Audio Science Review = "The better the measurement, the better the sound" philosophy

"Audiophiles are Snobs"  Youtube features an idiot!  He states, with no equivocation,  that $5,000 and $10,000 speakers sound equally good and a $500 and $5,000 integrated amp sound equally good.  He is either deaf or a liar or both! 

There is a site filled with posters like him called Audio Science Review.  If a reasonable person posts, they immediately tear him down, using selected words and/or sentences from the reasonable poster as100% proof that the audiophile is dumb and stupid with his money. They also occasionally state that the high end audio equipment/cable/tweak sellers are criminals who commit fraud on the public.  They often state that if something scientifically measures better, then it sounds better.   They give no credence to unmeasurable sound factors like PRAT and Ambiance.   Some of the posters music choices range from rap to hip hop and anything pop oriented created in the past from 1995.  

Have any of audiogon (or any other reasonable audio forum site) posters encountered this horrible group of miscreants?  


When I play a chorale piece on my stereo system the choir fills the front half of the room floor to ceiling. I can hear individual voices across the soundstage. It is not the ultimate in resolution- I have heard systems that can resolve each and every instrument in an orchestra spread out across the room. As I work on my system with both upgrades in gear and with tweaks, I find that the resolving power of the system improves. That chorale piece has evolved from a cloud of sound years ago to individual voices. Its amazing to hear. I have no idea how one would measure or quantify that property of the stereo objectively. I found not just upgrading preamps, amps, and cables improved resolution but isolation and room treatments as well reduce the noise and muddiness or blurring of sounds. Now I can measure the mechanical isolation of my stereo components with an accelerometer and FFT analyzer and I can see that they are isolated from vibrations above 3 Hz. This results in improved resolution and more detail in the music. In addition to those upgrades I also find tweaks to the digital streaming ethernet improves both sound and resolution. It would seem that could be measured but no one seems to be able to get past, "it is just 1’s and 0’s". There seems to be some 2’s and 3’s getting through. :)

It seems naive to just look only at distortion, frequency response or time domain properties. Live music outdoors is like a hemianechoic chamber, ie. no reflections. So the highs roll off very quickly. The same for a concert hall. Someone who likes that kind of music is not interested in strong bright highs. On the other hand, someone who likes to listen to live Jazz or Rock with electric instruments wants to hear the highs. Plus, the same speaker in a different room will sound different. Leave those types of measurements to the manufacturers. The boutique manufacturers voice their gear to satisfy the bulk of their clientele. Not every brand nor every model will be to everyone’s taste.

I have couple questions to “ASR Tests Originator”:

1: Can you please describe your measurement equipment' employed at ASR LAB? I assume tester is calibrated, maintained, and upgraded periodically, - correct?

- are you doing your measurements in Faraday Cage?

-what cabling, loading, power, additional filters, shielding, etc are used for ASR tests? ..and why do you think your test setup is good to represent average user?

2: How do you select units for tests? Do you receive devices from manufacturers, or do you obtain those randomly?

- sometimes manufacturers prefer to send “good units” to third party test LAB to produce “excellent reviews”, while most of manufactured units of the same model are "so-so". I haven’t seen two analog sound units, including speakers, amplifiers, pre/eq/etc of the same model/brand with the same test results in my life!



The most respected audio designers listen more with their ears than a graph.  

How on earth would you know the list of audio designers and the "respected" subset?  And how do you know that is a truth as opposed to a talking point post poor measurements of their gear?

I can also say the opposite. How would anyone know if you are right or I am?

I will answer: you need to understand electronic design. If you did, you would know the above claim can't possibly be true. Modern electronic design starts with simulation and full analysis of circuit performance including things like distortion, frequency response, etc. Then prototyping starts with the designer's eyes glued to instrumentation like voltmeters, oscilloscopes, and if we are lucky, audio measurement gear. If they lack the latter, heaven help us as they have no idea if they are designing something performant!

But let's say you are right. So what? I am supposed to trust the ears of a Joe designer?  They could have all the design expertise in the world. It doesn't mean they have critical listening skills and know how to compare audio gear sound without bias in controlled listening tests.

Bottom line: you are falling for marketing lines. Demand proof that their equipment is well engineered and transparent to the source. Anyone can say anything.  Ask for reliable, third-party verification. Don't worship heroes.  Insisting on validation.




Amir-again dumb retort.  Of course good designers use test equipment to design and test their results.  However, if it ended there, they are making HUGE mistakes without knowing it.  Speaker designers who don't listen to adjust settings are not very good designers.  My example of measurement uber alles for making the most expensive and as good as it should be at $850 million orchestral hall just confirms that there is more than measurements in design.  After most modern orchestral halls are built (including that one and my local Disney Hall), they nearly always undergo significant renovation to make them sound better.  Why, because we hear the results and adjust afterwards which can include new measurements and cannot rely on only scientific results.