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Some people do 'brag' about what they have. Some people also dismiss what other people have. Some people are jealous of what others have. Some people have to justify in their mind whey they just spent $50,000 on speakers. The world of audiophiles is no different from the world in general. There are all types. That shouldn't be a surprise.
But, in my opinion, this hobby, like many others, lends itself to these sorts of issues. There is no end to what you can spend, no end to claims of better SQ for more money, etc. Satisfied audiophiles = dead hi-fi market. Hi-Fi thrives on dissatisfaction.
Happened to me. I had traded in a VPI Prime for the new Technics SL1200G Turntable and listed the reasons for doing so. All I wanted to do was share my joy with the community. Instead, others who never even heard the new turntable were telling me I should wrap the arm and do a bunch of other tweaks.
When I said I wasn’t interested in tweaking it because my wife and I loved it as is, I was told I am not an audiophile because I care about the equipment more than the music. The person went further to say if I didn’t want to modify it, then I was simply bragging about the turntable and shouldn’t have posted. This episode has left me with a very bad taste in my mouth.
Another example was was when I purchased GE Triton One speakers. The first comment was “its good for home theater but not music.” Of course the person had never heard them. Then another person remarked “cheap Chinese junk”. People here can be very hateful.
@n80--Pretty astute observation: "Hi-Fi thrives on dissatisfaction."
So too, with the churn of any product. Don't have the latest iPhone? Fashion loser.
Thankfully, good hi-fi doesn't necessarily depend on "features" though the improvements claimed with each successive model can put those chasing the dragon into nervosa--
Be interesting to consider a list of the improved products that were not improvements.
I bought an ARC SP-10mkii back in the day when they were cast off in favor of the then latest SP 11. I really liked that SP-10, despite the noise and the tube chew. I guess idler drive TT folks might say the same when belt drive and DD took over.
New Ferraris-- don't get me started, you can't even get a stick anymore.
The 512 BB was never brought into the US officially-- all gray market-- and many considered it a step down from the previous, old school Daytona.
Bragging? Really depends on context doesn't it?
But it is interesting and a bit troubling that those who claim to be audiophiles, sometimes comment negatively on other’s component choices when they themselves have no experience with them or have never even listened to them. The ever increasing lack of accountability in our times is a problem, and it is enabled by online and faceless social media. It would be a very different world if government leaders were required to do their jobs in their underwear.
Stereo5: I hear you. I too have been criticized for owning, and ENJOYING, products by Manley Labs, EAR and Thiel. And, not ONCE did the critic have first hand experience with these manufacturers or their fine products. Yeah, there's First Amendment rights, but there's also helpfulness, compassion and common courtesy, which is becoming, unfortunately, increasingly uncommon.
" But it is interesting and a bit troubling that those who claim to be audiophiles"
I agree with your statement but this part of it does present some issues. What type of experience does one have to have to claim to be an "audiophile"? I would agree with you, the key is having enough experience to comment on the topic on hand with some level of authority.....but who has experienced everything? And at what point in time do we suspend common sense and healthy skepticism in order to give credibility to some of the ridiculous things some audiophiles advocate....even those who believe in infinite 'tweakability' invariably find some tweaks and processes to be preposterous.
I once saw a poster that said something like "The worst thing about being better than everyone else is that they think you are pretentious."
I think one problem is that people with super high end systems, cable burners, room treatments, special power sources, little brass bells all over the walls as room treatment, etc, etc, etc, will often be a little condescending to those who don't. That sets up a stereotype (ha ha) and then someone innocently posts about how great their new high end system and all its tweaks are....and they get stereotyped unfairly.
stevecham said: "It would be a very different world if government leaders were required to do their jobs in their underwear."
Darn it! Of course that immediately led right to an image I'd never want to imagine... Now I'm gonna have to find a bottle of wine and marinate with some music to hopefully dissolve that unfortunate image...
n80 and stereo5.... I commend your comments. I believe there are 3 or more classifications in the audio realm.
1) Those who are totally satisfied with their systems and just want to enjoy the music they love.
2) Those who think their systems sound decent and just want to make incremental improvements if even to a small degree as finances allow.
3) Those with almost unlimited funds and can afford to put money into the "best" gear out there.
I don't criticize anyone in all 3 categories. I fit in category 2. A person may buy a $200K sports car that will go 180 + mph. Even though they will never drive it that fast (hopefully), they have the knowledge that they could if they wanted. Many types of products are designed to out perform the user's intent.
I've never heard any of those super high end audio systems. Would be interesting to hear how much better they sound than mine. But, reading some posts from those that fit into category 3, some good points and recommendations can be had for the rest of us. They probably made incremental steps on the way. It's all about the music.
