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Old 02-23-2010   #100
Steve Bruzonsky
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 61
Default Re: High end processors VS low end processors/receivers, hardware differences?

Originally Posted by graniterocks View Post
I'm curious to know why you care?

Here's a quote from the makes of VAC Valve Amplification Company right from their web site.

"It is not sufficient to have the best ingredients; one must also have the best recipe, and a deep understanding of the required result. We do not seek to build an amplifier merely to attain certain specifications; these are the wrong goals, because the human ear and brain do not work in the manner of our test instruments, and the ear values different aspects of performance than can be measured readily. As the wise maxim states, "If it measures good and sounds bad, it is bad; if it measures bad and sounds good, you've measured the wrong thing!" Or as we say, in a battle between theory and the real world, the real world always wins."

"VAC started with a passion about breathing realism and life into reproduced music, to making it sound as much like the real thing as possible. Perhaps you are surprised that this is an issue, with so many products available with superlative specifications. Unfortunately, good measurements do not guarantee good sound; in fact, heroic measures to improve a measurement can often degrade the sound you will hear. It is an involved discussion, so for now suffice it to say that test equipment work differently that your ear & brain, which pay attention to different things. We do not yet know how to quantify what you hear. This is why VAC has two criteria for their designs:

They must measure at least reasonably well
They must sound superb"

There are a few other manufactures that feel the same way.

The end decision to buy or not lies with the purchaser. If you can hear a difference and you like that difference, then that is all that matters. Even in medicine placebo reaches up to 40% in some studies. Placebo can have a powerful effect, so even if placebo is the reason that some people feel their is a difference, why knock them. Most of us do this for relaxation and a good distraction from work and life's other stressors.

If you feel that you need a blinded A/B comparison, then do one. If you don't, don't. If you can't hear a difference, don't buy it. If you do and you can afford it, then buy it.
So magic? Then why are these same companies against double blind testing?
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