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Why aren't there more honest and objective reviewers like ASR and Amir?

raif71

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#61
Disclaimer - I have never heard any PS audio DAC.

I think the simple answer is PS audio dont build them to measure well and neither do their customers care.

Their whole schtick and therefore justification for price is the story about how they get to the end result and that measurements arent the full story.

Now, that would be all fair and good, not what many ASR folks would view as a good approach for building or buying a DAC, but all well and good . IF IT SOUNDED DIFFERENT FROM ANY OTHER DAC. I am not aware of any properly conducted test where anyone has been able to determine a difference between their DACs or any other properly functioning unit when level matched and blind.

So , their customers are happy because they believe it does its job exceptionally well (it must do, their music sounds great and they paid $000 for it) and their brains tell them its the DAC doing its magic. We take a bit of guilty pleasure in knowing they overpaid for what is viewed here as "poor" performance.

I'm also pretty sure PS audio know exactly how their DACs measure both during the design process and on release. Schiit are living proof that manufs that make terribly measuring DACs can also build very accurate ones when that is what they choose to do. PS audio have clearly not felt that need. I am sure they could- but that would be a little upsetting for their target market.
I like your view on all of this. I'm quite sure the majority of ps audio's customers do find that they are enjoying good music from whatever gear they get from ps audio. Not for us to decide whether it's good or bad for them or ps audio. I'd like to give the benefit of the doubt that ps audio do start with a sound system but perhaps along the way to production they tweaked it afterwards to have a certain sound hence compromised some measurements but hey if some people like it, who are we to judge ...
 

orangejello

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#63
Meh....that's any well-tailored suit made of top drawer fabric.

It doesn't have to be Italian.

Saville Row does just fine, too.

My best suits don't have an off-the-rack brand tag anyone would recognize. They're custom made for me by my tailor from the ground up.
Yeah, that can work. I just happen to like Italian aesthetics when it comes to men’s clothes.
Truth to tell, I’m down to weddings and funerals when it comes that kind of attire.

As to the OP, assuming that you have unmeasured gear, that, were it to be measured would reveal audible distortion products (which is a fair assumption for a lot of gear) , then subjective reviews have a place. The reviewer is just giving you his/her distortion preference. For years that was pretty much all we had to work with. Very frustrating for objectivists though. If you aren’t an objectivist then the hobby just becomes a search for what sound you like best. Nothing wrong with that were it not for the fact of psychological bias which can trick you and the reviewer into believing that a $500 power chord sounds better than a stock chord - or that an $8000 CD transport sounds better than a cheap DVD player.

Over the years I have come to the conclusion that cost, minimum/inaudible distortion (I.e. maximally transparent reproduction), adequate power in the case of amplifiers, sensible impedance matching, and high reliability are my top priorities. This is a GREAT site for learning about those things and for choosing equipment that match those priorities. Thanks @amirm!
 

Dialectic

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#65
I like your view on all of this. I'm quite sure the majority of ps audio's customers do find that they are enjoying good music from whatever gear they get from ps audio. Not for us to decide whether it's good or bad for them or ps audio. I'd like to give the benefit of the doubt that ps audio do start with a sound system but perhaps along the way to production they tweaked it afterwards to have a certain sound hence compromised some measurements but hey if some people like it, who are we to judge ...
We're rational humans. Judging is what we do.
 

Robin L

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#67
I wouldn't say that all those buyers are gullible, per se.

They just weigh their subjective experience higher than data.

And given that placebo effects are genuine, I would expect this phenomenon to continue into the future, just as it does for other luxury goods, like wine.
I'm thinking about writing on the subject of "Audiophilus Nervosa and Self-Hypnotism".
 

watchnerd

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#68
I like your view on all of this. I'm quite sure the majority of ps audio's customers do find that they are enjoying good music from whatever gear they get from ps audio. Not for us to decide whether it's good or bad for them or ps audio. I'd like to give the benefit of the doubt that ps audio do start with a sound system but perhaps along the way to production they tweaked it afterwards to have a certain sound hence compromised some measurements but hey if some people like it, who are we to judge ...
Right.

Why do we care if others like it?

No skin off my back if that's how they want to spend their money.
 

Cbdb2

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#69
I wouldn't say that all those buyers are gullible, per se.

They just weigh their subjective experience higher than data.

And given that placebo effects are genuine, I would expect this phenomenon to continue into the future, just as it does for other luxury goods, like wine.
Dont know how much wine you drink but there is actualy a diference between a $20 bottle and a $200 bottle, and even a $200 bottle and a $2000 bottle. And the pros can blind tell you which is which, unlike dacs or power amps, never mind cable.
 

ahofer

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#70
Dont know how much wine you drink but there is actualy a diference between a $20 bottle and a $200 bottle, and even a $200 bottle and a $2000 bottle. And the pros can blind tell you which is which, unlike dacs or power amps, never mind cable.
That’s true, I have a lot of respect for certified sommeliers (have you read Cork Dork? Great book). But the average quaffing wine drinker can’t do that.
 

watchnerd

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#71
Dont know how much wine you drink but there is actualy a diference between a $20 bottle and a $200 bottle, and even a $200 bottle and a $2000 bottle. And the pros can blind tell you which is which, unlike dacs or power amps, never mind cable.
That’s true, I have a lot of respect for certified sommeliers (have you read Cork Dork? Great book). But the average quaffing wine drinker can’t do that.
Exactly.

