Debate Thread: Scott's Hi-res Audio Test - Page 55 - AVS Forum
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Old 07-05-2014, 11:40 AM
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Originally Posted by RobertR View Post
I would like to point out that the "feeding their families" aspect essentially applies to any business, including moviemaking, restaurants, house painters, and car repair. That doesn't mean any of them can't be taken to task for shoddy work.
I am not saying they shouldn't be taken to task. But even when a review is negative, I still feel the designer and manufacturer should be paid respect, not made fun of, as you are suggesting.

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Old 07-05-2014, 11:43 AM
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Originally Posted by stereoeditor View Post
I am not saying they shouldn't be taken to task. But even when a review is negative, I still feel the designer and manufacturer should be paid respect, not made fun of, as you are suggesting.

John Atkinson
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I made no such suggestion. You chose to create it.
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Old 07-05-2014, 11:46 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by RobertR View Post
You're not obligated to write like Roger Ebert, of course, but I would like to point out that the "feeding their families" aspect essentially applies to any business, including moviemaking, restaurants, house painters, and car repair. That doesn't mean any of them can't be taken to task for shoddy work.
I took the AVR manufacturers to task for far worse performance on HDMI versus S/PDIF. What was the reaction from you all? Was it appreciated? Not at all. Every attempt was made to make excuses for them.

Clearly you don't mean what you wrote.

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Old 07-05-2014, 11:52 AM
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I made no such suggestion. You chose to create it.
My apologies. I mistakenly thought I was responding to Chu Gai, who had written the Ebert parody.

But my point remains: that even when a review is negative, the reviewer still needs to treat the designer and manufacturer with respect.

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Old 07-05-2014, 11:54 AM
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I took the AVR manufacturers to task for far worse performance on HDMI versus S/PDIF.
Why should people be taken to task for something that's not noticeable? It's not shoddy performance if it makes no audible difference. You never have been able to demonstrate that there is, so spare me your silly claim.
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Old 07-05-2014, 11:59 AM
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Originally Posted by stereoeditor View Post
My apologies. I mistakenly thought I was responding to Chu Gai, who had written the Ebert parody.

But my point remains: that even when a review is negative, the reviewer still needs to treat the designer and manufacturer with respect.

John Atkinson
Editor, Stereophile
I tend to agree with you, John. People should be afforded a certain level of dignity. However, I sometimes make a bit of an exception for people whose sense of self-importance is so inflated that their pomposity needs to be deflated. This partly explains the Ebertesque language used in reviewing things such as Michael Bay movies.
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Old 07-05-2014, 12:13 PM
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I tend to agree with you, John. People should be afforded a certain level of dignity. However, I sometimes make a bit of an exception for people whose sense of self-importance is so inflated that their pomposity needs to be deflated. This partly explains the Ebertesque language used in reviewing things such as Michael Bay movies.
Agree with both you and John.
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Old 07-05-2014, 12:14 PM
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Originally Posted by RobertR
People have said multiple times that anyone who wishes to spend a lot of money on the "jewelry" aspects of audio is free to do so. The problem arises when people claim that spending all that money makes an audible difference.
Lots of money might not get you an audible difference. But the way you experience audio might be different. Like driving a Trabant vs. driving a Maserati. Driving is basically the same but the driving experience can be very different especially when driver is a car fanatic.
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Old 07-05-2014, 12:16 PM
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Same back to you for claiming we don't need anything better than 16/44.1. And that we want to advocate truncation of music before it gets to us.
While your logic is undeniably correct, the issue I have with "HD" delivery is the absence of any way to evaluate the audio quality of the master.
At some point, we a giving manicures to heart attack victims.

Properly produced 44.1/16 files should be Indistinguishable but there is no perfect deliver system.
Using a DAC/USB/Software/OS there are opportunities for errors to occur.

Since every point is debatable, this one will be as well. But it is a simple test for those using DACs on a PC.
Play music using different drivers, ASIO, Kernel Streaming, WASAPI Event driven, or Direct Sound.

If you can figure out a way to A/B or ABX these, great. I haven't so I do the best I can
Some possible outcomes:

1) You cannot hear any difference
2) You cannot hear a difference, and pick the recommended output (in most cases WASAPI Event)
3) You can hear a difference, but it must be due to bias problems so and pick the recommended driver
4) You can hear a difference and pick the one you like best.
5) What is a DAC?

