Originally Posted by DaViD Boulet
Not to mention that regardless of how one deems to best evaluate the audible differences (double blind tests etc.), to propose that there should be no difference at all between two pieces of gear because "a $400 receiver is going to decode DD/DTS the exact same way a $30,000 theta will." is utterly misguided, as "decoding" is only one of about 1000 ways that sound can be affected.
Even if two processors were fed a bit-for-bit identical PCM signal where no "decoding" was involved at all, there are a host of reasons why the final sound fed to the amp stage could be audibly different. The most obvious step would be d/a conversion, on top of which one would add all of the "usual" analog issues that affect traditional analog gear.
Now, whether or not two particular pieces of gear sound different from each other or not is a matter for proper evaluation. But the statement that supposes that it wouldn't be possible for them to sound different is uneducated, unscientific, and unfounded.
Actually, I was not addressing processors, I was referring only to that part of the discussion where he mentions cables and says there in an inconsistency regarding subjectivity.
I regarding processors. amplifiers, speakers, there is no way to do double blind testing on that equipment because they are complex pieces of equipment with different designs and different parts. Even two identical speakers could possibly sound a bit different. All of this equipment can be tested in various ways, with the goal of perfect reproduction of sound, and some will do better than others in that regard.
And as far as preferences go, the differences can, to some extent, be a matter of taste. That is why some people prefer a "warm" sound, though I believe that equipment designed to replicate music should not impose any coloration whatsoever, as a goal, even if "pleasant" to some ears.
Sorry for any misunderstanding.