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Is Audiophile level sound an acquired taste? - Page 6  

post #76 of 244
You are not alone, I don't know anybody in real life (ie: not at head-fi)
who can appreciate anything over the sony xd100

I've always thought the audiophile community has more than a hint of obsessive compulsive tendencies, this might explain the quest for musical perfection??
post #77 of 244
Quote:
Originally Posted by saboteur1 View Post
The "taper rule" (as I call it) applies. As you get higher in quality, to upgrade, it will cost more and more. For example, to get a significant upgrade from a $20 'phone will cost you an extra $80. To get an equal upgrade from that, you might have to pay $125+ more. And so on down the line...

Thats the law of diminishing returns, its saying that, in general you don't get the same increase in quality for every X amount of money spent. Its more of a logarithmic scale.

Audio equipment is a brilliant example of this. Your Grado SR60s are not 10 times worse than RS-1s.
post #78 of 244
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chri5peed View Post
Thats the law of diminishing returns, its saying that, in general you don't get the same increase in quality for every X amount of money spent. Its more of a logarithmic scale.

Audio equipment is a brilliant example of this. Your Grado SR60s are not 10 times worse than RS-1s.
They sure are if we use a different scale. Not starting from 0 and going up, but instead approaching perfection. Then every time we input money we actually get equivalent return because we get a fairly consistent step in % of distance left to perfection.
post #79 of 244
Thanks David, for opening the topic which has received a great many insightful posts, great reading.

Yes, I do believe listening attentively and with appreciation for the reproduced performances many subtle beauties is something we both learn and practice driven by some innate motives.

I also do know some others who just don't "get it" as audiophiles and even through our gear. It is a disappointment, I agree. Although they are moved in other ways perhaps emotionally by the primal heartbeat that is the bass beat of what is familiar to all humans when listening to musics.

Some of my friends are much more interested in the personalities and can catalog a musicians history, name albums and their songs yet are seemingly totally content listening by low end speaker systems oblivious to what smacks me as relatively, almost a waste of time
To me, I simply now just consider that type of listening, background sound, yet they do seem to want to play it LOUD for the emotional charge on the cheap. And it does move listeners and that's all good, for what it is.

I think we should like to find groups of like minded people who are similarly motivated for understanding (Head-Fi plug), rather than thinking we can change others motivations, which to many the cost is a HUGE disincentive to admit being impressed as well as their own ability to listen attentively and develope their ear/brain for listening appreciation. Hell, even here we find wide disagreement as to what even we find important and better sounding, perhaps due to taste/preference etc...

If it sounds good, it is good both for myself and for others who disagree with my choices. I've grown in appreciation of that fact and also what sounds good to me along the way in my audio journeys. Apple buds vs K series, I laugh, No Contest here...lol
post #80 of 244
Thread Starter 
Assuming, there was such a thing as perfect sound reproduction. And the cost was something like 100 Grand....this included the headphones, the source, the amp, the cables.................and the next best thing was 80% of perfection for 10 Grand, what percentage of people do you think would be willing to spend that 90 grand extra to acheive absolute perfection?
post #81 of 244
Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidMahler View Post
Imagine we were the dumb ones, and it turned out the apple buds produced the purest sound on earth......and companies like AKG, Stax, and Sennheiser paid companies like headroom and audiocubes to promote "less lusterous" sounding phones which looked more expensive but were in fact not the real deal - the apple ibuds! Imagine we were all fooled
I think I saw that episode on the "Twilight Zone"
post #82 of 244
Quote:
Originally Posted by MaloS View Post
They sure are if we use the price scale. Not starting from 0 and going up, but instead approaching perfection. Then every time we input money we actually get equivalent return because we get a fairly consistent step in % of distance left to perfection.

Its not my law. It is a truth and has been mentioned on here in one way or another more than b0se.

