I have that issue of Audio Critic, and I do have to agree that the article is a bit "extreme".
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Lie 1: The people who can't set their VCR's clock will (of course) be able to set up a DVD movie to play.... Lie 2: Everyone will IMMEDIATLY rush out and buy all new software (at TWICE the price) as soon as SACD/DVD-A... etc is on the market. Lie 3: All interconnects sound the same. Lie 4: 0's and 1's are all the same... Lie 5: The manufacturers name on the faceplate is more important than than how it sounds. Lie 6: The opinion of the saleperson is more valid than yours. Lie 7: You have PERFECT hearing. Lie 8: Your WIFE doesn't know how much you spend on your system. Lie 9: If the capacitance of your speaker cables is too high... localized spontaneous human combustion will occur when the system is pushed hard. Lie 10: If your hearing is measured to be less than perfect, then any opinion you may have about ANY stereo equipment is worthless. Lie 11: Human activity is monitored by the Aaagzhbzf from the Delta quadrant... I know this because they told me so. If they find you violate their moral code, they send spurious hum to attack your system.
If you subscribe to The Audio Critic's theories, fine. Have a good time. If you don't(and you probably don't if you are on this site), that's also great. The main thing is you should be happy. If you need someone to either justify or dismantle your opinions on what you hear or do not hear, you need more help than what this format offers. The only person you should trust, and be trying to impress is YOURSELF. This is not a team sport...
Drubin, here's what a colleague e-mailed me on the topic, including his quotes and omments: 1) The Cable Lie: TAC states there is no difference between run of the mill wire and high-priced cables. But they do say you have to pay a little more if you want/need decent plugs, shielding, insulation, etc. "It is a lie that has been exposed, shamed, and refuted over and over again by every genuine authority under the sun, but the tweako audio cultists hate authority and the innocents can't distinguish it from self-serving charlatanry." There not a single ad in the magazine from a cable company. 2) The Vacuum-Tube Lie: "...the claim that vacuum tubes are inherently superior to transistors in audio applications---don't you believe it." TAC does say tubes are great for high-powered RF transmitters and microwave ovens, but not for current audio components in this digital age. TAC says there is nothing wrong with tubes, they just are not better. "As for the 'tube sound,' there are 2 possibilities: 1) It's a figment of the deluded audiophile's imagination, or 2) it's deliberate coloration introduced by the manufacturer to appeal to corrupted tastes..." Wow! This is not from Stereophile that is for sure. 3) The Antidigital Lie Digital sound is vastly inferior to analog....etc. "once again the lie has little bearing on the mainstream..." i.e. Preference for LP vs. CD in the high-end world because digital is hard and edgy. "Digital audio is bulletproof in a way analog audio never was and never can be." "The reason why certain analog recordings sound better than certain digital recordings is that the engineers did a better job..." This is for playback, TAC states "analog master tape over digital master tape remains a semi-respectable controversy..." 4) The Listening-Test Lie "The tweako cultists will tell you that ABX tests are completely invalid. Everybody knows a Krell sounds better than a Pioneer, so if they are indistinguishable from each other in an ABX test, then the ABX method is all wet---that's their logic." I particularly liked this one. "Everybody knows that Joe is taller than Mike, so if they both measure exactly 5 feet 11 1/4 inches, then there is something wrong with the Stanely tape measure, right?" "The truth is you can perform an ABX...you can take as much time as you wish...you can verify the transparency of the inserted control devices..." Hmmm? Sounds like they have used one of our ABX boxes. "Here is how you smoke out a lying, weaseling, anti-ABX hypocrite. Ask him if he believes in any kind of A/B testing at all. He will probably say yes. Then ask him what special insights he gains by (1) not matching levels and (2) peeking at the nameplates. Watch him squirm and fume." 5) The Feedback Lie "Negative feedback, in an amplifier or preamplifier, is baaaad. No feedback at all is gooood. So goes this widely invoked untruth." "The fact is that negative feedback is one of the most useful tools available to the circuit designer. It reduces distortion an increases stability." "Today's no-feedback dogmatists are either dishonest or ignorant." 6) The Burn-In Lie "This widely reiterated piece of B.S. would have you believe that audio electronics, and even cables, will 'sound better' after a burn-in period of days or weeks or months (yes months)." "Pure garbage." "Caps will 'form' in a matter of seconds after power-on. Bias will stabilize in a matter of minutes." "As for cables, yecch." "Loudspeakers, however, may require a break-in period of a few hours, perhaps even a day or two, before reaching optimum performance because mechanical moving parts need to settle in." 7) The Biwiring Lie "...bi-amping makes sense...but bi-wiring is pure voodoo." The superposition principle. "...it is fair to point out that biwiring does no harm, it just doesn't do anything. Like magnets in your shoe." 8) The Power Conditioner Lie "Just about all that needs to be said on this subject has been said by Bryston in their owner's manuals: All Bryston amps contain high-quality, dedicated circuitry in the power supplies to reject RF, line spikes and other power-line problems. Bryston power amps do not require specialized power line conditioners. Plug the amp directly into its own wall. socket." "What they don't say is that the same is true, more or less, of all well-designed amps." "Please note we are not talking about surge-protected power strips..." "The biggest and stupidest lie of them all on the subject of 'clean' power is that you need a specially designed high-priced line cord to obtain the best possible sound." 9) The CD Treatment Lie "Just say no to CD treatments, from green marker to spray-ons and rub-ons. The idiophiles who claim to hear the improvement can never, never identify the treated CD blind." 10) The Golden Ear Lie "This is the catchall lie that should perhaps go to the head of the list." "Golden ears want you to believe their hearing is so keen, so exquisite, that they can hear tiny nuances of reproduced sound too elusive for the rest of us. Absolutely not true...but those with training and experience know what to make of it, how to interpret it." "a loudspeaker with a huge dip at 3kHz, will not sound like one with a flat response to any ear, golden or tin, but only the experienced ear will quickly identify the problem." "The best defense against the Golden Ear lie is of course the ABX test. That separates those who claim to hear something from those who really do." "It is amazing how few, if any, Golden Ears are left in the room once the ABX results are tallied."