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?  


@djones51 i appreciate that. 

i became interested in this general topic due to ASR guys on reddit telling me that i had no idea what i was talking about when all i said was that i generally prefer vinyl to digital and that it sounds better to me. "you are an idiot, digital is objectively better" etc. like, ok buddy. that's your opinion. have had many other similar exchanges over the past couple years in various forums. i simply don't agree that better spec (however defined) = better sound in all cases, and i think that there are limits to what testing and measurements can actually tell us, for the reasons i offer in my previous post. 

the assumption that there is a fundamentally rational, measurable basis for emotional responses to an experience (like listening to music) is flawed.


Scientists study human preferences all the time. Social and cognitive sciences for instance.  General trends in preferences really can be quantified.

That doesn't mean anyone has to personally care, of course.


the act of measuring gear is not a threat or a problem for anybody.

It shouldn't be.  But in a certain audiophile paradigm - My Ears Do Not Lie! - people do feel threatened and triggered if someone else appeals to measurements to adjudicate their claims.   The irony is that it is so often claimed it's the "objectivists" who are the dogmatists, when it's often the Golden Ears who are most unmoving and vitriolic in their beliefs.  As quite a few posts in this thread attest.


where i disagree is when people insist that i shouldn't trust my senses when i am determining whether a piece of equipment is good for my system.  reviewers with a subjective bent don't bother me at all, for the same reason - seems blandly obvious that what sounds good in john darko's room might sound like junk in mine. how do i figure it out? i buy the thing and return (or sell it) if it sucks!

I think we always need to keep in mind specific claims about gear.  Speakers, for instance, I think Amir would see "good measurements" - as determined by all sorts of research about what tends to sound good to a majority of people - is just good knowledge to have, and a good starting point.  It doesn't say a speaker will absolutely work for you in your room, but if you have the measurements and you know the character/size of your room and where you'll be placing the speakers, the measurements can indicate what type of problems you might encounter...or not.

A "well designed" speaker will tend to be easier to sit in more rooms than one that is less "well designed" and could be more finicky.  It's not Absolute Knowledge of course, but it's up to any individual what to do with it.  Some ASR members have a good enough grasp of the measurements and their room to be confident in buying based on measurements...and they have successfully done so.  Other audiophiles may be less knowledgeable or experienced understanding the technical stuff, or even if they do understand it, may still feel they always want to audition a speaker first.  (I'm in that camp).  So there is no "dogma" being enforced about this.  It's just offering knowledge for those who can or want to use it.

Then there are all the dubious claims in the audiophile world - e.g. expensive USB cables, switchers and on and on.  In this case the debate isn't so much about "choice" as to "whether the device actually does what it's claimed to do." 

Of course the Golden Ear approach is to just listen and decide for yourself.  Nobody is putting a stop to that.  But for those who want more reliable information - the type of tests and measurements Amir provides is often very enlightening, and helps many people make advised decisions as to where to spend their money.

So a Golden Ear may say "I'm happy I spent $2,000 on my new USB cable, because I think it made a difference" whereas I and many others will look to the plausibility of such claims, as explained by experts.  I find the evidence Amir provides in many of his reviews - the combination of technical theory with the tests in support of the conclusions - to be much more cogent than audiophile anecdotes, especially when it comes to the tweakier side of the hobby.





@laoman I listened to the entire Darko audio. Wow, a balanced and intelligent conversation. Thank you so much for shedding light on the topic of equipment testing.

@russ69 I really doubt that my listening room, as high quality as it is, has much in common to an anechoic chamber and probably it is good that it isn’t. The former is good for testing, the latter for listening. Thanks.

@tonywinga Yes, trying to prove a negative. Amir is a classless act which he has proven on this site. Schooling, not educating.

@crymeanaudioriver You can’t stop yourself as the arbiter of all audio knowledge. My reference to my wife was clearly that she has become accustomed to listening to the sound of my system over the decades and now enjoys it immensely. She is brilliant and has memorized the lyrics to at least 1000 pop/rock songs. I do not comprehend the analogy of listening loud and shouting at low volume levels. I am certainly not a genius but have 2 BAs, JD, MPA etc and took physics courses at UCLA. My wife was a bio-chem major at Stoneybrook and has very deep comprehension of mathematics. We are not uneducated "noobs." It took a long road to obtain high end sound as I had mid-fi sound for most of my life.

I am constantly learning, it is my nature and in my religion. You are a fool with your analysis/accusation.

Yes, I noticed Amir has shut down his opposition site and apparently has vanished from this board. That is his nature. (Although I must admit I have spent more time than I had anticipated on this topic, due to a great part for Amir and his minions coming to this site to basically attack us and Audiogon).


I want to thank the Audiogon moderator for permitting this forum to continue and expose the narrowmindedness of the "objectivist" measurement is the gold standard for determining audio equipment quality.  The ASR site/Amir has not extended a mutual openness to permitting our members from participating on their rebuttal forum or their site.