.
I agree with your second part about NAD and I think this is great progress indeed! I just hope that the next step will be not two boxes but one, not $10K but 3 or 4, and SINAD of 110 instead of 100 :) And I see no higher priority now than getting such product designed, independently tested here and available for purchase ASAP :)

P.S. The iPhone camera was fighting an uphill battle because it was severely handicapped it terms of size of lens and sensor that it could use and so it had to invest heavily in the image processing algorithms, whereas an AVR maker can more or less pick the best of the already available components and just think of how to isolate them better within one box.
 
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Koeitje

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#43
I agree with your second part about NAD and I think this is great progress indeed! I just hope that the next step will be not two boxes but one, not $10K but 3 or 4, and SINAD of 110 instead of 100 :) And I see no higher priority now than getting such product designed, independently tested here and available for purchase ASAP :)

P.S. The iPhone camera was fighting an uphill battle because it was severely handicapped it terms of size of lens and sensor that it could use and so it had to invest heavily in the image processing algorithms, whereas an AVR maker can more or less pick the best of the already available components and just think of how to isolate them better within one box.
You won't get a SINAD of 110 with 7 modules slapped next together. You want integrated? Good luck with that. It won't be smaller nor cheaper.
 

Vovgan

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#44
You won't get a SINAD of 110 with 7 modules slapped next together. You want integrated? Good luck with that. It won't be smaller nor cheaper.
Set a reminder in your calendar to fact check that statement 2 years from now ;-)

Although my larger point was to highlight what I think we should really be aiming for here. Given the current state of the industry, I believe that asking for a great $2-3K stereo amp instead of asking for a great 5 channel amp with AV processing for roughly the same kind of money is now the right target. I just can't understand this lack of interest/prevailing pessimism about future AVR's.
 
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Ceburaska

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#45
I’m not personally interested in home theatre or headphones, but at least they seem product lines that we have yet to find many good examples for.
DACs however seem solved, many times over, at numerous price levels. Easy to test, and will get lots of views, but just read the manufacturers’ spec sheet, and if they don’t have one, avoid!
 

Koeitje

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#46
Set a reminder in your calendar to fact check that statement 2 years from now ;-)

Although my larger point was to highlight what I think we should really be aiming for here. Given the current state of the industry, I believe that asking for a great $2-3K stereo amp instead of asking for a great 5 channel amp with AV processing for roughly the same kind of money is now the right target. I just can't understand this lack of interest/prevailing pessimism about future AVR's.
Oh nice.

Will that just be an amp? Because you also want the DAC, Pre-amp, some DSP processing and video pass through in the same enclosure.
 
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#47
I'd like to see more portable DAC/amps and amps, I'm a headphone user primarily and use Android for my home setup, so it'd be nice to see some more portable add-on options. And maybe some standalone DAPs. The price of the most expensive models has reached maximum stupidity levels. Well, never say maximum. Some DAPs seem like low end smart phones with turbo charged amps. So I'd like to see flagships down to the budget models put under the microscope and see what the truth is.

And maybe just some common things that people need. Like switchers, convertors or whatever. The gizmos people need to get the more interesting stuff working nicely.
 

Vovgan

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#49
Oh nice.

Is that just an amp? Because you also want the DAC, Pre-amp, some DSP processing and video pass through in the same enclosure.
My point is different. We buy almost all technology in self-sufficient bundles: cars, fridges, stoves, smartphones, laptops, tablets etc. We only buy components separately when they are either optional (printer, car trailer, battery case) or if there is a significant functional variability (PCs and monitors, DSLRs and interchangeable lenses, AVRs and speakers). Related technologies have a tendency to merge into one device: just think how many previous technologies/gadgets are now combined in a laptop or in a smartphone. The likes of Apple TV and Amazon fire TV are also disappearing as standalone devices and become apps inside TVs. So are blu ray players and CD players and their disks. Less boxes, less clutter.

Nobody needs a DAC or a pre-pro without an amp. There is still a case to make for a separate pre-pro or a DAC if you believe in and like to talk about sound signatures, warmth, neutrality etc. But if you, like most of people here on ASR, is a follower of the Gospel of SINAD and believe that performance of amp / pre-pro is as easy to measure as that of an Intel processor or HDD, than you fundamentally don't want your audio circuitry to be delivered to you in separate boxes. You just want a few numbers for one box to be right and not having to worry about how good your wires between different boxes are. I believe @amirm made a similar point when he said that he prefers bundled desktop products to having separate DACs/headphone amps.

As long as audio lovers continue to have zero expectations from AVRs, there will be no improvement. A great AVR is not only more convenient, it also allows you to enjoy the same great sound quality in movies, YouTube videos, musicals, etc. I just cannot wrap my mind around the fact that most people do not see, or for some reason decide not to see, that what they really want and need and can get if they demand it en masse with sufficient vigour is a one box solution for technologies that cry out to be integrated.
 
