Fair enough. I know that I said 'knowledge', which I agree, is probably not the apropriate term here, but I really meant 'experience'. My whole point was that I believe personal feedback is relevant here.
If for nothing else, than to determine under what circumstances someone arrived at their conclusions. Then, you can form your own opinion of that person's *experience* and mix it together with liberal amounts of technical data to see where you come out.
Which is exactly what is done, and it's just what you complained about
: a *skeptical* opinion formed about the claims made from experience, when that experience is 'sighted' comparison, and the technical data don't support the claims either. So what, really, are you objecting to?
Fundamentally, we're not talking about drug trials or refuting the concept of a geocentric universe. It's just comparing CD players. Sure, you can cite chapter and verse on published data and say, well, the experiments have already been done and I KNOW it's not going to matter, so I won't test anything and just KNOW that I'm right--no sense in reinventing the wheel.
But who on the 'objective' side is saying "I KNOW" it's not going to matter, etc without qualification? In fact, it's been agreed that audible differences are POSSIBLE (measurable differences are almost CERTAIN). But possible is not the same as likely. In that regard it is very much
like drug trials (which rarely offer 100% yes/no answers), and even geocentricity, because ALL scientific claims are claims of likelihood at heart. The strength and amount of data on 'CDPs likely to sound different' versus 'likely to sound the same' (when level-matched) are NOT the same -- the preponderance of technical data do NOT support 'likely audible difference' (the measured differences tend to be very small from a perceptual standpoint), and neither do data on the accuracy of sighted listening.