Originally Posted by John Schneider
Thanks for the additional reading!
For example. I didn't like the methodology of the Stereo Review due to the infamous ABX box and the attenuator, (possibly) rationalizing that this would tend to reduce the differrences between the amps.
Fearing that the ABX box and attenuator would tend to audibly reduce differences between the amps is definately a false rationalization. Anybody who does audio production knows about the numerous bends and hills that are part of every commercial recording. Compared to those mountains, the ABX box and attenuators were pristene little mole hills.
I also didn't like the choice of speakers.
Good for you! They are/were recognized as having a ton of resolution in the right room, and considerable effort was put into making the room be right.
No mention was made of listening volumes (I tend to listen at around 93-95 db average, with peaks a bit over 100 db - this is when the dynamic range of the amp and speaker really start to reveal their character and limitations, but I know many feel this is too loud, others not loud enough
I was port of those listening tests, and while it was almost 20 years ago I recollect that peaks were near the limits of some of the amps that were tested. The room was relatvely large, it was very absorbtive especially with that many people in it, and the speakers are not all that efficient. I think that peaks were under 100 dB, partially for fear of opening the tweeter fuses. Listening levels might have been 5 or so dB less than your optimum.
Subsequent research shows that the human ear has its maximum sensitivity to differences in this range.
I also found myself nodding in agreement as I read through the second Stereophile article which talked about the problems of DBT.
IME, if Stereophile did anything like reliable listening tests, IME they would have to make so many far-reaching changes that they would probably put themselves out of business.
Their basic pretext is that audible differences are pretty much universal, that everything sounds different. This is simply not true. Their Recommended Component's List, the centerpiece of the magazine, would pretty much go away because so many components with radically different rankings would come out hardly sounding different at all.
The high end ragazines seem to have discovered an alternative universe where the laws of science have been re-written.