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post #1 of 833 Old 01-01-2019, 12:06 PM - Thread Starter
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The limitations of saying the science is closed....

"There's a popular myth about scientific measurements that regards such data as enjoying an objective and independent existence in the outside world. The problem with this view is that the data must be perceived by an observer. The observer structures and interprets the data in accordance with his cognitive or theoretical framework. A scientist's preconceived notions, or theoretical view he is out to prove, will provide cues as to which data are essential or on how to pattern the data in order to support the theory.

Thus, the data are imprinted with an unconscious subjective bias. James Clerk Maxwell, the father of classical electromagnetism, is said to have remarked once that "There are two theories of light, the corpuscle theory and the wave theory; we used to believe in the corpuscle theory; now we believe in the wave theory because all those who believed in the corpuscle theory have died."

The point, of course, is that the significance of particular data patterns depends very much on who is perceiving these as cues for confirming particular theoretical assumptions and inferences. It's amazing how many times scientists have reported positive findings on the basis of "data" that were actually buried below the noise floor of the experimental apparatus. Eddington's measurement of the gravitational bending of light by the sun during the solar eclipse of 1919 was hailed as confirmation of Einstein's theory. Einstein's theory of general relativity has, of course, been verified numerous times since then. But it was later discovered that Eddington's results were fortuitous. The experimental errors associated with his photographic plates were such that he could just as easily have obtained a negative result.

Scientists are basically deterministic in outlook and are conditioned to search for causality. The simplistic reduction of such an attitude leads to the following dictum: If it exists, it can be measured. The corollary of which is that if something cannot be measured, it does not exist. Thus, one can understand the logic behind the assertion that all cables that measure identically should sound alike. This might be true if we could assure ourselves that the measurement set was all-inclusive and sufficiently refined or sensitive to establish a particular pair of cables as identical twins. But how can you know a priori all of the factors which impact sonic performance? And at what level do these factors make an audible difference? To argue simply, as opponents of exotic cable have done, that impedance variation is all that matters because nothing else appears to matter, reflects a lack of imagination.

Science is about the search for a hidden reality. To say that all of the important design considerations for cables and amplifiers can be condensed into a simple recipe is to say that these aspects of audio are closed and require no further investigation. This mirrors the view of many physicists in the latter part of the 19th century. Many budding physicists were advised to pursue another discipline because pretty soon there would be nothing left to discover about reality.

Fortunately, for the time being, high-end audio remains largely an art. A high-end product should evolve on the basis of extensive listening tests. The same circuit can be made to sound differently with different boards, layout, or part selection, and in all these cases the differences would be impossible to discern, measurement-wise, at the current state of the art. Take the soundfield produced by a conventional two-channel audio system. Aspects of this soundfield could be measured at various levels of accuracy, but none of these measurements can reliably answer the question of "how close to 'live' will that soundfield be perceived?" The soundfield at the head is processed and interpreted by the ear/brain and results in the perception of a soundstage projected outside of the head. Just how realistic that soundstage is must be decided by the audiophile on the basis of subjective listening tests. High-end audio is about the conviction with which the "illusion of live music" can be reproduced.
"


Copied and excerpted from - http://www.stereophile.com/content/...sI56SJElVCs.99

One can do all the double blind tests he can muster, but the real test for audio is does it do for you what music is supposed to? Does it evoke an emotion? Have you lived with it, do you like it over the long haul, and does it excite you? If the answers to these questions are no, or unknown, then you have no basis except paltry short clips of listening.

Happy new year!
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post #2 of 833 Old 01-01-2019, 12:13 PM
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Bravo!
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post #3 of 833 Old 01-01-2019, 12:14 PM
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Originally Posted by bing! View Post
... the real test for audio is does it do for you what music is supposed to? Does it evoke an emotion? Have you lived with it, do you like it over the long haul, and does it excite you? If the answers to these questions are no, or unknown, then you have no basis except paltry short clips of listening.
Personal choice(s). Not worth an argument... or starting one.
Enjoy your equipment. Simple.
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If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough – Albert Einstein
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post #4 of 833 Old 01-01-2019, 12:30 PM - Thread Starter
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The “Head Turn Phenomenon”

Have you found yourself suddenly turning your head while listening to a track after hearing something come out of the stereo that surprised you?

