Brent Butterworth writes:
What do audiophiles hate the most? Well, there's Bose. And the late Julian Hirsch. After those two, it would probably be blind testing, specifically ABX testing. Why? Because the results of ABX testing tend to conflict with much of what audiophiles believe. The topic of ABX testing may be poised for another look with the recent emergence of the Audio by Van Alstine AVA ABX, which to my knowledge is the first commercially produced ABX box released in more than a decade. In this article, I'll discuss what ABX testing is, explain the criticisms of ABX testing, and get a little into my first experiences with the AVA ABX.
When I found out about the AVA ABX from reading the comments section of this website, I immediately contacted Audio by Van Alstine's namesake, Frank Van Alstine, to see if I could borrow one to try out and then buy if it met my needs. I was attracted to it not for its ABX capabilities, but because it looked like a well-made and versatile switcher I could use in my reviews. I have a good switching system that I designed for this purpose; however, like most hand-built, one-off electronic products, it's not very reliable. I could see from the interior shot of the AVA ABX that it was built the same way my switcher is--with high-quality relays, minimalist controls for level matching, and a switching system. But the AVA ABX was .....
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