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RE: The DB Testers are Making Me Crazy

What I have learned is that you can make your case for what you think and then let it be. The way they choose to buy gear should not drive you crazy.

Frankly I am a but envious of those folks because when I listen to my four amplifiers I wish to the spaghetti monster in the sky that my cheapest amplifier was just as good as my most expensive amplifier - or ditto that of the 10 CD playing devices I have owned over the years that my discman was indeed just as good with CD replay as all others. I'd save a boatload of cash.

Both sides think the other side is deluding themselves and both sides think they're right. But there is a sense of satisfaction (a bias) when spending $300 on amplifier or CD player and truly believing that it's just as good as something someone else stupidly paid $30,000 for. They get to feel righteously superior and "smarter than you" and that dopamine rush is powerful. They won't be convinced to "trust their ears"

Conversely, the subjective listener loves this hobby and want to feel like they have special super powers and can hear things "average people" can't hear. So they always hear differences in everything no matter what never admitting any infallibility. The brain is geared to solve problems to avoid falling into a feedback loop. Which is why when you look at a cloud your brain references past images and you see a tiger or dragon in the cloud. Problem solved and it can now move on.

In a DBT - when the problem becomes difficult your brain will just make a choice whether there is one to be made or not. I've never liked such choice making tests because this was not what the DBT was designed for and the field of psychology addresses these problems. But you can discuss this issue only so many times and you will get nowhere with them. So don't bother. Let them feel good about themselves and buy what they want. And if they think you're crazy for liking a tube amp over a SS amp or speaker that measures poorly versus their speakers that look great on the graphs that's fine too.

Don't be afraid of the blind test - the goal after all is to not trick you into paying a lot more for something that is sonically no better. And remember MANY brands - in fact virtually all of them are only buying parts from OEM makers sticking the parts in a container and putting their own fancy label on the front. And then they charge for marketing appeal and creating brand prestige when the actual amp or cd player or even speaker is really no better or different than something else.

Theta Data did this - they purchased a Philips Laser Disc player for $300 and they put the ENTIRE machine in their own cheap sheet metal and added ONE $20 part - an SPDIF output and then charged 10 times the money. Then just find some weak minded gullible reviewers to help screw over the gullible buyers who read the magazines.

So I have a bit of respect for the objectivists because for every Theta that gets caught there are probably another 20 that don't.

This is the main reason to not chuck out the objective approach. Not everything sounds different - in fact a lot of what is out there may be almost exactly the same and a very minor difference doesn't justify paying 20 times the price. Pay attention to the design and what is inside the product.

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  Kimber Kable  

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