Where I dogmatically, a so called "Objectivist" and there were a difference, what would I make of that?
The difference between some Objectivists and Scientists, is a Objectivist cannot entertain the possibility that there is a difference, whereas a scientist find a difference, is intrigued and looks for the cause. The Objectivists only sees bias, which of course, taken to an extreme is bias.

For the record, J River, USB DAC, iPad JRemote have made a HUGE difference to my system in convenience and the audio quality is pristine.

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Old 07-05-2014, 12:16 PM - Thread Starter
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Why should people be taken to task for something that's not noticeable? It's not shoddy performance if it makes no audible difference.
Of course it is shoddy. You are being the PR company for the manufacture in trying to paper over this. The AVR has two types of digital inputs. The consumer expectation is that they perform identically not that HDMI is far worse. Remember, "digital is digital" argument?

You are no advocate of consumers with this type of attitude. You simply made that argument to JA as to advance your internet battle. "Why don't you call out shoddy manufacturers." Is he supposed to do that with your blind eye or his experienced one?

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Originally Posted by robert
You never have been able to demonstrate that there is, so spare me your silly claim.
Oh, so absence of data is data again? We use measurements to quantify performance of a system. JA can't go run double blind tests for every equipment review. Remember, you couldn't be bothered to run Arny's test so please don't post that he should. If it is not good enough for you, it is not good enough for anyone else.

JA performs measurements and you claimed that he needs to follow those measurements with damning statements of the manufacturer. That is precisely what I did yet you are not remotely able to accept the very thing you suggest.

Instead of posting another argumentative post, how about running some blind test and reporting on its results?

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Old 07-05-2014, 12:19 PM
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Originally Posted by RobertR View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by amirm
I took the AVR manufacturers to task for far worse performance on HDMI versus S/PDIF.
Why should people be taken to task for something that's not noticeable? It's not shoddy performance if it makes no audible difference.
But it is shoddy, inelegant engineering. It also reveals that the designer(s) of the product were not taking a systems approach to their work but were instead assembling modules with no thought as to their unwanted interactions. Wouldn't you rather people purchase a product that may not be more expensive but its measured performance indicates that it was elegantly and responsibly engineered?

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Old 07-05-2014, 12:26 PM
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It seems to me, much to the turmoil in this thread has to do with personality and not science (or even manners).

For example, where I to ask my older brother if the glass is half full or half empty.

He would say:

Quote:
Glass sucks!
They break, if you step broken glass you get stiches, you can find broken glass everywhere.


No arguing with the logic, but I still like glasses

- Rich
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Old 07-05-2014, 12:27 PM
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Oh, so absence of data is data again?
Absence of data on whether people can actually hear the difference is indeed absence of data, and that's exactly what you have--nothing that demonstrates it's shoddy with respect to what people hear.

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JA performs measurements and you claimed that he needs to follow those measurements with damning statements of the manufacturer. That is precisely what I did yet you are not remotely able to accept the very thing you suggest.
You're begging the question. If something is not audibly shoddy in an audio device, then why should the manufacturer be taken to task by the buyer?

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Old 07-05-2014, 12:44 PM
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People have said multiple times that anyone who wishes to spend a lot of money on the "jewelry" aspects of audio is free to do so. The problem arises when people claim that spending all that money makes an audible difference.
That works fine and everyone could agree at some level, but something's do make audible differences.
And who is in charge of the definition of "all that money".

Is anyone who moves to separates a horses ass or does it depend on the separates?
If you buy separates, and not Crown amps are you an idiot?
If you pay twice the amount of a value brand because you like the aesthetics, company and support, are you a moron?

Everyone makes their own value judgments and select equipment accordingly.

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Old 07-05-2014, 12:49 PM
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But it is shoddy, inelegant engineering. It also reveals that the designer(s) of the product were not taking a systems approach to their work but were instead assembling modules with no thought as to their unwanted interactions. Wouldn't you rather people purchase a product that may not be more expensive but its measured performance indicates that it was elegantly and responsibly engineered?