It can be a track element, an instrument, a vocal or just a wild soundstage jab. But if you’ve suddenly found yourself turning in puzzle or amazement, congrats! According to my subjective tests, you’ve got something very good going.
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post #5 of 833 Old 01-01-2019, 01:40 PM
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Have you found yourself suddenly turning your head while listening to a track after hearing something come out of the stereo that surprised you? .
Yes. Pretty neat. Never heard it in anyone else's home. I must be on to something good!



If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough – Albert Einstein
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post #6 of 833 Old 01-01-2019, 01:45 PM
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post #7 of 833 Old 01-01-2019, 01:53 PM
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Originally Posted by bing! View Post
"There's a popular myth about scientific measurements that regards such data as enjoying an objective and independent existence in the outside world. The problem with this view is that the data must be perceived by an observer. The observer structures and interprets the data in accordance with his cognitive or theoretical framework. A scientist's preconceived notions, or theoretical view he is out to prove, will provide cues as to which data are essential or on how to pattern the data in order to support the theory.



............................


The point, of course, is that the significance of particular data patterns depends very much on who is perceiving these as cues for confirming particular theoretical assumptions and inferences. It's amazing how many times scientists have reported positive findings on the basis of "data" that were actually buried below the noise floor of the experimental apparatus. Eddington's measurement of the gravitational bending of light by the sun during the solar eclipse of 1919 was hailed as confirmation of Einstein's theory. Einstein's theory of general relativity has, of course, been verified numerous times since then. But it was later discovered that Eddington's results were fortuitous. The experimental errors associated with his photographic plates were such that he could just as easily have obtained a negative result.

Scientists are basically deterministic in outlook and are conditioned to search for causality. The simplistic reduction of such an attitude leads to the following dictum: If it exists, it can be measured. The corollary of which is that if something cannot be measured, it does not exist. Thus, one can understand the logic behind the assertion that all cables that measure identically should sound alike. This might be true if we could assure ourselves that the measurement set was all-inclusive and sufficiently refined or sensitive to establish a particular pair of cables as identical twins. But how can you know a priori all of the factors which impact sonic performance? And at what level do these factors make an audible difference? To argue simply, as opponents of exotic cable have done, that impedance variation is all that matters because nothing else appears to matter, reflects a lack of imagination.

.....................

This really hits the point in all front. I worked over 10 years in a place called Charles Evans & Assoc/Physical Electronics where about 70% of the people are PhDs. We have papers published stacking up in the library.



I might not have a PhD to qualify to be a "Scientist", I was the manager of EE and chief designer of their instruments. But I did published articles in the America Institute of Physics Review of Scientific Instruments.
http://aip.scitation.org/doi/10.1063/1.1310339
http://aip.scitation.org/doi/10.1063/1.1144464
You don't know how much BS even in these prestige journals. You literally can pick and choose data to either back your up or refute the other finding. It's not better than politics. Look at the whole so called climate change research done by those liberal professors, the model they use is wrong and they keep using it. That's the reason they go from global ice age to global warming......now is climate change so they got it covered either way.


At least in these real journals, they have PhDs examining all the paper submissions. Those so called papers and articles in the social media has nobody to serve as a gate keeper, they can put on lies and it's on the WWW.



Even papers in the scientific journals, it's only an opinion and their finding. You read it and use it as reference. Only people that is NOT scientific inclined will trust any article published.
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post #8 of 833 Old 01-01-2019, 02:08 PM
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Originally Posted by bing! View Post
...................................

Thus, the data are imprinted with an unconscious subjective bias. James Clerk Maxwell, the father of classical electromagnetism, is said to have remarked once that "There are two theories of light, the corpuscle theory and the wave theory; we used to believe in the corpuscle theory; now we believe in the wave theory because all those who believed in the corpuscle theory have died."

