Originally Posted by Madmollusk
Hey, now, be fair! I've never made an explicit statement about the O2, nor did I ever imply that I disliked it. I have no opinion about that amp whatsoever: you see, I've never heard it, so how could I have an opinion about it.
I am lost myself. I think my original comment went to IEMCrazy and somehow, getting mixed into the conversation, I went after you when I meant IEMCrazy. So I guess I am the crazy one. Sorry for the confusion, and sorry to IEM if I was way off base. I just made the mistake of thinking I could convince someone that it makes more sense to focus on phones' than other equipment, other things being equal.
BTW great post - I really appreciate and respect your perspective on audio. To the problem of eliminating variables in a double-blind test, that is what stat regression is for - presumably you can estimate the impact of one factor against "all other known factors". Then again you might want to "test" people's bias by showing them 4 amps with 4 different cases, ranging from plain to super-high-quality. With the exact same internals, you then ask them which sound they like best. You've polluted the test, because people are now "forced" to rank, so perhaps they all go with the best looking one. I would be surprised if many responded "they all sound the same." But you also let them in on a little secret afterward - you really will pay more for a look sometimes. It would be hard to do double-blind tests with headphones because they have different shapes / sizes / weight / comfort, and a respondent has a good chance of being familiar with the look and feel of a given model. I think the HE's would've flunked my ears in a blind test - primarily because I am used to a "sennheiser" presentation. How would we account for that? The basic point is that people (consumers in this case), are conditioned to look for, and identify differences constantly. We are also given s*** information. Those of us here, that obviously love music to the point of investing $1,000s in equipment / phones, should get the best information as well as the best products! It is frustrating (to me) that so much is left to subjective impression - because I don't trust myself to always "know with my ears".
Case in point? The more I listen to the HE-400s, the more I like them. The HD595 now seriously sound like s*** - but its not their fault. My ears have "adjusted" to the new presentation. The 400s were lean, not they are borderline too powerful for me. But I don't call that "burn-in" - I think its my brain screwing with me again.
Originally Posted by Mad Lust Envy
I somewhat agree with Mateo. SS amps tend to sound very same-y. You can get an E9 vs something likd the SA-31, and the differences are slight. Its when you test SS vs. Tube or hybrid amps that the difference is more noticeable due to the coloration of the tubes. Easy to spot the difference there.
These people who are comparing the O2 to an amp with tubes shouldnt be comparing performance. Youre just biased to the tube sound.
So don't knock the O2 if youre not comparing it to another SS amp.
Thanks for your support! I keep forgetting that in this crowd, their is a wicked diversity of equipment and listening experience. I am sure that tube amps have their amazing properties. There wouldn't be a market for em' if people didn't like em'. I suppose I was being defensive of my own gear, or at least trying to remind people that, if anything, audio would be a lot less aggravating if there was a more consistent standard to the listening experience!
That said, I know I am just as guilty, if not more, of buying other stuff just for the sake of it - I like audio to the point that I WANT to screw with my sound (so far every 3-5 years). Without you guys, I'd have never heard of the HE-400, or the Objective 2. So thanks to all of you.