any suggestions for cables? - Page 13 - AVS Forum
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post #361 of 873 Old 12-29-2012, 07:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Nightlord View Post

 
Now... back to cables, if there's anything left to discuss in that area...

 

Was there ever?  Just use any decent cable of sound mechanical construction and you're good to go.

 

I use Monoprice myself - even importing them and paying carriage from the US to UK worked out cheaper than any I could find, at the time, in the UK of comparable quality/price. I bought a big load of them in different lengths etc all in one go. Still have some in the attic for 'spares'.

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post #362 of 873 Old 12-29-2012, 08:08 AM
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Solid conductor electrical installation wire for me.

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post #363 of 873 Old 12-29-2012, 08:29 AM
 
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In terms of construction and design, I have to assume cables are the easiest to make. I just can't see cable vendors losing sleepless nights over the conceptual design of a cable ... and then putting those design elements into practice .. and it taking THAT long. I mean seriously. Unless I'm wrong about cable design and it actually takes weeks to build a cable.

; - )
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post #364 of 873 Old 12-29-2012, 08:49 AM
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Originally Posted by amirm View Post

I have seen Arny post this graph a number of times but he never provides the actual reference or the text that went with it:

I have cited the URL where that graph is on AVS many times, the following being an example:

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1381912/amplifier-with-good-bass-slam/60#post_21451076

That web page gives a pointer to Clark's JAES paper. I put the two together in nearby posts on this thread. Bottom line, the above comment is more about someone's faulty recollections than any fault on my part.
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He goes on to say "The way to read it is that this is the kind of matching that is required for no audible differences due to mismatching, and with a reasonable safety factor."

The paper is by David Clark, and is titled "High-Resolution Subjective Testing Using a Double-Blind Comparator." And yes, he is the same person I quoted in my article on acoustics that found in listening tests that reflections can have pleasing effects and not damaging as folks assume. So it is Ironic that he is being cited as an expert witness for another listening test when folks don't want to believe other results he has published.

Anyway the above graph is Figure 2 and this is the text in the paper:

"Fig. 2 shows the degree of level match for various bandwidths and center frequencies necessary to eliminate audible frequency response effects for most music sources. The curves are compiled from fairly limited double-blind testing of a limited number of individuals. The level used was approximately 85 dB unweighted. These curves are in general agreement with the findings of others [2], [4]. In a double-blind test, response differences greater than those allowed by the curves are likely to be responsible for audible differences. "

I have bolded some key sections. First, the testing and data was not designed to be comprehensive given its limited scope and applicability at one level (85 dB).

85 dB SPL turns out to correspond to the range SPL levels at which the human ear is most sensitive to small differences. I don't now how well that was known back in days when the work behind the paper was done, but we had learned about this as a consequence of our own DBTs. Again, the above comment is clearly based on ignorance and not any fault of the source which is a peer-reviewed scientific paper.
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Second, it doesn't say what is audible and what is not. It says that if you are going to run a double blind test, try to keep the variations below this level. As otherwise, it will "likely" impact the results.

If a reader is capable of adding 2 and 2 and coming up with 4, then he realizes that the chart is exactly about what is inaudible.
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There certainly is no "reasonable safety factor" as my read is that it is the opposite: there is a chance there will be audible differences if you followed the graph.

Again, again if one is familiar with experimental design one would realize that any criteria like this that was intelligently designed would not lie precisely on the threshold of audibility for the average person, but includes a safety factor so that it applies in all reasonable conditions.

Since I was involved in the development of this information and have made use of it many times of the past > 30 years my comments about its usage are relevant and authoritative.
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post #365 of 873 Old 12-29-2012, 08:53 AM
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Originally Posted by amirm View Post

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Originally Posted by Nightlord View Post

LTS-the "sound-technological society" here in Sweden have been using a Before-After blindtest for quite many years now for this. And while this is quite the magnifying glass for differences, it's so far been quite hard to find anything that doesn't alter the input in a hearable way. Though one can argue that in normal conditions those amps only having minor flaws may not be distinguishable. But saying that no differances exist within operating range has been debunked here for quite some time. Personally I would pick anything tested by them with only small flaws without hesitation. (Best so far is a Bryston - after Bryston changed their circuits following the initial test/feedback from LTS. Very nice with a manufacturer who takes the time to listen to feedback!)
As someone just post, I seem to be the only one who cares about fresh and innovative tests of amplifiers as done by LTS. You would think that there would be value in knowing if an amp colors its input. But no. Why? Because it kicks the door open ever so slightly that other audiophile views may be right, causing some to get nervous and try to dismiss it anyway they can. Here are the relevant discussions so that we don't repeat them:
Note one of the first replies from Arny: "The problem is that all of the evaluations appear to have been sighted. That makes them more like a public opinion survey than an actual audible fact." So blind testing by a respected organization is considered a public opinion survey. Arny used to go on and on about a Dolby listening tests regarding jitter. One problem: it was a sighted test!

