Are audiophiles BS-ing themselves about sound ?

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by Rich-n-Roll, Mar 18, 2023.

  1. goldwax

    goldwax person of interest

    Couldn't agree more.
    toasty likes this.
  2. avanti1960

    avanti1960 Forum Resident

    Chicago metro, USA
    I have to say his premise is flawed.
    What is a source of true sound? An acoustic (only) band? Not much of that in person or on recordings, at least that I listen to. Once you add amplification e.g. a concert hall PA system- all bets are off.
    It is not that difficult for a nice system to duplicate or even top the sound coming from a PA. Some hall sound systems are godawful, some are really good.

  3. japhi

    japhi Forum Resident

    I have lots of hobby’s - wine, autos, fishing and boats, memorabilia, travel and of course audio. Having lots of interests means, for me anyways, trying to find value, and where returns start to diminish. I could drink first growths, drive a Camaro restomod, or have an uber high end system, but I can’t have ALL those things. So I drink cru bojo, drive a CTS-V with 175,000 km’s and have Rotel, Rega and Lintons. I have no doubt that 10k more into my gear would deliver appreciable gains but again, too many interests and my system, to me, sounds incredible.
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2023
  4. Tone?

    Tone? Forum Resident

    San Francisco

    As a musician I beg to differ.
    Every time I see someone put up speakers for background music a cellist plays or some harpist.
    Those are a lot more easy to integrate with speakers to make you think , a live reproduction can be emulated.

    try horns, drums, even woodwinds.

    the truth is. It would be really tiring to hear a live performance all the time.
    For one, a live performance is loud.
    Stereos are kinda nice at rounding things off a bit and being a bit softer. So we can have longer listening sessions.
  5. Lenny99

    Lenny99 The truth sets you free.

    Clarksburg WV
    I think generally, it difficult for me to state when is ever I will be satisfied with the SQ if my system. What is perfect or realistic sound? However, I think I can state I always look to improve the SQ of my system. I think that's an obtainable goal.
    John3655 likes this.
  6. luckybaer

    luckybaer Thinks The Devil actually beat Johnny

    I don't want my system to sound like what I hear in an arena or smoky bar. I just want it to sound pleasant to my ears.

    I know what I like, and for the most part, I buy gear that sounds good to me and is full of the features I want.

    The biggest impact on my musical enjoyment seems to be the quality of the engineering/mastering/mixing (whatever) of the release and the quality control on production (mainly this applies to records).
  7. Josquin des Prez

    Josquin des Prez Forum Resident

    I have a nice system because I can afford to after a long and successful career. However, I am too lazy to tweak everything to the nth degree of perfection. So I have to draw a line in the sand and if I feel my system is dialed in 85-909% of optimal I call it a day and play music. Getting that last 10-15-20% seems to me an exercise in futility. Trying to get there can result in too much playing music to listen to your system, when you could be playing your [perhaps imperfect] system to listen to music.

    The other part of it is you can tweak and tweak and tweak, and think you have it right, and then play something else and the mastering is different enough that you reach for your tweak guns again. Ya gotta reach a point where it's good enough and leave it alone, if your priority is enjoying music. Maybe this is all what separates the 'mostly audiophile' from the 'mostly music lover.'
  8. hman

    hman Forum Resident

    Northport, NY
    That's his job.
  9. jeffmackwood

    jeffmackwood Forum Resident

    One of them anyway. He seems to have had multiple irons in the fire over the years - all audio related.
    Rodant Kapoor likes this.
  10. Tone?

    Tone? Forum Resident

    San Francisco

    No offense either man.
    But when I could play , and humbly, I could play pretty well. I turned my Marshall 68’ plexi up all the way ( using a good tube attenuator for lower volume), you would **** your pants and have the biggest smile on your face with how that sounded through my 4x12.
    A stereo can’t do that even if it tries.
    But then again it’s really loud , and POWERFUL. Key word there. That 4x12 will move some air with a 100watt Marshall. So you just couldn’t listen to that for too long.

    Same with drums , horns etc.

    don’t know if that makes sense
  11. Rich-n-Roll

    Rich-n-Roll Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Washington State
    :edthumbs: with a strat or Paul
    Tone? likes this.
  12. Ampexed

    Ampexed "Ampexed Tape Is Professional Tape"

    Santa Fe, NM
    I do believe audiophiles obsess over details which are either technically plausible but so far down from the limit of audibility as to be a waste of time; audible but insignificant compared to moving your speakers 2 feet from where they are or cleaning the wax from your ears; or they obsess over things which are pure fantasy.

    More time needs to be devoted to things which make real and substantial differences, like acoustic treatments and proper room/speaker layout (WAF be damned).:biglaugh:
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2023
  13. Diamond Dog

    Diamond Dog Cautionary Example

    Audiophiles BS themselves about a lot of things. This is one of them. This should not come as a revelation and Mr. Guttenberg isn't delivering some sort of epiphany here.

