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...........................................When the first Tuning Fuse report came out (the one I mentioned in my survey last year) I wrote the Editor of PF to inform him that his reviewer got current and voltage mixed up. I offered my services as a technical editor. He asked "do you know what an editor does, I doubt you could do it" I replied "well given that review you certainly aren't doing it" Perhaps you need a Technical Editor to check for accuracy of content so you don't embarrass yourself. He really doesn't care.
Well, with our new ABX Test Box we certainly can run objective listening tests on golden ear fuses, power cords, or whatever, and we routinely do this.All we need is two identical units with one using the golden ear part of choice. We match levels and then just listen as we please during our work day here. Once in a while when we decide, yes, this is the one like better, we turn the indicator LEDs back on and see if we have guessed "right". Over days of listening and testing, our experience regarding audiophile tweaks has about a 50 percent batting average - a near perfect random guess ability. Wow!We all spend most of our time, when evaluating anything new in our system, listening with our eyes or with preconceived notions. Our ABX box takes all the fun and authority out of this. However this keeps us from dragging down design paths that just don't make useful audible improvements and annoys us when I, for example, redesign a preamp board layout to accept all polypropylene capacitors and find that it made no sonic difference at all. It is a nice advertising bullet point however.Some seem absolutely terrified at the thought of using a proper ABX test box. They don't like risking having their authoritative opinions unmasked as the bullshit it is. I am among those that just had to get over this. However, short term or long term listening, nice weather, cloudy rainy weather, high or low line voltage, downer or upper days, the ABX box does not care, it just gives you the chance to hear the truth, whether you like it or not.If you want more info regarding our ABX box, e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.orgFrank Van Alstine
The ABX box sounds awesome! I have half a mind to pick one up and start doing some reviewing with it and publishing my results here. Of course, I am rather jaded at this point about a lot of stuff, as covering RMAF for 10 years has really revealed how much complete and utter BS there is within the industry. I mean seriously - people bring their fancy boxes and big speakers and neglect to address something as basic as room treatments. THAT is what consumers are putting their trust in. Plus, the difference between the very best rooms and the very average rooms is big but not huge. There is an upper limit to what is even possible to reproduce via a stereo, and that limit is MUCH LOWER than people suspect. And no amount of tweaks or BS will affect that upper limit. And trust me, if you treat your room or have a nice listening space, you are MUCH closer to that upper limit than the vast majority of other audiophiles, even reviewers. That's only my opinion, but it is based on 10 years of solid exposure to the very best that the industry has to offer. People really should make time to go to these shows, it is a huge eye (ear) opener.
Our ABX box has no capacitors in the signal path and we ran extensive AB tests with a special version of the box when we designed it, one that allowed AB testing of the box against itself. One signal path was through the relay connections in the box, the other path straight through. We were satisfied that we could hear no difference between the path using the internal very high quality mechanical computer driven relay contacts and the straight through path. Only then did we proceed with a production box. We use the box all the time here with all equipment we build and test and have had no doubts at all that it is getting in the way of the music.Of course if you are magic fuse believer then all bets are off, except of course that there are no fuses in the signal path of the box either. FrankPS In restoring old Dyna equipment you were most likely replacing out of spec aged parts and parts inappropriately used in the original designs, such as polarized capacitors in the signal path not biased on higher then the possible reverse voltage swing. Dyna made that mistake often.
The ABX box sounds awesome! I have half a mind to pick one up and start doing some reviewing with it and publishing my results here.
Here is a link to the ABX Test Box on our web site:http://avahifi.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=271&Itemid=238If any would like a .pdf copy of the owners use and setup manual just e-mail me at avahifi@comcastnetFrank
Over the years I’ve spent $2000 on speaker wire, interconnect, and mains cables. The value of the wire I use in my system now is under $500. If my system was worth $20,000 I wouldn’t spend any more on wire.
Hi Fred, while I agree with much of your sentiment, I'll point out that neither you nor I listen blind/controlled at home for pleasure (or at least I certainly don't). As such, if a $2000 cable, a $20k preamp, or, heavens forbid, a $50 magic fuse, causes one to enjoy listening to their system more, then I'm all for it. Our sensory perception goes far beyond what sound impinges upon the ears.My only contention and reason for being in this thread, is when objective reasons are given as correlations for why.cheers,AJ
It really makes you wonder what is going through the mind of Roger Skoff for example to brag about a questionable sales tool in light of the fact that his company XLO went out of business. He's thumbing his nose at anyone who bought cable from him in my opinion. Maybe he never learned his lesson? Or maybe he did & got out before the business failed. Investment bankers hedge/fund managers etc. in light of recent history, show a real lack of empathy for the market i.e. the customers (people). It looks like that mentality has spilled over into retail sales as well I still can't get over the arrogance in that article especially the last sentence. I don't want to read about Stein Music Harmonizers, I don't want to read about tuning fuses & bogus sales techniques mixed in with reviews of speaker cables, interconnect, & mains cables. What I want to hear is honesty in reviewing.
Your correct we don't listen blind, but blind listening is missing the original point of this post. If you look at the opening post in this thread you can see it's really a lament on how the hobby has degenerated to the point where if you say you're an audiophile some people look at you as if you just left hanger 2 at area 51. I noted the fact that the audiophile press is aware of this problem yet the editors of these rags continue to publish these unsubstantiated reviews.
I don't see anything questionable about the sales technique. Let the customer hear the standard cable vs the audiophile cable : if they can't hear the difference or don't think it's worth the price, then they don't buy. Of course humorously Skoff is going to say that those who can't hear a difference between XLO and what comes in the box cables has "wooden ears" : he's a renowned cable designer and believes in his designs and what he does. I don't see him thumbing his nose either at his customers nor at those who bought XLO products either before or AFTER HE SOLD TO ULTRALINK (2008). From what I understand there were perhaps boardroom politics involved at parent company Ultralink - and I doubt Skoff had much to do about the decision to cease operation. Why would he want to see the company he created go away?Skoff & XLO are some of the good guys, and they deserve to be treated as such.As for not wanting to read about ancillary stuff within the main review : then don't. Skip it or turn the page, or find another publication. I believe reviewers should be allowed and encouraged to reference and discuss all elements of the system that was used to evaluate a particular item under review. The more information, the better - assuming of course that there's sufficient and clear coverage of the particular item under review.
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