HiFi is an opinion - nothing more

The audiophile community spends vast amounts of time and resources trying to claim truth about something that boils down to be no more than one persons opinion. I read where some proclaimed audiophile has created nirvana by rotating his loudspeaker 1 degree off axis when used with a certain type of interconnect cable. Phew... I might remind everyone that the human ear and the mechanics of hearing are highly individual, namely we don't all hear alike. Add to that the processing that goes on in the brain to add value to what we hear, we end up with nothing more than an opinion not fact. Case in point, a system set up to accurately reproduce sound in terms of phase, and frequency amplitude response would not be desirable by most audiophiles. It would sound bright, thin and certainly not have enough bass. Most audiophiles would prefer the sound of a Bose Wave Radio to a an accurately set up HiFi. Get some acoustical instrumentation sometime and try it for yourself. To all of you who savor the delicious warmth of your tuuuuby like transistors and transparent capacitors, I say get a life. If you find yourself basking in the latest techno tweek and thirteenth set of speakers, I suggest you go off line, visit a used car lot, find an old VW Beatle, turn on the radio and enjoy the music again. Re-invent yourself.
What is the perpose of this post? Its worded just to piss people off and is dissapointing to see.
Yes Larryh: Why are you even at this site? Go away.
Larry -- You can post all you like. I think the site should welcome debate. Anyone who gets very defensive is probably insecure and uncomfortable with the truth.
You are right, and you can post whatever you want. This is something called "hobby." But it is not your place or anybody's place to tell someone what to or NOT to like, buy or pursue. It is not pleasant that someone tells you and/or others that you are not really happy when you really are, isn't it? This is a very personal hobby. I, too, wonder what you are doing here with such a thought.
You are an A-HOLE Larryh. Why even post that BS. Why don't you go enjoy your Emerson clock radio. Because I am sure that you will hear the same thing as someone who has hi-end gear.
Eleceng: Debate what? How big of a jerk Larry is? I also see that you trolled in around the same time he did. And what truth are you talking about? Go away.
A VW Beetle as a dedicated listening room? I'm intrigued by the concept *L*
After reading this highly volitile thread (trolling are we?), and BEFORE reading the responses, I pretty much had the same thoughts as expressed in the above posts. Will DNA2 monos fit in a beetle? Vand. 3As? Cheers. Craig
I think Larry is upset because he did'nt find his soundesign receiver and Kraco 6x9's under his Christmas tree this year! He now has to go out and buy some Bose which seems to be the only word he knows! Hey! I have a great New Years resolution for you(not that you'd know what resolution is anyway). Why don't you lose some weight between your ears? If you don't you will never be able to tell the difference between your soundesign and a conrad johnson or a Merlin and a kraco. You obviously got side-tracked with this site and you are definitely out of your league. Take a hike and don't come back!!!!
I'm not sure I should even bother with replying but aside from your attitude problem, you have clearly never heard a system that measures impulse coherent with flat frequency response. My system has been professionally measured in my room as part of my setup and room treatment program. My Dunlavy SC-V's are phase and impulse coherent to begin with. Coupled with a Sigtech room DSP and room treatment the response at the sweet spot is virtually flat from 25HZ to beyond audibility. There is plenty of solid chest rattling bass on well recorded Techno, metal, organ or late romantic classical. Wagner, Bruckner, Mahler, Stravinsky and Strauss do not sound thin and I hear live orchestral music two or three times a month. You may think I wasted my money on this system but that's about the only thing in your post that is really a matter of taste along with one other exception. I do listen with the top two octaves rolled off so the sound isn't too bright.
Aren't you the hypercritical one Larry? You speak as though you can't stand the idea of what people on this site do with their hifi or how they spend their time. If you're not into hifi, what are you doing here? I believe you're the one who should get a life and should dedicate all your time to something that are of interest to you rather than on something you hate. You even took the time you register a user name on this site. The only reason why I registered in Audiogon is to purchase something here. It doesn't sound like you want to buy anything here anyway. Why did you register? The truth of matter is if you draw a graph with the an axis designating cost and a y asis designating sound quality, and dollars you have to spend for every step of sound improvement, the chart is will not be linear. Everyone in this hobby realizes this and all have a limit or tolerance of how much they are willing to spend to achieve their acceptable sound quality. Seems like you don't believe in this dollar spent vs. sound quality relationships. You come across as "we" audiophilers are over focusing our efforts and money just to reproduce a simple sound wave and that we don't need. You wrote as though we treat sound as a luxury. You make us feel as though we can simply live with the quality of sound that comes equal to a VW bug. If you preach this philosophy, I expect you live your life in the simpliest way without the owning anything fancier than the basic necessities, right? You better not be driving a car cause you can take public transportations, have any expensive clothes because it's a luxury, and etc. If everything you own exceeds your the basic necessity of life, then you're just a hypercrite and have no merit to your argument.
I think Larry's comment on the VW was just a re-phrasing of the oft-cited, "it's supposed to be about the music!", and not an indictment of all things pertaining to luxury.