    I don't disagree that trying to accurately and fully duplicate a live musical event by playing back an already-compromised recording of said event with a system subject to many, many variables in a room other than the one where the original event was staged and recorded is basically doomed to failure. But for me, that's never been the point. I want to be entertained. With that in mind, I've gradually assembled a system that gives me the things that I find entertaining. Mission accomplished. Does even this painstakingly pieced-together little endeavor of mine exactly duplicate the sound of an actual live musical event to the point that my system playing a recording of the event and the actual event itself are interchangeable ? No. That would be impossible so that was never the point.
    But to me, it's entertaining AF. That's the point.

  14. toasty

    toasty Forum Resident

    Tiverton, RI USA
    Steve has posited a straw-man argument because controversy generates interest in his channel.

    He also keeps changing the subject. First; we're expecting our systems to sound "live," then new records sound worse than old ones, then we're wasting our money and disappointed, and he condescendingly acts as if we haven't heard live music. There is no consistent thread of argument through the video.

    He erroneously assumes that he knows what we're pursuing. I was in the biz of selling specialty audio and no one I knew then or since expected their system to sound like live music.

    We're not fooling ourselves, nor are we being fooled by others. Home audio is a separate experience, its own thing. What we want is for any recording to sound as good as it possibly can. It's very satisfying.
  15. goldwax

    goldwax person of interest

    *standing ovation*
    timind, yenyen and toasty like this.

    ALAN SICHERMAN Van Cortlandt Park, Bronx, NY

    Cleveland, OH
    Why should I spend a fortune of money for a near perfect sound? I rip CD's to my laptop and send the music to my JBL Bluetooth speaker and it's easy and it sounds great!
    timind and Rich-n-Roll like this.
  17. Slick Willie

    Slick Willie Decisively Indecisive

    sweet VA.
    I do very little jazz or classical recordings.
    Most all of what I own is 60's to 80's classic rock. It's been mixed, overdubed and edited to the point that I know I can't expect a live recording sound...or can I? Who's to say what those amplified instruments truly sound like. The drums and vocals are about the I can use to judge.
    Now that I'm happy with my system, I find the biggest rewards come from what I'm feeding it. Doing the research to find the best cut of an LP can be very rewarding as all are far from the same.
    And I've found that the new is often far from the best...for me.
    HairyWeimer likes this.
  18. popol_vuh

    popol_vuh Forum Resident

    Not again. Another clickbait from Guttenberg and another repeating if this inane "discussion".
    Big Blue, nosliw, Polyphenol and 4 others like this.
  19. audiomixer

    audiomixer As Bald As The Beatles

    I agree. I can tell a difference in every pressing/CD that I play no matter how many versions I might have. That tells me that I’m quite satisfied with my system.
    Michael and Slick Willie like this.
  20. popol_vuh

    popol_vuh Forum Resident

    While it's very true there are some badly put together expensive systems and systems that don't produce sound that they should (for various reasons), this quoted idea is completely delusional.

    While it's true that knowledge, good synergy and being smart with putting together a system will get you far and it can lead to outperforming a more expensive system, the general conclusion you're promoting is completely false IMHE. What I've observed in this hobby, despite the YT propaganda and wishful thinking, is that there's no real "giant slayers" in hi-fi and you usually get what you pay for (under the assumption that you know what you're doing with your system).
    Big Blue, RobCos02330, Khorn and 3 others like this.
  21. Rich-n-Roll

    Rich-n-Roll Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Washington State
    timind likes this.
  22. Josquin des Prez

    Josquin des Prez Forum Resident

    I always think it's so funny how audiophiles like to talk about more expensive systems having diminishing returns. Yet, it's easy for them to say so since in almost all cases I have seen, those that claim that don't have those systems they speak of, and are trying to justify the limitations of what they can do. As my system has progressed I can't say that anything I ever improved had diminishing returns on investment. And I'm sure I started about as low end as most to begin with.

    Getting the best out of a given system is just that. It doesn't magically take you to something that competes with higher end systems that require a lot more investment.
  23. popol_vuh

    popol_vuh Forum Resident

    A really good post and analysis. Too bad so many people get engaged in these "discussions" he starts. For him, mission accomplished, I guess.
    nosliw, RobCos02330, John3655 and 3 others like this.
  24. hman

    hman Forum Resident

    Northport, NY
    I completely disagree. I've been listening in the same room for 25 years. I started with a modest system, and with each upgrade I wanted to listen to music more and more; not in the car or shower, but on my system. I'm at the point where it's all I want to do.

    Once you have your room dialed in, you know what kind of sound you are looking for and you have educated yourself on gear, synergy, etc., you are able to make good choices with equipment. The moment when you've finally learned enough about your hobby in order to make good decisions is also the moment when "throwing-money-at-a-problem actually works.

    With all due respect, I disagree.
  25. hman

    hman Forum Resident

    Northport, NY
    popol_vuh and goldwax like this.

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