ASR Review of Spark

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. Read 980 times.

cipriano

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 19
ASR Review of Spark
« on: 9 May 2021, 10:50 am »
Hello Everybody,
Does anyone have thoughts on the recent review on Audio Science Review of the Spark? They really ripped it!

Not that it's hindering my listening enjoyment. I trust my ears, not measurements. FWIW I have owned an amp that ASR ranks at the very top of their reviewed amps. It's a Nord Hypex NC400. Not a bad amp, but I returned it as it just seemed too vanilla. So maybe my ears are contrary to what this ASR guy is measuring.

One strange measurement is that he states the Spark tops out at 8.8 wpc, less than half the rated 20 wpc. That can't be right can it?  :scratch:

RDavidson

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 2755
Re: ASR Review of Spark
« Reply #1 on: 9 May 2021, 08:11 pm »
Good measurements are not a guarantee nor necessarily synonymous with enjoyable sound. Great amps usually measure pretty well, perform well, AND sound good to our ears. We don't listen to measurements, we listen to sound and music. We can perceive things in sound and music that measurement devices cannot. This is why listening and subjective observations must be a part of any honest gear review worth its salt.

The funniest thing I saw over at that ASR site was a dude worried about his amp having less than "top notch" measurements, but the speakers he was using definitely did not have a flat frequency response anyway. :duh:

Don't get too hung up on this stuff especially if you don't understand it, man. The only thing that's truly important is that you like what you're hearing. If you like it and it sounds natural and realistic to you, then how "wrong" could it truly be irrespective of measurements?
« Last Edit: 9 May 2021, 09:40 pm by RDavidson »

rotarius

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 423
Re: ASR Review of Spark
« Reply #2 on: 9 May 2021, 11:02 pm »
Correct, there are many amps that measure well that are a bit on the sterile side when connected to my speakers. Where the ASR reviews are helpful are the power and channel balance measurements.  Most well designed amps have a flat response, so the bass roll off is the most concerning aspect of the review and the claimed power output of course.

fcdvpds

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 3
Re: ASR Review of Spark
« Reply #3 on: 5 Jul 2021, 02:39 pm »
put it this way, GR Research measured the Micca RB42 speakers. His conclusion, great measured performance and outstanding value for money.

ASR reviewed the same Micca RB42 speakers. Conclusion, crap measured performance.

This is how objective measurements are. Honestly, I do enjoy ASR reviews and work and I learned to contextualise his conclusions. Amir expects low cost components to achieve perfect measured performance and he wouldn't be getting our time if his conclusion was great performance for the money. Also, great measured performance is easily achieved by Class D amplifiers and filters on the top of filters.

And yes, there's a lot of similarly priced amplifiers from China that measure better and may sound better. Well I live in China. Guess what? I can't remember what is fresh air or a blue sky. There's a hidden price behind low cost stuff and one needs to know in what world we want to live.

Anyways, I have two systems, a my main system with a Luxman mq-88uc and and a desktop stereo with the spark 2. They both sound outstanding in their own way.

SET Man

Re: ASR Review of Spark
« Reply #4 on: 5 Jul 2021, 08:24 pm »
Hello Everybody,
Does anyone have thoughts on the recent review on Audio Science Review of the Spark? They really ripped it!

Not that it's hindering my listening enjoyment. I trust my ears, not measurements. FWIW I have owned an amp that ASR ranks at the very top of their reviewed amps. It's a Nord Hypex NC400. Not a bad amp, but I returned it as it just seemed too vanilla. So maybe my ears are contrary to what this ASR guy is measuring.

One strange measurement is that he states the Spark tops out at 8.8 wpc, less than half the rated 20 wpc. That can't be right can it?  :scratch:

Hey!

    I wonder if that ASR guy put on music, sit down, presses play and watch the sound through oscilloscope instead of actually "listening" to music with his ears and auditory cortex of his brain :scratch:

    I've watched his videos a few times just out of curiosity. I think I'd have watched more back when I was younger and just got interested in audio. Back then I dreamt of having high power amp with low THD, big speaker with many drivers and flat responds and etc. And then as I got older and got exposed to more audios I realized that there's more to measurement numbers on paper. Don't get me wrong, measurement is very important in designing and make sure that things are working right and not bursting in flame.

   You know, he sounds like he knows what make "perfect" audio devices based on what he measures. I would love to see him build an amp and see how it sound.

    Anyway, like Obi-Wan says but modified for audiophiles here.... "Use your ears,_____" insert your name in the blank :lol:

Buddy

PS
  I don't think he and I will get along. I mean, look at my screen name here and we all know how SET amps measures :lol:

Nick B

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 723
Re: ASR Review of Spark
« Reply #5 on: 5 Jul 2021, 09:38 pm »
Hey!

