Don't get it, why anyone would ask others "what sounds best"?


As a relative new comer I still continue to wonder why 'audiophiles' continue to ask for opinions on what sounds best. Best sounding amps, best sounding speakers, best sounding cables, and on and on. Everyone has their own opinion, why don't you people put on your ears and listen for yourself and decide what sounds best to you?
283727cd db44 4347 a9f8 93a0b11163c2arizonabob
Because opinions here are free and don’t cost anything. Plus everybody has one.

The key is always being able to synthesis useful information out of it all somehow.   Having many data points to start with helps.
it's just a starting point, especially as it is not very easy anymore to go listen to numerous products, especially if you're not in big city...
I'm sure "we" people have our ears on; it's just getting those ears to hear every possible option as the practical limitation.  I'd love to home audition a pair of Magicos - but if I can't, I'll ask the opinions of people who have.

The key is always being able to synthesis useful information out of it all somehow.  Having many data points to start with helps.

Are you able to listen to everything you have interest in or even things you have never heard before? 
As a relative new comer I still continue to wonder why 'audiophiles' continue to ask for opinions on what sounds best. Best sounding amps, best sounding speakers, best sounding cables, and on and on. Everyone has their own opinion, why don't you people put on your ears and listen for yourself and decide what sounds best to you?


This is the least of it. This at least almost makes sense. Asking another person what they like, it is kind of like asking what is a good restaurant? You have no idea what that person likes. They may be vegetarian and telling you all about this great place serves nothing but lawn clippings and seaweed. Usually when this happens they are equally clueless and never bother to mention, "Of course this is all vegan food no one in their right mind would ever eat you have to be mental." So you go and .... 

My wife actually did this. Dragged me into this great new ice cream parlor in town. I went because, how can you screw up ice cream? I'll tell you how! Stock zero normal ice cream flavors. Instead have only flannel, lentil, lavender. I am not kidding. People were actually buying this stuff. I asked for a sample just to be sure. Flannel ice cream it turns out tastes exactly as you would imagine. Stick a flannel blanket in your mouth suck on it like that kid in the cartoons.   

There's audio gear heads just as bad. Some of these guys, they swear up and down imaging does not exist- except with their magical speakers that have wonderful imaging no matter where you are in the room. Probably image even if you are in a different room. Probably the imaging I'm hearing from my speakers is an artifact thrown off and projected through space all the way to Redmond where I am hearing it and thinking its mine.  

Who knows? Point is at least these are people. There is some small chance every once in a while another person has a similar experience and they both get something out of it, jump to all the wrong conclusions of course, but at least they get something out of it.  

So you see this at least makes sense, kinda sorta. 

What I don't understand is all these people asking what should I get for my component? Instead of asking another person what restaurant should I go to, these people are asking the food what it should go with! Nonsense on stilts. Happens all the time. But, why?!

(My wife informs me, Lavender is gone. Replaced with Balsamic reduction!)
It's easier for you to listen than me. That make sense?

Then I can narrow down what I want to listen to for a final test drive.. 

The older I get, that approach is starting to make REAL good sense to me. VERY little I will ever buy again anyway.. Room treatment.. pretty low cost items vs improvement dollar spent.. My gear less repairs.. I'm done.. Crazy good deals I don't pass up.. Mac gear is a real passion of mine. Slow running women too.. :-)
«Dont give a fish to a man, even a big one, teach him how to fish...»-Anonymus

Dont give a man an upgrade, teach him acoustic....




I must admit, MC usually has a good answer for most things, somehow quite adept at going other places too. ohm, you in addition are quite good at the conundrums. It is easier for me to listen, but alas it's still with my ears. Rarely does the poster narrow the field by mentioning 'I like the sound of XXX  power amplifiers, or XXX speakers really sound good to me. The only way it can work is as if the poster and the responded know what each other prefer. I just couldn't justify spending thousands of dollars on a consensus. Guess you could always sell it and start again. 
P.S. ohm, from reading your post, we have some similarities. Your opinion could matter to me now I know a few of your preferences. ;)
I just attempted to post a wonderful, generous reply on this forum but Windows cruelly whisked it into cyber oblivion. Aaaak!
@edcyn,
Don't ya just love it when it does that?
@OP,
P.S. ohm, from reading your post, we have some similarities. Your opinion could matter to me now I know a few of your preferences. ;)
I think you just answered your own question.
When you find others with similar tastes, you then have a foundation on which to build your own opinions.
B
They ask for the entertainment value of these threads.
BTW, which grill cloth sounds best?
A huge amount of what passes for critical component selection is really nothing more than following the crowd. It is by no means easy learning to listen and evaluate. It took me a good full year just to get to where I was certain what was what between things like CD players. In the beginning I could hear no differences whatsoever. Seriously! Not the only one, either. Was in Definitive Audio one time they demo'd 2 CD players for this guy, after which he said hate to tell you not hearing any difference between them, at all!  

That was the case for me. That was the case for this other guy. I have been to audiophile club meetings and done enough demo's to know this most definitely is the case for a whole lot of people. They never want to admit it, but it is. Seen it in action. Definitely a thing. 

So I totally get it. 

Yet all these people, every single one of them, they all want "better sound" or at least failing that they want a "better component" or a "better system" or room. They haven't learned to listen, or evaluate, so they have no idea what this is or how to get it. So they ask others, what is best?

