I've spent 20 years tinkering with home stereo, HT, and car audio. I spent a LOT of time and TONS of money designing and building home speakers. With all that stuff, when you're designing, there's enough published specs to make accurate educated guestimates and computer models about how things will sound. Best part is, you get pretty close. I've discovered with the world of high end headphones, NONE of this really seems to apply!! It's wild! It feels like everything you do here is little more than a shot in the dark! I went to a HP meet 3 years ago, and was SHOCKED at some of the things I heard, and they were so opposite to what I expected! I expected to like the T1's, and didn't, I expected to hate the HD800, and yet I've been thinking about it for 3 years now!
So, I'm in the market for a new DAC/Amp, and ideally, I'm looking for an all in one box. That aside, like the title says: can we draw ANY conclusions about how something will sound, or, how good it will sound (which is entirely subjective itself) by looking at the internals? For example, when I look inside say, an Audio GD Compass 2, it looks pretty bad ass. There's all kinds of business going on in there. Problem is, I really know nothing about circuit design, except big caps and transformers are good, and so is Class A. Another unit on my mind is the Fostex HP-A8c, and I did manage to find an internal shot on the web, and it looks considerably less impressive.
I've attached pics of both below. Can we draw any conclusions? Anything?? If so, what should I look for?? Also, I know about the obvious price difference, so just ignore that for the sake of this discussion ;)