Originally Posted by muscles
I am not following what it is or what it is you are trying to say? If you think an AVR can compete with a high end separate processor...it can't. I have had more people come to my house than I can count for demos, 100% of them have their jaws drop when I play music through the Mac 2600. You don't think the DAC matters either? I can tell you are one of those guys that thinks an amp is an amp, and I am not trying to change your mind. Check out the differences in phono Preamps if you don't think there is a difference, it is staggering the difference a high end unit will make. I am not fooled by audiophile BS either, I traded 18k speakers for JTR's because I heard a difference. I am not brand loyal whatsoever and I am a serious tinkerer. I won't even review a subwoofer or give my final thoughts unless its been at least 6 weeks.
The funny thing is..its so easy to AB test these, once you've heard a really good separate you can't listen to music through an AVR. If you think quality components don't matter, hook up a record player to your AVR's phono input and listen....its awful!!! Then try a gold note PH10, it will come through louder and cleaner than Tidal MQA given you have a nice turntable and cartridge.
As I said, I don't want to get into a futile
argument but I will simply explain my position with more detail and quote from a great source to support my claims.
easy to do an AB test, it isn't so easy to do a properly setup double-blind AB test, if it's not double-blind, it tells you nothing
. That has been understood since the 1930's or 40's I think, surely by the 50's. There are countless examples of confidently claimed pronounced differences in sound that disappear when subjected to test, it's no different than how wine prices are perfectly correlated with quality until they're compared in double-blind tests when suddenly some cheap wines become preferred over the hyper-expensive. Perception is an incredibly fascinating thing that is driven more by expectations of the mind than sensory inputs. That is key, it's fundamental, if you don't understand that, you can't understand much of human perception. One need only think for a second what it implies that double
blind testing is required to understand how easily and how profoundly we fool ourselves.
One reason to think the inaudibility of electronics should be the case is audio simply isn't hard, they've understood the basics for decades. It's likely almost harder to do it badly than well enough. I used to read a fantastic audio mag back in the 80's and 90's, The Audio Critic
edited by Peter Aczel, below is from an article from its Spring through Fall 1991 issue authored by the editor [sorry for any errors, I had to OCR this and may have missed some]:
Basic Issues of Equipment Reviewing and Critical Listening: Our Present Stance
For the beneﬁt of new readers, as well as longtime readers who may
need to be reminded, here are some of the ﬁmdamental viewpoints that
divide responsible audio reviewers from the tweaks and cultists.
If you read a lot of audio publications and converse
with a lot of audio people, as I do, you know that the line
has been drawn between two opposing factions. The audio
world is at loggerheads as never before. The so-called
objectivists and subjectivists have evolved highly divergent
belief systems; each side shows a basic lack of respect for
the other; accusations of self-serving politics and defective
hearing abound; the general tone is uncomfortably confron-
tational. In the heat of the arguments, science and logic are
forgotten, methods and credentials are left unquestioned,
obﬁrscation is rampant, and wimpy suggestions to the effect
that the truth lies in between are slipped in sideways by the
knee-jerk conciliators. This is a good time, indeed an obvi-
ous time, for The Audio Critic to restate its position on the
issues that constitute the basis of the ongoing debate.
What sounds different?
To the dyed-in-the—wool subjectivists, everything
sounds different. One of my favorite dirty tricks is to go
through the motions of conducting a single-blind A/B am-
pliﬁer or preampliﬁer comparison which is actually an A/A
comparison because I only pretend to switch to B but never
do. Lo and behold, some of the audiophiles in attendance
claim to hear major differences in front-to-back depth, im-
aging, "air," etc., and are quite certain they can pick out A
and B blind. A cruel experiment but educational. Thus I
have no fear that such audiophiles will argue with me when
I list the various elements in the audio chain that really do
sound different. To wit:
Listening rooms—and how! Loudspeaker systems,
even the relatively accurate ones. Surround-sound and other
environment processors, obviously. Phono cartridges and
tonearms, if you still care. Microphones—very important
and all very different. Recording studios and concert halls,
for the same reasons as listening rooms, only more so. And
ﬁnally, the widely differing recording techniques of differ-
ent record companies, producers, and engineers—even when
they use the same microphones in the same hall. What else
sounds different‘? That's just about all I can think of (No,
I'm not forgetting wires and cables. They constitute a very
special case, subject to serious misrepresentations, and are
treated separately in this issue.)
What sounds the same?
Here we come to highly divisive subject matter, the
major source of hostilities and character assassinations in
the high-end audio press, but there's no reason for rational
audiophiles to doubt what has been demonstrated over and
over again in properly conducted double-blind listening
tests. Power ampliﬁers, preampliﬁers, CD players, D/A pro-
cessors, DAT recorders, FM tuners, and turntables sound
the same—with certain very important qualiﬁcations.
What are these qualiﬁcations? Power ampliﬁers must
have high input impedance, low output impedance, no fre-
quency-response anomalies, and be at all times operated
within their voltage and current capabilities in order to
sound the same. Preampliﬁers must likewise be without
equalization errors, other ﬁequency-response anomalies,
and overload problems in order to sound the same. Digital
audio equipment must be up to the present-day level of con-
verter technology and, analogwise, meet the aforementioned
preampliﬁer qualiﬁcations in order to sound the same. FM
tuners will sound the same only when receiving a strong
signal without multipath. Turntables will sound the same
only if adequately isolated, damped, and free from drive ir-
regularities. Without these qualiﬁcations all arguments on
the subject are meaningless.
In general, any two components A and B that can be
alternately switched into and out of an audio system in an
AB test will sound the same if (1) their linear characteris-
tics are essentially identical and (2) their nonlinear charac-
teristics are below the threshold of audibility. If you think
about that statement for a minute, you begin to realize that
it‘s a truism rather than a heresy; the trouble is that the
tweaks and cultists often think for less than a minute.