Originally Posted by goneten
What other methods work?
Listening. Over the course of several hours. Or days. While at times hooking up the competing amplifier, interconnect, etc., and listening to familiar pieces of music and determine which piece of gear is more pleasing to the ears.
The flat-earthers that proclaim the merits of level-matched-double-blind-ABX tests (although no doubt few, if any, have actually participated in them) are deluding themselves, but far worse, those neophytes who may actually believe these internet parrots.
When you have obviously different pieces of gear and you cannot tell any difference using ABX testing, then this is an indictment of the test itself, not of quality equipment. Human hearing is not at all good with sequential memory, that is what makes ABX testing completely useless, or worse, harmful to the advancement of the art and science of music reproduction.
Anyone who has ears and has spent any amount of time actually listening to good high fidelity sound systems, rather than just reading and rehashing internet tales, would find the truth for themselves. Unfortunately those of us that actually work for a living and pursue other outside interests do not have the time or patience to individually address the wild claims and statements made by those that spend their days in this online me-too club, that regurgitate crazy tales about coat hanger speaker cables and poorly done AB tests from the 70s and want to convince themselves and others that their three-hundred dollar system is indistinguishable from a five-thousand or hundred-thousand dollar system. (With proper room treatments of course! \sarcasm.)
I have never met an audiophile that wanted to pay more money. I have never known any to assume that a piece of gear is better simply because it is more expensive. On the contrary, they just want the best experience they can afford, because they can hear the difference. And they pursue this by trying different gear and tweaks to find what works best for them. I am quite sure that whatever amount of money they spend has bought them more enjoyment from music than any internet curmudgeon will ever know.