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What's Wrong with the Hi-Fi Scene?: A 700$ NAD Integrated Amp Is Indiscernible from a +20.000$ Mark Levinson Preamp & Dual Monaural Power Amplifier

Discussion in 'Sound Science' started by deafmutelame, Apr 15, 2018.
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  1. deafmutelame
    [​IMG] + [​IMG] vs. [​IMG]

    Speakers: Revel Performa F30


    An ABX test was arranged between these two equipments and 14 people couldn't tell them apart from each other.


    The results are in spanish but Google Translate works reasonably well with this:


    It's not the only test. There are plenty of equally impressive tests more at:


    So... is 90% of the HI-FI market based on snake oil and in the fact that the human brain has a 3-4 seconds auditory memory at much?


    I wonder... :hushed:

    Disclaimer: I am the happy owner of a NAD C 370 + B&W 602 S3 speakers and a pair of Etymotics ER4XR. :smirk:
    snellemin and colonelkernel8 like this.
  2. colonelkernel8
    Calling it "snake oil" is a benign way of putting it. The audiophile market perpetuates outright FRAUD with its claims regarding cables, DACs, and amplifiers. Some marketing gurus found out that you could take advantage of arguably our most fallible sense and sell people crap (or sometimes extremely over-engineered electronics) in pretty enclosures, or with pretty cable wrappings and other such things and people would say that those pretty, expensive things sound better. The companies can then reap margins that put other commodity electronics equipment to shame.

    For $20,000, I want the Klipsch THX Ultra2 setup with the ceiling mounted Atmos speakers, NAD M27 amplifier, and a Marantz AV8805 processor. Done and done.
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2018
  3. ev13wt
    deafmutelame likes this.
  4. siberianmoon
    This thing has been known for years if not decades, but as the hifi scene itself refuses to do any credible blind testing, there is usually not much else to discuss aside from a single article here and there. Therefore the believers can always claim inadequate proof, unreliable testing methods and the benefit of the doubt and cling on to their mantras. At best, for what I've seen, people do one short blind test that points to a completely random result, then ditch the 'blind' part of the testing method and suddenly start hearing all sorts of things, after which they conclude the more expensive unit is better but probably not better enough for to justify the cost for most customers.

    I don't think we need to go even to as high as $700 to achieve equal level to any given more expensive equipment. The real art of hifi technology is making things as small and cheap and power efficient as possible without compromising on sound quality.

    The claim of a limited memory still leaves the door wide open for those who claim they hear the difference even if they cannot always remember it afterwards. That is complete and utter bull****. I'm sure there are slight differences between different hardware when testing at a scientific accuracy and at scales that are way beyond our capability to perceive. Our senses don't really go all that far and even the best of the best individuals have marginally better control of their senses than the rest of us do. The so-called real-world performance of all equipment is the same, unless they are manufactured to provide a different result.
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2018
  5. tansand
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2018
    skwoodwiva and deafmutelame like this.
  6. Redcarmoose

    Nothing new.
  7. colonelkernel8
    I guess I’m not certain what you’re asking for. :triportsad:
  8. tansand
    Well, these are reasonably priced, minimal but decidedly nonstandard audio products. They are part of the 'hi fi scene', and they aren't made of opamps and leds. Are they 'something wrong' with the hi fi scene, or would they be welcome in your system, if minimal is what you were wanting? I made some similar to the axioms, but with carbon pots and allen bradley resistors and they sound great!

    I have some suitable transformers for the other one, 1:5 step up though, so I'm curious.
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2018
  9. colonelkernel8
    If they offer some kind of measurable improvement over the traditional preamp, sure. But I’d skip the $35 “burn-in” service. :)
  10. tansand
    Well, I don't think they do, but I have no complaints, and they don't plug into the wall either. Plus, I can make them. :) A volume control is the only control I can't do without..
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2018
  11. skwoodwiva
    Absolutely the very high end has diminishing returns.
    Yet I believe there are some who can decern it!
    That is why I am here. I am one who can....
    I spent 20k on a close out ES system. Yey ABing with a Pass amp, his best effort in 2000 there was no contest. My DVPs7000 & tube DAC all as it had been for 6 years. I just added the Pass is all, a loaner it was.

    deafmutelame, the medical study which I cannot find reported only .1% of males have such ability. Do you think any study anywhere takes this fact into account?
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2018
  12. Niouke
    I'd bet 50€ a $90 Alientek D8 wouldn't be discernible aswell
  13. cathee
    I'm not trying to attack you personally or for that matter I didn't read G's comments as a personal attack either, but I think this specific mentality colors most audio enthusiasts' opinions. (Myself included)
    colonelkernel8 and skwoodwiva like this.
  14. deafmutelame
    I'd love to read that study if you can find it.

    How old are you?

    I'm asking because I would expect that only a teenager ear would be in the position of discerning between the extremely high frequencies, which is the reason why MP3 encoders sucha as LAME are modeled after some extremely sensitive 15 years old guy.

    Have you done any true ABX tests yourself? You know, with a scientific methodology behind them, like the ones proposed here to discern both equipments.

    You might be justifying spending so much money on toys by clinging to subjective bias. Just a thought.
    colonelkernel8 likes this.
  15. skwoodwiva
    Good a opener!
    I 61, I hear 12k easy. I reported the results of 2 passes of

    "very good anyway.
    Would anybody post a many band test record?
    Ahh, a resource, an Audiophile of a high stature!

    I askall commers to try his online blind test, not the AB testing. You cannot AB well unless you love the source music. The db, pitch, level discernment one.
    .5 db, 10c, 12k (sad 61 now, oh well), 2 ms & 65 db dynamic range.
    Report here no need for a zillion runs I will believe you.
    My op of the testing thread.
    My first post

    My study investigation so far

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