I love wealthy audiophiles. They are very knowledgeable and always willing to share their opinions about stuff I might buy or stuff I’ll never buy. Also, they sell me their used gear at a reasonable price because they love to see it go to a fellow audiophile.
Comparison is the thief of joy. Enjoy what you have and appreciate the things you might not ever have. There’s so many people who won’t even have something to eat. Not just in third world countries but in the good ol USA
"What type of experience does one have to have to claim to be an "audiophile?" I would say anyone who posts here. Otherwise, they would be bored to tears.
"...but who has experienced everything?" No one. However, it's a bit sad that someone has the energy and motivation to be uninformed and critical about audio equipment. Questions, on the other hand, are always welcomed.
"And at what point in time do we suspend common sense and healthy skepticism in order to give credibility to some of the ridiculous things some audiophiles advocate...(?)" Hey, I'm a fan of sci-fi novels and movies; suspension of disbelief is required to enjoy such speculation. BUT, I do not give credibility to those concepts not yet fully realized. Sure they may eventually become reality (cell phones, spaceflight, 70 mph speed limits, gravity waves, Higgs boson, single molecule sensitivity in diagnostic assays, 'perfect sound forever' (joke!)).
And Wolf: I think you hit the nail on the head. Shame on me; what was I thinking? I'll ask permission from now on.
"Comparison is the thief of joy."
It can be. Sometimes it confirms our choices and suspicions though.
I've only ever had one hi-fi system and I've only had it a short time. I've only ever even heard one or two others. I'm immersed in it now. And I can't find any faults in it.
But surely there are faults in it. Surely my satisfaction is due at least in part to inexperience.
And when I hear about this and that component or descriptions of how they sound I become curious. Part of me wants to know what I'm missing....more out of curiosity than acquisitiveness....but I know if I did hear a dramatic improvement then acquisitiveness could easily become part of the scenario. And I don't really want that.
I have a cheap sports car. I regularly drive it at over 140mph (race track). I know I do not want to drive a better/faster one. I'd have to have it.
Comparison is the root of all unhappiness... somebody Godly, smart - possibly both said that
there is always somebody with more money or perhaps even different priorities in life than you..... why worry ?
@whart I just happen to be a soulless German flat 6 appliance guy with a bad foot, so I appreciate pdk and the F1 paddle shift.....
maybe you are the first Ferrari guy I meet who is not an a hole...
vino is on me
@tomic601-- cars, like almost everything other product with a luxe category, attract their share of poseurs. I'm well out of it now, but F1 here in Austin last weekend reminded me of the diverse array of people attracted to the Prancing Horse.
I like those German steeds-those guys took track days very seriously and I had fun with more than a few of their cars too.
I was never much for the track, used to like long rallies-- we did a few here in the States and the Targa Florio in Sicily; much respect for anyone with good skills.
The Miata guys were great enthusiasts as well. It ain't what you drive, it's how you drive it.
The connection with hi-fi becomes tenuous at a certain point, given that, beyond selection and set up (and some routine maintenance), hi-fi is largely a 'passive' sport. I have much love for old iron and pre-war design. Now, living in Texas, I get to see a lot of survivor cars, stuff that would never be worth restoring but is cool to see on the road.
I guess I'd be bragging to talk about my day at the Birmingham track with Hurley Haywood when the CGT was introduced, but that's another story. Shiny side up!
@[email protected] I agree with y’all. I came on only to share my experiences. I’ve been on a unique journey the last 12 years. I have put together a great system at a price point I can afford based on the knowledge I’ve gained. I came on to,share the experiences and it seems like people take it as bragging. I’ve been able to try gear way out of my price range. I’ve been able to have long demos of equipment that I could only dream of owning and I’ve been exposed to a couple of guys who could afford the all out assault systems and I’ve gotten to have long extended listening sessions with them. I’ve developed relationships with people in this hobby that last for a lifetime. It seems like when I share my impressions or experience with gear the claws come out. I might mention how much something costs to give context but some folks think it’s bragging. It’s not I only want to share the impressions of gear that I’ve heard. Also I like to know what others have heard. All I see is a lot of bashing of gear that the bashers have never heard. Some will say it’s the way I phrase things but it’s not. It’s the way THEY read it. There is probably a snooty voice in there heads that reads out loud to them. I hate that the convo flushes into YOU PAID TOO MUCH SO WHAT MY VINTAGE GEAR IS BETTER! But on audiogon that seems to be the case. It turns into you must be a show out etc. That’s crazy to me cause even though I have quite a bit invested in my system it’s really nothing compared to other guys I know. It would take a lot to wow me in terms of costs because it’s not about that for me. I have nice stuff so what I’m not the only one. I’m only interested in finding the best gear you can get to satisfy your listening tastes. It just turns into a bash party for smarty pants people or the insecure and it shouldn’t be that way.
