Although I see that my post as written might have implied that I have little respect for the Harmonic Discord forums, I did not mean to come off this way. They're fine forums and the other Dan G who is moderator of those forums is a great guy. The reviews are very helpful and they seem very honest to me. It's just that it seems that many of the regulars there are heavily influenced by expectations as opposed to unbiased listening results. I too have much contempt for most professional magazines.
Furthermore, please understand (and I think this goes for all the moderators) that I don't think of any forum as a "competing" forum -- none of the moderators make any money off of this forum, particularly one who is spending lots of his own money to support it (Jude). It's a little silly to assume that we get competitive since we aren't "competing" for anything or anyone -- if you want to visit a forum you visit it. If you want to post, you post.
Finally, the DI/O has proven itself to be a serious contender among many fine digital sources, but I can't help but be extremely skeptical when someone claims that it "beats" the $1500 Sony SACD player which has also been hailed as a product with very high value even in redbook playback.
Okay, now really
), while many lovers of similar equipment may congregate to the same forums once in a while, this doesn't seem so true of most audio-enthusiast sites I've seen. Much of the discussion at Audio-Asylum and Head-Fi is revolved around long debates arguing for and against the merits of specific products, usually between people who own different equipment. If there's a clique mentality at forums, it's rarely around specific electronics but around specific interests -- at Head-Fi it's headphones, at Harmonic Discord it's generally speaker equipment that's reasonably priced, at Audiogon it seems to be the very high end, and Audio Asylum has the specific forums which form their own cliques (the Cable Asylum crowd vs. the Digital Asylum crowd, for example). Some products get hyped here too -- the Melos SHA-1 had its hey-day a few months ago, even longer ago it was the Sony MDR-CD3000. More recently the buzz was about Audio Technica headphones. Now people seem to be talking about Virtual Dynamics cables. But this doesn't mean that people gather specifically to talk about a specific power cable or headphone, but to talk about audio in general.
All I was saying is that I've found that some of the most-frequent posters at HD, including those who posted the DAC shoot-out, seemed quite biased and didn't provide many concrete details to support they hype they generated. In the end it really is
all about what you
hear, but some people seem to direct people where to look with more conventional arguments than others.