Why are posts like Larry's always the ones that inspire the most voluminous threads when everyone is saying "go away"? It would seem like if what he says is so useless nobody would ever visit the thread again, much less take the time to write a response.

It does give me an idea for a new thread, though - "How many pairs of speakers have you gone through in your audio quest?" Nothing derogatory intended, it just strikes me as an interesting question. For me, the answer was one before my wife began rolling her eyes and exclaiming, "what the hell do you need a new pair of speakers for - your current pair works just fine!" The count for my current incarnation is three with the fourth being strategized on.

As observed by others Larry is attempting to evoke a reaction simply for sport. ...Why provide him with amunition? Let the thread die here.
Larry obviously has an axe to grind and his tone is somewhat extreme, but that said, I suspect some audiophile are obsessed with their equipment. Do these people need to get a life? Who am I to say, but I strongly support the right of Larry or anybody else to voice their opinion on this subject, if expressed with civility.
Larry writes; I would say "Kthomas" keyed in on the main points of my discussion, effectively re-stating them in softer terms. "Pls1" on the other hand, is clueless or in denial as is the case with most audiophiles. Warning: Don't let your signigicant other read this. I will now offer a few more insights to the problem. First of all, HiFi enthusiasts are trying to do something that is physically impossible. Namely, record a sound and play it back somewhere else so it sounds the same. "Pls1" would have us believe that his highly calibrated Dunlavy SC-V's are capable of re-creating the sound of a classical guitar or even an orchestra. Hello.... The last time I looked at a Dunlavy they used round loudspeakers, all lined up at attention in a column. The last time I looked at a classical guitar, it had strings running the length of the neck, a hole in the center and a wood body and back that radiate sound in a very precise manner in relation to the performer and room. Who can tell me how a series of round vibrating panels (speakers) linked with electronics and wire will present the same sound field as the real thing. It won't. Unfortunately the Dunlavy or any high quality transducer cannot mimic the complex sounds of real instruments, we only want them to. And here comes the problem and one of the reasons (another being money) audiophiles are so defensive about their quest. They tend to be proud people addicted to the notion they can somehow find truth at the end of the acoustic rainbow. The troubling thing is they often do not understand the physical process or what attributes are important and which are not. Not unlike gambling, the audiophile can never be satisfied because the goal is not attainable. It's like people who trade stocks on companies they know nothing about, usually it's others who get wealthy. Only when we understand the problem will we find happiness in the solution. My suggestion, take time to learn a little about physical and psychoacoustics before you board the high tech train and purchase base on knowledge not hype. For as they say, a rose of any other name ...........
Larry, we might enjoy the "chase"?
How many "Larrys" can you get in a v-dub? --Cremated? 30 or so in the ash tray alone.There are many hobies I know nothing at all about.However,I know I know nothing, therefore I don't make an ass out of myself,with stupidity.Welcome to the sight Lar. babe.Maybe one day you'll get a hobby you're pasionate about and you can do the same thing we're doing/when somebody wanders in only to criticize something they don't understand.
Larryh, I make my living doing commercial and advertising photography, then I come home and attempt to make my stereo sound like live music. Do I succeed in achieving sound that is exactly like real music? No, and neither do my photographs fool anyone into thinking they are looking at the "real world." I am glad that along with Southwest Airlines, Fidelity Investments, Interstate Battery and many others, most of my customers and the public in general, are pleased by a high quality approximations. I constantly upgrade my photo equipment (at GREAT expense) in an attempt to produce images that are more convincing. The investment in my audio equipment is (likewise), an attempt to achieve a level of reality in music, at least as much as I can get. Although I am paid, and repaid for my investment in my effort to reproduce realistic photographs, my pursuit of excellence in music is for the pure passion and enjoyment of it. So, I do not find it odd to discover an entire web site of fellow music lovers that have the same goals. What I do find strange is someone who does not care enough about music to make the required investment in equipment. No decent tools, no decent results, it is very simple. Could I enjoy taking pictures with a disposable camera? I guess so, if I had to. But why waste my creative efforts only to be disappointed with a crappy image. Could I enjoy the radio in a VW? Yes, if I had to, but why be disappointed with not only a crappy image, but poor bandwidth, low resolution, and a limited seating area as well?
Great response Albert.
Hey Larry: While your still here, do you think that it is possible for a system to sound "better" than live? Think about it instead of cyphering out on us.
The hobby is all about opinions.We each have our own opinion on what a particular system sounds like and we each tailor our systems to sound like we want them to sound like.Some like big bass other great mids and highs.we have a darn good time trying to get the sound we like and we enjoy this.So what wrong with that.and unlike you of the tin ear Larry we van tell the difference between the junk and hi fi.And dont put the BW down they had some fine Blaupunkt systems in them for their time.