John Atkinson
Editor, Stereophile
If you're asking me whether shooting for improved performance that involves NO tradeoffs is nice, sure. But such a thing is far easier said than done. The old saying is "you can't have it fast, cheap, AND good. Pick two of the three".
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Old 07-05-2014, 12:53 PM
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That works fine and everyone could agree at some level, but something's do make audible differences.
And some things don't. That's the point.

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If you pay twice the amount of a value brand because you like the aesthetics, company and support, are you a moron?
If someone values the aesthetics that much, I say go for it. If someone thinks that a gorgeous front panel is going to make an objective difference in the sound, I indeed say he's a moron.
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Old 07-05-2014, 12:59 PM
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[QUOTE=amirm;25507826]It is your responsibility to back your claims with data Arny. This is what you ask others to do, right? If your claim is that there is no benefit to high resolution audio, then you must prove that. [QUOTE]


Incorrect. The technology that I support the sound quality of is the CD format. My claims are irrelevant to any new format that claims to be audibly superior to it.


It is not my fault that the advocates of so-called Hi Rez audio are no less than 14 years in arrears on their need to provide adequate proof of their claims for sonic superiority for their new format. As I have pointed out, they slough off repeated requests and miss any and all opportunities to do the right thing.


As far as the adequacy of the CD format goes I and a number of other people have indeed performed ABX DBTs in which a far younger self with far better hearing acuity, as well as a goodly number of randomly chosen test subjects were unable to distinguish it from a plain piece of wire. Those tests are probably not documented to your standards Amir, but I can't undo what was and was not done one or more decades ago.


I disqualify myself from any ABX testing or other listening tests for any purpose but personal entertainment on the grounds of physical infirmity and impairment due to being 67 years old. The adverse effects of that kind of age on human ears is well documented. Therefore any calls for me to "Prove my claims with my own ears" are completely out of order.
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Old 07-05-2014, 01:08 PM
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And some things don't. That's the point.
Without a definition of that point, there is no point. That's the point

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And some things don't. That's the point.
If someone values the aesthetics that much, I say go for it. If someone thinks that a gorgeous front panel is going to make an objective difference in the sound, I indeed say he's a moron.
I must have missed the posts where folks believe that gorgeous improved sound quality.

Dealers in my area will sell you McIntoch with B&W and Revel Ultima and sell you NAD integrated maps for the Performa line.
Form a performance point of view, those choices do not make sense to me.
It is not something I would pay for, but others like it. That does not upset me.
I would rather have them stay in business and for that they need to sell impressive gear.

I had an ATI3005 at a very good price and sounded fantastic driving my system. The front panel was not appreciated by my significant other.
That was one beast of an amp. Still, on occasion, I could illuminate the clipping indicators
I could hear the ATI mechanical transformer hum from my seating position. It bothered my, so I returned it.
It was replaced with a Parasound A51. it is built in Taiwan (I think) and it has a very attractive faceplate.
Both are excellent amps and belong in the market place.

I respect all the aforementioned companies and their products.

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Old 07-05-2014, 01:22 PM
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Without a definition of that point, there is no point. That's the point
I can give you an example: Someone comes home with a brand new $15k+ amplifier with a gorgeous, inch-thick front panel and nice LED lights. He's convinced based on reviews and a sighted dealer demo that the sound of the thing has a "deeper, wider soundstage" and/or "greater dimensionality" or "better rhythm" than much less expensive amps. But does it? If he compared it to much cheaper amps without knowing what he was listening to, would he hear those wonderful qualities? Does he have any clue what measured amplifier parameters give rise to them? I don't think so. HOWEVER, if he brings it home and simply says "hey, it might sound the same, but man oh man, that front panel and the prestige of owning it are worth $15k+!!", then I say sit back and enjoy your audio jewelry.
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Old 07-05-2014, 01:38 PM
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I can give you an example: Someone comes home with a brand new $15k+ amplifier with a gorgeous, inch-thick front panel and nice LED lights. He's convinced based on reviews and a sighted dealer demo that the sound of the thing has a "deeper, wider soundstage" and/or "greater dimensionality" or "better rhythm" than much less expensive amps. But does it? If he compared it to much cheaper amps without knowing what he was listening to, would he hear those wonderful qualities? Does he have any clue what measured amplifier parameters give rise to them? I don't think so. HOWEVER, if he brings it home and simply says "hey, it might sound the same, but man oh man, that front panel and the prestige of owning it are worth $15k+!!", then I say sit back and enjoy your audio jewelry.
And, I would agree with you. But the well healed are more likely to do that.
Hopefully, that person did not buy gorgeous crap
I like pretty, some systems with fantastic speakers, giant interconnects, amp stands. They are beautiful. Personally, I don't buy jewelry.
If I were a billionaire, I might.

