Originally Posted by johnwmclean
There is no piece of audio gear that is considered neutral, by benchmark I was referring to measurements.
Ah. Glad we agree.
So with gear that by definition has biases in it (including the reviewer's gear), we are to form a reliable basis of "what is neutral" based on measurements which themselves cannot be neutral?
Good luck building your house on those shifting sands.
Really? What help is here for the OP. Don’t get me wrong it’s a nice sentiment but bloody useless if one’s trying to understand a little bit more about the hobby.
EXACTLY! You've been here long enough to know that there is no answer for the question(s) being asked, no matter how many different users ask it.
See my post above. If you are reading these forum reviews (which may or may not include quantitative measurements) to answer " will I like this piece of gear?" you're not using the forum correctly, in my opinion.
You used the word "hobby" which is great. How do you learn about a hobby? By reading about it on a website or a magazine? By watching a TV show? By meeting with other people who have been engaged in the hobby for years?
No. You can start there, but ultimately your enjoyment will only develop if you go out and do it and learn from personal experience and build your own knowledge base.
So what purpose do forums like this serve? I've enumerated potential reasons above. I choose to use this place as a basis to learn about potential new products. Whether I purchase and enjoy them is based solely on my own experience with them. But I have never bought or refused to audition a product based on whether someone here liked it or not, or whether John Atkinson said it tested like like a champ or like a freshman's electronics experiment.
You know where measurements work well? Quality control. Like when the LCD-3 came out and Audeze used the first batch to test their ability to make the driver diaphragm consistently. Turns out, they couldn't and that the measurements showed that there were variations within the first few batches of products. They went back and fixed it and since then, not so many complaints.
Did those measurements tell you whether the LCD-3 was a good headphone or not? Did they tell readers here whether they would "like them" or not? No. They only revealed that there were inconsistencies between products. Did those measurements end all conversation about whether the LCD-3 "is a good product and I will like it"? Shouldn't Purrin's charts (or Tyll's) have ended all discussion about the LCD-3s? One look at these forums tells even the most casual reader "Of course not". They're still one of the most popular topics here.
If anyone is waiting for a uniform standard of review to tell them about something as subjective as listening enjoyment, then it will be a long wait.