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" It’s designed for objectivists ..." does this mean when you plug your headphones in you're bombarded with asinine Ayn Rand garbage? Pass.
It's the perfect amp for listening to your own 87 page paeans to your greatness while relaxing with a fine glass of children's tears!
Good troll if troll. If you're serious though, "objectivist" in this context refers to a branch of the audiophile community primarily focused on judging audiophile products by measurements rather than listener impressions.
It seems to me that whenever somebody asks a question relating to the actual sound quality of this product, all the official people involved in this project go silent. Why is that? Yes, maybe this measures well but that is irrelevant if somebody cannot reliably hear a sound quality improvement in a blind test. Will, can you answer this question?
This is interesting. I have the O2/ODAC now which is supposed to be a fantastic "objectivist" amp/dac combo. I am wondering if there is anything to be gained by switching to this.
Usually we limit our commentary on the sound to let the community share their thoughts instead. That said, given the limited number of people have heard this type of amplifier, I can add some color.
You're asking a relative question, "can somebody reliably hear a sound quality improvement in a blind test", which isn't particularly helpful without a basis of comparison. If you want to respond with something to compare to, I can give some thoughts if I'm familiar with the product.
I'll say in my 10+ years as a member of the audiophile community, I haven't heard a cleaner, more revealing amplifier at any price. I wouldn't have had our team work on this project otherwise.
OK, as compared to any other well built solid state amplifier that has enough power to properly drive the headphones being used. Let's say, a Schiit Asgard 2 with a pair of Hifiman HE400i. In a level-matched blind test, how confident are you that you could reliably tell the difference between the two?
Yea that's going to be pretty obvious. Anyone used to critical listening would notice the difference.
would you take on Buckcester's challenge, Will?
Thanks for the answer. But I hope you can appreciate why many are sceptical of meaningful differences between amps. Many online reviewers said similar things about the Asgard 2. I purchased one and I'd love to be able to say I hear a difference between it and the headphone jack on my Macbook Pro, but I'd be lying if I said it did. I've tried and tried to prove to myself that the Asgard improves the sound quality, but if there is any difference I cannot hear it.
I think you would be doing a great service to the community by testing these things properly. By that, I do mean blind testing.
Hey Buckchester, can you tell me more about your system? What DAC you're feeding into the Asgard and what headphones you're using on the output.
Back in the start of my audiophile progression I had a similar experience with the Matrix M-stage. Bought it with my hard earned cash, waited for it to arrive with visions of audio transcendence playing in my head. Set it up and..... nothing. No noticeable impact. Huge disappointment. Turned out, I was feeding it with the headphone out from my desktop, which means the amplifier was amplifying the output from the garbage amp in my computer. On top of that, I was using 32 ohm DT990s, which couldn't take advantage of the amp.
After switching to an HRT Music streamer II and 250 ohm dt880... finally got the impact I was reading about.
I use it with a Schiit Modi dac and hifiman he400i headphones. The Schiit combo sounds no different from just using the headphone jack on my Macbook Pro.
Now, I'll tell you what did make a difference was Sonarworks EQ. Absolutely huge improvement. I cannot go back to the stock HE400i sound now.
Yea so you're combining a high sensitivity planar magnetic headphone with an amplifier that traditionally pairs well with low sensitivity dynamic headphones. Not the greatest combo to get the most out of your gear.
Your 400i is designed for sources like a MacBook.
If you can, try borrowing an HD6 series headphone (600, 650, 6XX) and compare between your headphone jack and the amplifier. Should be a pretty broad delta.
So, the fact that my headphones are designed for sources like a Macbook, explains why I don’t hear a difference between the Macbook and the Schiit combo, but despite this fact, I will be able to hear a difference with these headphones with this THX amp? Is this because the distortion on the Asgard measures something like 0.1%, while this THX amp measures, what, 0.000001%? But is this kind of difference even audible?
You send your products out to third party reviewers all the time, so why not have this one sent out to one who will conduct an independent, credible blind test? If the difference is as obvious as you say, then you have nothing to lose. You could even increase your sales by convincing the sceptics like me to jump on board.
