Originally Posted by uchihaitachi
If I am not wrong, isn't it fairly straightforward to achieve the best audio reproduction if noise and distortion is low (below human hearing levels) and all the frequencies are present without rolling off. I am asking the question under the assumption that the subject is in a double blind test that they do not know whether they are listening to a hifiman or a sansa clip +.
I see no point in running a test to gauge peoples' subjective responses. You can't make any statistical inferences from such a test except for the fact that 99 percent if not every subject will obviously hear a drastic improvement in SQ from an expensive source with a 'wow' factor.
I am curious if it is indeed so cheap to produce a source device with optimal audio reproduction (where distortion is low and all the frequencies present etc which is what graphs tell you), if the perceived difference in SQ between devices can be explained by added colorations through EQing or other means. This then makes me wonder, with correct modifications, you could fine tune a clip + to sound like a hifiman?
The last part depends. If the clip measures great and the hifiman measures badly, it will be hard to 'worsen' the clip's measurements to the hifiman's level (depending on which measurements we are talking about). The question is why you would want to ofcourse, and the answer is that you just might happen to prefer the hifiman even if it measures worse.
The thing is that the science of amping implies that in general, the best results are found if all measurements are as dictated. That is to say, the better the measurements, the better it's generally believed to make your headphones sound. Better measurements are analogous with real life phenomenons such as 'seeing better', 'hearing better', 'running faster', etc; that is, better measurements lead to superior results that are, basically without exception, experienced as unambiguous improvement.
Your opinion may deviate from that but in that case, you'd be just as lucky to find whatever it is you're looking for in a ridiculously expensive tube amp as in your onboard audio. That is to say, a person might prefer to see less or hear less in a situation where it's generally found preferable to see more and hear more, just because they have that option (the reason isn't really important).
Edited by SunshineReggae - 3/24/13 at 1:24pm