What I learned on Audiogon This Year

Things I learned from the forums this year:

1) In n Out Burger is the best fast food in the world, and Father's Office is the best Burger in LA (thanks BongoFury).

2) Widespread Panic and Arcade Fire are great bands.

3) All Digital is the wave of the future through downloads and analog is dead.

4) Analog is back to audio dominance and will continue to grow, digital is a trend and will die off except for convenience sake.

5) Don't ever say anything derogitory regarding certain types of gear that are defended by thier ______-mafia gangs. Especially___________________________.

6) Expensive Power cords are a still the biggest snake oil in audio.

7) Speakers are the most important place to start building a system.

8) Analog sounds better than digital.

9) Blu Ray is dead in the water, downloads for all media, video and audio is now the standard and will only continue to grow.

10) This is not a hobby, but a terrible affliction/addiction, and I need to change out some more gear.
11) Do not make cat jokes. Especially ones advocating fixing them to audio equipment.

12) Do not diss rim drive turntables. Idlers are the future of analogue.
You may have to disconnect all the cables in your system, or move gear, but get your cables arranged in an orderly fashion with an emphasis on separating them from each other as much as possible. It makes a difference.
Macdadtexas, I like your observations and I'm sure more will be added to the list.

Regarding point number 10, you might want to try a Wyred 4 Sound DAC-2. It may challenge your analog rig and give you something else to ponder. At least that's been my experience.

My next step is to get a laptop so I can bring my computer music files to the DAC-2 (via the USB input) in my large-room 2-channel system. I already have a wireless computer network in the house and an external hard-drive loaded with music files, so I'm half-way there.

Happy Holidays!
I'd like to add that it's always the room's fault (whether it is or not).
I have learned that whatever the majority thinks is easy will be difficult for me. Whatever tweak that made a world of difference in the other guy's system will make no difference in mine.
Plato, great post. I have heard the Wyred DAC and love it. I am helping a non-audio-fool friend put together a higher end system, and had him buy the Wyred DAC2 as the centerpiece. That said, in my system I liked the Bryton BDA-1 better than the Wyred, I thought it had a deeper soundstage. But that was my system. The Wyred is as good as advertised.

MickeyF, excellent post. I hate cats, and rim drive.
I learned why many people prefer tone arms that don't have user removable headshells, because cartridge rolling is expensive and addicting.
Do not make an absolute judgment. Someone will always dispute it (and rightly so).
....believe YOUR ears and it is the room's fault
That's absolutely wrong!

LOL, love this website. I start a new job Monday so I'm guessing my days of combing the 'Gon ad naseum are over for a while.
Expensive cables are always better.

Tubes and solid state do not sound different.

Analog is superior to digital.

Balanced cables perform better.

Digital is superior to analog.

Unbalanced cables perform better.

There is no relation between advertising and good reviews.

The forums are completely uncensored.

Every cartridge for sale has less than 75 hours of use.

10/10 can be anything from 5/10 to 9/10.
13) What jeans to wear....
1.There are always at least two A'goners waiting for me to list an item for sale, so that they can list the same item for less at the same time.

2.Most items for sale on A'gon have the magical quality of staying "new' or "like new" or "still in the box" or "only opened to take this photo", even though they were purchased 5-10 years ago.

3.The majority of A'gon items for sale are "Reference quality", "sound better than the newer, updated model", and are used by some famous reviewer (usually "Mikey") in their personal system.

Happy New Year dear audiophiles! May we all retain our senses of humor, even as we continue to be driven to the brink of insanity by this crazy hobby of ours.
The 'Feil has hit on all cylinders today. My favorite points there are the censorship (I get moderated a lot, and can't figure out why most of the time), and the cartridge hours.

Ironically I just sold 2 cartridges, the one I sold on here, literally had never touched vinyl, the other I sold to my friend who is a scientist, and he checked it out on his microscope before he bought it. It had well over 300 hrs on it at my house and I bought it used. Makes me really believe in how well made Grado cartridges are, especially if you take the time to set them up correctly.

...talk can be cheap and listening can be priceless.

Happy, the later!
a) Everything is Seller Suggested "Priced to Sell" - when in fact isn't that the buyers decision?

b) I love headphones.

c) A headphone system is not substantially less expensive than a nice small room system!

d) Sometimes you have less than 1 day to pay for something or you will get negative feedback.

e) Several folks here are into racing, especially those I met at the Monterey Historics (or whatever it is called these days).

f) Rockpile Zin rocks (2008 vintage).

g) Transducers can actually SMOKE if overdriven.......
As soon as I buy something somebody posts the very same item for less than I paid.

