I've been searching for this post for a while. The links make good food for thought.
I was reading this morning and came across this and posted it elsewhere in response to another member's question.
I guess I wrongly assumed most people knew this information, but then decided this must be one of the main reasons so many people have disagreements about audio electronics. Here's the great revelation. Human hearing is incredibly sensitive. Even though a lot of our hearing apparatus is mechanical it is far superior to most electronics on the market, ie. our hearing can detect more flaws in the electronics then those who parrot electronic theory realize. Its well known that real electronic components differ from theoretical electrical theory used to teach it. Of course, some people may have better hearing than other people. I read about these incredible numbers in the links below in reference to human hearing years ago.
There also seems to be a number prejudice, ie. when someone sees .1 % THD or even .01 or .001 % THD those that know nothing about human hearing assume that those numbers are so small they must be insignificant.
Read the great truths here about human hearing that most of you never knew.
|The human ear is one of the greatest marvels of nature: the inner ear or cochlea performs at least 1GFLOPS of real-time sensing, filtering, amplification, gain control, and data-compression computations in a tiny volume. The ear consumes about 14 μW of power while running on a 150mV battery; it could run on a pair of AA batteries for 15 years. The ear can sense 0.05 angstroms of eardrum motion at its best frequency and has an input dynamic range that spans 12 orders of magnitude in sound intensity. The ear operates over a frequency span of about 3 decades (10 octaves). Our ears report information with enough fidelity such that the auditory system can make a sound-location discrimination that corresponds to an inter aural time difference of a few microseconds even though the component parts of the system have 1-10 millisecond time constants. These impressive specifications were produced by at least 220 million years of evolution.|
|How sensitive is hearing?
Extraordinarily so. The ear can detect a sound wave so small it moves the eardrum just one angstrom, 100 times less than the diameter of a hydrogen molecule. Murray Sachs, director of biomedical engineering, likes to say that if there were nothing between you and the airport, 10 miles away, and if there were no other sounds, nothing for sound to reflect from--then theoretically, you could hear a piece of chalk drop at the airport.
Johns Hopkins Magazine - September 1996 Issue
There's more examples. Just use Google.