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RE: What progress? (nt)

Not everything makes a difference but there are perhaps several reasons why a person hears several items as sounding the same. Many products are for example designed very similarly and many also buy off the shelf parts. So when people were screaming that CD players sounded the same - well it may be true. Both makers buy the same DAC chip from Burr brown and they buy the same Sony transport mechanism and it would not be too terribly surprising that the two units sound very much the same especially if they are both building to a price point limiting all the other parts used in the given CD players.

Plus, if we assume that most items have a sound of some sort - that component is placed in various systems. It may yield a minor shift to almost no shift in sound against a given component but put in my system it may yield a substantial difference (good or bad) simply from a synergy perspective.

For instance in one system going from a Bryston to a Rotel may be negligible but in a different set-up it could be rather noticeable indeed. I remember comparing two $500 ish integrated SS amps on one set of speakers - meh - choose the one with the most features and the longest warranty who cares - they virtually sounded the same. But those two amps on a different more full range speaker and one of the two amps sounded virtually broken in comparison. Two budget amps both get great reviews and eesh. One really stood out above the other. On the other pair of speakers they practically sounded the same - perhaps because the speaker was the weak link.

I don't really believe in the notion of golden ears either because if this were truly the case a lot more ears would agree on what is the best of the best. And they don't. It is hubris to believe that everyone who doesn't agree with you on what the best is is tone deaf. Two people can listen to a Tupac song or Wagner and listen to it on the best system and walk away with totally different reactions. They heard the exact same piece of music and one person loves it and the other doesn't.

Part of it is based on your upbringing, your language, etc. Why a person can listen to 6 straight hours of pounding heavy metal while another has to shut it off within 30 seconds or have a week long headache.

It's the same with speakers - does one prefer a tonality rich speaker or a speaker with less of that but has better spatial cues. Cohesiveness versus dynamics - and when listening to the same music across these speakers you can get a sense of which speaker/system is treating the music - what does your ear take as the reference points.

A CD player may have a very tiny difference over another but that tiny difference in the long run may be all the difference in nuance between making a Sade just a hair too much sibilant. And that is the difference on wanting to play an album all the way or turning the stereo off after 15 minutes. In a stress test blind test even a golden ear may and likely will fail - but after 3 months there is just "something" not "quite right" about it and you wind up unsatisfied.


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  • RE: What progress? (nt) - RGA 22:33:36 02/05/17 (0)

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