    I wonder if that ASR guy put on music, sit down, presses play and watch the sound through oscilloscope instead of actually "listening" to music with his ears and auditory cortex of his brain :scratch:

    I've watched his videos a few times just out of curiosity. I think I'd have watched more back when I was younger and just got interested in audio. Back then I dreamt of having high power amp with low THD, big speaker with many drivers and flat responds and etc. And then as I got older and got exposed to more audios I realized that there's more to measurement numbers on paper. Don't get me wrong, measurement is very important in designing and make sure that things are working right and not bursting in flame.

   You know, he sounds like he knows what make "perfect" audio devices based on what he measures. I would love to see him build an amp and see how it sound.

    Anyway, like Obi-Wan says but modified for audiophiles here.... "Use your ears,_____" insert your name in the blank :lol:

Buddy

PS
  I don't think he and I will get along. I mean, look at my screen name here and we all know how SET amps measures :lol:

So you’re not thinking of measurements as you listen to the beautiful music coming out of your SET amp??

hayden

Re: ASR Review of Spark
« Reply #6 on: 6 Jul 2021, 01:54 am »
Good measurements are not a guarantee nor necessarily synonymous with enjoyable sound. Great amps usually measure pretty well, perform well, AND sound good to our ears. We don't listen to measurements, we listen to sound and music. We can perceive things in sound and music that measurement devices cannot. This is why listening and subjective observations must be a part of any honest gear review worth its salt.

The funniest thing I saw over at that ASR site was a dude worried about his amp having less than "top notch" measurements, but the speakers he was using definitely did not have a flat frequency response anyway. :duh:

Don't get too hung up on this stuff especially if you don't understand it, man. The only thing that's truly important is that you like what you're hearing. If you like it and it sounds natural and realistic to you, then how "wrong" could it truly be irrespective of measurements?

Couldn’t a person not know that what they are hearing is wrong? (High distortion, poor frequency response, etc). If they have not heard quality gear that also measures well, are they not going on faith, or confirmation bias about their multi-thousand dollar purchase?

SET Man

Re: ASR Review of Spark
« Reply #7 on: 14 Jul 2021, 02:43 am »
So you’re not thinking of measurements as you listen to the beautiful music coming out of your SET amp??

Hey!

   Of course not. I usually find myself looking at space between my speakers where the singer's voice just hang in the air, sound emanates from the behind and around the speakers wrapped around me, hear the feeling and emotional of the singer's voice or the way musicians play his/her instruments.

    Don't get me wrong measurements are important. You need to make sure the design works and won't blow up. That's the "science" part then comes the "art" part of how things sound to human ears and brains. Hearing is a complex and primitive system, we do hear before we can see and taste.

    I'm more of an "art" than "science" kinda guy. So, when is come to audio system... as long as is doesn't burst up in flame... I'm looking for a system that is "emotionally correct" above all else.

Buddy

Nick B

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 723
Re: ASR Review of Spark
« Reply #8 on: 14 Jul 2021, 03:15 am »
Hey!

   Of course not. I usually find myself looking at space between my speakers where the singer's voice just hang in the air, sound emanates from the behind and around the speakers wrapped around me, hear the feeling and emotional of the singer's voice or the way musicians play his/her instruments.

    Don't get me wrong measurements are important. You need to make sure the design works and won't blow up. That's the "science" part then comes the "art" part of how things sound to human ears and brains. Hearing is a complex and primitive system, we do hear before we can see and taste.

    I'm more of an "art" than "science" kinda guy. So, when is come to audio system... as long as is doesn't burst up in flame... I'm looking for a system that is "emotionally correct" above all else.

Buddy

I haven’t had the pleasure… yet… of owning SET amps. As I’m only a consumer, the only thing that matters to me is how it sounds. Like you, I can appreciate why measurements are important, but ultimately it’s that “emotional connection “ that really matters 🎶

borism

Re: ASR Review of Spark
« Reply #9 on: 14 Jul 2021, 11:52 am »
I find the Stereophile model very informative. They provide the reviewer's subjective listening impressions and correlate them to measured performance. Sometimes there is no correlation but at times there is.

Nick B

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 723
Re: ASR Review of Spark
« Reply #10 on: 15 Jul 2021, 12:02 am »
I find the Stereophile model very informative. They provide the reviewer's subjective listening impressions and correlate them to measured performance. Sometimes there is no correlation but at times there is.

Thanks for that. Am no longer a Stereophile subscriber, but will look for that next time a read one of their reviews.