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Thread: 10 audiophile myths busted

  1. #1
    Join Date: May 2010

    Location: Vancouver, Canada

    Posts: 2,105
    I'm Alex.

    Default 10 audiophile myths busted

    What's interesting to me is how strong emotional response to someone's opinion on audio usually tends to be. You know, if I say "this was the best coffee I've ever had, period!" no one's gonna get up and lose their shit about that. But if I say "this is the best cartridge I've ever heard in my life!" everyone and their uncle is all of a sudden up in the arms. They wanna hunt me down and hang me on the nearest tree.

    Why is that? Do you ever wonder why is it that any other pursuit of personal pleasure makes other fellow humans shrug with indifference ("it takes all sorts, I suppose..."), but the moment we declare some opinion about audio gear (or, god forbid, about some guitar player), everyone is asking for our head on a stick!

    Why is it a lie if I say that such-and-such a bottle of wine tastes better than some other bottle of wine? Is it because I am not a chemist? So if I say that such-and-such phono preamp sounds better than some other phono preamp, I'm automatically a liar because I'm not a physicist?

    What happened to "one person's trash is another person's treasure"? What's the reason that adage is not acceptable in the world of audio reproduction? Because we are so kind hearted and want to protect the innocent and the gullible from predatory sales slime balls? Well, audio is not the only area where sales slime balls are preying on the gullible. Purveyors of coffee, alcohol, or any other consumer goods are equally guilty of lying, or at least sugar coating the truth. But for some reason, we, the righteous ones, let that slide. But no, when it comes to audio, we can't have that! We can't have some sleazy liar take advantage of some idiot with a fat wallet. Not on my watch, nah-ha!

    To me, that's just stupid. It makes no sense whatsoever. Who are we pretending to protect, and why? Why are we acting like some self-proclaimed, self-appointed priesthood responsible for saving souls? What makes us the appointed keepers of the holy truth?

    I view those impulses as symptoms of a sickness, religious feverishness bordering on lunacy. I have no respect for such 'healers'. Music is the realm of enjoyment, relaxation, feeling-good moments. Why let some frustrated maniacal fundamentalists spoil the enjoyment?

    So I say fcuk the guy who enjoys torturing others by riding in on a high horse and 'mansplaining' to everyone all the audio lies they've been subjected to. To that person I say "get a life!".

    I wanna spend my time on Yehova's green earth enjoying those fabulous performances that are captured for posterity on various physical, magnetic and optical media. And whatever is going to enhance those listening moments, I'm going to embrace it without any artificially inseminated guilt trips.

    As you can see, I'm a subjectivist. I have repeatedly experienced that the exact same song, played on the exact same equipment, one day sounds so divine that it brings the waterworks, then some other day sounds lifeless and dull. Everything else remaining the same, Occam's Razor compels me to conclude that it's all a head trip.

    Listening to music is a complex endeavour. Cannot be reduced to some measurable parameters that crude instruments can detect. It's the same as food -- a sophisticated chemistry lab cannot possibly analyze two different meals and declare one tastier than the other. If anyone attempts to do that, we would call them 'quacks', right? So why is it then that when it comes to listening to music, such 'quacks' are all of a sudden authorities on the subject? It's just pure untrammelled bullsh!t.
    Don't you just hate it when you cannot detect where the post ends and a signature line begins?

    Alex.

  2. #2
    Join Date: Oct 2012

    Location: The Black Country

    Posts: 4,222
    I'm Alan.

    Default

    Nice one Alex, I'm with you all the way.

  3. #3
    Join Date: Aug 2009

    Location: Staffordshire, England

    Posts: 21,131
    I'm Martin.

    Default

    I've never tried it but I bet if you go on a coffee forum or a wine forum and start telling them what the best is then you'll probably get an argument. In fact I'd bet on it.

    I think we all pass through three phases with any hobby

    When we first get seriously into it we are evangelical.

    That wears off and we try to use what experience we have to help the new people make good choices.

    Finally we realise we are just shovelling shit against the tide and leave them to it.

    Is there a hobby that doesn't apply to?
    Martin



    Current Lash Up:

    Technics SL1200P CD Player * NVA P90SA passive pre / Krell KSA50S Power amp * JM Lab Electra 926 loudspeakers *


    'This is the sort of music I'd be listening to if I was going shopping for a training bra.'

  4. #4
    Join Date: Feb 2011

    Location: England

    Posts: 282
    I'm James.

    Default

    Aww, I was expecting a list of ''10 audiophile myths busted'' I'm gonna hunt you down and hang you from the nearest tree !!

    I totally agree with what you have said though and I'm sorry, I cannot explain it either.
    This is the one and only Audio Forum I frequent because it is the most friendly and 'ego' free of them all as far as I am concerned.
    All the rest are full of people exactly as you describe.

    Is it because of money being spent? To be told that the Cartridge you've spent all your hard-earned Nelson's on isn't the best ever must make some people furious. Your analogy with wine is interesting. I do not appreciate wines I'm afraid but when you start to spend serious money on it does the same thing happen? To be told that the £100 (? is this expensive?) bottle of plonk you've just bought is considered vinegar by others, would this make you rant and rave and threaten the person who said it was awful ?

    It is a strange world we live in indeed.

    Jim

  5. #5
    Join Date: May 2010

    Location: Vancouver, Canada

    Posts: 2,105
    I'm Alex.