Some audiophiles shoppers have the communication skills of Rain Man. Yes. No. Maybe. Long silences.

Some of the nicest people in the world are fellow audiophiles.

Happy New Year!
14)get used to the Chinese HI-FI...whatever it is!Happy New Year!
these are lifelong learning experiences...
1) that all audiophiles are a little crazy (including me)
2) that if something arrives damaged, it is ALWAYS the other persons fault.
3) that anyone can make really, really expensive cables AND sell them, IF they are good at marketing.
4) that SOME of those expensive cables are really, really worth the money.
5) that MOST audiophiles need someone ELSE to tell them which are are good, and which are not. (they can't tell).
6) that a good percentage of audiophiles think the other percentage are idiots, because of some trivial belief.
7) that it takes at LEAST 5 audiophiles to change a light bulb..
8) that all audiophile have at least a few recordings they like to play over and over. Some of those audiophiles.. because they love the music, others because they think it makes thier system sound good.
9) that audiophiles are a dying breed.
10) that endless debates NEVER solve anything, that listening for ten minutes DOES solve.
11) that the gulf between audiophiles and mp3 lovers will someday close in our favor!!
12) that buying something NEW is not always the answer.
13) that selling the thing we just replaced has WAY more seller's remorse than we like to admit.. later...
more to come....
***that people are funny
***audiophiles are people
***that people are funny
whatever giant killer I purchase, (which is getting rave reviews), will be quickly forgotten and replaced by the next giant killer.
The West Coast seems to have more audiophiles then the East Coast.

Despite checking the site everyday, I am always a day late on the best deals.

Whatever I buy someones lists a better buy afterwards.

Whatever I list for sale, someone lists theirs cheaper and in better condition.

Trickle down theory works in the world of audio.

I am way too much into reading and viewing posts and pictures on this website.

May you all have a healthy and prosperous and Happy New Year!
That this is a great site if you want to know more about motor oil, toothpaste and jeans.
This is a great site if you want to know more about;
Stereo amplifiers, preamps, CD players, Turntables, carts, mounting carts, which cart to use with which TT, FM tuners, phono preamps, speakers, fixing stuff, is it worth fixing stuff, speaker cables, interconnect cables, RCA connectors, XLR connectors, Camac connectors, power cables, wall outlets, wall plate covers, power cord ends, wire comparo's, wire gauge, DBT, anti DBT, listening, how to listen, recordings, A/C issues, biamping, triamping, bigger amps, smaller amps, just right amps, tubes, no tubes, some tubes, rolling tubes, finding tubes, tweaks, more tweaks, laughable and overpriced tweaks, free tweaks, crazy tweaks, fun tweaks, speaker connectors, kinds of speakers, which speaker is right for what application, single driver speakers, crossovers, caps in crossovers, caps in amps, bigger caps, cable risers, dressing cables, racks (BOTH types), vibration control, tiptoes, pucks, cones, balls, (includes cojones), women, women who like stereo, women as objects, women as buyers of thousands of shoes, WAF, divorce and losing the stereo to "she-who-never-listened-in-her-life", hiding purchases, complains about high end cost, complaints about complaints about high end costs, kids, pets, kids and pets creating havoc with speakers, kids and pets fun, loving kids and pets, getting kids to love music, spending money on stereo stuff, making money selling stereo stuff, industry news, industry gossip, blogging personal stereo experiences, complaining, arguing, ranting, accusing, loving, hating, being miffed, miffing, ctting, dissing, prankstering, helping, taking off topic, bringing it back to topic, helping out, offering sage advice, offering idiotic advice, offering fatasy advice when one does not have a clue, offering a lifetime of experience to idiots, offering idiot advice to folks with a lifetime of real experience, listening to music, liking music, hating some other music, Jazz, Classical, Rock, artists, gossip on artists, who likes what artists, who likes what music,
Oh yeah, cars, coffee, wine, beer, underpants, jeans..
Best posts on this thread so far go to Elizabeth.

Especially: 8,9,12 and 13. Well done.

Hmm...I found these to be truisms this year...

1. More often than not, when you're involved in a transaction, the other party is a terrible communicator - as if they never even got your e-mails, etc. Then, they never even let you know if the stuff got there.

2. Some people truly do not have a sense of humor around here.

3. Disliking jazz is a big no-no - you can't possibly know a lot about music or have the same insight, deep appreciation, etc. if you don't spend much time listening to Miles, Coltrane, etc.