The above is a false claim. The Dolby jitter tests were not sighted. Amir has made this assertion here before, was corrected at the time and obviously declines to benefit from the experience and wisdom of others.
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post #366 of 873 Old 12-29-2012, 09:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Nightlord View Post


If before-after shows 'big' difference between them, and ABX doesn't, then I don't see what kind of audiophile that would be content with ABX results.

You seem confused about testing.

The so-called "Before and after test" has been around for 40-50 years. It was called a "straight wire bypass" test. In the end we can call it just another kind an "A/B test".

A/B tests can be performed using many strategies, such as sighted, ABX, ABC/hr, triangle, etc., etc.

Point being that we don't choose testing methodologies based on how they provide evidence for our favorite hobby horse issue.
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post #367 of 873 Old 12-29-2012, 09:27 AM
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Originally Posted by arnyk View Post

Point being that we don't choose testing methodologies based on how they provide evidence for our favorite hobby horse issue.

That I agree to completely. Do you think I want amps to behave differently? Of course not. I would want all amps to be ideal ones. I want all speakers to be perfect matches for peoples rooms too.
But we cannot have everything we wish for unfortunately.

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post #368 of 873 Old 12-29-2012, 09:32 AM
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Originally Posted by Nightlord View Post

Solid conductor electrical installation wire for me.

 

I used to use that too in the 70s. There was a vogue for it in the UK at that time. I just use decent 14AWG speaker wire now along with Monoprice interconnects.

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post #369 of 873 Old 12-29-2012, 09:35 AM
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Originally Posted by arnyk View Post

You seem confused about testing.

No, you're just reading it out of context. That generally happens when you read with the goal of wanting to disagree rather than wanting to follow what the writer really means. I'm well aware that Before/After has been used before LTS, that it is a form of AB etc.
The discussion was referring to the LTS Before/after on one hand and a particular form of ABX brought in by others to the discussion. That's what the short form was referring to, nothing else.

You also managed to miss that we'd finished discussing it.

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post #370 of 873 Old 12-29-2012, 09:41 AM
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Originally Posted by kbarnes701 View Post

I used to use that too in the 70s. There was a vogue for it in the UK at that time. I just use decent 14AWG speaker wire now along with Monoprice interconnects.

Definitely easier to work with. I'd have to measure the two against each other to see if the impedance was right - my speakers are designed for a specific cable impedance range and it's been tabled which solid electrical cables matches that for different cable lengths. So it's more work NOT following that than not. It probably would not be a very big difference, but if I can optimize something without too much work, then I will.

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post #371 of 873 Old 12-29-2012, 09:45 AM
 
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Arny, I have a question that requires your several decades of knowledge. Am I correct or incorrect in saying that a tonearm cable is less complex (or on par, at least) to design and build than a toaster?
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post #372 of 873 Old 12-29-2012, 09:47 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Nightlord View Post

You missed the stressed part of what I wrote, the emphasis was on _you_, not on everyday use. I expect though, that amps are made to do their job, rather than make assumptions about how they will be used.
You "expect"? You mean, you are just guessing. No need to answer because you made it clear with the following half of your own sentence. To make amps to do their job, they (designers) will first have to have an idea of how it will be used such as consumer home setting, commercial theater, live venue, indoor or outdoor use... etc. There are people who get paid to investigate and formulate those aspects. They are often found in marketing department of companies that manufacture things like amplifier.
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I for one expects much more from the gear than to cope the everyday use, it's the odd days when it really has to perform that's important in my book. If I fill the room with fellow sound nerds, I'm certain we'll end up playing 20dB higher than everyday use and much more difficult and revealing material. That's what my gear is chosen for, not the normal 80-85 perhaps even 90dB normal use.
If someone buys a consumer level amp and uses it for something beyond the limits of its intended design and then calling it a poorly performing amp is... dumb.
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Not as far as I know. Doesn't mean it hasn't been done.
Please let me know when you run into one in the future.
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If before-after shows 'big' difference between them, and ABX doesn't, then I don't see what kind of audiophile that would be content with ABX results. It's not like you will save any money on it, the strength fom LTS testing is that you can easily find the stellar performers in the cheap ranges that will outperform many much more expensive high-end gear. If you will be buying just anything based on the mantra that all sound the same, then it won't hurt you to pick the better before-after specimens. In your book you will be getting the same, if LTS has a point, you'll be getting something unusually good. If that isn't win-win, I don't know what is.
Bryston amps are rather pricy. Why should a consumer pay that much if there is no audible benefit for typical consumer setting? Oh, because it did better under "torture test"?
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post #373 of 873 Old 12-29-2012, 10:03 AM
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Originally Posted by diomania View Post

Bryston amps are rather pricy. Why should a consumer pay that much if there is no audible benefit for typical consumer setting?