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Macca View Post
    I've never tried it but I bet if you go on a coffee forum or a wine forum and start telling them what the best is then you'll probably get an argument. In fact I'd bet on it.

    I think we all pass through three phases with any hobby

    When we first get seriously into it we are evangelical.

    That wears off and we try to use what experience we have to help the new people make good choices.

    Finally we realise we are just shovelling shit against the tide and leave them to it.

    Is there a hobby that doesn't apply to?
    True. But it is very unlikely someone on some other forum would use hard science as the argument against someone's choice. Like, if I say I prefer the way medium roast tastes to the way dark roast tastes, it would be hard to say that lab measurements clearly point to the fact that there is no difference in the way these two roasts taste, or that science claims that dark roast tastes better.

    In the world of audiophilia, a lot of the self-proclaimed 'preachers' tend to hide behind what they claim is hard scientific facts. Some even like to dazzle the unwased masses with mathematics. Bunch of losers...
    Don't you just hate it when you cannot detect where the post ends and a signature line begins?

    Alex.

  6. #6
    Join Date: Dec 2014

    Location: UK, East Midlands

    Posts: 975
    I'm Mike.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Macca View Post
    I've never tried it but I bet if you go on a coffee forum or a wine forum and start telling them what the best is then you'll probably get an argument.
    You better believe it ...

    I used to work with a crazed coffee freak and there was no way you could enjoy a cappuccino in his presence .... his home coffee machine cost well over 2 grand and even the bean grinder was not far off that price. His hifi setup was fairly pants though

  7. #7
    Join Date: Aug 2009

    Location: Staffordshire, England

    Posts: 21,131
    I'm Martin.

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by magiccarpetride View Post
    True. But it is very unlikely someone on some other forum would use hard science as the argument against someone's choice. Like, if I say I prefer the way medium roast tastes to the way dark roast tastes, it would be hard to say that lab measurements clearly point to the fact that there is no difference in the way these two roasts taste, or that science claims that dark roast tastes better.

    ..
    Are you sure about that? I'm pretty sure they do chemical tests on wine so I doubt coffee gets excluded. Maybe someone knows?

    And isn't 'Food Science' I thing? seem to remember you could do a degree in that at a Polytechnic.
    Martin



    Current Lash Up:

    Technics SL1200P CD Player * NVA P90SA passive pre / Krell KSA50S Power amp * JM Lab Electra 926 loudspeakers *


    'This is the sort of music I'd be listening to if I was going shopping for a training bra.'

  8. #8
    Join Date: May 2010

    Location: Vancouver, Canada

    Posts: 2,105
    I'm Alex.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Macca View Post
    Are you sure about that? I'm pretty sure they do chemical tests on wine so I doubt coffee gets excluded. Maybe someone knows?

    And isn't 'Food Science' I thing? seem to remember you could do a degree in that at a Polytechnic.
    Oh sure, no doubt, but it is much harder to call someone a loser for preferring some particular coffee roast by pointing at some chemical lab test results. But in the world of audio, people try to denigrate someone's preferences based on some mathematical equation, which is moronic.
    Don't you just hate it when you cannot detect where the post ends and a signature line begins?

    Alex.

  9. #9
    Join Date: Aug 2009

    Location: Staffordshire, England

    Posts: 21,131
    I'm Martin.

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by magiccarpetride View Post
    Oh sure, no doubt, but it is much harder to call someone a loser for preferring some particular coffee roast by pointing at some chemical lab test results. But in the world of audio, people try to denigrate someone's preferences based on some mathematical equation, which is moronic.
    I agree.

    But more likely the science gets brought in because someone says ' I prefer the ABC because it uses 'X' technology making it sound better'. And then someone says, 'No, that's just marketing bullshit, X tech does nothing' and then goes on to show why with graphs and so forth.

    If they'd just left it at 'I prefer the ABC' then no-one would care.

    I'm sure there is bullshit in the world of wine and coffee too, but Audio has a distinct combination of bullshit and technology, I think that's what does it.
    Martin



    Current Lash Up:

    Technics SL1200P CD Player * NVA P90SA passive pre / Krell KSA50S Power amp * JM Lab Electra 926 loudspeakers *


    'This is the sort of music I'd be listening to if I was going shopping for a training bra.'

  10. #10
    Join Date: Jun 2014

    Location: Chorley Lancs

    Posts: 1,081
    I'm Steve.

    Default

    I dunno, maybe it's a question of money. A coffee may be 2 or 3 quid, audio components hundreds, maybe thousands of pounds. My brother favours Starbucks, I prefer Café Nero, my oldest friend thinks they're all a ripoff and would rather buy a 90p brew from a butty shop. But the conversation didn't go beyond that statement.

    There is generally much time, money and thought invested in purchasing hifi, so more at stake.

    I find that when speaking to audio enthusiasts they are generally reasonable and receptive to other people's views, so maybe it depends how a statement is made. If you were to say 'cartridge x is the best cartridge I've ever heard', the response would probably be 'yes they are good, but I prefer cartridge y'. If however you said 'this is the best cartridge, full stop', you're asking for trouble.

    If I come across someone overbearing and arrogant, I tend not to 'get into it' with them, as I'm no good with confrontations. I just take them off my Christmas card list and move on.

    Apologies if I'm missing the point here.
    'I'm not crazy, my mother had me tested'

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