Thank you for the thourough posts @KeithEmo & @castleofargh If we say we have a "continuum of reality", where on the left side we have essentially the reality being that only the results of blind testing and measurements being legitimate - i.e most, almost all amps/dacs/cables and what have you would be a waste of time and money. While on the right side, the reality was that there are subtle, percievable differences from DAC to DAC and so on, where bias didn't play in at all to anyone. I'd wager to say that the truth would be found somewhere in between those two extremes. I'd say that eliminating bias is indeed the most important thing, and the one thing that affects us most. But I am worried that while blind testing is better than sighted testing because of those biases, it doesn't strike me as perfect. Is the general consensus around these parts that any competently put together DAC will sound the same? Because if that is the case, I'll need to go take a look in the mirror. I think that this is a very interesting subject that I find there is a wide spread within the community as to what people believe to be true, so I want to home in on the seemingly most correct beliefs.. edit: I am trying to read up on the topic. So I have read the first post in this thread and I'll read around more on this sub forum as well, to get a good overview. A thought popped into my head. In the matter of blind testing, say you were to have two vocalists do covers of a song, but you didn't get to know who sang, or who the vocalists even were. They performed the same song i.e no differences except the voice. Clearly, in a sighted test it would be very easy to distinguish who sang what, and you could probably tell which one you liked more. But suppose you didn't get to see or know anything. Most would be able to hear a difference, easily. But I would imagine that judging who were the technically most adept vocalist would be near impossible (I am here comparing it to which DACs was the most costly, for instance). Now lets say you had a computer program that could take their performances, and equate them i.e they had the exact same timing, volume, etc - the only thing different now being their raw voice. I would imagine that telling them apart in a blind test would be near impossible, but I would also imagine that telling them apart with the help of knowing who sang when would be much, much easier. And not only because of some sort of bias towards the one or the other. Or say you never got to know who sang what, but you got to listen to song A or song B for several years.. I'd think you would pick out a favorite, one you liked more than the other. Even if telling the difference in the blind test was impossible. I am sure you have been exposed to examples such as these a million times, so I am just wondering what is wrong in my logical chain here? To me, blind tests just doesn't sway me as much as I suppose it does to a lot of others. At the same time, I don't want to be essentially believing in shamanism.