Originally Posted by RippyD
ABX proponents will tell us that blind listening without ABX equipment isn't valid. Not correct. Blind listening is a perfectly valid way to determine that you can't tell the difference. ABX is helpful for determining that you can.
i have never once disputed the merits of any means of unbiased testing.
i think we all know we -at best- quickly enter the area of diminishing results in audio if some basic good choices have ruled the initial choice of equipment.
but there's a reason why i seldom trust my impressions after hurriedly listening to something in a showroom. it's an unfamiliar environment and not enough time.
to me the real valid test is how it performs in my very own listening environment after extended listening. there are thing i can't quite put a finger on. as i was putting my current compact system together, i had to make some choices. the toughest one was between the NADM22 and the Benchmark AHB2 power amps. i actually would have preferred if the AHB2 would have established itself as the winner. design wise it would have looked quite good. :-) but after a period that unfortunately extended beyond the point i had to send the Benchmark back for free, i simply decided the M22 seemed to have an ounce of an extra edge, so i kept it and sold the Benchmark. there was absolutely no psychological bias at work, just a hard to articulate difference when doing extended listening. and i did blind tests (friend helped me). no professional setup though. in those the stats were totally inconclusive. about 56% accuracy in picking either, which to me puts it solidly in the luck category because the sample rate was about 10 switchovers.
at the end of the day what matters is that i am happy with my choices and i know this system is going to make me happy to listen to music for a looooong time. i kept my old core system totally unmodified for nearly 15 years. i think the same will be the case here. i don't feel i have to bother to look into new equipment unless there's a dramatic change in my setup needs.
and there are thing that i know don't make a real difference. cables - unless you make crappy choices, it doesn't matter, especially if you do short runs. but it looks better, and it gives you peace of mind. i'd never spent thousands on a cable, but otoh understand why people would. like St-Exupery wrote in the little prince: ".. It's the time you spent on your rose that makes your rose so important...People have forgotten this truth, but you mustn't forget it. ..” we make irrational choices every time we invest our time into a passion. and it's what makes us interesting as humans. a world guided exclusively by rational choices would be damn boring.