4. There are still a lot of quality folks around here. So amen to that.
We are programmed to suffer and never feel as though life is great even if it is, and to pay no attention to the most important things in life.
Elizabeth the only thing I think you may have missed is that adjusting the VTA will likely fix any type of problem a person may be having.
...writing about facts is useless, because it will be deleted...
How did I miss that one?
Is that a fact?
" Night and Day " subjective improvement from fanbois often mean more subtle difference. And other thing like explosion from pitch black background... Whatever.
I've learned that:

1) A'gon is a great place to learn about audio. :-D
2) A'gon is kind of like a virtual 12-step meeting for people who are addicted to system tinkering. ;-)
3) Selling and buying from fellow A'gon'ers is generally a very pleasant experience. :-X
4) There's a chance that somebody on A'gon will fail to mention that they've affixed 4 enormous patches of velcro onto the bottom of each of the monitors they're selling you. :-/
the only platform in High-End Audio where serious discussions about gear but also about philosophy etc. is possible. Congratulation!

as we always tend to be very critical where else do we get valuable side information, in the glossy magazines? from sales, marketing and distribution people?

in most cases whenever some distribution guys or gurus who defend their own products appear on the scenery the discussion appears to become very narrow minded. Hopefully this will change a little in 2011.
i learned that hi-rez files on the internet are the latest and greatest thing, but i am still confused on how to get them to come out of MY speakers. trying a search on the forums doesn't come up with much of anything. SO, do i get a Mac Mini, a Squeezbox, a sound card, a specialized DAC, a router, an IPOD, etc...?
I already have a macbook pro, a preamp, an EMM CDP, and an Airport Extreme. SO where do i go from here? i am looking for the simplest and (yet) the best sounding arrangement possible. thanks for your help.
Or even 1933...
I learned that we all complain about the reviews but continue to subscribe to the audio mags...
This years posts reminded me that there are a lot of folks out there that take this stuff way too seriously.
Though the goal of the buyer is often to get better sound, like most things, a lot of the perceived value of hi end audio gear clearly has to do with its appearance, rarity or value as a collector's item or status symbol.
From the ad's I've learned that folks don't use their stuff much. Funny, after all that expense you'd think they would use the hell out of it.

From the questions posed I learned that a lot of folks don't understand the function of Google or other search engines, including A-Gon's.

The most enthusiastic supporters of a particular piece of equipment are often novices who really haven't heard much else, or so it seems.

That tube based systems are a substitute for Advil.
That SS systems are the cause of the need for Advil.
That most folks want tube sound but don't want the 'hassle'.
That SS manufacturers tend to declare that their component has a 'tube like' sound (as do some end users and reviewers).
That no one proclaims that their Tubed devise sounds like SS. And, lastly
No one ever sez their analogue sounds like digital.

That a lot of 'philes caint spel. Deelers too. Kace in point today. A deeler sez he did a comparison of subs and this one here fer sail 'one out'. Sheesh, just sezzin'.....
What we post about others often tells more about ourselves.
All turntables of the same class sound different though they should sound similar. That means that they all distort big time in different ways.
There is no such thing as neutral sound reproduction or production.
MM cartridges have more substance and MC more resolution; both sound like junk compared to reel to reel.
People who can hear best never become audiophiles.
Tube amplification will always be superior.
Cleaning records with anything but pure triple distilled water changes the chemistry of vinyl and should be avoided at all cost.
It is impossible to get a clean and stable current.
Many audiophiles who are in their fifties still listen to Beatles.
No room is good enough for listening even a concert hall because it is still a box.
Japanese can do midrande better than anyone else but have no clue about bass.
Just outta curiosity, since, prerecorded reel to reel is about as common as flying pigs and predated digital, I wonder where all those magic tracks come from?? Surely not those junk catridges on multi-distorting turntables???
You just have to have connections in the industry to get those magic tapes. Some audiophiles never even bothered with vinyl. Other than that, yeah, it's tough shit.
I would think if you had those connections, you could make a pretty good sideline here outta selling rtr machines and those bootlegs. wtf , my wife would love for me to add another guargantuan piece of 'memorabalia' to our living space.
Mickeyf and Inna - of course a fantastic copy of a master tape which was recorded well (!!!) is unbeatable. I like listening to well recorded master tape copies pretty much - and yes you get some software but good tapes are limited. We have to be aware that vinyl carries the biggest music resource on this planet and there are exceptional good old recordings and pressings out which transferred by the right analogue chain makes your heart beat, or... not.
Nice post Elizabeth. I especially liked number 10 "that endless debates NEVER solve anything, that listening for ten minutes DOES solve."
Happy New Year!
Of course. I myself have no such connections. So let us continue to scratch the vinyl; that's the best we got.
That not reading A'gon forums makes my system sound better and I listen more. Reading A'gon makes my system sound worse and I listen less. Come to think of it, the same can be said for some other audio rags.