"Some will say it’s the way I phrase things but it’s not. It’s the way THEY read it. There is probably a snooty voice in there heads that reads out loud to them."Oh, my, they tried to give you a way out. You read it against them. It just turned into a bash party for smarty pants people or the insecure and it shouldn’t be that way.
People make choices, so why not to respect them. If people ask for an advice, provide it to your best ability, after all we are all chasing the same goal, having the best sound within a given environment, and within a given price class. Often it has been mentioned here that you need to create a good acoustical environment first, which is something not easy to achieve. Lots of good advises online, but still the many variables will also dictate the complexity of acoustics. The fact remains that expensive gear in a bad acoustical environment will not perform to their best ability. Many people only know expensive equipment from audio shows, where the equipment is demonstrated in hotel rooms, or hotel conference rooms. People will return home frustrated, as the expensive equipment didn't perform well. Others have tried it at home, compared it to their equipment, but in the same bad acoustical environment. It didn't make much difference indeed, so it's understandable that people say "expensive equipment is way overpriced". However, there are some people who are willing to go the extra mile, get the listening room as good as possible, and spent some extra money. They will get the satisfaction they were looking for. Should these people be condemned? I don't think so, I'm happy for them. Sometimes I read that "I can have a better sound with my $ 2K equipment in my acoustical correct listening room than others with their $ 20K in their acoustical incorrect listening room, which may be true....however please realize that should they put the $ 20k equipment in the same acoustical correct room, it will outperform the $ 2k equipment. Just don't expect it to be by factor 10. We all know that.
I have been reading Stereo Review and Audio magizines since i was a teenager.I have alway been into this hobby.I buy what I can afford .Years ago it was easier to buy top shevel .But with prices in the 100,000 -500,000 thats impossible for me.Is it worth it I really dont know .Would I buy it if I won power ball ,lol ,I dont think so even then.We are human beings we can be jealious and also friendly.I went to one guys house who had like a 300,000 system .Crazy ass stuff .i bought a pair of old speakers from him...for like 1,800 i thought i got a good deal .They were used for his kids play room LOL. You come on this site and you can make a comments on stuff or not its your choice .
If you won the lottery, you would likely have an issue that most lottery winners (who weren't wealthy already) have...you stop enjoying the simple things like active "present" enjoyment of an audio system...you immediately are deluged with requests for money or offers to handle it for you, friends and family treat you utterly differently, and you're obsessed with the minutia of dealing with a sudden total life change. You could by ultra expensive gear, but you wouldn't enjoy it much.
I'm all for sharing experiences and knowledge of all things audio online. In fact, forums like this are probably the best way to get impartial knowledge as we know what magazines are all about. Sure there are plenty of attempts to promote dubious products here, but then there are plenty of people prepared to reason against them. We all know who we are.
The great thing about Audio is that for those who are in it for only sound quality something approaching state of the art / high-end is within financial reach of most of us.
If, like many audio enthusiasts, you can accept that digital sources, amplifiers, cables all possess distortion levels below the threshold of hearing you can simply focus your attention and funds upon your loudspeakers where they should bring greater sonic reward. Unless of course you prefer headphone listening, but even then you needn't spend the earth to get excellent results as many owners will testify.
The other exception is turntables, where even at $1000 you are still some distance off the state of the art. $2000 will get you close, very close.
For those who want to, and can spend more, its purely a consumer choice and nothing to do with greater sound quality. The analogy with cars is a loose one, because there you can measure noise levels, comfort, BHP, torque, handling, acceleration, and a zillion other things. And let's also not forget status and what your vehicle says about you.
For that very reason I'd think very carefully before deciding to buy a BMW.
World leaders in underwear? Buck naked is my demand. Naturally everyone in the audience is fully clothed AND wearing a red clown nose.. LOL
I call Human Nature as the root cause.
I am a totally humble soul, even though I know I AM better than all of you. And I offer my genius for you to marvel at. NO need to offer gifts. My brilliance is gift enough. Yes my system is the work of Genius. Please do not try to copy it. That would only make you smaller than you already are now. When I comment on your system, consider them the comments an adult makes about the playthings of a toddler.
You may bow to my stunning brilliance if I leave you speechless.
Thanks for all of your comments. I post discussions like this because I like to seriously discuss and find out about music and gear I haven’t heard. I also like to share gear from little known companies that compete with more expensive stuff. The more you spend I believe that it is diminishing returns. My group of audio friends went on a crazy gear trying journey for some years and I have had a blast. My current system has been steady and I really enjoy it. I share to encourage those trying to find their happy system place. I’m at a good spot. Enjoy and carry on! If you like I love it as mom used to say.