High End Myth Glossary.

Many of the glossary terms bellow are entered with little or no comments. Large comments might require large space and time investment. If anyone reading this glossary is offended, than I'll keep you a company as well. Every myth-paragraph bellow adds a price to the audiocomponent only without substantial improvements and "upgrades" to your system.

Feel free to add to the list bellow:

1. Cables' price should be arround 10...20% of the whole system i.e if the system costs $100k than $10...20k should be for interconnects and speaker cables.

2. Directional signal cables.

3. Zero Negative Feedback.

4. $10k 10Wpc amps.

5. No need for larger output power. Place compact system speaker into the plywood horn enclosure and use SET 1W/ch.

6. Tube watts v.s. SS watts.

7. CD-players or digital separates over $1.5k(Analogue sources stay somewhere next to but not to the same degree for example $10k cartridges)

8. Audiable differences in .3dB or in .5%THD v.s. .001%THD.

9. Auditioning of audio furniture.

10. Stereophile or other oriented magazines one-person "expert reviews"

11. $5000 Mark Levinson amp looks like it should sound excellent...

12. $12k CD-player reads CD with greater precision.

13. tubes $900/matched pr

14. amp stands $600/pr.

15. microphonic-free chasis, power interconnects and speaker wires. tubes and transistors can certainly be added as well.

16. wire reactance influence on audio freequencies.

17. Nirvana speaker wire has substantially less reactance than Home Depot.

18. S/N ratings of CD-player(larger than CD's dynamic range 16bit = only 60dB!)

P.S. I would be also glad to see Worst-of section in forums here.
Pardon my mistake in paragraph 16. Please change it onto AC power-line freequencies.

As to audio freequencies refer to paragraph 17.
Good stuff.

Add: Demagnetizing CD's.

Also, re: #18: You get 6db/per bit, so the theoretical dynaic range of 16 bits is 6db x 16 = 96 db.
Sorry I have to disagree. Many of the so called "myths" are things various folks have been able to distinguish based on auditioning, or experimenting with.
My Sony SACD at $(originally $3,500) $2,500 list (I paid $1,700 for a demo unit) has a redbook CD section that is clearly worth every penny as just a CD transport. (and was the reason I decided to buy it, based partly on reading about it in STEREOPHILE, and partly on the comments of members of Audioasylum.)
Some of the things you bring up seem almost ok, but then they are things I have no experience with, and so cannot personally say if they are real or myth. However I am certain many folks who post here could defend your so called myths as having a basis in fact, based on experience.
Another one: I have approx $3,000 in various cables (in use), and only about $11,000 in stereo equipment (excluding Vid and power cleaners)
My cable collection just grew gradually... and I surprise myself with the investment. But each has been well worth the money, and I hope eventually to try out some good Nordost... (that would boost cables to 50% of total system electronics cost)
(Though I probably will never buy any $700+ power cables.)
You forgot one biggie: Painting the edges green on your CDs.
Works for me.
You're a brave man, M. I'd add the overarching one, that explains why all the other myths persist:

19. Believing that every difference you hear has a physical cause, rather than a psychological one.
Bravo Bomarc!! That's one element that certainly comes into play in this playworld!!! But I must say, I love it when the results are obvious!

Your proposed 19- believing is only the derivative. The prime

20. Who and/or what made us to believe.


6dB per bit seems way tooo much for me as it's hard for me to imagine that there is nothing between 30 and 36dB.

I also want to post a general comment that many of the paragraphs mentioned are just only derivatives.

I'm appreciated to all posters whoever agrees or disagrees The only thing I want to add is that I bought for the same as I sell and if someone will realize the same might only benefit.

Thanks for current and future posts as well.
A while back there was a post on recepticle covers (wall plates) and the way they effect sound. I like tube rolling but never considered plate rolling. Great post, I am enjoying it!
Actually, #2 I have experimented with. An interconnect shield is typically only hooked up at one end (except for some very obvious Kimbers, Nordost, etc.) and an old MIT sounded very bad the wrong way.

Another really interesting test was done on some FMS hook up wire. I had heard that there could be differences in sound depending on how the wire was pushed, pulled or whatever, so before installing it, I made a cassette copy of a song from a CD to a Nak Dragon using the hookup wire as the "hot" with a set of RCA pigtails made with Kimber 4TC and (ugh!) alligator clips. Then I flipped the wire around and recorded the same song again and listened to the tape with both "versions". It took a few times, but one sounded very slightly quicker and punchier, the other a bit more dull. After listening to it a few more times, I figured I had the differences down and tried listening to the two other coils (of different color) of the same wire I had. I was able to correctly identify the "direction" of the others, whether it was the punchy way or slow way by flipping ends. Sometimes I have way too much free time! Oh, these wires were a multistrand copper of the same gauge twisted around a plastic core. Could the twist have made a difference, I don't know; what do you think? All in my head?

