Stereophile Revisits the Subjectivist vs. Objectivist Debate

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The debate between audio subjectivists and audio objectivists has been raging for decades. Discussions on the subject of double blind testing (DBT), in particular, are often so nasty and fruitless that some audio forums have banned them altogether.

Stereophile‘s John Atkinson has been beating this dead horse on the part of subjectivists for some time now. Here is an excerpt from his newly republished 1991 column, “Subjective Fact or Objective Fantasy?”:

If you want to know what a component sounds like, just listen. If the system doesn’t detract from the music’s emotional content, if it allows the music to “raise goosebumps,” as Stereophile’s founder J. Gordon Holt has phrased it on many an occasion, you’re on to something good.

Read the entire article, then read this 496-post thread on the subject (or not).