Hey Albert, quick question about photography. Do you professional photographers ever think that digital cameras will eventually over take the traditional cameras? I work for a flash memory company that supplies removable flash memories for many hand held products. Digital photography is one of our markets. I am just curious to hear what a professional end user think about digital cameras. Thanks in advance for the feed back. Btw, nice comments above.
Larry does have a point about people preferring different "realitites"...that's all true. Besides that, I don't think many audiophiles realize that much of the sound is determined before it ever reaches their stereo. I do some engineering, and there are soooo many factors that create each particular sound. Different brands of instruments sound different (sometimes the same brands sound different based on age, environment, etc), every drumset sounds different, players play differently, all microphones have their own characteristics, microphone placement is a huge variable (as little as a half an inch can change the sound), the recording rooms has it's own sound (size, shape, reflections, humidity,etc), different reverb effects are used (and all have their own characteristics), different tape stock has it's own sound (as does the recording speed). Do you see what I mean?? There are hundreds of variables that we have no control over. (and ALbert's photography comparison still holds true) I do think it's hard to reproduce live sound, but some equipment does it better than others. Some equipment reproduces the sound of the master tape more than others (a more realistic goal). I happen to enjoy it when I find a product that sounds more lifelike and real (good dynamics, transparency, low level resolution, etc)...of course, I prefer the equipment that best captures my personal ideas of what is "lifelike and real". I can relate to that search for the perfect equipment, but I do find it kinda funny when "professional reviewers" (and occasionally Audiogon posters) forget that the recordings aren't perfect. I do think some people tend to react too quickly to particular recordings (messing with speakers, cables, gear,...I'm guilty myself) when something sounds "off", instead of reacting to the general sound of many recordings. I'm trying to learn to remember that some recordings just don't sound "right", but it's not always easy. Okay...time for more coffee.
Hey Larry, my post was in response to your claims on phase and frequency response. At just under 10 feet the Dunlavy's are phase and frequency coherent. I've measured this myself in my room. I have degrees in physics and electrical engineering so I think I understand the principles and the technique (BTW where are your degress from). How closely this does or does not correlate to reproduction of complex music is open for opinion and debate. I hear two or three live orchestral performances a month and am aware of the difference between live and recorded music. But whether my system "accurately reproduce(s) sound in terms of phase, and frequency amplitude response" to quote your post is a matter of rather simple engineering measurement.
Larry...please, give us a break here. I think you just have nothing better to do than try to get a rise out of others. Do you really think any of us really believe that we can reproduce the sound of live musical instruments with audio equipment? It doesn't take all your vast knowledge of "physical and psychoacoustics" to figure that one out. If you have not already done so I suggest you read Albert Porter's post above as it is an excellent analogy. I have been a musician most of my life and I think it is great that technology, with all of its imperfection, allows us to recreate music in our homes with such fidelity, even if it's not the real thing.
Larry I have a few simple questions for you. Are your observations based on your own analytical data with no particular interest in well reproduced audio? Sure would be interested in the details if so. Do you REALLY believe a Bose WAVE radio would be picked by most audiophiles as approximating real music to a greater degree than an accurately setup Hi-Fi? I have the opportunity to listen to a Bose WAVE radio every day in our office and can tell you from my own "critical" listening, your contention just ain't so to these ears but then again we all hear differently, right? Are you a natural born antagonist or sincerely playing the devils advocate? Finally, Do you really have a deep passion for music as the rest of us do? And BTW Albert I think your analogy couldn't have been stated more clearly for all to understand that might not get what well reproduced audio is really all about.
Larry, your hand is not the same thing as a p***y but it sure sounds like that aint bothering you.
I wish I was like larry and could not tell the difference. I would be happy with a computer with some altecs listening to mp3's i downloaded free from napster. Life would be great because instead of spending all this money of stereo equipment, I could buy something equally ludicrous like a mercedes or a 58 corvette.
Larry: Like Woody Gutherie-- "I don't wanna die......just want to hear my Hiiiiiii - Fii. Or was it Arlo Gutherie? Cheers. Craig.
Just tuned in after a few days away and this is the first thread I read. Nice welcome back. My first impression was that Larryh was just trolling. His first message, though surprisingly containing a few tidbits of truth, was a classic bit of bait. I was surprised so many "bit".

