top ten things you learned about HiFi on Agon

Here's my list in some semblance of order:

1. how to more critically listen to music and determine what my system is doing right and what areas could stand some improvement
2. room shape and speaker position matter a lot
3. about other websites where I can get more detailed information on a particular subject
4. importance of the source
5. importance of good power cables
6. importance of a solid foundation for your equipment
7. importance of tonearm and cartridge matching and setup
8. about silver fuses
9. concepts related to amp and speaker matching
10. the concept of overall system balance and working towards a particular system sound.

I have really learned quite a bit by coming on this site. I generally used to think I knew my way around HiFi gear, having built speakers and owned various systems over the years, some that worked "pretty good" (put together by budget, market research, ear and accident), and some... well, not-so-much. I have a much better idea of where my understanding is now (thus the screen name), and feel like I am only scratching the surface.

With that said, every time I listen to my system these days I am aware of how much better it sounds compared to only a few years ago - due in large part to advice based on your writings and rantings on here. And this accomplished by adding many tweaks, a few key accessories and without adding or swapping very many major parts over that time span (except three turntables and four cartridges [but no microphone!]). Thanks Agoners for all the great information!!!
May sound circular and stupid, but everything is everything. In other words, everything matters, the weak link in one's system can be anything, I can't even begin to make a list of what's most or least important.

And then, if that's not enough, this is very dynamic thing, everything is constantly changing.

Could be building a satisfying system might be a major accomplishment in life..... Talk about enlightenment!
1. Tubes are cool.
2. records are cool too
3. digital s--ks
4. No hifi buff would be caught dead with a digital hi def TV because digital s--ks
5. noise and distortion is bad
6. avoid threads with the word "best" in it
7. BAM stands for Brick and Mortar
8. reel to reel is really cool
9. some audio buffs really hate omni speakers becasue they can't stand all that sound bouncing around the room
10. most Audiogoner's have a good sense of humor.
The proper use of metaphors.
"A fool and his money are soon parted".
1. Every subject has it's contrarian
2. Minutiae abounds in audio
3. Tangential comments can take over a thread
4. There are no absolutes in audio
5. Tvad responds to every post
6. A wicked sense of humor is manadatory
7. Members can spot a shill quickly
8. Spelling is a challenge for many
9. Typing is a challenge for the rest
10. Many wonderful, helpful, generous people are 'Goners
1. Ignorance is bliss
2. Everything can be related to cars
3. Everything can be related to the "power paradigm"
4. Room size is everything
5. I now know the best speakers under $300
6. I should drive those same speakers with $10,000 amps
7. "Tubes rule. SS drools"
8. Whatever someone owns is beyond reproach
9. Whatever someone sells is beyond reproach
10. Tvad is always right
11. There is no magic involved with Magicos
12. Democrats like Class D. Republicans like Class A
13. Yes, there really is a genre called "Black Metal"
14. Superman uses a really expensive power cord in his system
15. Yes, there really is such a thing as a $5000 IC
16. we should all sell our belt drive turntables. DD is really the bomb after all.
17. take a 30 year old DD table and add thousands of dollars worth of enhancements and your records will finally sound great
18. All the good tubes were made years ago by people who are now dead so prepare for the great tube depression coming our way in about 20 years or so.
19. Equipment by Soundesign does not sell well on Audiogon.
20. The fewer people who actually own a piece and the more expensive it is, the better it has to be.
1. Great guys here (see Lugnut thread)
2. Cool ladies in audio too!
3. Implementation is important
4. Synergy is everything!
5. Cables really matter
6. All amps are not the same
7. Nelson Pass is cooler than Obama can hope to be
8. You really can have virtual friends
9. It's okay if TVAD responds to everything- he knows his shit
10. It's the music that matters most of all!!
Mapman's 1235&6 in his 1st response.

Never buy new. Buy used on the 'Gon.
I agree with Eldartford. No matter how much (serious) money I have spent on sources, speakers, etc. etc. I have not come close to the sound of live music in my room. Did I have some great sounding systems—YES. Did it sound like live music—NO!

