Superbestaudiofriends.org (SBAF) is a private club comprising like-minded audio enthusiasts (mostly in the personal audio space, with a few branching out to two-channel) who splintered off mostly from Head-Fi.org. New memberships are currently restricted to open registration periods or by invitation. We do this to keep the noise level down, quality of content high, and to promote a strong community aspect where everybody knows everybody else to some extent. All content however is open for the public to digest. The downside to closed like-minded community is that we will be less open to a large variety of opinions were all audio gear is rated four point five or five stars (out of five). SBAF is not 1000 reviews by 500 random people (250 of them probably shills or socketpuppets), all of which are given garish 1200 x 800 pixel home page treatment. This approach is self-serving to someone who just wants to enrich himself with money from sponsors. SBAF is not about that. SBAF is about promoting good sound. SBAF is willing to draw a line in the sand of what constitutes good gear and good sound. That being said, SBAF opinions of gear are not monolithic. Senior members actually have different tastes. For example, the most respected reviewers and members actually use different sources (no, not everyone uses Yggdrasil, and some such as myself are vinylheads). Our style of reviews and impressions is usually comparative, comparing one piece of gear with other similar gears. Our observations are nuanced and qualified, discussing various aspects of sound reproduction (as opposed to a simplistic "better" or "worse"). Readers should make an attempt to understand the personal preferences and associated gear of the reviewers and the vocabulary used here. This takes time and effort. "Lurk moar" as as we say. There is no way around this. One crucial aspect of SBAF is measurements. We like measurements, but we are not measurement extremists. We understand that most measurements of DACs (99% of DACs measure extremely well) won't tell us much. Unlike John Atkinson or nwavguy, we don't freak about about spurae 128db down from the fundamental signal. But we also understand that measurements of headphones and transducers, where errors are gross, will tell us quite a bit - especially if we look past just frequency response to consider CSDs and harmonic distortion. What we are primarily interested in is how measurements correlate to observed sound phenomenon. Measurements often serve as a useful tool for members to request to be added (or not added) to a gear loaner. Measurements can serve as a good screening tool and augment subjective impressions. Finally SBAF purchases its own gear for its gear loaner program, which is only available to senior members. Gear in the loaner program is often measured by several members, all using slightly differently methodologies, and passed around to senior members who will offer their subjective opinions. As far as rules of conduct for new members, there are no (no longer as of December 25, 2017) written rules of conduct other than When in Rome, do as Romans do, and to also introduce yourself in this read: http://www.superbestaudiofriends.org/index.php?threads/new-members-introduce-yourself.17/ Think of SBAF as your local neighbor dive bar where conversations are between people who know each other. If you have a strong opinion, don't immediately barge in without expecting a regular patron to swing a barstool over your head. Get a lay of the land. Understand the local customs. Get to know the people. You don't want to be the guy walking into a Barca pub arguing Ronaldo is way better than Messi. ADD 4/21/2018: SBAF is an extension of the personalities who run this site. I have no idea why people keep expecting SBAF to be a serious audio site. It's not. And by "extension of the personalities", I mean with the all the good, and all the bad, the flaws of being human; and also the fact that it is impossible to exist as a human being and not have at least someone or some sentient being thinking you are an asshole. For example, lots of people think the Dalai Lama is an asshole. Same goes with Pope Francis. I'm sure a lot of people thought Gandhi or MLK were assholes. I mean, I personally think most nazi-vegans are assholes because they are nicer to animals than to human beings. Lots of cows think that I am an asshole. So do a lot of people. Another thing to understand about SBAF is that it's not afraid to change at moment's notice. There will always be change and course correction. Count on it. You will not have a tidy set of policies, procedures, and rules like HF. If you like structure and rules, then HF is a better place. The dislikes were reactivated because we allowed an extended open registration period. Since SBAF is a club, we need to weed out people that we do not like, or at least show new people what behaviors are frowned upon. A secondary reason for reactivating dislikes is because a few members started to complain that they were afraid to post because they felt their opinions were in the minority. To one member, I pointed that his perceived minority opinion was actually helpful to me and another senior member. The reactivation of dislikes was intended to help people grow some balls. If you are afraid to being an asshole to another sentient being, much less to a piece of gear, then it's pointless to be a member here. Please be aware that on occasion, I will drink a lot. This typically happens in the evenings, usually a day before or after a good hike, or when I am on a 16 hour flight. When I am in this state, I will whimsically ban people for showing lack of deference. I know that deference is hard to understand for 27 year olds who like to blow their money on expensive tube amps or audio gear instead of saving up for a house or investing in a business, but that is not my problem. Many of the admins and I like to act like 10 year olds. We do this because it's fun. @brencho loves to give people a hard time for shits-and-giggles. @zerodeefex will call you out and explain precisely why you are a dumbass, if you are a dumbass. I will pee on gear owned by people who I do not like. Finally, please note that 99% of people never have a problem. If you are that 1%, then some self reflection is suggested. ADD 7/3/2018 Vendor / MOT rules: Vendors or MOTs (manufacturers of the trade) may initiate posts concerning their products only in the vendor announcements or dedicated vendor sub-forums, and not in any of the main or gear sub-forum areas. This rule is intended to prevent 1372 random vendors flooding the main forum sections with their XMOS / ESS Sabre DACs. Please do not "game" the above rule by having shills or sockpuppets post on your behalf. We will know. Just be happy that at least you have a place to post on SBAF without someone asking you for money. MOTs may answer forum members' questions on their gear in any area of the site. In fact, this is encouraged. MOTs should refrain from making negative comments or constructive criticism of other MOTs' gear. MOTs should also refrain from making statements that put themselves or their gear in a better light relative to other MOTs. MOTs should avoid posting measurements of other MOTs products. These actions are just bad form. And I also do not want MOTs at each other necks like what happens on Computer Audiophile on occasion. Please be aware that SBAF admins and moderators have the right to make the final call, however capricious it may seem to you. Ultimately, just use good judgment.