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Soniclife

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#50
Nothing significant is left between iPhone and a good DSLR.
If only that were true, or likely to be be true anytime soon.

I think AVRs are seem very solvable technically, if the main players wanted to, looks like they have little motivation currently to do so, and the license fees and software development likely keep innovative small companies out of the market. But what is the market forecast for 5.1 (or more) in the next few years? This seems a segment that Sonus and other soundbar & wireless systems are going to own, who want's to compete with them?
 

Willem

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#51
The value of testing older equipment is not so much to romanticise, but to get an idea of whether it makes sense to replace them with something of more recent design, or not. My hunch is that for example modern amplifiers may include more modern manufacturing technology but do not necessarily deliver better sound quality, since many older designs were already good enough.
Here in the Netherlands, and I am sure in the UK as well, Quad amplifiers have always been very popular with those who were looking for sensible designs that delivered excellent performance for a quite reasonable price. Since they were largely built from discrete components they can still be maintained/refurbished without too much difficulty , so there are still many around. Therefore, the question is whether it still makes sense to use them, or do more modern designs offer increased sound quality. I am sure the same question can be asked with a number of North American or Japanese designs. My parents for example had a Luxman R50 receiver: how does if compare with more modern designs?
 

ajawamnet

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#52
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.

Some pro audio gear like the modules from old Neve and API consoles. I did some tests on that stuff and it was just awful. When I mentioned something like this to Rupert on a conf call, he agreed.

Be interesting to show that these "classic" pieces of gear are not all they are cracked up to be.

Here's a vid of him stating the same thing he mentioned to me:
 

Frank Dernie

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#54
I believe that asking for a great $2-3K stereo amp instead of asking for a great 5 channel amp with AV processing for roughly the same kind of money is now the right target.
Well on the basis of saying if one is dreaming of the unlikely one may as well dream of the impossible, yes...
 

jhaider

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#55
I am interested in how a range of DSP filters (shelving, x-over, peak etc) done in software, eg Roon, JRiver, Acourate compare to each other and also to identical filters done in hardware such as MiniDSP etc.
Interesting point. Unless I’m missing something, that could be crowdsourced. The measurements are just FR - no need for an AP superbox, just a USB interface. We’d just need to agree on reference filter(s) and users could apply them to the gear we have on hand.
 

rajapruk

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#56
Testing subwoofer distortion, would that be possible without the full speaker testing kit?
I think many people would like to find cheap but good subwoofers.
I would like to see the difference between servo-subs from Velodyne and Rythmik etc compared to more conventional subwoofers.
It would also cut down on Amir’s gym bill with all the heavy lifting, so he could stop whining about donations all the time!
 
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Soniclife

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#57
Interesting. Personally I have no interest in AVRs at all and don't know anybody else who is either, or afaik know anybody who has one!
I think there might be an American view that they are common, I could be wrong. Like you I don't remember ever being in someone's house who had one.
 

oivavoi

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#58
I am interested in how a range of DSP filters (shelving, x-over, peak etc) done in software, eg Roon, JRiver, Acourate compare to each other and also to identical filters done in hardware such as MiniDSP etc.
I'm also most interested in seeing DSP processors tested. Minidsp has been tested - but how about pro alternatives like DBX Driverack and Xilica? Or the cheaper alternatives from Behringer and Thomann? I'd also like to see some more DSP specific measurements, particularly how they do sample rate conversion, and if it's possible to test whether the digital volume control creates any artifacts.

It would also be interesting to get more data on different room correction algorithms, if it's possible to find any meaningful benchmark here.
 
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Severian

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#59
I'm also most interested in seeing DSP processors tested. Minidsp has been tested - but how about pro alternatives like DBX Driverack and Xilica? Or the cheaper alternatives from Behringer and Thomann? I'd also like to see some more DSP specific measurements, particularly how they do sample rate conversion, and if it's possible to test whether the digital volume control creates any artifacts.

It would also be interested to get more data on different room correction algorithms, if it's possible to find any meaningful benchmark here.
Completely agree.

I would also love to see more testing of pro audio equipment such as USB audio interfaces. They are potentially useful devices in computer-based hi-fi setups.
 

digicidal

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#60
It's funny, to me it seems like everyone I know (at least that has audio gear at all) has an AVR. Granted all are more videophiles than audiophiles - and I'm not including the HTIB kinds. I'm on the other side (despite still owning several AVRs and in the past owned many more). Ironically, and to my significant discontent, I've never known anyone - in my adult life at least - that owned any kind of dedicated stereo amplification at all. :(

It caused many mistakes early on for me - as information (outside of advertising supported avenues at least) was quite sparse until the Internet came of age... and there wasn't any real "sounding board" type of friends that were as into 2ch music as I was. They were all immediately concerned with adding channels as soon as there was an AVR to support them. Either that or asking why bother because their boom-box was "good enough" for everything. :facepalm:
 
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