Originally Posted by Martycool007
With all due respect sir, comparing the pro-audio world to the consumer based "HiFi" world is kind of an apples to oranges comparison. In the pro-audio realm there are many different pieces of equipment that are in the signal chain at any given time. Engineers are manipulating various elements of the recordings and modifying the musical tracks for many various reasons. In the consumer based "HiFi" realm, all we have to do is play bank the track that has already undergone the mixing and mastering stages. I am not the best at explaining what is going through my head, I just want to say that this:
Last year some buddies and myself decided we were going to do a blind amplifier comparison at my buddy Shawn's HIFI store. We did this after hours and between my buddy Shawn's McIntosh (monster $10,000 monoblocks!) , my buddy Don's Parasound Halo (can't remember the model) and my Behringer iNuke amplifiers. We had another guy do the switching who was not involved in the test. We had Shawn, Don, myself and several of his installers all sitting in the listening section. It was the equivalent of a somewhat scientific double blind test. We put money down on this test. Shawn said that he could easily pick the McIntosh, and Don and I were of the opinion that he could not.
Now I am not going to wade through all of the fine details, but just want to say that these were all level matched, and a/b tested with the amplifiers being behind us so that we could not see.
Bottom line results were that no one could pick the McIntosh from the iNuke, nor the Parasound.
If we want to converse like adults, we should first agree that if one is to compare amplifiers of equal output in a "blind test", lets concede that we're not talking/comparing "loudness" or "watts", but instead comparing overall sound quality.
If the test is done systematically (as any test should), the results will be conclusive.
If the test is done in a nonsensical manner (different pieces of music at different volumes, randomly switching amplifiers), then the results will also be nonsensical and inconclusive, as there will be no possible way of making a comparison.
Often used, common sense measures in amplifier comparisons, (which I'm sure your engineer used in order to make this test worthy of quoting) are-
1- Use only one audio sample (song or piece of music).
2- Keep this sample at the same volume throughout the testing.
3- Swap the amps at least 6 times, in the same order-
1'st time- McIntosh, Parasound, Behringer.The listeners mark down which one they thought sounded best.
2'nd time- McIntosh, Parasound, Behringer. The listeners mark down which one they thought sounded best.
4- Perhaps run the test a third time.
For the test to be conclusive, the listeners should know that the amplifiers are in the same order each time (so that a comparison can be made).
Obviously, the listeners should not know which amp is being played, or in what order.
If you run through the test this way, I'm really not sure why it would be that difficult to tell which amp you like best/sounds the best.