Bryston IS a consumer level amp. It's not pro gear.

Some of us do have gear that has not problems utilizing power and quality like that. There are lots of people paying much more for their gear than the Brystons cost without getting as much performance from it.

And a "typical consumer" will not be at AVS at all - they'll be quite content with the built in speakers in their TV. And an ipod or computer speakers for music.

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post #374 of 873 Old 12-29-2012, 10:06 AM
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Originally Posted by diomania View Post

If someone buys a consumer level amp and uses it for something beyond the limits of its intended design and then calling it a poorly performing amp is... dumb.

No one said anything using something outside it's limits. I said that the system is set up using gear for averaging 20dB more than they will normally be used. They are at all times within their limits.

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post #375 of 873 Old 12-29-2012, 10:07 AM
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Please let me know when you run into one in the future.

Why don't you make it happen, then?

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post #376 of 873 Old 12-29-2012, 10:32 AM
 
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Please answer my question post haste!
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post #377 of 873 Old 12-29-2012, 11:43 AM
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Originally Posted by Nightlord View Post

Bryston IS a consumer level amp. It's not pro gear.
Some of us do have gear that has not problems utilizing power and quality like that. There are lots of people paying much more for their gear than the Brystons cost without getting as much performance from it.
And a "typical consumer" will not be at AVS at all - they'll be quite content with the built in speakers in their TV. And an ipod or computer speakers for music.

They are marketed as pro amps and in fact used in many recording studios and mix theaters. Their construction is also typical of pro audio gear. However nothing prevents a consumer from using them and many do.

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post #378 of 873 Old 12-29-2012, 11:44 AM
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Arny says the Dolby test is blind. If you searched for the word blind in the Dolby AES paper you find zero references. If you search for statistical analysis of whether the results are random or not, you won't find that either. If you search for ABX, you guessed it, you will be out of luck there too.

What we do find in the paper are the following regarding how the listening test was conducted:

"In order to reduce testing time and the number of reversals necessary, a self-regulated up down threshold test was devised. This test shortens the feedback loop of the up-down threshold test by providing the subject with direct control over the amount of jitter added to the program source. This allows the subject to quickly identify and home in on the audible threshold. During this process, the subject was allowed to confirm his or her threshold using an AB comparison box. This box allowed the listener to compare the low-jitter bitstream with the jittered bitstream and further refine his or her threshold.

[…]

A function generator was connected to this input and used to set the jitter frequency and level throughout these tests. The jittered output of the JM-1 was connected to input 'B' of the AB comparator box, which is used to compare the two bitstreams.

[…]

Self-Administered Threshold Evaluation
[skipping the section on setting the level]

After the output level was adjusted, testing began and the subject was instructed to adjust the jitter level until their threshold of audibility was reached. During testing, the subject was free to use the AB comparator to compare the two bitstreams for audible differences. This allowed for further refinement of the threshold by providing the subject with ready access to a low-jitter reference. Once a threshold was reached the result was recorded. This test was repeated for all of the selected program material."


Note that the tester himself was in charge of changing the level of jitter until he determined the points at which he could or could not hear it. There is no way such a test then would be blind let alone double blind. The tester is changing the level up or down and with it, has that bias factor (i.e. knowledge of whether he was increasing or decreasing jitter). The comparator box was an additional aid to him, to use if he felt the need to refine his levels of detection. This is what the test harness looked like:

i-4MttbrH-XL.png

Note that it is a simple AB box, NOT ABX. So much for only ABX tests being acceptable in AES or industry testing in general. Even there, we see that the AB test is used sighted. The tester at all times knows which input is which on the AB box. How else would he use it to refine his detection levels?

If the above is the definition of a double blind ABX test, then we have to say the following cable test is also good:

Tester is given 10 different audio cables and a short zip cord. He is given a box where he can insert his audio cables. He puts them in one and a time until he hears a difference. We note the brand and identity of that cable. We also give him an AB test where he can confirm his answer by comparing said cable against the short zip cord. He does not have to use that box if he does not want to. It is up to him.

