I feel that our various definitions, and desires, make it hard to find common ground, but the attempts are fascinating, and hopefully good natured.
Of course, all this pales into insignificance if the room acoustics are rubbish. You can have as accurate a system as you like, and then simply ruin the effect by accepting
loads of distortion through reflection etc. A bit like Ketchup on Caviare eh Serge? This never ending desire for better and better accuracy can become a little OCD (IMHO). Fact is most modern amps are good (if S/N ratio and THD is a measure of "good"), ditto source components, so the differences between them (so it seems to me) are largely synergy (ok, correct matching) and personal preference. To my mind the most important aspect is having the right loudspeakers for the room and making at least some attempt to correct unwanted reflections, bass boom or whatever. Thats where the real gains are to be had but the ironic thing is virtually no-one I know bothers with room acoustics even though they're willing to shell out £1000's on kit. May as well have a "Ketchup" system in that regard as long as you enjoy the sound
Logically, if you can hear it, then you can measure it. The questions then are:
- are we measuring the right thing?
- are the measurements sensitive enough?
I think that the second one must be answered mostly yes - we are using equipment to measure that we use to record in the first place. The problem, for me, is in correlating what we measure with what we hear. There is still a way to go, I think, before those charts in hifi mags actually make real audio sense to me.
But for me, it is the listening that is more commonly at fault. Using tools like audiodiffmaker, which just shows if there is a difference between two items, we often get 'clearly audible' differences that are demonstrably identical to -90dB, which you really will not hear. Unfortunately, the really acute measuring tools like this cannot show which is best, so we need to use our ears after all - but I think it's important to understand their fallibility.
It can be as accurate as you want, but unless you have perfect ears and wiring, it doesn't matter how it measures outside your head, it matters how it measures in your head, and to my knowledge, they can't do that very easily!
Do the measurements tell us anything meaningful ?
Why do people still bother with vinyl and valves when alternatives measure better ? Whats the point if our hearing does not support the measurements ?
Ridicule is nothing to be scared of
I'll stand up and be counted as someone
who wants a pleasing result, as it's highly unlikely I was there at the particular recording I can have no knowledge
if it's accurate or not. I'll leave it for others to lose sleep over this while I pour myself another glass of red
"If it measures good and sounds bad, it is bad. If it measures bad and sounds good, you've measured the wrong thing."