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Author Topic: Audiophiles or Audiofoolery  (Read 6859 times)

dmac6419

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Audiophiles or Audiofoolery
« on: December 03, 2015, 03:19:32 pm »

Love JRiver, but at some of these other sites {CA},why are they charging insane prices for hardware,I play music,read it ,write it,for a living so why does it cost more to listen to it than it is to make it,just curious
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kstuart

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Re: Audiophiles or Audiofoolery
« Reply #1 on: December 03, 2015, 03:23:30 pm »

Probably you are paying for marketing, distribution, etc, so instead, buy audio hardware direct from the designers at schiit.com at reasonable prices.

( I have no connection to them, just a satisfied customer of them and JRiver. )

ferday

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Re: Audiophiles or Audiofoolery
« Reply #2 on: December 03, 2015, 03:45:26 pm »

it's a hobby, and every hobby has enthusiasts, and enthusiast level gear

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contium

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Re: Audiophiles or Audiofoolery
« Reply #3 on: December 03, 2015, 07:32:51 pm »

No different than cycling, fishing, boating, etc. It's a hobby. Gear heads like equipment. Let them have their fun.
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blgentry

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Re: Audiophiles or Audiofoolery
« Reply #4 on: December 03, 2015, 07:37:10 pm »

If you have never heard a mid-fi system, it will surprise you.  If you have never heard a high end system, and you are a music enthusiast, it may shock you.

There ARE differences.  Of course the law of diminishing returns applies in spades.  Headphones that cost $55,000 for the pair don't sound 110 times better than $500 headphones.  Speaking of which, you can get an incredible amount of sound quality and "high end sound" from headphones for a fraction of the cost of speaker based systems.

Both have their good and bad points.  Both have budget solutions that sound really nice.  Both have insanely expensive products for the "audio 1%".  There's lots of stuff in between.

Brian.
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Whatsinaname

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Re: Audiophiles or Audiofoolery
« Reply #5 on: December 04, 2015, 05:46:30 am »

IMO anyone who tries to get the best possible sound within his budget can be called an audiophile.

You'll be suprised what a difference a pair of decent loudspeakercables can make.
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jmone

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Re: Audiophiles or Audiofoolery
« Reply #6 on: December 04, 2015, 06:05:35 am »

My 2cents are that:
- it is worth spending good $ on your Speakers (or headphones) as this is the bit you end up hearing, the rest of the chain should be "easy", eg
- you need an amp that can drives said Speakers (or headphones) cleanly at the SPL you want
- Cables etc don't need to be anything special but a large enough gauge to handle the power being transmitted and with correct shielding to prevent picking up any stray EMI (Hospital grade plugs, esoteric cables etc are not needed)
- Your DAC is important but most are perfectly fine
- Bit perfect output is fine but so is mixing, apply DSP etc to the digital output to suit your setup makes sense, it does not make the "quality" better or worse
- Enjoy the music and stop the fiddling
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jmone

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Re: Audiophiles or Audiofoolery
« Reply #7 on: December 04, 2015, 06:14:25 am »

- Enjoy the music and stop the fiddling

I should say that for many the enjoyment is in the fiddling.  If so then Audio is the perfect place to indulge as the market will supply (for a price) more tweaks, gadgets and special sauce than you can consume in a lifetime.
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Arindelle

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Re: Audiophiles or Audiofoolery
« Reply #8 on: December 04, 2015, 07:27:58 am »

Love JRiver, but at some of these other sites {CA},why are they charging insane prices for hardware,I play music,read it ,write it,for a living so why does it cost more to listen to it than it is to make it,just curious

This is a question I have learned to avoid responding too. Too much of an emotional response from people. I also play and write music and used to do it professionally. One day a friend that I had lost contact with for 40 years and use to play in a band with (and since a professional studio musician),  came over to my house. I proudly showed him what was at the time my pretty slick "audiophile system". He asked me to play some music by an artist, and I replied "ahhh nan, that would sound like crap, I only have that on mp3s" .... and he asked me incredulously, "you listen to the music or do you listen to your equipment?". That was a wake-up call for me!

it's a hobby, and every hobby has enthusiasts, and enthusiast level gear

Well put! But I like to flyfish so I like fancy reels that cost a fortune ... does fancy gear make me catch more fish? a better rod might help me cast further, so present my fly to more fish I guess. Does having an expensive pre-war Martin guitar make me a better guitar player?  It probably  (might would be the better choice ;) ) would sound better, but a better player?? haha I wish.

All hobbies have goals. If the goal is to listen music or tinker with electronics, both are cool. A little bit of honesty would be refreshing though -- meaning that those whose "hobby" goals are to listen to music or those that want to build sound systems should be separated. They can be combined of course, but unfortunately they not always are. I admit though that playing on a nice piano motivates me to play more, so listening to a top-end sound system might help some people listen more ?

