Comparing and Judging

To make comparisons as easy as possible only two amps were compared at a time. Comparing more than one pair of amps at a time would have been more difficult.

Both amps were powered up and warmed up. Both used identical power cords too. The amp in stand-by had shorting plugs in the RCA's as well.

Amps were identified to the group by the use of a single letter. Two letters were given to the group representing the two amps that would be compared and they were all told which amps (which letter) were up. They didn't realize it but the letters used were the last letter in the name of the amp or company name. This meant that in the end there was no confusion as to which amp was which letter.

We utilized a segmented listening method where we would play one minute or so of one song and play it two and sometimes three times through then switch amps and repeat. This gave each person a good recollection of how that piece of music sounded with that amp. After that track we would then leave that amp up and let it be the first to play a new music segment then switch back to the other amp.

We would continue this until there was a clear majority that favored only one amp or until there was a clear census that it was too close to call. We had both incidences where differences were clear, immediate, and definitive with a clear favorite. And yes, some differences were noticed between amps immediately. Other comparisons were close, took more time and yielded no favorite.

Below is a copy of the score card used:

The top section was used for one amp the lower section for the other amp.

Specific things to listen for and ways to grade them were tools used to help distinguish differences and draw some conclusions.

The real telling lines were the comments section where listeners made notes of things that stood out.

Then there were the two lines in the middle. These two lines were key.

The first line asked for the amp that was favored. They then had to circle a key work to the right to allow us to know how much it was favored.

The second line allowed listeners to grade the differences between the two amps.

After about three different songs had been gone through there was already a majority consensus most of the time. Some times there was no sense in continuing. Everyone was done, and there was a clear favorite.

Different music selections were played for each group of amps to avoid getting tired of hearing the same music all day. One reference (one song) was used though on each amp. It was a very telling selection. It was the first track on the Jessie Cook, Gravity CD. Other artist used included Patty Larkin, Alison Krauss, Katie Melua, Vienna Teng, Lyle Lovett, tracks from the Burmester 3 CD, and I think I am forgetting some.


GR Research Inc.
910 North Jackson
Iowa Park, TX 76367