You basically need to perform a third experiment: Strip the shield of your old MIT wires and try them one or the other direction.

As to the recording onto cassette the pulling strength is different throughout the whole cassette tape length especially at the very beginning and at the very end. Thus the alignement can't be perfect as well even on mega-priced tape decks. What can be great there is electronics making a clean recording and sound.

Open reel recorders are to the less degree affected but still recording engineers wind forward and leave the rest at least 15...20meters unrecorded from both tape ends to make sure that the tape strength will be more stable and so is head alignement.
Great stuff M-man. Just remember, one man's myth is another man's hit.
Anything cryoed
cone-shaped feet to put under things
tweaks that make you "discover your collection all over again"
cables thicker than garden hose
Also, I especially like the part about demagnetizing aluminum cd's
Personally, I feel that numbers 1-6 are not myths.

#1 Paying 10% for cables may seem outrageous for a $100k system, but what about a $10k system? I'll bet most of you out there who have $10k systems have at least $1k(total) in cables, including power cables, right? Not a myth.

#2 Directionality of signal cables - debatable. I think it makes a difference in some cables.

#3 Zero negative feedback - preferable over virtually all types of negative feedback. Not a myth.

#4 What's wrong with $10k 10watt amps? You may think it exorbitant, but listening to one on a suitable speaker system may make you think otherwise. That is only $1k per watt, and I paid $2k per watt for my amp. Wanna see if a Pass or Halcro can beat it out on efficient speakers? Bring your crying towel! Not a myth. Watts cannot be equated with good sound.

#5 Must have higher power? Speaker efficiency doesn't matter? See above. Bring your crying towel. Not a myth.

#6 Like it or not, tubes will provide more "listenable" volume for the same power rating as SS, unless driving low impedance speakers. Make up your own reasons, they just do. Not a myth.

Proposed #19 - everybody knows what I think about that.

with all due respect to you I can tell that I'm different from the one who would bring "crying towel" and despite your wide thick and big experience selling audio equipment, I have placed a large number of scientific and budget measurements onto every paragraph mentioned, but I don't specify reasons on purpose since they require knowlege of electronics and mentioned negative feedback in particular. I simply let everyone here think about that including dealers as well(that unfortunately in largest scale were "infected" by new-era high-end mythical plug to be able to infect buyers).

as you can see I enjoy being "attacked"!
Here are some:

Cables are as important as circuit design.

You really don't need to understand a whit about circuit design or electrical engineering to intelligently evaluate different approaches by the various designers.

You can walk into an audition room and focus on the effect of one component alone, such as an amplifier, in a chain of many, and walk in to the same store another day, and focus on the effect of a different component, say a speaker, in the same chain of components.

Tone controls and room equalization can be made irrelevant by carefully choosing the right components.

Your ears and hearing are objective and stable listening devices.

"Burn-in" has nothing to do with your hearing and brain getting accustomed to a system, and everything to do with physical changes in components.

Live sound is better than home audio.

Home audio is a more essential experience than going to concerts.

That some speakers can blend with your furniture or are elegant furniture.

That WAF does not matter.
Here are my Myth's to add to the Glossary.

Audio Asylum is as good as Audiogon.

No one at Audiogon ever "trolls" by posting controversial topics.

Bose makes the ultimate speaker.
Albert wins hands down : )

Mscommerce's comments are WAY too serious for this type of thread. Very good, but WAY too serious : ) Sean
That the way "I" perceive the world is the identical way "you" perceive the world. Regardless of "proven" scientific facts the way we perceive those "facts" is ALL psychological: We create the way we perceive the world around us in each of our own heads, and those perceptions are more often as distinctive from one another as our fingerprints. There are no absolutes! The meanings we attach to virtually everything we perceive are uniquely our own.

With the singular exception of the undisputed superiority of the Western Electric 300B tube over all other 300B varieties, there is no right and no wrong! Of that I'm absolutely positive, and anyone who says otherwise is obviously a naive and foolish little person! :-p

....say Marakanetz, what kind of bait you using on those hooks?
Lookup at least 50 years back to find out how WE300B is $900/pr now and other mega-prices as well.