Larryh's next post was more pertinent and far less insulting. While I would never respond to the first message, the second, being more revalent and less "biting", elicited this response. Funny how a change in tone does that...(hint, hint)

All that is my usual long way around to a point. My system is intended to do certain things among which is entertain by providing a quality music experience that cheaper gear never delivered (that's a long winded version of "it's about the music").

I have not fooled myself into believing that reproduced music in my living room will ever be exactly like that of Carnegie Hall nor that I will ever see Stevie Ray Vaughn live (sorry, his CH release is on right now). So, I shoot for the next best thing which is a quality setup on which to play what appeals to me at a specific point in time.

Oh, one more thing. While I disagree with Larryh about whether "a system set up to accurately reproduce sound in terms of phase, and frequency amplitude response would not be desirable by most audiophiles", creating a "live" sound environment *is* undesireable. Not only would the loudness get old quickly, it's also get me evicted. Seems I want some things a live venue doesn't provide: selection on a whim and volume control. Well, I've got both of those AND good sound. Yes, life is good.

Happy Holidays, guys!
I say we go after Larry with the torches and pitch forks... hey, before I have to slip into the Nomex again, tongue is very much in cheek.
Larry writes: As we come to the end of another year, I would like to thank everyone who responded to my somewhat controversial remarks. For the record, I too have been sucked into the world of audio, way past the sensible point of no return, to a place that ceases to represent actual music but rather some version or statement of accomplishment albiet vicariously through the efforts of others. Through this thread, the audio community has confirmed what I often suspected, that the pursuit of ultra high end sound reproduction, is a highly personal endeavour largely satisfying no one but ourselves and in some cases not even to ourselves. The most negative comments confirmed the latter. How many times have we all lusted after that new component only to be bored or unhappy with it after a short while. I sold my Krell KPS/20iL, (that's right, avoid the external preamp and cables to get a more pure signal)and replaced it with a Sony SCD-1 SACD. Yes the fun is in the "chase" as Eldragon put it. To all, a happy and safe new year and "good hunting". Larry
This thread should have climax with comments by Albertporter on 12-28-00. Enough said!!