Let's see who will accept the result of the above cable test. Anyone? I suspect none of you will accept the results of that test. Yet Arny goes around promoting the Dolby test as "blind" and authoritative.

The bottom line here is very clear: when the tests agree with our preconceived notions, any test will do. When it doesn't, then no amount of rigor is sufficient. I don't call this objectivity. You have to have equal standards here. As soon as you shift them with the outcome, then it really doesn't matter what objections you bring to the table. It is a biased assessment worst than a biased test itself.

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post #379 of 873 Old 12-29-2012, 11:52 AM
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The skeptics here want you to go away...that's part of their goal. There are "very very few" believers here that post because of the stern opposition. They are here alright, but they rather not face the usual crew.
esh516, they try and make everyone believe here that the majority do not believe in audible/visual differences in cables, power cords, amps, processors, power conditioners or blu-ray players, but if you go to Audiogon and other sites, the majority there do. The 10 or so very vocal skeptics here make you think that the thought of "anything" making a difference is ludicrous. Their views are out numbered by hundreds or maybe thousands to 1 ratio at Audiogon and other sites. This is why they are here to counter the "mass hysteria" without too much opposition.
There really should be a new forum here called "the official nothing matters forum" this way these disputes with believers would occur less often.
Happy Holidays and enjoy your system.
The real shame is that young people without much information will come here first and believe the self-appointed experts and as a result be deprived of much of the joy of the music listening experience. I have tried at times to warn neophytes of the opinions of the handful of curmudgeons who portend to speak with authority on a subject in which they in reality have no real world experience or even scientific curiosity. It seems that since they themselves cannot tell the difference between quality and crap, they then don't want others to enjoy quality.
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post #380 of 873 Old 12-29-2012, 11:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Glimmie View Post

They are marketed as pro amps and in fact used in many recording studios and mix theaters. Their construction is also typical of pro audio gear. However nothing prevents a consumer from using them and many do.

Not here. If I take the list of gear sold through the same place as imports them for Sweden/Norway you have:

Accuphase
Avantgarde Acoustic
Bryston
Cary Audio
Cabasse
Creek Audio
Epos
Final
Isol-8
Jeff Rowland
Proac
Solidsteel
Stax
Theta Digital

Nothing "pro" about that list in my book.

Looking at Brystons pages it says they do both. There are 2 lines for power amp SST2 and SST2 PRO. The amp mentioned before would therefore come from the consumer line.

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post #381 of 873 Old 12-29-2012, 12:42 PM
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Originally Posted by amirm View Post

Arny says the Dolby test is blind.

The above is a false claim, and unfortunately provides more evidence that the claimant is not a reliable source of information.

Here is what I actually said:

"The Dolby jitter tests were not sighted. Amir has made this assertion here before, was corrected at the time and obviously declines to benefit from the experience and wisdom of others. "

So, what is the difference between "not sighted" and blind?

Let's get back to basics. If there are only blind and sighted tests then obviously saying not sighted has the same meaning as blind and I'm splitting hairs.

There are in fact more than 2 kinds of testing methodologies such as:

Double Blind
Single Blind
Sighted

One of my big concerns is the many instances where people seem to intentionally confuse single and double blind testing with the apparent goal of obtaining serious acceptance for the results of single blind tests, which are known to have a high probability of being inherently flawed.
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post #382 of 873 Old 12-29-2012, 01:13 PM
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Note that the tester himself was in charge of changing the level of jitter until he determined the points at which he could or could not hear it. There is no way such a test then would be blind let alone double blind.
Of course it's blind—the subject did not know the "right" answer. That's what makes a test blind. Now, since it's a threshold test, there isn't a predetermined right answer, but that just means there's nothing that needs to be hidden from the subject.

One could construct a non-blind threshold test. Imagine that the dial indicated numerically how much jitter was being added at any point. Then any prior knowledge the subject had about jitter levels would bias his response.

Which suggests another way to look at this issue: Where's the bias? What did the research design fail to control for? (I can think of one thing, but I'm not about to help Amir out of the hole he's dug for himself.)
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If the above is the definition of a double blind ABX test, then we have to say the following cable test is also good:

Tester is given 10 different audio cables and a short zip cord. He is given a box where he can insert his audio cables. He puts them in one and a time until he hears a difference. We note the brand and identity of that cable. We also give him an AB test where he can confirm his answer by comparing said cable against the short zip cord. He does not have to use that box if he does not want to. It is up to him.
Well, this test design is pretty silly, because it's not a threshold test at all. But also it's not blind, because the subject can see what the cable is, and that will influence his response.

