Originally Posted by DaveLadely
This argument sounds like a defense against bad results from test instruments. Most tests are designed to quantify actual, real world sonic output that people can hear, such as distortion. For example, odd harmonic distortion sounds worse to the ear than even harmonic distortion, according to many many listener testing. So, equipment that tests high for odd harmonic distortion would likely sound worse than one with low harmonic distortion. So, that would be worth checking. Distortion can be tested, and by definition indicates a faulty reproduction of music caused by the inability to achieve perfection, so the less the fault, the better, all other things considered.
Each person's ears do hear slightly differently. But its amazing who many so-called audiophiles want to turn electronic equipment that is supposedly designed to accurately reproduce music into musical instruments themselves! Instead of accuracy, many want a "warm" sound, thus acting more like a tone control than an accurate reproducer of the way the music really sounded like when recorded. I think its nearly impossible to do a double blind comparison with most equipment - what stores even display very many very good amplifiers, for example, and of those that may, do they have a set up which would allow a listener to compare without knowing which was the most expensive, which brand, etc. ? So, I would agree, that if you like it, buy it. But don't buy on condition that it colors the music the way you like it and then say that is the way it should be.
I do advocate double blind testing of cables, as that is relatively easy to do, and the purveyors of expensive cables do such a hard sell, appealing to every manner of subjective thinking. Every double blind test has revealed that listeners cannot tell one cable from another, and this has been very distressing to those who buy based on such criteria as marketing claims, Grecian nomenclature, price rather than reality. In one such test, listeners could not differentiate speaker cables made from coat hangers welded together from expensive speaker cables. What an audiophile saves on avoiding the snake oil claims can be spent on better speakers, or preamps, where the improvement is not subtle.