Originally Posted by SilverLitz
I would NOT put too much focus on specs, as they have very little relationship with SQ, e.g. a lot of SQ is determined by what is NOT easily measured. Many companies use spec many for marketing purposes.
Exactly! Comparing specs is meaningless with the exception of speakers, and even then, two speakers with identical specs will sound different due to the materials used in their construction, cabinet design, and crossover designs. When comparing source components, amps and processors, there is very little consistency in how manufacturers measure specs... every company has their own way of doing it. One company may list rated power with all channels driven, while another may rate power with two channels driven, while another may rate it with all channels driven across the full frequency band, while another may only rate power at 1khz... Sometimes, when they change models, the measurement procedure changes too... Pioneer used to rate the Class D AVR's power output with all channels driven across the full frequency band, with the release of this year's models they changed that measurement to 1khz only... you simply can't compare manufacturers specs, and have any understanding of what those specs will mean to the SQ of their unit, or, more importantly, how it will compare in SQ to another.
The only useful specs are the empirical findings from a 3rd party test, such as a magazine that has volumes of test data derived from a consistent testing process. If there is a change in that process, then the measurements attained prior to the change are meaningless for comparison under the new procedures.
The best test is always the listening test.