I like objective measurement. Usually when an amplifier passes objective measurement like frequency response, THD, SNR etc., it won't be a bad piece of equipment and I respect people that try all their best to push the limit of all these specifications, even though I sometimes suspect if they are really audible
One of the biggest problems in audio is this "subjective - objective" aspect. Having been involved in marketing of audio IC's for some time, I can tell you that the objective measurements are defensible, and easier to market and sell. Unfortunately, those measurements usually don't get the hype compared to what someone says about the subjective results. And since everyone hears sound in a slightly different way, the subjective is easy to say and hard to prove in any convincing way.
And so arises the mythos associated with the audio community that allows every aspect of it to be subjected (no pun intended) to outrageous claims that can affect performance and the listening experience.
Until I experienced very accurate measurements on some audio equipment, I dismissed the so-called "golden ears" in the audio field. Some of them can actually hear things most of us don't, and would not know about unless they were measured.
"Me, I'd rather spend my time enjoying listening to music." Amen to that Rich. I sometimes think that some of these guys are getting something like the placebo effect. If they think it is better it will sound better to them.
Maybe it affects me too - I KNOW that CDs technically reproduce music better than vinyl, so to me they sound better...?? And at the end of the Cat Stevens track "Angelsea" there is a step descending note which I know I could only hear on better equipment when I was a kid, on a CD it can be heard quite clearly.
Certainly if you publish specs or statements and they're found to be false, you gotta eat humble pie.... not try and BS your way out of it...
I read the NwAvGuy review and early on saw an inset that said "You have been permanently banned from this forum", and my first reaction was "How can that be? I've not yet ever read, or posted on, your forum!!" :) I was thinking, "How did they find me already and know that I might be bad news?" But of course the inset turned out just to be a reproduction from NwAvGuy's screen. Whew!
When I do criticize I bend over backwards to find something nice to say, if at all possible. So that might have saved me in this case. But aside from the arguments that there must have been something wrong with the DUT, the simple and straighforward citing of the characteristics of the unit (like available voltage swings and maximum currents in the "active ground" generator chip) make things look pretty bad for the defense already. And although crosstalk is, per se, an absurdly overrated parameter (the threshold for 100% subjective localization for pure tones from two sources without any time delay manipulations is about 13dB!), the IM distortion associated with interfering channels shown is quite obnoxious and sadly also quite plausible.
Of course they could have taken the attitude of "just listen" and not provided any specifications to begin with. When technical prowess is weak this is always a fallback. Now I'm sure to be banned!