Why not both?

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The best audio products in the world measure great and sound great too. At least that’s what many of us want.

What of the outliers? The ones that lean more in one direction than the other? The DAC that sounds amazing but is less than great in measuring. Or the perfect measuring DAC that causes us to lose interest the longer we listen.

Are these outliers from middle ground to be avoided or embraced?

Perhaps we should rethink some of our biases and swing the pendulum back towards the middle.

In the earliest days of HiFi, battle lines that remain with us today were being drawn. There were the Julian Hirsch and Peter Aczel camps espousing the perfection of measurements and making fun of the subjectivists: the Harry Pearson and Gordon Holt camps. Each had their points and each fought their battles with great vim and vigor. Audiophiles lined up behind the ones they supported.

And all along, manufacturers like PS Audio and others were using both disciplines to build their products. Measurements were always as important as getting the sonics right.

It’s an age-old battle, but it seems the winners are the ones in the middle.

A great sounding DAC or amplifier has to measure well and sound great at the same time.

One—without the other heading off into the weeds—is where sacred ground lies.