For some reason this quote didn't grab your text - curious! Anyways, no, a "decent amp" should not be cutting or boosting frequencies without telling you about it; that's called EQ. There may be an impedance mismatch causing an FR shift, but you'd need some measurements to confirm to deny this.
Originally Posted by lejaz
You're applying some unrelated concepts and judgments to what I've said. First let's dump the word "placebo" - it has no place here (it's a gross over-generalization of what's going on, and isn't accurate; it's a medical thing). Second, let's not apply the value judgment associated with "deluded." Now, what I *am* saying is that we are NOT as accurate measures of reality as we'd like to think. We see and we hear what we want to see and hear, this does not have to reflect reality at all. It doesn't matter who you are, how rich you are, how smart you are, whatever; you still have a human brain and are still subject to it's flaws and curiosities. Everyone is. Expectation and cognitive biases are understood to be able to contribute to these kinds of belief, and memory is not as accurate as we'd hope it to be (in other words, you can't say that your memory of an event actually reflects what happened; it likely does not - it reflects your emotional and psychological state at the time of the event - that's highly biased).
There's no need to get defensive about this; it's simply a part of being human.
Originally Posted by Magick Man
You're saying that tube rollers are deluded? I've heard a difference, is that placebo?
Here I would have to disagree. Aside from this amplifier having one of the most unfortunate names of all time, I don't think it really has anything "special" about it. Just because it's got "USA" stamped on it doesn't mean anything (aside from bringing in a whole slew of cognitive biases associated with COO preference, which usually boils down to racism (I said usually) - now that IS something to be ashamed of). The Fiio E9 is very similar to the CI VHP internally; they use the same TI chip. The difference is that the E9 goes a few steps further, and has a proper sealed pot, and protection relays (!!!); things that should be standard across the board, but aren't. Instead, we get fancy aluminum enclosures (which cost a few dollars at most), and claims of "American superiority" to move a highly marked-up product. I would almost expect the Schiit to carry a higher mark-up than the Fiio or most other Chinese products; they push it too hard for it to be any other way. Finally, you cannot assess the "sound quality" in a sighted, non-A/B, and non-levelmatched manner; it's not objective or scientific in the least (you're changing about a dozen variables and not even starting to address bias - you aren't testing anything and your "conclusions" don't mean anything).
Again, there's no need to get defensive about this - we're all subject to the limitations of our circumstance. And just because "a lot of people" disagree does not make them right - that's another cognitive bias. A great example of this in action is the "synergy" point - the reason you aren't getting a straight-faced explanation in any meaningful terms is because it probably doesn't exist; if you ask for defense of a claim and are provided a lot of hand-waving or mushy emotional dribble, shouldn't that completely deflate the claim as mere prose?
As far as why these products are more popular - that's fairly simple: they cost a lot more. So of course they have to be better! (At least, that's what we're trained to believe in a culture of consumption (and I'm not making this as a political statement, this term has specific and non-political meaning within the social sciences)). This has been documented and understood for at least a century.
Originally Posted by Magick Man
It's a well made SS amp with much better components than the E9, from a respected and reliable US company. Not sure what happened, maybe the one you heard was defective? The "all about synergy" comment doesn't really make a lot of sense, I've heard it from other members on this forum before but no one seems to be able to tell me in electrical terms what that means.
Yes, I own the E9 and own some Q701s. The E9 is of questionable quality, from my experience. I've returned two and finally gave up with the third one and just set it up at my wife's desk, she doesn't care if there's a slight hiss.