Once a certain level of "investment" is spent/achieved on an audio system, I think its more that it can sound different, rather than better (if there are actually audible differences that is). As an example for guitar players out there ... is a basic Gibson J-45 compared to a very expensive "boutique" guitar going to sound worse ... not in my opinion .. it will sound different, the rest is subjective. Of course I'm not talking about 200$ guitar that goes out of tune in 2 seconds

However, if it makes you enjoy things more and you have the money, ok why not level your gear. The adding of "phile" at the end cracks me up a bit though ... do words like fishaphile, instrumentaphile or boataphile exist??  ;)

Again avoiding the OP's question directly, I believe that in the digital domain, where you best spend money is different than a totally analogue system. I agree with Jmone list, maybe if i ordered it I would put the DAC above the amp. For analogue, the source components  are important and good turntables cost. Some things that are sold I find ridiculous to purchase and are based on confirmation/expectation biases. Companies take advantage of these biases and scientific grey areas. But that would bring up heated arguments that go nowhere, so I'll contain myself for a change !

Unless I had a tremendous amount of disposable income,  if I spend more on equipment, over say a 3 to 5 year period, than I do on music and going to concerts supporting the artists, then something is not right for me. I tend to lose patience with people that insist they are music lovers who spend 25K on their systems, have only 200 cds and never give back to the artists seeing them live. But I guess that's my problem not theirs :D

It all about enhancing the enjoyment.
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mark_h

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Re: Audiophiles or Audiofoolery
« Reply #9 on: December 04, 2015, 07:32:09 am »

In my experience, those who claim audiofoolery simply haven't heard a decent setup or are simply trolling...

Put somebody with an open mind in front of a half decent system and it doesn't take long for them to discover the reason why so many of us spend so much time, and often money, in the pursuit of our audiophile dreams.
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JimH

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Re: Audiophiles or Audiofoolery
« Reply #10 on: December 04, 2015, 07:34:43 am »

Arindelle,
That's one of the best posts I've ever seen on the subject.

Thanks,

Jim
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Arindelle

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Re: Audiophiles or Audiofoolery
« Reply #11 on: December 04, 2015, 07:47:25 am »

Arindelle,
That's one of the best posts I've ever seen on the subject.

Thanks,

Jim
thank you Jim
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AndrewFG

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Re: Audiophiles or Audiofoolery
« Reply #12 on: December 04, 2015, 07:52:09 am »

When I was a kid my mum taught me a valuable lesson, that whenever you compare two products you can always tell them apart, and the second part of her lesson is that that often you cannot tell which of the two you prefer, and the third part of her lesson is that you may not care either way, and the fourth part of her lesson is that you may not be willing (or able to afford) to pay the extra money for the extra feature.

My mum was right on all points, (bless her), but in particular on the first -- you can always tell a difference.

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kstuart

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Re: Audiophiles or Audiofoolery
« Reply #13 on: December 05, 2015, 06:55:28 pm »

Quote
He asked me to play some music by an artist, and I replied "ahhh nan, that would sound like crap, I only have that on mp3s" .... and he asked me incredulously, "you listen to the music or do you listen to your equipment?". That was a wake-up call for me!
No, it sounds like a highly emotional reaction.

I have enjoyed music greatly listening to a $29 cassette player with $29 headphones.  I have also enjoyed music greatly listening to a $30,000 speaker system (in an audio salon).

I have also enjoyed music greatly listening live to artists - both acoustic (classical orchestras) and electronic (EDM).

The rational - rather than emotional - approach is to listen to recorded music with the best sound that you can.   However, unless you are looking for a new hobby, your expenditure of time and money in improving your system should be limited.

It is indeed true that "salesmen" often offer audio products that offer limited or no benefit.  However, this also applies to the record labels.  Almost all of the "remastered" CDs of the 90's and 00's actually sound worse than the first released CDs.   (More on this at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loudness_war )   However, tracking down the best version of every album in your collection is also something that can take more time and money than it is worth (I only do it for my "Desert Island" albums).   But it is often a bigger difference than between audio components in the same rough price range.

Generally, in this area of discussion, all of the points made by everyone are correct - it is just a matter of achieving balance in your life.

thezone

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Re: Audiophiles or Audiofoolery
« Reply #14 on: December 06, 2015, 03:55:04 am »

All very valid points chaps. I'd like to share a simple thing that happened to me recently.

I have quite expensive gear especially speakers and I also have 2 x subs.

I had always believed in bit for bit digital playback with no audio processing and balanced analogue audio path for cd player, turntable etc. A friend of mine who happens to be a sound engineer came over one day and helped me "Tune" my system.

What I ended up with was this: getting rid of balanced cables (overkill for home use) getting him to make up some well shielded rca's, allowing all inputs to go into my receiver, with the receiver doing the crossover, 80HZ+ to the speakers, below 80Hz to the subs but via two separate active filters built in to a tube amp which he made up. On the output side one sub gets 55Hz - 80Hz, the other sub gets 35hz to 55Hz. Heres the thing, no speaker gets anything below 35Hz.

Result is, by far and away the cleanest and punchiest sounding system I have ever heard. All my music, CD;s vinyl, HD concerts everything has never sounded so good. Why because the system is working in a simpler fashion as it should with no overlap between each speaker set and no speaker attempting to play below 35hz which is really I let go of my anality about how things should be connected.

Point is, having the most expensive gear in the world wont make the music sound any better if its not set up the right way.
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