Dec 18, 20181018 views

Cult of Audio 'Science' Review - Amir's Faithful

I've noticed a rather lot of blind enthusiasm on these forums where people just drop a single link to an ASR 'review' without commentary as though Amir offers any authority on the subject. Amir is an ex software engineer, 'retired' Microsoft money (EDIT, Amir has corrected me, he is not a software engineer, this is my bad, his background is linked in his sig on ASF); he larps as though he understands hardware but a quick trip off the DAC reservation shows his ignorance very quickly. For instance, here he is needing to be told by one of his forum members that he can simply add a balanced cord to his HD650 to test balanced lol: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/so-what-is-a-common-balanced-headphone-for-testing.4949/ Dude seriously thought he needed an entirely new pair of headphones! LMAO. More fundamentally, he makes all sorts of commentary on spectrum shape at sub -110 dB levels, but offers no precision gauge in the form of repeated measurements. Seriously, look how skeevy Amir gets when the community tries to get him to measure a second Jotunheim (not unreasonable given how 'exceptional' his results were here compared to such a commonly measured unit). https://www.superbestaudiofriends.org/index.php?threads/schiit-jotunheim-has-no-grounding-hum-issues.6664/ As usual, the good folks at SBAF utterly eviscerate this clown: https://www.superbestaudiofriends.org/index.php?threads/modi-2u-and-d30-dac-deconstructing-amirs-hack-job-part-ii.6449/ Amir's measurements are one of many, and they often differ without explanation or (most damning!) investigation. His measurements are sub Jude-tier, get yourself a second (and third) opinion ;)
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"Amir is an ex software engineer, 'retired' Microsoft money; ..." Software engineer? My background is on every post in ASR Forum in my signature: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/a-bit-about-your-host.1906/ As I explain there, I grew up with hardware design and went on to get my electrical engineering degree. But along the way also fell in love with software and so have dual expertise. I worked for nearly 35 years in the industry working for many software and hardware companies including names you may know (Sony). At Microsoft I was a Vice President in charge of nearly 1000 people developing software, working with countless chip companies on embedded development, marketing, business development, etc. In other words, I feel comfortable with all facets of technology. Post Microsoft I co-created a start-up that was acquired by fortune-50 companies. I worked hard to get to a point where I can donate my time and money to the community through testing and writing. You make it sound like Microsoft handed me play money. I have been using Audio Analyzers since I worked at Sony (bought the first Audio Precision there back in 1990 or so). I have a strong background in signal processing, psychocacoustics, all aspects of audio processing (compression, etc.), am a trained listener, know about manufacturing, etc. Also during college, I repaired thousands of pieces of electronics and put myself through school that way. So let's have you tell us what the credentials of the other people are that you are putting forward. Do you know what they even do in their day job? You really rather be in the dark and not have the benefit of measurements I perform? You rather not know anything about a new DAC, headphone amp, etc.? Or are you happy with faulty subjective reviews that are dime a dozen?
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amirm
For the record, as you previously took time to reply to one of my posts, I never had a problem with your credentials; in fact, I acknowledged that you are extremely well-qualified. This, however, does not mean that some of the other people who we put forth have none. Please do not insult our intelligence. As a response to your last few questions, that is being unfair, accusatory, and like I said before, insulting our intelligence. You and I both know that's not what anyone wants. I believe people in this hobby would be smarter than that (although a few might not be). Also, for the record, I never said the data you presented is invalid. In fact, for those in-the-know, it's very useful. All I accused you for in the past is being misleading. This has been well-documented by people like Jude at Head-fi, and Marv and AtomicBob at SBAF (and for the record, I'm not a Jude fan either). That being said, I have found some of your later reviews quite useful. But if I may be frank, your continuing need to defend youself is both getting old and making you seem like you want to be the last word in audio because "you're so qualified that you're the only word that can be trusted and not to listen to anyone else." Just put out good, solid data and let your f***ing credentials and quality of work speak for themselves.
amirm
Please ignore ignorant attention seekers like the OP and keep up the great work you do at ASR forums. Don't let it dissuade you in the slightest. The naysayers just don't get the importance of objective scientific measurements. They don't understand that what they *think* they are hearing is subject to dozens of biases and variables that they aren't even aware of and make absolutely zero effort to account for those factors. OP's post is a classical example of Dunning-Kruger effect. They get pissed after looking at your measurements and conclusions after having spent their savings on audio-gd/shit products. Then they reverse rationalize and get angry at *you*. There are so many people that appreciate the work you have done and thoroughly enjoy being a part of the community at ASR. Your reviews are like a glass of cold water in a hell of audiophile reviews. > SBAF utterly eviscerate this clown: https://www.superbestaudiofriends.org/index.php?threads/modi-2u-and-d30-dac-deconstructing-amirs-hack-job-part-ii.6449/  purr1n the guy who makes the counter claims in this linked thread didn't even bother posting his methodology or the hardware/software used to make the measurements. I doubt he is using Audio Precision.
Not to start anything but I found this thread incredibly enlightening in general: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/review-and-measurements-of-march-audio-dac1.5755/page-3. I literally had quite a few chuckles out loud reading some of the responses. I recommend starting at the beginning for context but the entire situation is just odd since the manufacturer of the product is chiming in. It just all feels so odd.