Since you have been on forums for a while, you understand that there are those who feel strongly that buying ATI/Parasound is a complete waste of money and offers no sonic benefit over Crown and Emotiva. Sometimes they are right. I do not think they are always right. It depends on the listener, system, and room.
I put the listener first because, I have relatives and friends that are perfectly happy with HTIB. They believe the only possible merit in a system like mine is found in the volume knob. So how loud can it go? Different strokes.

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Old 07-05-2014, 01:49 PM
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So just one more time, and for the record. You think the moon landings were faked. There is no sarcasm in your statement. Is that what you are saying?
Of course he is kidding just being contrarian and trying to make some kind of point here.
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Old 07-05-2014, 02:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Chu Gai View Post
...

"Many speakers are bad. Only a few declare themselves the work of people deficient in taste, judgment, reason, tact, morality, and common sense. Was there no one connected with this project who performed any measurements, considered the sonic deficiencies , evaluated the final product and vomited?”
Wouldn't that be committing suicide?
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Old 07-05-2014, 02:21 PM
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Originally Posted by RichB View Post
It seems to me, much to the turmoil in this thread has to do with personality and not science (or even manners).

For example, where I to ask my older brother if the glass is half full or half empty.

He would say:

Quote:
Glass suck!
They break, if you step broken glass you get stiches, you can find broken glass everywhere.


No arguing with the logic, but I still like glasses

- Rich
First of all, thanks to everyone who provided feedback on the "Cliff's Notes" question. I'm not sure we're any closer to the answer, but I guess we have one half of the thesis statement completed.

Half full or half empty? I think we're having a problem seeing the glass.

Oh, and as to your brother's comment about the glass being half full or half empty - - gotta love a response like that. I wanna party with you cowboy....
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Old 07-05-2014, 02:36 PM
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Great thread.
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Old 07-05-2014, 02:50 PM
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Originally Posted by stereoeditor View Post
But it is shoddy, inelegant engineering. It also reveals that the designer(s) of the product were not taking a systems approach to their work but were instead assembling modules with no thought as to their unwanted interactions. Wouldn't you rather people purchase a product that may not be more expensive but its measured performance indicates that it was elegantly and responsibly engineered?

John Atkinson
Editor, Stereophile
I'd rather the manufacturer take the savings and make the component cheaper or more feature-laden than wasting resources satisfying some sort of engineering fetish.

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Old 07-05-2014, 03:10 PM
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What features do I want in an amp?

On, and off. Maybe a remote, too.

Oh, I already have that, I'm set.

I'll be back later...


links::: 1.5RQ > digits > 1177a > OpenDRC-DI > DEQ2496 > DAC2 > KCT > FPB 350mcx > reQuest > Sweetspot
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Old 07-05-2014, 03:17 PM - Thread Starter
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Absence of data on whether people can actually hear the difference is indeed absence of data, and that's exactly what you have--nothing that demonstrates it's shoddy with respect to what people hear.
That is your lay opinion of course. As an engineer I can look at measurements of a system and quickly assess that it is poor/shoddy design. That you think it is not based on no listening tests or any other data whatsoever is neither here nor there. Your opinion and please forgive me for being direct, doesn't matter. A group of doctors don't get their patients to tell them how to do their job. But somehow people with religion in audio think they can lecture an engineer on what is or is not good design.

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Originally Posted by rob
You're begging the question. If something is not audibly shoddy in an audio device, then why should the manufacturer be taken to task by the buyer?
Since you are a thief, why should we believe anything you say here? What is that you say? You are not a thief? Well, by the same logic, you can't claim "not audibly shoddy" and then go on to make a case on that. You have zero, absolutely zero data on whether it is audible or not. Just the same as me not having any data on you being a thief. Lack of data about you being a thief doesn't make you one. Likewise lack of data that you are looking for doesn't mean the problem is not audible.

