Dec 18, 20181743 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: 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). As usual, the good folks at SBAF utterly eviscerate this clown: 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 ;)
Jackula, StarlitSentry, and 9 others

Amir won an Emmy for his work in TV and audio... back in 2006/7 at the least. Most of us were still learning about headphone models and headphones companies back then. Did any of you win an Emmy? I don't think so. Did even... Jude? Or Tyll? Hmm... I don't think so. I think the guy is still humble enough.

Come on. You are causing so much burn to so many people!! I remember I call tyll out in reddit, I said he is aged and his 'taste'and hearing degraded. Some references his declared that he did audio test.and his hearing is like 20 years old. 1 years later he retired and sold his website because he no longer hear things the right way. LMAO. obviously a 60 years old fit senior citizen can beat a 20 years old normal guy in 100m running. Wait. No. . That's why people keep dying during marathon session.
Reminds me of thos guys claiming "atheism is religion too!". Nope. ASR is anything but a cult and Amir's calm, respectful factual and pertinent repsonses and measurements speak for themselves and no amount of LOLs going to change that. With their reactions, in this case and others, the staff at SBAF and HeadFi were exposed for what they are and anyone with half a brain can read the threads on ASR and decide for themselves. People like the OP are too invested in their audiofool fantasies they can no longer acknowledge reality.
The only reason I like his reviews is because his reviews are the closest "backed up" way to test amps and dacs. When I look at other reviewers testing amps/dacs most of them will say "Yeah its good lol xD" and basically ramble on how they like it and recommend it. That doesn't tell me anything at ALL. It's more so worrying when there are people out in the community that actually think the HD 600 series has soundstage. I once read a review from the headphone community stating "yes the HD 600 feels so open and has a vast soundstage, even with this schiit magni+modi I can feel it opening up even more". I even bought the headphone myself but concluded the fact that these headphones aren't open at all, they are the MOST narrow soundstage headphone out there I ever tried INCLUDING closed backs. I can't take people seriously when half of the community is saying something misleading. There are no objective ways to test headphones or amps/dacs in terms of performance but his reviews are the closest thing. Sometimes I see your everyday people trying to post their own FR graphs on headphones but the thing is how am I supposed to read this when the treble portion of it is like a \ slope. Even more so when you don't know if they have a proper seal or not. I don't take FR graphs very seriously since I can see they are in no way perfect. I don't know if amirs is anywhere near perfect but there is nothing else that can let me say "I want to compare the JDS element to the JDS atoms amp." What am I going to hear? Some guy saying "JDS elements provides a more larger dynamic range with a boosted treble response at 6k while the atoms provides a more laid back treble response at 5k and the resolution is just not up to par." This type of comment is just someone's opinion.
My eyes just glaze over when I see frequency graphs. I couldn't care less what a machine *hears*. I'd rather read some arrogant "audiophile's" impressions, then ignore them and buy what I think I'll like.
Well as an ASRist myself, an adherent to the "Cult".. Can those who are much more knowledgeable than Amirm point toward fault in his methodology? Let's stop the ad hominem and address the facts: Are his measurements incorrect? Are there better ways? Can you fault his logic? Not even his, "The" Logic in his findings? If yes, then propose something better.
"Amir is an ex software engineer, 'retired' Microsoft money; ..." Software engineer? My background is on every post in ASR Forum in my signature: 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?
Load 1 more comment
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.
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:  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: 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 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.
Load 1 more comment
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.
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
Load 2 more comments
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:
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.
Load 1 more comment
.... so a measuring guy still lol
Dear Sir, I am grateful to your spending your time in ways that really benefit audiophiles throughout the world! It is owing to you and your measurements that I bought so far the Topping D50, Khadas Tone Board, and the Massdrop AAA THX headphone amplifier! All of them live to the promises your measurements! At present, your contribution is immense and most welcome! Any serious audio equipment manufacturer would no longer dare selling any snake-oil DACs or audio amplifiers! Your AP555x measurements are invaluable, however the way a DAC behaves in real-life conditions is quite often poor, due to the computer hardware and software that feeds the digital signal to the DAC! Based on your life-long experience, can you suggest/test some motherboards that would not affect dramatically the performance of a DAC hooked to it? I have tried various ways of taming my computer, having settings in BIOS altered, underclocking my Gigabyte motherboard, I3 processor, memory speed, but results, more often than not were not satisfactory! This may also go with the Microsoft audio settings, such as volume level (the default setting is 50%), the recommended 44.1 or 48 Khz, and bit depth that we should select, and the Wasapi vs. Asio drivers, as well as the fact that the exclusive mode is no longer easy or possible to select! Even players, such as Foobar 2000 audiophile, make no specific reference to any audiophile settings which one should choose! Please help us sort these things out, in
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.
Load 21 more comments
Lol. Who cares about what you think? Go find tyll. Oh wait, his cant hear no more.
Well, I guess you cared enough to comment yourself. So, thanks?