You'll certainly be able to subtract from psychological "psycho" thereafter and plenty of bait for different purposes.
#1 Any perceived differences in sound that cant be quantified by measurement is self delusion. (if so, buy yourself a Technics receiver from 1980 that has <.0001 distortion)
#2 Cone shaped feet under speakers/components have no effect on sound. (at least try them under a turntable)
#3 I understand at least 1/2 of what Marakanetz is talking about at any given moment.
Marakanetz - Just in case you, or anyone else really thought I was serious about that, let me make it more clear: The reference to WE 300B's was a joke to illustrate how ridiculous the presumption that, "I" know exactly what "YOU" (and the rest of the world) should prefer, really sounds to me. Sorry if I didn't make it sound ridiculous enough in my post!!(??)

6 db/bit of dynamic range is the right answer, strange as it seems - check out any engineering textbook on digital signal processing.
IMHO, the biggest myth in audio was "Perfect sound forever".
Thanks, I'll follow!
It just seems like forever.
300-400 hour break-in. Even if it is true, anyone who says "you need to give it 400 hours before it really shines" needs to be smacked.
Marakenetz, though I am not an electrical engineer, nor vendor, I have found, through practice, your premises to be sound.

My love for old inefficient speaker choices have forced me to concentrate my money on basic amplification. Money considerations necessitated leaving golden fleece cables, Rock of Gibraltar front ends, and kitchen counter shelving decisions for the future.

With each speaker change, any differences and improvements were obviously speaker generated, and very gratifying. Amp decisions merely followed each new speaker's thirst. The latest and thirstiest speakers, the ones I wanted all along, are breathtaking.

All thoughts of upgrading shelving and cables have been forgotten. Now, I am concentrating my efforts on listening room modification.
I think they were referring to the Sun around these parts lately, Ohlala. At least it seems like 400 hours before it has shone.....
Adding to the myth list:

--Shooting a fly with 45 Magnum(you never know if you actually kill it).
A simple plastic slapper will just do enough.
Marakenetz- You are obviously using the wrong .45 magnum for those flies. Try this .45 Magnum It also has the added bonus of not damaging the walls and furniture, and keeping your neighbors alive and well, as well as keeping your mug shot off the front page of your local newspaper!
The "worst troll of" ever seen on Audiogon has just been posted only as of today; it's at the very top of this page! Talk about misinformation! And then proudly paraded as gospel no less. Elizabeth's post is closest that I can come to agreeing with, although there are several others above with their heads still on straight.
There are no, repeat, NO absolutes in this world; that of course applies to the hobby as well. Must be very convenient to have everything so firmly pigeonholed - thank you god M. for showing us all the way to surefire sonic mediocrity.
Bob and albert,

it's not a "troll" rather it's laughs or audio-related humor.

It uncovers the reality that Elizabeth's path(as perfect example here) and anyone who follows the same to "perfect sound" had gone too far wrong way with spending too much on "dummy activities".

+ few "trolls" more:

--Audiogon is better than Audio Asylum

--Hobby is when you spend

--Wires make differences on more pricey equipment(deliberately designed to "feel" the wires)

And Yes Bob,
"The Worst Of" is what I realy meant. There I completely agree.
Please, let me add two of my favorites:

1) Belt drive turntables are superior to direct drive turntables.

Younger audiophiles can be excused as they have probably only heard mid line junk from Japanese mass market makers. Older audiophiles may have fallen under the spell of the Linn mistique (I too owned one for many moons). But anyone who has taken time to listen to a properly set-up Denon DP-6000, Technics SP-10 MK2, Goldmund, or similar high end direct drives will quickly realize that these tables are fully competitive, though with a different set of virtues, with the likes of Linn, VPI, SOTA, Rega, etc. I might add that the cost to produce these monsters, in 2003 dollars would be as staggering as the prices on current top line turntables.

2) Older gear is eclipsed by modern gear at comparable price points.

I discuss thirty year old turntables above. The two best tuners to ever issue forth from the hand of man are the Fisher FM-1000 and Marantz 10B. Thiry years later they still have not been surpassed. Even upper line analog tuners from Sansui, Kenwood, Yamaha and Pioneer are incredibly good and sell at very moderate prices. Many fourty year old tube amps, with a little upgrading, are also quite competitive. The Heath WM-4 and WM-5 come to mind and the 807 triode amps from Stancor are unbelieveable, even by current standards. Advertisers have brain washed us into thinking that everything old is just junk, but it just ain't so.
Myth #1 (from reading audiogon post for so long): Paradigm speakers sound good.

Myth #2: Most audio industry professionals and reviewers us Paradigm speakers in their "reference rigs" from which to compare other designs to.

