Can audio equipment be chosen with specs?

July 28, 2021
 by Paul McGowan

14 comments on “Can audio equipment be chosen with specs?”

  1. If an amplifier sounds good at the dealer and not at home it’s likely every amplifier you buy might not sound good at home unless you fix the problem. It could be some other component in your system or the room or the positioning of your speakers or poor cables or bad connections that need cleaning or repair as to why it sounds worse at home. It could be the amplifier isn’t a good fit for the rest of your system.

  2. Why not better als the manufacturer of the amp which loudspeakers he used for the final voicing?
    Why not better directly ask the designer of the loudspeaker which amp he used for final voicing? Why not go for active loudspeakers with internal DSP for simplifying things?
    And why not let determine the dominant room modes of your listening room before starting the selection of audio components?
    The most unethical aspect of the audio business is the fact that the majority of its marketing departments permanently create audio myths and permanently ignores the basics of psychoacoustics. Thus in the end you can only trust your own ears while choosing a most relaxed and unbiased approach for every listening session.

    1. Good afternoon paulsquirrel!
      Except for the active speakers part, I do agree with you, 100%!
      The equipment isn’t exactly gonna sound the same way in your home, as it does on the show room floor at the dealer.
      The only way you’re gonna get that is, you have to copy just about everything that the dealer done in his show room, in your living room or where ever you’re setting your system up at.
      But at the same time, I agree with Paul too.
      If you’re dealing with a company that won’t let you try the equipment out at home, then you should find another company.
      But that is my two sense for what it’s worth.

      1. Hello,

        It is easy to audition equipment in a country with a developed audiophile market (as Paul says, things have changed in this regard), with no-frills, no-questions-asked return policies, at-home trial periods for equipment, etc…

        It is much harder for us living in places where those things simply do not exist. We have to rely on what we hear at the dealers showrooms and/or depend heavilly on what the YT reviewers say about a particular piece of equipment we’re interested in.

        If I understood Paul correctly, he’s basically saying that we need to sort out our preferences (and budget) before we start choosing upgrades for our systems. That way, we’ll probably be in a better position to choose something based on specs (and someone else’s experience), even if we don’t have a chance to hear it in our listening space.

        Happy listening to everyone, enjoy music!
        Vlada

        1. Good morning Vlada_j!
          I both get and understand that.
          I don’t know where you’re located at, but here in the United States, there are a lot of high end stores that do let you try it at home.
          Some, will give you up to 30 days to make your dicition.
          Others, will give you up to 90 days.
          And also, some of them, even including PS Audio, do trade ins.

          1. Hello John,
            I’m living in Serbia.
            Our audio dealers do not have return policies (unless you can prove that a product was a lemon, but that’s another story) and the on-line stores like Amazon mostly do not deliver audio products to Serbia (it’s probably connected to our customs clearence procedures and high import taxes we need to pay for audio equipment).
            Regards
            Vlada

  3. Just imagine how it would affect high-end manufacturers if it was possible to measure performance in a way that correlates with subjective listening tests? Designers would soon find out how to build products that maximise measured performance at minimum cost, eliminating much of the mystique of high-end audio. It’s easy to see that it is not in the interest of manufacturers with expensive high-end (high gross profit margin) products to level the playing field.

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