Originally Posted by jnjn
4. ABX is flawed whenever a switchbox is used. Changes in the system caused by even putting the box in renders comparisons meaningless. This is from EMC concerns.
I won't bother disagreeing with the rest of what this guy has written, but basically, he starts from a point of disagreeing with PA and just lets his mind flow on. Anybody who thinks that a switchbox invalidates ABX is grasping at straws. At the end he throws in 'EMC' in a vain attempt to garner some scientific credibility with the easily impressed.
I have 2 principal systems (not counting headphone systems).
The first uses a Sony terrestrial TV recorder with a an inbuilt DVD player as a source. You can play CDs or plug in a USB stick of MP3s. This feeds the TV. The TV has an on-screen graphic equaliser. It is set to give a progressive cut as frequency rises because the speakers are a bit shouty. The TV out drives an unmodified Sonic Impact T-amp which drives a pair of Audio Nirvana 'Super 8' FRs in homemade 2.7 litre enclosures. I have a sub which can be run from the TV's sub output, but it's not turned on mostly. The sound is better than the first dedicated Hi-Fi I bought in the '70s, Pioneer PL12D, Goldring cartridge, Rodgers amp and B & W speakers, largely because the DTV rx blows away the Pioneer turntable and the Audio Nirvanas put out more real volume than the B & W bookshelves could before they sounded distressed. The imaging is better too.
In my 'man cave' here I have a pair of old Wharfedale Dalesmans (50 y.o.). They sound like an old, expensive gramophone. These are driven by a Cambridge Audio A1. Numerous sources feed the A1; a satellite receiver, a Bluray player, a standalone SPDIF DAC and a Behringer Xenyx mixer. The mixer is connected to an M-Audio 2496 soundcard in the computer. Additionally I have a Behringer USB DAC. A Yamaha midi keyboard feeds the soundcard directly and an array of microphones (dynamic, studio condenser) and a DI box permit recording into Cubase or WHY. The playback isn't ideal for mastering, I'm going to get some powered monitors, but the audio complements the HD projector nicely. You don't get earthquake TV effects, but music is enjoyable.
I have 4 additional instrument amplifiers, 2 of which I built, one of those has tubes.
You can plug headphones into the mixer, but there are a lot of experimental headphone amps around that I've designed and built.
Peter Aczel might be shown to have overstepped the mark on a rare occasion, but for the large part what he says is true, and if it is inaccurate in minor detail, those details really are minor when it comes to taking pleasure in recorded music. The forceful statements that he has made are a necessary antidote to the reams of rubbish spouted by professional reviewers and amateur enthusiasts alike.
I'm a pretty good guitarist of over 40 years standing. More than once my wife's guests have heard me playing in another room and mistaken it for a recording. I've made money playing the guitar.
I've also worked as an electronic design engineer.
I know what I'm talking about.
Most 'audiophiles' can't play a note and are a bunch of flakes.