Sprout - Review and Measurements..not very flattering

Don’t mean to be a bad guy here, but these measurements don’t really flatter the little Sprout…?
Sure, it’s more of a lifestyle product than a serious hifi component, but I didn’t expect it to be that bad…

A case of too many functions/gadgets stuffed into a too small box…?!?

Don’t think I’ve ever seen a review from ASR that was positive or where sound mattered more then their tedious measurements. Seems their intention going into every review is to trash the equipment they’re reviewing. See if you can find a positive review on their site. I can’t imagine any audio manufacturer would voluntarily give them their gear for review.


They have plenty of positive reviews. From low to high price points.

I haven’t seen many. Their site is a wasteland of meaningless measurements and negative reviews. Reads like the old audio critic and stereo review from years past. I haven’t heard the Sprout but many other people have and report it sounds great. So should I listen to these pompous tools who are known to weaponize their measurements and consider sound secondary(if at all), or those whose ears I trust?

What a surprise the ASR site has Ethan Winer’s Null Tester on it. If that doesn’t tell you everything you need to know…

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I agree with Cudfoo. Just listen to Sprout to see. Does it measure as well as a three piece chassis set of DAC and then preamp and phono stage and power amplifier? No, but then…. Just listen. Sprout’s amazing.


Sorry for posting this…guess I’m in a provocative mode tonight…:sunglasses:

Not at all! It is good for all of us to see alternate viewpoints, etc.

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@retro - Elk is right, alternative viewpoints are welcome and we filter them accordingly…


So…are the measurements faulty or are they as to be expected…?

(Still in that mode, I guess…:wink:…)

That forum absolutely promotes a 100% measurements philosophy and guides buyers to not trust their ears and instead learn to love the way a microphone “hears.”

Like I said on a few posts… I have a great pair of ears and a pretty good mind… I don’t loan them out to other people because I don’t trust anyone’s ears except mine… that includes demigods, CEO… measurements are good to start and compare, better to trust your ears and understand using your ears what separates good from great and of course crap is easy…

" In the interest of getting the review done, I did not bother to test the Vinyl input. I also did not touch the sub out or toslink."

It reminds me of a receiver review that Norton did, where he didn’t test any of the analog inputs, including phono.
I thought the review was useless.

Paul, if you see this, was the volume control defective?

Another thing that bothered me, was that it was borrowed from someone. Maybe it was tampered with.

Measurements don’t tell the full story, but they are a nice companion to subjective listening impressions. My question is why didn’t Stereophile measure it in their review? Was that a condition of supplying them a unit?

They certainly measured the original Sprout:

As a more than happy owner of two Sprout100s, I did not find any useful information on the review, such as how the tester felt when listening to music. It reads like a self congratulatory exercise on measurement gymnastics and graphically orgasmic manual arts of the keyboard. As I read it, I had the picture of Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson atop the desk, banging on the Mac while scratching themselves and making senseless noises.


I agree just not when the viewpoint comes with a prebaked agenda. Sites like ARS (and their ilk) should be pointed out for the Trolls that they are.

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This is what I could find in 30 seconds of searching:

Chord Qutest DAC (Rob Watts designed):

“From pure performance point of view, the CHORD Qutest nails all the tests I threw at it, garnering the top spot in DACs I have tested.”

"The CHORD Qutest shows that boutique/custom need not come with the heap of distortion as many others I have tested do. On that front, designer Rob Watts needs to be congratulated by not sacrificing measured performance for some unverified audiophile notion. "

RME ADI-2 DAC (Pro Audio pedigree):

"Finally a product where you pay more and you get more! "
“Kudos to RME for producing such an excellently engineered product.”

Benchmark DAC3 (John Siau designed and Pro Audio pedigree) :

" The Benchmark DAC3 as expected is a state-of-the-art digital to analog converter. Other than one set of noise spikes in jitter test, the rest of the measurements show exceptional performance. No glaring faults are seen at all. Its higher output level can be useful in room EQ applications to boot. So of course the DAC3 goes on my recommended list.

By the way, ASR measurements for Chord Qutest and Benchmark DAC3 correlate with Stereophile’s (both measured these DACs very favourably)…

I’m also happy about mine. BUT it turns off occasionally lol…Kina

For what its worth, I don’t put a lot of faith into measurements translating to how something sounds. Headphone manufacturer Mr. Speakers doesn’t either…maybe that’s why he doesn’t give a bunch of specs on his products. I like them old 1940s output tubes I’m using too. Your ears are the best measurement device to gauge what sounds great. Of course, YMMV. Personally, I’ve never been impressed by ASR, but some people are believers in their work.

That’s what Dan says publicly. It must be pure luck that he nails measurements, like with my MrSpeakers Aeon Closed cans in Innerfidlety’s measurements:

“The first thing you’ll notice about the raw frequency response is how close it is to the Harman Target Response curve. Maybe the closest I’ve seen of any passive headphone.”


Personally I use measurements to narrow the list of gear for real listening / auditioning.

And then my final purchasing decisions are using my ears.

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