Yes, they do!!
Of all the things we do at PS Audio, perhaps what drives some people crazy more than anything is our insistence that parts matter to sound quality.
No one would argue that the difference between a precision value resistor or a matched vacuum tube or transistor in a critical area isn’t important. We can easily measure the differences in performance. But what of the various types of capacitor or resistor construction? For caps, there are ceramic, electrolytic, tantalum, film and foil, metalized film, dozens of different dielectric materials, and multiple conductor types to name just a few. And choices of resistors are perhaps just as dizzying.
Most measure identically in a circuit, yet sound remarkably different.
In mass-market consumer audio, where price is the point and performance is judged by meters and marketing people rather than experienced listeners, the many choices of parts quality are a Godsend for keeping prices in check.
High-end audio’s quite another thing altogether. Brands that place performance first and price second, use any and all available choices to get what they want out of a design.
Parts matter, but in different ways to different designers.
List of ingredients
Prepackaged foods list their ingredients so consumers know what they’re putting into their bodies.
My rule of thumb is not to eat anything I cannot pronounce or if the list sounds more like a Gilbert Chemistry set than food.
Stereo equipment manufacturers have no such rules though many tout the good stuff (and generally keep quiet about the ho-hum parts).
The more organic the parts the more likely a manufacturer is to list their ingredients: vacuum tubes, film capacitors, MOSFETS, JFETS, GaN FETs, FPGAs, precious metal connectors, high purity wires.
Other than food, automobiles, furniture, clothing, and high-end stereo equipment I can’t think of many other products that care to list their primary ingredients. Perhaps this is because consumers don’t care?
More likely it’s because it’s not important. I don’t really care what this computer is made of nor do I give a rat’s ass what type of rubber or plastic goes into the tires on my car.
I do care what the ingredients are in my speakers and electronics because I believe their composition plays a major role in the quality of music I am expecting to enjoy.
Not every FET, tube, or carbon fiber cone sounds best but it certainly is a good starting point from which to form an opinion.