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Checklist for discussing tweaks

Stole this form from a diyAudio thread. It's an interesting checklist for deriding discussing random audio tweaks with some of their more obnoxious enthusiastic supporters. Enjoy and feel free to use the next time you find yourself caught up in another rant discusssion. Note: This is a joke, folks. Lighten up. ;-)

You claim that an:
( ) audible
( ) measurable
( ) hypothetical

improvement in sound quality can be attained by:
( ) upsampling
( ) non-oversampling
( ) increasing word size
( ) vibration dampening
( ) bi-wiring
( ) litz wire
( ) replacing the external power supply
( ) using a different lossless format
( ) decompressing on the server
( ) removing bits of metal from skull
( ) using Ethernet instead of wireless
( ) inverting phase
( ) reversing “polarity” of resistors
( ) ultra fast recovery rectifiers
( ) installing bigger connectors
( ) installing Black Gate caps
( ) installing ByBee filters
( ) installing hospital-grade AC jacks
( ) defragmenting the hard disk
( ) running older firmware
( ) using exotic materials in cabinet
( ) bronze heatsinks
( ) violin lacquer
( ) $500 power cords

Your idea will not work. Specifically, it fails to account for:
( ) the placebo effect
( ) your ears honestly aren’t that good
( ) your idea has already been thoroughly disproved
( ) modern DACs upsample anyway
( ) those products are pure snake oil
( ) lossless formats, by definition, are lossless
( ) those measurements are bogus
( ) sound travels much slower than you think
( ) electric signals travel much faster than you think
( ) that’s not how binary arithmetic works
( ) that’s not how TCP/IP works
( ) the Nyquist theorem
( ) the can’t polish a turd theorem
( ) bits are bits

You will try to defend you idea by:
( ) claiming that your ears are “trained”
( ) claiming immunity to psychological/physiological factors that affect everyone else
( ) name-calling
( ) criticizing spelling/grammar

Your subsequent arguments will probably appeal in desperation to such esoterica as:
( ) jitter
( ) EMI
( ) thermal noise
( ) quantum mechanical effects
( ) resonance
( ) existentialism
( ) nihilism
( ) communism
( ) cosmic rays

And you will then change the subject to:
( ) theories are not the same as facts
( ) measurements don’t tell everything
( ) not everyone is subject to the placebo effect
( ) blind testing is dumb
( ) you can’t prove what I can’t hear
( ) science isn’t everything

Rather than engage in this tired discussion, I suggest exploring the following factors which are more likely to improve sound quality in your situation:
( ) room acoustics
( ) source material
( ) type of speakers
( ) speaker placement
( ) crossover points
( ) equalization
( ) Q-tips
( ) psychoanalysis
( ) trepanation

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About Scot Hull (975 Articles)
Founder, Editor and Publisher at Part-Time Audiophile and The Occasional Magazine.