A more analogous test would be one that permitted the subject to dial in as much resistance as he wished, to determine the threshold at which it became audible. That would be blind, for the reasons given above.

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post #383 of 873 Old 12-29-2012, 01:16 PM
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The real shame is that young people without much information will come here first and believe the self-appointed experts and as a result be deprived of much of the joy of the music listening experience.
How does knowing what does and does not make an audible difference affect "the joy of the music listening experience"? If you think comparing components and experiencing "the joy of the music listening experience" have anything to do with each other, you are doing one or the other or both wrong.

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post #384 of 873 Old 12-29-2012, 01:47 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Nightlord View Post

It's not pro gear.
Did I say it is?
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Some of us do have gear that has not problems utilizing power and quality like that. There are lots of people paying much more for their gear than the Brystons cost
How many people? Numbers please.
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without getting as much performance from it.
What kind of performance? Is it audible performance? If so, in what kind of setting was it?
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And a "typical consumer" will not be at AVS at all - they'll be quite content with the built in speakers in their TV. And an ipod or computer speakers for music.
How do you know? Did you take a poll?
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post #385 of 873 Old 12-29-2012, 01:52 PM
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Originally Posted by diomania View Post


Bryston amps are rather pricy. Why should a consumer pay that much if there is no audible benefit for typical consumer setting? Oh, because it did better under "torture test"?

Because they want a thick front panel, feel confident with a 20-year warranty, or any number of reasons beyond purely how it may (or may not) sound.

Just because there is a knob doesn't mean you should turn it.
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post #386 of 873 Old 12-29-2012, 01:55 PM
 
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No one said anything using something outside it's limits. I said that the system is set up using gear for averaging 20dB more than they will normally be used. They are at all times within their limits.
Reaching amplifier's limit depends largely on the speakers especially when you are talking about 20dB more output. For high efficiency speakers, it will be easy for many amps. For less efficient speakers, even Bryston amp will struggle to meet such demand.
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post #387 of 873 Old 12-29-2012, 02:07 PM
 
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Why don't you make it happen, then?
I'm not but if I was trying to make a purchase choice between Bryston 14B SST and cheaper amp, I would have listened to them at same volume blind. I've heard about such comparisons among amps of same class and I have yet to find one where there was audible difference between the one with better performance on paper vs. some average run of the mill product as long as it's chosen properly for the speakers. Have you ever sat in a level matched DBT of amps?
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post #388 of 873 Old 12-29-2012, 02:09 PM
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The skeptics here want you to go away...that's part of their goal. There are "very very few" believers here that post because of the stern opposition. They are here alright, but they rather not face the usual crew.
esh516, they try and make everyone believe here that the majority do not believe in audible/visual differences in cables, power cords, amps, processors, power conditioners or blu-ray players, but if you go to Audiogon and other sites, the majority there do. The 10 or so very vocal skeptics here make you think that the thought of "anything" making a difference is ludicrous. Their views are out numbered by hundreds or maybe thousands to 1 ratio at Audiogon and other sites. This is why they are here to counter the "mass hysteria" without too much opposition.
There really should be a new forum here called "the official nothing matters forum" this way these disputes with believers would occur less often.
Happy Holidays and enjoy your system.
The real shame is that young people without much information will come here first and believe the self-appointed experts and as a result be deprived of much of the joy of the music listening experience.

That's a concern that you and I share.

We see a lot of self-appointed experts who give out pretty strange advice - advice that amounts to contradictions of what science tells us about sound quality.
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I have tried at times to warn neophytes of the opinions of the handful of curmudgeons who portend to speak with authority on a subject in which they in reality have no real world experience or even scientific curiosity.

Got any specific examples?
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It seems that since they themselves cannot tell the difference between quality and crap, they then don't want others to enjoy quality.

Again, do you have any real world examples of this?
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post #389 of 873 Old 12-29-2012, 04:25 PM
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Two out of three choose ragu over prego in side by side blind taste test!
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post #390 of 873 Old 12-29-2012, 04:37 PM
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Back in the day the "S" in AVS stood for something that set this audio/visual forum apart from others.....

That is heritage for this forum, shall we just let that go the wayside?

It's similar at gearslutz, at either forum if you post just subjectively you'd get a teaching from members.

Btw, in a double blind test I did prefer Pepsi over Coke 4 out of 5 times....
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