Please enjoy what you have and save yourself a lot of money. The music is more important then what it is played through any ways!
Nobody agrees on anything so you may as well make up your own mind.
I'll third Entrope's Top 10 list. Gonna be hard to outdo that one.
I'd add misuse or confusion of words to Entrope's Items 8 & 9, "then" for "than" being perhaps the most common confusion in Audiogon posts. The posts of Eldartford and Markphd in this thread are particularly wise. I follow Glory's dictum, except I also bought a Sony Pearl on AVS.

1) A fool and his/her money are soon parted.
2) Some folks will believe anything.
3) What you expect influences what you hear.
4) Better stuff usually is better in some way, but some folks may not like the difference in sound. So it is STILL a crapshoot.
5) Stuff that is underpriced sells within a few minutes of being listed!
6) you have to look at the classifieds a LOT if you want a certain item, or it will be sold ten minutes BEFORE you notice it.
7) stuff that is overpriced gets a lot of 'looks', but no bids or offers.
8) If you 'miss' a rare item you wanted, eventually it will show up again.. maybe a year or two later!!!!
9) ALL phono carts for sale are said to have only a "FEW" hours.. no matter how old.
10)Audiogon is GREAT for buying, selling, window shopping, getting advice, getting good advice, getting really BAD advice, getting misled, getting confused over which is the good advice, and which is the bulls.. The KEY ADVICE is: If you don't ALREADY know, you aren't gonna find out from the goN', unless you are good at sorting out BS.
Can't get to 10 without repeating what others have contributed, but here are a couple....

Most audiophiles listen to sound, not music.

Most audiophiles listen to what sounds good before paying attention to performance quality.

Many audiophiles think that great 'stereo imaging' will get them closer to the sound of a live performance.

Most audiophiles don't get out much and listen to live, unamplified, music. That way they can fantasize about how close their system's sound is to live sound.

Many audiophiles will spend a lot of money to obtain the bragging rights to say its not a fantasy.

Many audiophiles confuse (or substitute) a hobby for a religion or politics.

Many audiophiles are pining away for speakers that sound good in their rooms placed against the wall, or better yet in a corner. And, having failed, want to get some different cables, amps, whatever, to achieve this placement.

And, I just love Elizabeth's last paragraph. If you don't know the answer to a question you ask, how can you determine which of the answers you are given is correct? If any. And, if you do know the answer are you a troll?

Sorry, its a slow day! :-)
1. Learn
2. quickly
3. whom
4. to
5. listen
6. to
7. and
8. whom
9. to
"then" for "than" being perhaps the most common confusion in Audiogon posts

Together with advise/advice, and lose/loose.

I can't quite get to 10 either, after everything else that has been said, but here are a half dozen, in no particular order:

1)The ability to quickly create a short list of products to consider in whatever category and price range I am looking to purchase, by researching member comments (and heavily filtering them based on my accumulated perceptions of the members' strong points and weak points).

2) The technical aspects of power distribution, grounding, and shielding (even though I am an experienced electrical engineer). Special thanks to Jea48.

3)About room equalization, subwoofer integration, and some of the subtleties of speaker design. Special thanks to Shadorne.

4)Lots of good things about amplifier design. Special thanks to Atmasphere, Steve McCormack, and Charles Hansen among others.

5) How satisfying it can be to help someone I don't know solve a frustrating technical problem.