..................................
I spent a few years studying Electromagnetics. The whole EM is based on 4 differential equations. There is no explanation, it's just is. All the explanation on this are just an interpretation of this 4 equations.

Also, you think Maxwell came out with these 4 differential equations, NO!! People later INVENTED Multiple Variables Calculus to "INTERPRETATE" His theory. There is NO explanation.

The famous benzene ring that you find in organic chemistry and in drugs was discovered NOT by scientific method. The scientist ran into a brick wall and could not explain the behavior. One night he had a dream of a snake biting it's own tail and it goes round and round and round. He woke up, it was a light bulb moment. It's a RING!!!! He then went on and proved it's a ring!!! This is one of the most important discovery. When you see in drugs with Phenyl, that's a derivative of the Benzene Ring. A derivative is the Glucose, take two stacking up is sugar.................. All because of a dream of a snake biting it's own tail.
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post #9 of 833 Old 01-01-2019, 02:14 PM
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I cant believe you opened another thread on subjective evaluation verses scientific methodology. If my subjective preferences differs from yours (which is most likely as human hearing is a personal thing), who is right and who is wrong?
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post #10 of 833 Old 01-01-2019, 02:15 PM - Thread Starter
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^^^ did you mean snake oil? LOL
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post #11 of 833 Old 01-01-2019, 02:17 PM
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^^^ did you mean snake oil? LOL
Just answer the question. Its straightforward.
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post #12 of 833 Old 01-01-2019, 02:24 PM - Thread Starter
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The snake oil comment was in response to Alan’s snake story. You kinda got snuck in there.

Would love to answer ur q, After lunch and when I get back home. I promised the wife I’d take her to the mall.
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post #13 of 833 Old 01-01-2019, 02:30 PM
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I spent a few years studying Electromagnetics. The whole EM is based on 4 differential equations. There is no explanation, it's just is. All the explanation on this are just an interpretation of this 4 equations.

Also, you think Maxwell came out with these 4 differential equations, NO!! People later INVENTED Multiple Variables Calculus to "INTERPRETATE" His theory. There is NO explanation.

The famous benzene ring that you find in organic chemistry and in drugs was discovered NOT by scientific method. The scientist ran into a brick wall and could not explain the behavior. One night he had a dream of a snake biting it's own tail and it goes round and round and round. He woke up, it was a light bulb moment. It's a RING!!!! He then went on and proved it's a ring!!! This is one of the most important discovery. When you see in drugs with Phenyl, that's a derivative of the Benzene Ring. A derivative is the Glucose, take two stacking up is sugar.................. All because of a dream of a snake biting it's own tail.

Scientific inspiration can come from the most unlikely places, or from the likely. Typically the more knowledgeable get the inspiration. Once and idea or hypothesis is formulated, it is back to basic science to test, validate, modify, etc.
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post #14 of 833 Old 01-01-2019, 02:41 PM
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If it exists, it can be measured. The corollary of which is that if something cannot be measured, it does not exist.

Its easy to abuse this quote. Just because we cannot presently measure something, does not mean it cannot be measured.



We have a method for measuring perceptible differences, its a DBT set up to document repeatable results with different subjects. The problem is that you must define what you want to test, which some are particularly poor at that.



Regardless, we can't just ignore proven science when we make claims. We can't assume perception bias might not play into a claim, and we shouldn't make claims while insisting perception biases are not at play. "It sounds better" is a completely useless claim on its own. "It certainly sounds better to me, I am sure of it, but I may be wrong" is the scientifically correct representation for these types of discussions.
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post #15 of 833 Old 01-01-2019, 02:58 PM
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...

Happy new year!
Easy to test whether audible difference in cables are closed or not. Real DBT to statistical significance. If you want to evoke emotion into your DBT testing, be my guest. Good luck getting significant outcomes unless, of course, the wires guag is too different, say 22 ga and 12 ga. If you exclude that DBt, well, enjoy the cable that evokes emotion you seek just don't make testable claims.
Just say this cable is emotionally fulfilling.
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I'm going to just drop this here...

Double-blind tests *did* show amplifiers to sound different!