Myth #3: Paradigm is the only speaker to onsider

Myth #4: If you are interested in non-colored, more accurate audiphiole grade sound quality, that lets you hear what's on the recording as it was originally from the source, then Paradim's are the speaker choice for you!

Myth #5: Less than 5% of the populous who own Paradigm speakers actually use an audio/video receiver to driver their speakers, rather than separates.

Myth #6: Paradigm makes bright speakers, just like the professional audio Mag reviewers all comment on continually.

Myth #7: I actually own Paradigm, and am just kidding most of the time, but really do love the higher fidelity soundquality offered by that company, which brings me closer to the accurate recordings as they were recorded.

Myth #8: Marketing hype and advertising dollars will never influence people from certain geographical areas to buy one brand over another when it comes to speaker designs..including Paradigms. Bose has this concept completely wrong..I don't know how they stay in business!

Myth #9: I own stock in Paradigm

Myth #10: Paradigm speakers don't sound anything like any other mid-fi offering.

Myth #11: Paradigm will one day make a speaker that will be awarded "speaker of the year" by Stereophile magazine, rather than "Canadian speaker weekly magazine" or "womans day magazine"!

Myth #12: One Paradigm speaker monitor(not sub) design actually made Class A rating by Stereophile magazine last century, and that feat will likely be repeated again in this century.

Myth #13: If I were ever going to recommend a speaker to a client who wanted hifidelity accurate sound quality, it would definitely be Paradigm, which is not exclusive to it's dealers, and shouldn't be readily avaliable to mail-order houses on the net!

Myth #14 Dollar per dollar, Paradigm is the best you can buy sonically.

Myth #15 The Phrases "I'm sick of hearing about em", "Eat my shorts", and Paradigm speakers should never be used in the same sentance!

Truth #1:...still people should buy what they want, and it doesn't matter what anyone else thinks, as long as you like it. Peace...
I would like to apologize for my previous comments regarding Padigm speakers, as I'm having a bad day. Really I never listen to anything but Paradigm in my spare time, and could care less about listening to any other speaker I've sold over the years. Paradigm rules!!!!...yippie!
# 1 myth. Big $$ adds in Stereophile will get you a good review. It's a conspiracy theory running wild lately.
#19 Marakanetz has better things to do with his/her time than post trolls
Did not see this post of yours earlier Marak. I agree with you totally. I like the "auditioning audio furniture" entry. Someone figured out a number of years ago that if folks could be sold on the superior sound of cables and wires in the thousands $$$$, hey why not tell'em they can hear the furniture and get top $$$$ for it. Main thing is to not muck up the acoustics with the placement of the furniture. The rest is hyperbole.
Bob bundus, it must be very convenient to be absolutely sure that there are no absolutes in this world or this hobby. Your reasoning is truly impressive.
Ultraviolet, you can actually hear furniture? No kidding? Life must be tough for you. I sympathize. I can hear large appliances, but I still need training in listening to furniture. I presume you also perceive light in the ultraviolet range. Where is the line between being open minded and gullible?
Pbb, perhaps Ultraviolet is referring to the effect of furniture in the room. I can clearly hear position of drapes, rugs and even the change from moving around larger pieces such as sofa’s and love seats.

It is also possible to hear the difference between two identical sized sofa’s when swapped in the same spot, provided one is hard (wood) and the other is padded cotton or wool piece.

I have one friend who refuses to listen from my sofa due to the height of the back. He is sensitive to the reflection directly behind his ears (off the leather). He always draws up a Queen Anne chair and places it behind us.

Everyone has their own particular sensitivities. I learn from everyone that listens with me. My system would not be nearly as evolved without others help.
Albert, my post reads as follows: "Main thing is to no muck up the acoustics with the placement of furniture". I have always accepted (I think I have no choice, it's a fact) that whatever is in the room does have an effect on the acoustics of the space. I also think that nothing is more annoying than a glass pane, a panel somewhere or anything else resonating. Where I draw the line is in thinking that electronics will sound different because of the furniture supporting it. Again, sanity should prevail and you don't want a wobbly piece of trash, but I still maintain that all this vibration suppressing mumbo-jumbo is simply in aid of manufacturers asking enormous amounts of money for "audio furniture". I will not suggest blind testing of furniture; it simply would be too funny.
I think I was misunderstood Pbb. I agree with Marakanetz. I interpreted the comments of bob bundus to mean that the first post of this thread was all nonsense. Perhaps I misunderstood him. If, in fact, that is his position I disagree, I think that there is a great deal in this hobby that is utter nonsense, some of which was listed by Marakanetz and some of which are absolutes. If you look at one of the last threads I chimed in on, you'll see that I feel quite strongly about this.

The word audiophile is more and more becoming synonymous with delusional. Perhaps it's the "peer pressure" to prove to friends, family and audiogon members that we have some hypersensitive hearing or the ultimate golden ear.

Consider for a moment a given component or system. There's a thread going on right now about Audio Note DAC's. I've never heard one--maybe they're the greatest thing ever, maybe they're garbage. Two people on that thread claim that there is something wrong with the bottom end. A whole ton of people said that they must be doing something wrong or are simply lying about ever hearing one. This is the problem with high end audio--the only acceptable review, comment etc. on an expensive component is praise. Neutral will get you into trouble, but perhaps not flamed too badly. A negative review will brand you either deaf, a liar, or an idiot. Furthermore, If you tell the reviewer that they are wrong and the component is good, you are adhering to some standard (aka an absolute). If you agree with the reviewer then the exact same logic applies. The contention that there are no absolutes in audio is an absurd statement.
Agree with your comments about room acoustics, especially reflective surfaces.

I‘m not certain what the term audio furniture covers. If the manufacturer builds a cabinet with similar construction as home furniture, then says it has mystical properties, I refuse to believe it.

There are stands that have low resonant shelves, pointy feet and such that do effect the sound of equipment. Like all audio tweaks, the improvement can be very big or very small depending on the room, equipment and listener.

I don’t know if Sound Anchors, Systrum and similar products would fall into the category of audio furniture or not. They support equipment, speakers and such and make an audible difference.
Some of these myths come across as being just plain silly. Too many people believe if a difference cannot be measured that it is not a difference.

The issue is that our science is still in an infancy state, but likes to make statements about things that are way over it's head! If I were to give you a set of measuring cups, but not just any set, a really good set of stainless steel, ranging from 1/8th of a cup through a two cup measuring set that is made so accurately that they contain exactly the marked amount within .00001% deviation could you tell me how many wpc I am pushing when I have my pre-amp turned up exactly half way and I'm driving an average of 4 ohms on my speakers with my Krell FPB 200 amplifier.

Remember these are the best measuring cups known to mankind and are garanteed to be within the tolerances listed above. If you were to have any trouble with these cups and the determination I requested, although I don't know how this would be possible, I will also provide the best German micrometer that money can buy!

Most of the measurements listed when equipment is designed and/or reviewed are fine as far as they go, but too much of electronics is still a complete mystery to science. Saying that there is no measurable difference between two pieces of gear so they must be the same is like looking out to the horizon and saying the earth is flat. This statement is easily observable, just look out the window, the earth is flat. Ultimately though this is still wrong!

Unlike Bob Bundus says every aspect of life is governed by absolutes, just because we don't know or like the absolutes does not compromise the truth. Opinions don't change truth either, even if we reduce them to the level of absurdity by calling them myths.
We may have gotten our signals crossed. What I find remarkable is that the people who truly believe that everything is in the head of the listener are very often the ones who have very limited knowledge of the basics of electronics. I don't purport to know a hell of a lot about the basic science behind electronics, but I know enough to recognize poppycock when I hear it. On the other hand, it does not all sound the same. Often enough there would be a simple fact based explanation, but it is a lot more entertaining to talk in broad terms emphasizing aesthetics and to bring everything back to one's individual likes or dislikes than to use a double track approach of measuring and listening. It is so strange how one school always fears that the other approach will, somehow, taint their judgment.
Continue the list:


...for a perfect and sensible ear(s) that able to hear .1dB differences:

1. Eat a bowl of grean pea soup with smoked chops of pork turkey or beef.
2. Play a critical recording you're intended to judge a system performance.
3. Pass some gas during an auditioning(preferably quiet especially for those who has a microphonic tube equipment so you won't interrupt a listening test)...

In result you should hear sonic changes of more than 0.1dB(not realy sure if worse or better) as the air pushed by the speaker has some content of impurities that somewhat change the air dencity and thus vary the room accoustics.
I've noticed that, contrary to the myth that audiophiles have adversarial relationships with their spouses, my system sounds better when my wife sits next to me. I don't think she quite qualifies as furniture, however. (Although she can be a bit stoic, sometimes.)
On certain rather bright recordings, however, they do sound best when she stands in the corner.
To really listen to furnature you must be quiet. I find it very stressful myself.
Marakanetz: That last post of yours really stunk : ) Sean