There have been blind tests of non-sommeliers failing ABX tests between cheap and expensive wines.

This includes me, testing my own collection with myself and guests.

FWIW, I don't think my own collection of Chateau Leoville-Barton 1995, 1996 are worth the current market asking price and am considering selling them for a small gain.
 
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stunta

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#74
So many things have to line up to get a review site like ASR:
  • Someone with a strong enough technical background and practical experience
  • Enough seed money to get such a thing started
  • Not need or care about making more money
  • Genuine passion and interest in doing the measurements (its painstaking)
  • Have time for measurements, writeups, answer questions, explain stuff to dummies like me etc.
  • An understanding spouse
  • A large enough audience (thankfully we have that here)
  • Readers who give back - technical feedback as well as monetary donations
I probably missed a few other things. ASR is a miracle.
 

CDMC

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#76
How do you rate them vs Home Depot hot dogs?
Our Home Depot’s have independent places in front. The one near me has great burritos and tacos, never even noticed if they have hotdogs. One good thing about living in California.
 

617

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#77
Our Home Depot’s have independent places in front. The one near me has great burritos and tacos, never even noticed if they have hotdogs. One good thing about living in California.
I used to live in TX and you could get breakfast tacos from trucks with nopales, potatoes, eggs, whatever you wanted, so good.
 

CDMC

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#78
Leave Italian suits out of this :). If you have to be in a suit 12 hours a day you may not know it, but you want to be in one of those. They feel like wearing pajamas all day except that you also look fabulous.
In Italian, make mine Canali. That said, my suit of choice is Hickey Freeman and all I have bought for mor than a decade. Those and Allen Edmonds. I don’t wear a suit every day anymore, but when I started practice had to.
 

murraycamp

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#79
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Thread Starter #80
Yeah, that can work. I just happen to like Italian aesthetics when it comes to men’s clothes.
Truth to tell, I’m down to weddings and funerals when it comes that kind of attire.

As to the OP, assuming that you have unmeasured gear, that, were it to be measured would reveal audible distortion products (which is a fair assumption for a lot of gear) , then subjective reviews have a place. The reviewer is just giving you his/her distortion preference. For years that was pretty much all we had to work with. Very frustrating for objectivists though. If you aren’t an objectivist then the hobby just becomes a search for what sound you like best. Nothing wrong with that were it not for the fact of psychological bias which can trick you and the reviewer into believing that a $500 power chord sounds better than a stock chord - or that an $8000 CD transport sounds better than a cheap DVD player.

Over the years I have come to the conclusion that cost, minimum/inaudible distortion (I.e. maximally transparent reproduction), adequate power in the case of amplifiers, sensible impedance matching, and high reliability are my top priorities. This is a GREAT site for learning about those things and for choosing equipment that match those priorities. Thanks @amirm!
Sorry mate but I never once made any assumption or connection between measured performance and subjective listening. The whole point of the post was the offence that was taken to Amirs measurements by the PSA diehards about the LESS THAN STELLAR DAC and his ability to do this in a technically competent manner and the reviewers simply printing the BS supplied by the manufactures of horse meat in order to over inflate the importance of themselves and their respective magazines/websites and to keep their bank balances up so they can buy an AMG Mercedes Benz or 2 or a pair of 160K JBL speakers. Nothing more nothing less. It was all about honesty. None of these magazines/websites do technical measurements anymore, probably because as a previous poster said they wouldn't even know what a diode is, which means more or less they can say what ever the hell they like, which is usually just the general crap that this power supply increases sound stage or this fuse adds depth or some other BS because the manufacturer said so.

Thank god for Amir to actually pull these companies on their crap who are simply trying to continue to justify their prices for MEASURED UNDER PERFORMING PRODUCTS, pick any product Amir has measured that cost the price of a small car that measured like a model T.

Its about honesty. And as far as I'm concerned stereo***au and stereophi** and what**fi are all simply liars. My opinion and fortunately I can say this on here without being banned like I would be on stereo***au forum simply because I have an opinion that is backed up by COMPETENT TECHNICAL MEASUREMENTS by someone who I would consider honest, technically competent as opposed to the owner of a particular website/magazine trying to protect their income and future AMG Mercedes Benz purchases.

Its all about honesty. If you dont want Amir testing your products then have some man bits and do the tests yourselves and publish them. Dont attack someone who does it.
 
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