6)Everything that Entrope and Elizabeth said, which I guess means that I'm "good at sorting out the bs." :)

-- Al
1. Audio is a fun hobby; just don't take it too seriously,
2. music trumps equipment,
3. hype should be treated with a proportional amount of caution,
4. many excellent products never make the Stereophile Recommended Products list,
5. for best results trust your own ears,
6. carefully match equipment for system synergy, and don't neglect support, damping and room treatment,
7. deals that look too good to be true usually are,
8. doing your homework on equipment and checking seller feedback may keep you from being burned, but probably not from being occasionally singed,
9. enjoy the music reviews and threads here, and most importantly,
10. the time you spend on audio is nowhere near as valuable as the time you spend with the people in your life.
1. Understanding music as well as its reproduction is cognitive process which seems to surprise me every now and then........
2. It takes only two audiophiles to have three different opinions.
3. shady motives drive spotless individuals.
4.Foolish ask questions that the wise can NOT answer. (even if they try)
5.Foolish questions are the most popular of all.
6.It is always a silly thing to give advice, but to give good advice is absolutely fatal.
7. Getting off the Merry-Go-Around is possible ........until the next great thing.
8. Many have MBA in BS and Narcizm.
9. Experience is a good teacher, but she sends in terrific bills. Learn all you can from the mistakes of others. You won't have time to make them all yourself.
10. Enjoy the music................. and let the others do the same.

I was going to make a list, but then I read Newbee's and Elizabeth's and decided they said what I was going to say better. Great lists!
1. Buy and listen to products you like, not what others own or recommend.
2-10. See number 1.
Only three points.

There's a large number of really smart people posting on Audiogon. It can just takes a little time to figure out who they are.

Except for those people trying to sell you something, people are sincerely trying to help others.

Audiophiles need to learn more about the recording process (both past and current practices). If they did they would better understands the limits of what home audio reproduction can accomplish and what it cannot.
"Audiophiles need to learn more about the recording process (both past and current practices). If they did they would better understands the limits of what home audio reproduction can accomplish and what it cannot."

Very good point!
Excellent post, Onhwy61!

Yeah. Nice post and I'd add that the "large number" is a the majority IMHO. Plenty of great advice to be found here.
1) The world is a very small place. I have learned that I have commonality with people from all parts of the globe. Those brought up in political or social environments very different than mine, yet music is universal.

2) We all have our own tastes and listening preferences, yet non of us are completely right or completely wrong. Find those whose experiences most resembles your own and form a friendship with them.

3) There will always be jerks in the world!

4) Some people just refuse to accept that what they do not understand.

5) Isolation is more important and less understood than we think.

6) "Audiophiles" look for a two dimension cut out and call it detail. Music lovers look for enjoyment and call it music.

7) This hobby is big enough to support both the audiophile and the music lover alike.

8) When given the chance, the Internet can bring people closer together than we ever expected (LUGNUT) and therein we discover humanity.

9) Audiogon offers an education in system set-up that will take your systems performance to places it would not be without Audiogon.

10) Many people who post here want so badly to be right and to have a following that they post opinions on everything. A few people who post here have vast knowledge in academic application, yet are completely blind to the possibility of what they don't know. A very few have knowledge based in experience with many systems, are open minded to the possibility that we have not learned all there is to know and are actually able to provide this knowledge in terms that we can learn from. Seek those people, there are about twenty or thirty of them, ask learn and enjoy. The rest of those who post are here for other reasons, give them exactly the credit they deserve.

Beyond all, enjoy the music, if you love music, enjoy the imaging if that's your thing. No matter what, enjoy the community and the opportunity to enjoy life with people we would not other wise know without Audiogon.

Here's one I forgot:

Don't waste time and money trying to make a particular recording sound better than it really is. Focus on getting the most you can out of the most recordings you can regardless of their inherent quality or sound. This is the true path to audio happiness and contentment for most.
The breadth of excellent equipment available - most of which I never knew.
10 things HiFi that I've learned so far from the A'gon.

1. Using Rain-X tweak on CDs really works.
2. Using Copper sleeve over power cord really works.
3. IC, spkr cables, and pwr cords do carry unique sounds.
4. Every subject is a possible for a time bomb.
5. Marketing and Markupting r sharing same meaning.
6. MidFi gear +GreatTechnicalSkill +Passion =HighEnd system.
7. People still doubt great HDMI can get better pictures
8. Every post is carefully screened out.
9. I'm obsessive with sounds more than the music.
10. Just realized that I'm A-Gonholic.