I kind of understand what frustration some audio people have when they hear that Daniel Weiss claims that he designs his equipment without any listening. I find those frustrations are from wrong reasons. It is funny that audio people believe that if a designer do listen his gear and use listening tests as his design navigation then it is an assurance of some kind of better results. How about if a designer is an idiot and has no idiot and has no idea what he listen (quite frequently)? Thos crappy CDs that you trash because they sound like crap were made by the people who do listen the result, so the listening did not assure better outcome?
Anyhow, I would like to drop a few comments to eliminate some misunderstanding. I am not frequently defect audio manufacturers. I have no agenda to defend Daniel Weiss. Furthermore I do not particularly like his equipment and I do not use any of his components. Even more I very much disagree with a number of comments Daniel made in his interview. Still, the point he made that nether neither him nor anybody in his company audition the equipment that he builds I find is perfectly acceptable. Let me to explain.
First of all it has to be clearly understood hat Daniel Weiss is a designer of digital equipment. In digital world there is no sound that might be heard. Design digital is like design of tuners. There is no Sound in tuners before detector that in the very end of the tuner. The front end, the mixers, the IF stage the limiters – all of it UHF modulation that has no direct relation to sound. If you have a designer or technician who set window of IF stages by “listening” then suck a designer shall be fired immediately. With digital we are in the very same boat. There is no sound before output stage and the whole digital part of the work is gone only by math, algorithming and measurements. If you look at the put stages and partially filtration then you will see that most of the designers have own, conservative, long time ago found preferences and they stay with it.
Now is about the elephant in the room. The people like Daniel Weiss do not listen what they do the thing and this need to be properly understood. I do not know how long Mr. Weiss dot what he does but I am sure that for many year and all his listening evaluations he did many years back. Lamm use to bravado that he does not listen his equipment as well when he built it but this need to be put in perspective. Lamm spend tend of year listing different topologies and components and not he has more or less accurate prediction how this or that electronic solution might sound. Daniel Weiss is in the very same boat. I absolutely assure that that Daniel spent long time to getting the experience he has that would make him have no need to listen his products for design purpose.
I knew an old welder who cut the gas pipe and to weld in Y-adaptor another two pipes with shutting the gas off. After 50 year of welding he knew how to do and if we would be interviewed then he might say that he does not shut down gas while he welds the gas pipes. Sound ridicules, does it is? Still, I assure you that the designer of Daniel Weiss level is in the very same boat – they did all their listening education long time ago.
I have very limited expire in very limited audio filled but where I do have that experience I do not need to hear the result in order to predict the result. I am sure that most of us have the same feeling in many different fields. Digital processing is the Daniel Weiss’ field. As a good musical can “hear” the symphony by reading the score Daniel can to a very accurate degree to predict the performance of DSP circuit by observing know to him principals. So, I do not see a big deal that he does not use listing evaluations in his design.
Romy the Cat
"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche