Originally Posted by amicusterrae
Expected more of a backlash, but I, for one, applaud you, Sitting Bull. This is the AV SCIENCE
Forum. I believe there is no discernable difference between DACs these days and am still waiting for an ABX test that proves otherwise. If there is one, great, I'll be the first to eat crowe. But, that many have heard discernable differences outside the parameters of a true double blind test, means nothing to me.
Now, this doesn't mean that I feel the 83SE is an unjustifiable purchase/upgrade. It is overbuilt with a beefier power supply, for example. That can increase a person's pride in ownership. And, for many, knowing that something else is available that is even possibly better is too much to stand. If that's what stands between you and enjoying the sound, then nothing anyone says is going to change it. If you can afford the SE, and buying it doesn't short money you would otherwise spend on speakers, might as well go for it!
Ahh, an eminently sensible man
Yes, the true scientifically conducted double blind test. The bane of the Stereopile and Obsolete Sound magazines of the world. Alas, they were last seen still holding their hands over their ears and screaming in horror as they ran in the opposite direction of the study produced by the esteemed Audio Engineering Society back in 1991, which concluded the following:
"Experience from many years of double-blind listening tests of audio equipment is summarized. The results are generally consistent with threshold estimates from psychoacoustic literature, that is, listeners often fail to prove they can hear a difference after non-controlled listening suggested that there was one. However, the fantasy of audible differences continues despite the fact of audibility thresholds.
The report is available here for the cost of $20: http://www.aes.org/e-lib/browse.cfm?elib=5549
It is $20 very
well spent for all those on this forum who still believe there are audible differences in these sorts of devices, or are being conned into buying Monster Cable and other contraptions of that ilk.
However, sadly enough, there are still those who insist the earth is flat and smoking won't harm you.
Although I will say this; if a studio were to buy one of the Oppo offerings they would likely choose the Oppo 83 SE simply because it has balanced outputs. This will keep all their connections kosher, if you will, and not allow one of their competitors to claim
their equipment isn't as good. Essentially pride of ownership, as you say. AKA vanity.