I'd be a lot more comfortable with Amir and Audio Science Review if they had more...you know....science. Doesn't science also welcome the input and tests that other people do? If so, then why does Audio Science Review actively avoid other measurements like the plague? I don't even want to bring up the hackjobs that he did in the past, although some of his other reviews have actually not been crap.
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The other thing I can't stand is that he makes it sound like any oaf can just buy an Audio Precision APx555 and do measurements. It's really not that simple. Measurements are exceedingly difficult to take and it takes time and experience to know what you're looking at. That being said I know Amir has the credentials and background to know what he's doing, which just makes the times he spouts misinformation really sad.
dcha12
The problem is that people are generally incompetent when it comes to taking measurements. Engineering and signal processing is not something everyone knows. I doubt Amir would balk at anyone who has shared their methodology in taking the measurements with enough detail so that other people can reproduce the measurements and at the very least assess their merit. If some average Joe posts measurements that are contradictory to mine, without the necessary detail to reproduce the measurements, I'd get extremely pissed. People don't understand the intricacies behind audio and engineering. They post things making dozens of errors on the way until their measurements are basically invalid for the thing they are measuring. Given Amir's credentials, why should he waste his time catering to these ignorant people who are too lazy to progress themselves by learning? If he spent his time countering every idiot who thinks they have measurements that contradict his multi-thousand dollar measuring system, he wouldn't have time to do anything else. At some point you just have to *ignore* the people who are too stubborn to listen to anyone but themselves.
Yeh I noticed that . I am torn apart for the jotunheim there is so many people that says it's good but when it comes to ASR it's really bad.However I will agree on some points he made for example the multibit on the jotunheim is I would say kinda snake oily especially since a few other people not ASR said the same thing . Also regarding the hum issue. On reddit I have found a Few other people with the same problem
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Azeendeen
I think it is fair to give some credit to ASR in effectively communicating the performance advantages of delta sigma vs. multibit. I have not come across other people with the grounding issue on the Jot, but I also haven't exactly scoured the forums for them either. I felt like Amir's response to SBAF and others trying to engage further on measurements (getting other units measured by ASR, measuring the same ASR measured unit elsewhere) was VERY telling in regard to his character. With this in mind, the nice thread @dcha12 linked to kind of speaks for itself, so I'll just shut up and encourage interested folks to read through it regardless which side your opinion may fall on.
Schiit itself (Jason) has confirmed that they missed the steps in manufacturing where the unit's top was supposed to be grounded. To still say otherwise on SBAF shows how deep in love they are with that brand, and how little they understand about electrical engineering and safe designs. These products are dangerous and need to be recalled and fixed. No one should have a metal enclosure around an mains powered unit where the top of the unit is not properly grounded. Heck, even the bottom of the case is not grounded correctly. Just search for humming and you see post after post where people touch the knob on these and the hum goes away. Apply my fix and the problem is gone. Please don't go by stuff people post on forums under aliases. For things this important you want to know the persons qualifications. In my thread a number of engineers chimed in confirming the safety issues: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/fixing-hum-buzz-issues-with-schiit-jotunheim-headphone-amplifier.3733/#post-89406
Yea, it is like a cult. This following weirdly reminds of the the NwAvguy but at least that dude came out and proved his worth with his designs. I don't think we are going to get the same with Amir. Just another measuring dude.
Juka
Measuring guy? You are confusing me with atomicbob on SBAF. My measurements are short but are full of insights form psychoaccoustics to design. I have also written a ton of articles on audio science. Even though I can design hardware, I hate doing so from commercial point of view. I have no interest in building and promoting hardware. I am here to donate my time, experience and resources to help audiophiles have more data to make better purchase decisions and to push the industry to engineer better products. Great companies listen, take the feedback and improve products. Look at Schiit and Modi 3 and how they all of a sudden got religion, posting measurements and such. You think that was an accident? Instead of creating these FUD threads with misinformations, join me to making all of us more educated and informed. The "cult" as you call it has already seen that value and is donating equipment for me to test. And supporting the activity. Sitting on the sidelines, throwing rocks and liking to hobbyist threads on other forums doesn't do anyone good and degrades the otherwise good discussions on massdrop.
amirm
.... so a measuring guy still lol
At first, I had issues with ASR. But dare I say, he has been trying to make improvements to the process and the measurements IMO for the latest batch of gear, is usually spot-on to others and manufacturer measurements (just for context sake). Personally, I don't think Amir should actually review anything as that's the sticking point for me. I'm all for impressions but his "reviews" are severely lacking in every sense of the word. Throw in editing, typos, missing or false info, and occasionally incorrect measurements that get pushed live. That lack of QC gets my attention and calls into question the entire process when the basics aren't even being covered. I dunno. I think ASR would be easier to swallow as a whole if he stopped passing his impressions off for an actual review as I find that incredibly misleading. If he improves in that regard with proper editing, then I think my feelings about it all would be different. Personally, I miss Tyll and his perspective overall and it's been a bitch filling that hole with any other reviewer that has his panache and love for this hobby while not being a dick about it and conveying his thoughts clearly and concisely.
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He's using an Audio-Precision analyzer a device he claims to know how to use better than Audio-Precision employees who built the thing.
Yethal
Wow. That’s enlightening. Maybe it would explain why his measurements on the jotunheim seem off (at least compared to others).