Audio Tests - Prelim

I'm one of those strange audio geeks that likes to test gear. I don't fool myself into thinking that my methods are scientific in any real sense of the word, but at least I hope that they add some rigor to the evaluation of components.

I've made (designed is too fancy a word for something so simple) a component switching mechanism that's essentially a 3PDT push-on push-off switch connected to 2 male and 1 female 1/4inch plugs. To expand that for the non-technical:

  • 3P - 3 poles, one for left, right and earth
  • DT - double throw, meaning it switches between two inputs
  • push-on push-off - the switch is always in the same position. You can't tell by looking at the switch which input is selected
The basic test methodology is:

  • Level match the two sources by ear (switching back and forth, adjusting the volume)
  • Hit the switch a heap of times randomly so that I don't know which input is selected
  • Listen to a dozen or so tracks, switching between the inputs as many times as I want and trying to hear a difference
  • Confirm and record guesses
Not overly scientific, but it at least it's better than relying purely on subjective listening.

Over the next few weeks I'm planning on running the following tests, which I've had in the back of my mind for a while but never got around to doing:

  • ipod headphone jack vs ipod + LOD + PA2V2
  • PA2V2 vs NAD 3150
  • 5.5Gen ipod vs 6Gen ipod headphone jacks
  • ipod line out vs Panasonic DVD player
  • Kenwood CD player vs Panasonic DVD player
That should keep me busy for a little while :)

Update Here's some images of the gear I'll be using as part of the tests.

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="400" caption="PA2V2 portable headphone amp"]


[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="400" caption="IPod LOD (line out dock) and 3.5mm male-to-male lead"]


[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="393" caption="Input switching box"]


[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="400" caption="Alessandro MS Pros"]


[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="400" caption="160GB 6th Gen ipod"]


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