And wouldn't you know it, they get answers. From others equally not adept at listening and evaluating. And round and round it goes. Where it stops nobody knows.

It all sounds pointless.  I think I will quit.
People are generally divided into two camps: accurate and musical.  I'm in accurate camp.  People who prefer musical (warm sounding) gear don't like accurate gear calling it "sterile" and "analytical".  Many years ago somebody on this forum asked how to make sound warmer with less (!!!) resolution (I recommended placing blankets over the speakers).  I can imagine that some people might even like a little bit of noise or distortion, because it makes sound appear more "dynamic".  No right or wrong here, but making statements or asking for the "best" is plain silly.
Although asking what is best isn't that helpful, asking what something sounds like is helpful. I am sure many will disagree with me, but when I wanted to upgrade my speakers last year, I asked about several brands and it helped me avoid ones I knew I would not like. For instance, Brand A (and this isn't a thread about specific brands) I was told by everyone who had them that they were detailed and "bright" and they loved them, with another Brand B all the owners said they were laid back and perhaps not that great for rock, but they loved them also. Is it possible I might have loved Brand A or Brand B? Possible, but to me it saved me time and perhaps even having to order some and then ship them back.
It's always nice to try before you buy, like at some ice cream stores that has those little pink spoons to try, but some stores don't let you. Flannel Ice Cream? Now I know to try it before buying a cup of it....  
because they want to know... and are worried they cannot determine the answer on their own
It all sounds pointless. I think I will quit.
Likewise - off to a more entertaining thread. :-)
There's a very good reason to ask others "what sounds best?", particularly here; there are people who are very well informed about audio reproduction here.  It's literally that simple.  Equivalent to asking Anthony Fauci about viral reproduction.

Exhibit A: I recently asked the Forum to opine on which of two highly regarded tubes sound better: https://forum.audiogon.com/discussions/1975-new-reflektor-6n23p-swgp-or-siemens-amperex-telefunken-c...

As a complete surprise to me, a different tube was recommended to me by my new favorite Audiogoner petg60.  I acted in accordance with that recommendation and am now, as a result of that action, enjoying the most satisfying audio reproduction that I've ever heard.

Given that such is no less than the raison d'etre of us being here, I'd say that asking  "what sounds best?" is the sanest possible question that you can ask here.  The answer to it could literally accomplish the achievement of the reason why you are here.

Enjoy the music!


for a number of years i did rely on reviews and feedback from others for guidance. and it got me to a dead end of Mark Levinson electronics and Wilson speakers. essentially high end brick and mortar sound. it was good, but not satisfying. that was in the year 2000. i wanted more.

i started to audition various amplifiers and found i liked the Tenor OTL tube amps. they seemed to be more lively and alive sounding. a combo of tubes and solid state. then i found a speaker that i thought would work well with those, the Kharma’s. i got lucky and really liked this combo, and it was a direction i found on my own.

since then i have stayed away from reviewed gear and brick and mortar products mostly. typically i’ve known the gear builders and even been involved in the product gestation. many times owning the very early versions of gear. following my own path. and i built a room reflecting my own views.

lots of people do ask me my opinions. my direction has involved lots of asset allocation and an all in direction. that is not real world for everyone. so it makes sense that people who might like the sound i have to ask me questions.

it takes a leap of faith to acquire a reference for yourself. it’s easier and safer to follow another’s path. nothing wrong with that. the most serious, and the most naturally talented among us, typically do find our own sound. for me it was a struggle and i’ve tripped and hurt myself many times in the process. for a few years now i'd say i have what i was wanting.
for a number of years i did rely on reviews and feedback from others for guidance. and it got me to a dead end of Mark Levinson electronics and Wilson speakers.

Just about the juiciest, tastiest, most awesome sentence I have read on this site in years. Maybe ever. I would say pin it to the top of every page but after a while it would lose its sparkle and that would be a shame, it truly is a gem.

Me, I can only stand in awe at your Zen-like power to flip the tables toppling Levinson and Krell from the peak of the pyramid to a dead end. Which they are, but I’d be attacked for saying it while Mike Lavigne on the other hand will come off smelling like a rose. Seriously, seriously awesome!

Doctor Porsche, the first one, said he could not find the car he was looking for so he built one. To please himself. To satisfy his own personal requirements of what a car should be.

What was it Sinatra said? "I gotta be me!" Only way to fly. One might almost say, there is no substitute.
Wrong topic to post that question.

Me, I can only stand in awe at your Zen-like power to flip the tables toppling Levinson and Krell from the peak of the pyramid to a dead end. Which they are, but I’d be attacked for saying it while Mike Lavigne on the other hand will come off smelling like a rose. Seriously, seriously awesome!
i think, to be fair, you should have quoted the next few words i wrote, where i said
it was good, but not satisfying
and also, to be fair, this was 21 years ago. Wilson speakers are now higher in my regard than back then. my opinion now of Wilson would be there is no good reason that a system would be limited by a Wilson speaker. they can get the job done. they are coherent and have a natural balance. not how i felt back then. are they the best audio investment? do you want to get on the brick and mortar churn? those things are still relevant.
I go by my ear as nobody can make a buying decision for me.