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?  


@td_dayton ,


My background is medicine/medical research. Fortunately, or unfortunately, at a biological level we are all rather similar. If we were not, medicine, disease, injuries, would be an even harsher problem to attack. Our preferences will obviously have a combination of genetic, environmental, and experience aspect. That is not controversial. That genetic aspect is driven by evolution and while there are variances, there also strong underlying similarities. We see that in all aspects of sensory stimulus, whether sound, site, smell, or taste.  That is why companies like Walmart pick their color schemes as they are, why food products with multiple flavors always have favorites, why we prefer yellowy light when it is dim, why we like the feeling of soft/plush textures.

Our similarities are even more similar at the hardware level. It is surprising how little variation, when we are young and everything is in tip top condition, there is. That applies to site, hearing, taste, even touch. The resolution, sensitivity, and dynamic range of all our senses varies only by small amounts within a population. Some are gifted with better processing capability and the ability to extract more useful information, but they have similar underlying limitations.

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Thanks, and your points are well taken.

As I mentioned in my first post in this thread, I am thankful for the approach and information available at ASR, which doesn't mean I share precisely the same goals in terms of my own equipment purchases.

For instance, I love the Devore O/96 speakers.   When they came out there was quite a vitriolic comment thread in Stereophile with some self-claimed experts declaring the design ridiculous and incompetent "nobody who knew what he was doing would match that size woofer with that tweeter" etc.

And yet I found, like so many others, that the O/96 was one of the most special, beguiling sounding speakers I've ever heard!  So given there is a sort of "direction" to what is evaluated as "good" or "bad" design on ASR (again, well justified IF you adopt the underlying goals), that kind of product mostly won't be on the radar there, and indeed the Devore speakers have been mocked by some there.  In that sense, ASR isn't the place where I would likely have been led to auditioning those speakers.   It was the subjective reviews, and listening reports from other audiophiles that got me interested, and I found the general take to be bang on when I heard those speakers.

This is one example for why I have often defended the usefulness FOR ME (and many other audiophiles) of subjective reports about some audio gear on the ASR site. Exchanging subjective impressions is not as reliable information per se as objective measurements, especially when you have a specific goal for the measurements (correlated to the sound you want).    But, as I argue, that doesn't make them completely useless or always inaccurate. 

And I find the case interesting in regard to the research on speaker design (Toole/Olive/Harman Kardon etc).  The research suggests that, in the blind tests, I would be most likely to prefer Revel speakers over the Devore, as the Revels are successfully designed to hit the "preference" target that arose out of blind testing.

I completely accept that research.  I think that if I were to go to the Harman Kardon facilities and engage in blind tests, it would be safer to bet my money I'd select the Revel speakers under those conditions.

So what do I do with the fact that I actually did audition a few Revel speakers (which were very competent sounding as predicted) and yet still heavily preferred the Devore?   Well, it could be that I happen to be one of the outliers, and even in blind testing I'd select the Devores.  Less likely, but possible. 

My own decision would be to purchase the Devores over the Revel based on my auditions.  This is because, in "sighted" auditions even IF there are other non-audio factors influencing my perception of the Devores being more engaging, those are the conditions under which I'll be listening to the speakers.  If there are other factors influencing my perception of the sound (e.g. the looks), fine, I'll take 'em because it's sure working to keep me engaged!   Plus, this approach has led to plenty of satisfying purchases over the years, and I just really, really enjoy listening to all sorts of different loudspeakers, so I could never be one of the "order it just on measurements" folks.   But I totally GET that an emphasis on measurements work for some other people.  (AND, btw, over at ASR most members would prefer to hear a speaker before purchasing.  Even when you've narrowed the field down to several "good measuring speakers" there's still enough variation to bring in personal preference).



 blind testing is not the answer, you might pick out a speaker in blind testing and hate it once you listen to it for a while in your room. Like I said before look what blind taste tests gave us the new coke, where is that product now?

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. 

Except it hasn't really worked out that way.  Kind of the reverse if anything.

I think Your Ears are the ultimate arbiter for sonic quality, right?

You'll believe what Your Ears tell you, whatever objective evidence Amir might bring against the plausibility of your belief.  Or, am I wrong about that?


The ASR site/Amir has not extended a mutual openness to permitting our members from participating on their rebuttal forum or their site. 

That's quite a spin.

Another way of seeing it:  Generally speaking, Amir does not care for his forum to be a place simply to gripe about other audio sites.  He or the moderators have closed a number of such threads once they seem to have gone down that route.

He'd rather the conversations be about audio, vetting claims made for equipment,  vs griping about people in other forums.  That certainly doesn't mean it doesn't happen.  But generally speaking, in the context of the fact everyone including Amir is fallible, he's often trying to take the higher road in that regard.  (And unfortunately  some folks will unfairly take Amir's tests and technical claims as threats or insults to their own beliefs, and just impute ill will or dogmatism.  That happened in this thread too).

On the other hand, you are happy to see a thread here that continues to berate the Amir and the ASR crowd.

Personally I'm happy to see this thread continue insofar as some fruitful dialogue can happen among some of us.  But I don't think the very fact this thread is continuing is necessarily taking the higher road.  "Amir shut down griping about us, but we didn't shut down griping about them!  Hurray for us!"