First edition - 1st printing of Atlas Shrugged being read in Beijing this past January, had to take a pic for the juxtaposition;}
For the inquiring minds; It did not leave burn marks on the table or try to spontaneously ignite... today I heard they banned Winnie the Pooh... and the also notably nasty & notorious letter 'N'; https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/28/world/asia/china-censorship-xi-jinping.html
Just for you, if you aren't already in one of these paradises: https://www.quora.com/What-is-the-process-to-become-a-Chinese-citizen , or you can live in Ayn's old home: https://waytorussia.net/RussianVisa/Status.html
Needless to say, or is it,, that I read this as an excellent selling point, as will many others, if you want to bend/twist it that way... pick another forum for your political chatter.
"Those who test and evaluate equipment can be roughly divided into two groups: "Objectivists", who believe that all perceivable differences in audio equipment can be explained scientifically through measurement and double-blind listening tests; and the "Subjectivists", who believe that the human ear is capable of hearing details and differences that cannot be directly measured." http://www.theaudiocritic.com/back_issues/The_Audio_Critic_16_r.pdf
I'd say the quality of discourse on this thread has more than validated the lame joke I made to start it. In addition to getting pertinent information on the product from collaborators on the drop, you yourself have highlighted the important distinction between the two meanings of the word: objectivists can be either self-identified audiophiles favoring scientific measurement to evaluate audio equipment, or the people who made me feel so, so bad for saying those bad things about Ayn Rand. Or both!
As a now published critic of Ayn, which ones have you read? (completely):
Woof, here I am, still reeling from the shame of having so villainously denigrated Ayn Rand's good name, and you're asking me this? Do you not sense my contrition? To what end must I suffer to adequately repent?
Oh and the answer is none (completely). I have completely not read a single Ayn Rand book. Are they any good? I'm never going to read them, but feel free to answer.
Atlas Shrugged would be the one, her magnum opus.
Yes, it is a good read, a well told story, intertwined though of course with,, objectivism.
No deaths have been reported... though best taken in doses for padawans...
ARRRGGhhh My eyes!!!!!!!!!
The fact you didn't receive an answer for your last question really concerns me...
The Virtue of Selfishness. Changed my life. Wanted to scream at her on almost every single page, though, before understanding her point.
Me too. But I'm not surprised. Something that measures better means nothing if you can't actually hear it.
But blind testing is a skill, and there aren't a whole lot of people that have it. Just because Tyll can abx random amps, doesn't mean any old audiophile off the street can (see, eg, his testing of headphone break-in). And just because you fail an abx test doesn't mean that you aren't enjoying amp B more than amp A (either sighted or blind, though no one is listening to their rig blind for fun), and if you enjoy it more, then it ought to be worth more to you.
If you cannot reliably tell the difference between two amps in a blind test, then how can you know that you actually enjoy one more than the other?
With performance at even par... then excellence in components and meticulous attention to detail in manufacturing. Something you know will last and not degrade unduly. And,, Oh, then, most importantly; eye candy..;)
How do people know they don't like eating tripe (or whatever it is they don't like eating)? A blind abx tests whether you can tell the difference between two things, not about which one you like better, so presumably that's something you can figure out even without the blind test.
So if you can't tell the difference, how can you like one better?
Are you trolling, or is this an honest question? I'm confused. I assume you're aware that in sighted comparisons people have no problems telling different amps apart, or you wouldn't be asking for blind tests.
If you can tell the difference in a sighted but not a blind test, makes you wonder if you are actually hearing a difference, doesn't it...?
You are missing the point entirely. Placebos have very real consequences (both positive and negative). No reason not to use them for entertainment purposes, when there is no downside aside from the cost.
Thank you for being honest, but I'm sure I'm not alone in saying I am not interested in paying money for a placebo effect.
I think people are too afraid of the word "placebo", like it's a bad thing. It gets the job done. Obviously, there is still a price, as you have to pay for the R&D and manufacturing costs, shipping, Massdrop's cut. If you don't want to pay for placebo, you are almost stuck using your iphone, since it's probably getting upwards of 97% of audible subjective quality though this is obviously headphone-dependent (and that number is meaningless). Does anything sound better than an iphone? For most people the answer is yes, ergo, learn to stop worrying and love the bomb.