Something for everybody.

And how quickly we've forgotten Carver's "amplifier challenges" from the same era.

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I'm going to just drop this here...

Double-blind tests *did* show amplifiers to sound different!

Something for everybody.

And how quickly we've forgotten Carver's "amplifier challenges" from the same era.
Yes, thanks for that post. Of course it can but only through DBT that counts. All other anecdotes are worthless.
And, some CD players are audibly different, especially when one of the bits is not working.
And cables are different when you compare a 22 ga with a 12 ga.
Or you exceed an amps design specs and clip.
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post #18 of 833 Old 01-01-2019, 03:34 PM
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Yes, thanks for that post. Of course it can but only through DBT that counts. All other anecdotes are worthless.
And, some CD players are audibly different, especially when one of the bits is not working.
And cables are different when you compare a 22 ga with a 12 ga.
Or you exceed an amps design specs and clip.
Your finally seeing the light..
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post #19 of 833 Old 01-01-2019, 03:37 PM
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........................

Fortunately, for the time being, high-end audio remains largely an art. A high-end product should evolve on the basis of extensive listening tests. The same circuit can be made to sound differently with different boards, layout, or part selection, and in all these cases the differences would be impossible to discern, measurement-wise, at the current state of the art. Take the soundfield produced by a conventional two-channel audio system. Aspects of this soundfield could be measured at various levels of accuracy, but none of these measurements can reliably answer the question of "how close to 'live' will that soundfield be perceived?" The soundfield at the head is processed and interpreted by the ear/brain and results in the perception of a soundstage projected outside of the head. Just how realistic that soundstage is must be decided by the audiophile on the basis of subjective listening tests. High-end audio is about the conviction with which the "illusion of live music" can be reproduced.
"
..................................
You packed so much material in one post, I have to break it up in smaller pieces to response to you.

So far, I have 3 design and built. I posted the schematic of the first amp as there's nothing secret, everything from the book, only I put EVERYTHING in rather than most of the commercial amps that take out parts to make it easier to tame. They all take short cuts, I don't. The other two have my own ideas and I am not disclosing them. After I completed the pcb and put the boards onto the amp. I had people doing blind test. After that, I spent the next 3 months thinking and working on the amp, I did something of my own idea, nothing to do with the circuits on the pcb. I did not change anything on the pcbs. I did not even take those amplifier boards out. I use other theory never talked about in any audio amp books. I modified all three amps and had the same people did the blind test. They are agree that there are big improvement to all three of them. When I told them what I did, they were stunned!!!

Circuit layout is another thing, changing the placement, the signal routing will change the sound. When I look at a lot of the pcb of the power amps, I laugh. They have NO IDEA how to layout. I layout my pcb as if it's RF boards with ground and power planes, even the output trace is a plane to avoid parasitics and inductance. I posted the layout of my first amp. You can compare with layout of other amps, you see mine look so much simpler, most traces are very short if it is possible. I spent the time to optimize the placement. You look at other's, traces running all over the place, long traces are antennas inviting interference. My amp is a huge circuit, but on the pcb, there's only a few that are long. Layout is everything.

I can assure all the improvement on the sound did NOT show in the FFT ( THD) plots. You will never know there is a difference after the improvement by comparing the THD plot before and after, but they sound different and improved after I did things to the amps without touching the pcb.

People keep talking about scientific data DO NOT know what they are talking. I am so into designing and characterizing power amp, I spent so much time in this the past 3 years. I have not find a real correlation between the general published data with the sound..............Hell, I can't even predict the sound of my 3 amps even I designed them. Of cause I design with specific characteristics in mind. BUT they did NOT behave the way I predicted in both FFT measurement and the way it sound!!! It's all try and true, no exact science.

You can design to have very low THD, you can design with very high damping factor. After that, it's an art.
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post #20 of 833 Old 01-01-2019, 03:40 PM
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Happy new year!
You too. And thank you for your long post. I've been enlightened and humbled.

