ASR is a cult of lazy. Period. And Amir is the laziest fuck of all. You'll never hear anything even remotely close to the following type of understanding and nuance (taken from the FirstWatt F6 manual): "One of the most fascinating things is the whole thing about absolute phase – how much can you hear absolute phase? Not whether your speakers are in or out of phase with each other, but absolute phase. It has become quite apparent that it matters. It matters in the context of how you look at the second harmonic structure of the amplifier as it relates to the speakers and to what comes out of the recording process. I mentioned that positive-going phase for second harmonic has a particular sound. If you flip that characteristic you've got a different sound. I'm not here to tell you what you like, I've noticed that when you get reasonably experienced listening to that effect you can then go through your record collection, often deciding which recordings are in-phase and out-of-phase. I find that totally fascinating. It relates to something I can talk about briefly, one of my favorite soap-box subjects. If you go into the literature of psychoacoustic perception, there is a very good book by Diana Deutsch at UC San Diego called “The Psychology of Music” and in it there are several chapters talking about how the low level neural networks of the brain take the data from the ear and what they do with it like the bureaucracy at the DMV, and you have an army of these things and for each of them the job it to make a decision – what goes with what, and these are called grouping mechanisms. Each bit of the network takes disparate bits of audio information and decides whether they go together or not. The system is sensitive to such things as loudness, timing, pitch, harmonic structure and phase. Decisions are made at very low levels and then get passed upwards for increasingly more abstract decisions until the final result, the “executive summary” is handed to the guy who sits behind your eyes at the control panel and imagines he's in charge. So what are we doing when we play with the distortions of an amplifier? Well, we're just fooling ourselves, fooling the ear and the brain. And sometimes that's a good thing. It's plausible to me that if you tag the sound with a particular characteristic (I'm not claiming that expertise) it seems to slip more easily through these neural systems like poop through a goose, and the decision-making process is easier. There is a lot of work going on in the brain when we are talking about listening – a vast army of neurons working this thing, and if you make their life easier, they aren't working as hard. We are talking about listener fatigue, talking about people who get tired after a half hour and shut the music off versus guys who go through their entire record collection all night long. We are literally talking about fatigue – the brain gets tired. So why do we try to fool the ear? It makes people happy. It helps them to relax while they listen to music and try to forget all the terrible problems in the world. I'm not here to deliberately create distortion, but if my simple little circuits are going to have some distortion anyway, I can at least try to organize it the way I want."