At the end of the day, you are in severe disadvantage. I have measurements. I have design experience. I work in the industry. And I can tell good design from bad.

You have no listening tests (and are unwilling to perform any). You have no design experience. You are not in the industry. Based on nothing at all you are proclaiming what is or is not audible. You take absence of data and keep trying to turn it into one. I am not very smart but I can tell someone desperately trying to turn nothing into something a mile away .

Let's see if your next response has any data, any data at all, that backs anything you are going to say. I suspect it will be same old, same old verbal argument devoid of anything technical.

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Old 07-05-2014, 03:28 PM
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Originally Posted by RichB View Post
It seems to me, much to the turmoil in this thread has to do with personality and not science (or even manners).

- Rich
Fortunately I have neither personality or manners.
krabapple and Randy Bessinger like this.

"I've found that when you want to know the truth about someone that someone is probably the last person you should ask." - Gregory House
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Old 07-05-2014, 03:30 PM
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Originally Posted by amirm View Post
That you think it is not based on no listening tests or any other data whatsoever is neither here nor there.
Yeah yeah, I know you’re very eager to lay aside the question of whether it’s audible, and only want to impress other engineers. I get that. You’ve said it before.

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Originally Posted by amirm View Post
lack of data that you are looking for doesn't mean the problem is not audible.
Funny how the lack of data doesn’t keep you from demanding that people yell and scream “SHODDY!”, even in the absence of data that shows there’s anything to yell and scream about.

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Originally Posted by amirm View Post
somehow people with religion in audio think they can lecture an engineer on what is or is not good design.
I asked you before who this nonengineer is you’re talking about, and you had no answer, Mr. “I’m right because I’m an authority”.
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Old 07-05-2014, 03:39 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by koturban View Post
I'd rather the manufacturer take the savings and make the component cheaper or more feature-laden than wasting resources satisfying some sort of engineering fetish.
Well, you are in dire need of this story .

Take a look at this picture of the first generation iPod:



I bet you don't see anything odd. But there is. Focus on that headphone jack. There is a gray ring around the center hole where the headphone would plug in. When the iPod came out, you could order any color headphone jack you wanted as long as it was black. To get a gray one Apple had to have one custom made. I mean why take a commodity part and turn it into a custom one and pay more for it??? Was it engineer fetish as you say? I think not. Apple won this game despite being late to the party by paying attention to such details. The color of that jack provided no functionality but it was one of many critical choices to win the hearts and minds of people who bought millions of them.

At the time there were a lot of major CE manufacturers hoping to topple Apple. One of them came to visit us at Microsoft and they said they had an "iPod killer." We were thrilled and were expecting a design as beautiful and functional as Apple. Imagine our surprise when they pulled out this ugly player with you guessed it, black headphone jack. I looked at my marketing GM and I could see in his eyes that he agreed fully that this was stillborn. Around that time I was asked what I thought. I told them it was horrible or words to that effect. Here we had a room full of executives from this major audio/video companies and I was telling them their baby was ugly. They were shocked. They answered by challenging me on whether my opinion was right. The GM of the media player on my team was female. My marketing GM put the iPod and their player in front of her and asked, "if you just saw these two, which one would you pick?" She immediately said the iPod. My marketing GM called this the "pick up test." Which device you would immediately reach for and "pick up." Apple had it and these other device and countless others did not.

To make sure the message was really understood, I showed them how nicely the gray headphone jack blended in the case and how they had not remotely paid such attention to design. They rolled their eyes and left and launched the product. It failed miserably and I think something like 6 months later they cancelled it.

Hundreds of millions of people buy Apple and to some extent these days Samsung devices because of "engineering fetish." Just look at the packaging that Apple products comes in. It contributes nothing to functionality of the design but it hugely improves on OOBE (out of box experience).

So no, it is not engineering fetish to pay attention to detail, design high quality products and capture people's hearts and minds. It is what is required in audio/video industry.

Amir
Retired Technology Insider
Founder, Madrona Digital
"Insist on Quality Engineering"
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