Just this week I realized that my old Sony Walkman FM radio I bought in 1995 for $9.95 ($7.49 on sale) still works and sounds good. Audiophiles cringe, but I just smile.
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Your finally seeing the light..
Yes, it is due to that new, experimental operation so I can see better.
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post #22 of 833 Old 01-01-2019, 03:44 PM
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You too. And thank you for your long post. I've been enlightened and humbled.

Just this week I realized that my old Sony Walkman FM radio I bought in 1995 for $9.95 ($7.49 on sale) still works and sounds good. Audiophiles cringe, but I just smile.

Forget test data, the most accurate data is your ears. AND that's the ONLY thing that matters to you.

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post #23 of 833 Old 01-01-2019, 03:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Out-Of-Phase View Post
You too. And thank you for your long post. I've been enlightened and humbled.

Just this week I realized that my old Sony Walkman FM radio I bought in 1995 for $9.95 ($7.49 on sale) still works and sounds good. Audiophiles cringe, but I just smile.
Everybody's *hearing ability* gets worse 23 years later, though!
Glad your Walkman is still working! Every portable player or radio I ever had died.

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post #24 of 833 Old 01-01-2019, 04:00 PM
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Originally Posted by alan0354 View Post
Forget test data, the most accurate data is your ears. AND that's the ONLY thing that matters to you.
The most accurate for your personal preference is your hearing. It has nothing to do with data. Its incorrect to associate data with personal preference. They're mutually exclusive.
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post #25 of 833 Old 01-01-2019, 04:02 PM
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Forget test data, the most accurate data is your ears. AND that's the ONLY thing that matters to you.
Since you're an amp guy and believe in doing things by the book, howabout this from another venerable amp design publisher?:

Douglas Self on Subjectivism in audio

He repeats that in his power amplifier design book, just to make sure potential designers don't fall into any of those traps.

Your ears might be making you happy, but they could be telling you such sweet lies. Things like blind testing keep you honest.

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Originally Posted by alan0354 View Post
Forget test data, the most accurate data is your ears. AND that's the ONLY thing that matters to you.
Ears are fallible. Especially as you age, therefore NOT the most accurate instruments.
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post #27 of 833 Old 01-01-2019, 04:04 PM
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Originally Posted by 3db View Post
The most accurate for your personal preference is your hearing. It has nothing to do with data. Its incorrect to associate data with personal preference. They're mutually exclusive.

Is it more important that you like it or the data looks good?
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post #28 of 833 Old 01-01-2019, 04:07 PM
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Originally Posted by fill35U View Post
Everybody's *hearing ability* gets worse 23 years later, though!
Glad your Walkman is still working! Every portable player or radio I ever had died.
Thanks. I never would have dreamed that something so inexpensive would provide such musical enjoyment. I have learned a valuable lesson.
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post #29 of 833 Old 01-01-2019, 04:09 PM
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Since you're an amp guy and believe in doing things by the book, howabout this from another venerable amp design publisher?:

Douglas Self on Subjectivism in audio

He repeats that in his power amplifier design book, just to make sure potential designers don't fall into any of those traps.

Your ears might be making you happy, but they could be telling you such sweet lies. Things like blind testing keep you honest.

I don't do things by the book, only my first amp was by the book, that's the one I posted the schematic. That was for learning experience. My other two amps are NOT by the book. Even my OPS is not entirely by the book as the book didn't work.


Honestly, I don't like Self that much. For one, my first amp is his very Blameless design, it's the worst of the three so far. It's about to be dismembered. You should read he and Cordell argue.


Books are for reference, you study the book and move on. The things I talked in post #19 is beyond the book, nothing to do with the two books anymore. The two books give you a start into audio amps only.

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Last edited by alan0354; 01-01-2019 at 04:12 PM.
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post #30 of 833 Old 01-01-2019, 04:12 PM
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Originally Posted by alan0354 View Post
Is it more important that you like it or the data looks good?
Irrelevant question. I am able to correlate my hearing preference with data. If the data of speaker A (which I've heard and know) is very close to speaker B, I know I will like speaker B without from a sound perspective without auditioning it. Whether I like speaker B's appearance is a different matter.
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