You can get almost anything to say almost anything if you skew the numbers enough.
post #83 of 244
I cannot understand some people. They are looking at me like I am idiot when I told them how much did I paid for my Ultimate ears. Ultimate ears, what a funny name, what is that... They just start telling me what could I do with all that money... But, nothing can compare with a good set of audio eq. thats the only devices that can make you cry. I am a pianist and know that good. This is also interesting. When I tell someone that they cost like 40$ they just cannot beleve...what a sound. But if I tell a real price they just hate what I have, or because I have.
post #84 of 244
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chri5peed View Post
Its not my law. It is a truth and has been mentioned on here in one way or another more than b0se.

You can get almost anything to say almost anything if you skew the numbers enough.
I am just proposing different evaluation methods lol, I know the standard Law of Diminishing Returns, it is not even a head-fi law. Just a straightforward economics principle.

Quote:
Originally Posted by die kassette
I cannot understand some people. They are looking at me like I am idiot when I told them how much did I paid for my Ultimate ears. Ultimate ears, what a funny name, what is that... They just start telling me what could I do with all that money... But, nothing can compare with a good set of audio eq. thats the only devices that can make you cry. I am a pianist and know that good. This is also interesting. When I tell someone that they cost like 40$ they just cannot beleve...what a sound. But if I tell a real price they just hate what I have, or because I have.
Wow, I have never seen actually hateful responses because of people knowing the price O.o But that is the truth I guess, it cannot be helped. It is funny how even lots of musicians fail to appreciate quality gear... (not good musicians mind you )
post #85 of 244
Thread Starter 
Anyone notice how much the average music listener prefers almost no headroom in their mix. I do a lot of mastering for people and my clients love compression up the wazoo to the the point where its unlistenable to me. That same band mate I was talking about is always saying to me stuff like "Make my song just blast when it comes on and just stay loud until its over"......I dont understand that mentality. I remember when the drummer of my band (different friend) got his first Ipod i said to him "Bring your laptop to practice next time and I'll show you how to make your music sound better using itunes" He responded with "Uh Dave, I know where the volume control is"........anyway, such is my life, guess I have to accept it

Edit: The benefit of this is............when I mastered our album, I compressed his compositions to his liking and they sound like garbage to me. But I mastered my compositions to my liking and they have a great feel of peaks and dips. I guess thats not really a benefit as the album sounds totally uneven
post #86 of 244
There's another dynamic that could be at work here. It's the tendency for people to conform their opinions to agree with the crowd, for fear of ridicule, being wrong, or just conforming. Psychological research shows this affects the vast majority of people. I wonder what would've happened if you got your friends separately, without their ability to talk to each other about it, if it would've been any different.

In any event, I think audio sophistication is acquired. People like things without knowing why. One of my hobbies is photography, and I've seen photos affect people in different ways. To some, a beautiful Hawaiian sunset doesn't do much for them, but a photo of an mother and infant can touch their heart. Both can be well composed and technically good, but evoke different responses from different people. Others don't care about the composition/technical aspects, a snapshot with a telephone poll sticking out of someone's head is a treasure. It's impossible to talk photography with someone like that, let alone try to justify $2k lenses. Over the years, I've only had two people as friends/acquaintances who've wanted to learn and grow in the craft.

Whether it's audio or photography, wine collecting, automobiles, etc. most will not really care or be able to discern the differences. Most of us here are on the far right end of a bell-shaped curve. Some call it a gift, others a curse (certainly as it concerns the wallet). But 95% of the population will never care as much as we do about how headphones and amps affect the sound of a recording. Value and enjoy those who do.

Appreciate your posting of this question and the good responses listed.
post #87 of 244
@DavidMahler, yes. But everything is comercial now. And that flat kind of sound...Loud to the end, is something that make us, audiolovers to like something special, special kind of music, like Euforia, New age or something.

@spunkmeyer,hey I am also photographer. Heh, all of us here are simply art fanatics.
post #88 of 244
Reading these posts i´m quite suprised about the negative feedback people have got.
When people ask advice for hi-fi equipment first thing i ask is music they listen after that prize they would like to get it.
Some music just is not worth the investment.
Usually when people start to question mine equipment i usually answer with technical reasons. People accept that much better than starting to preach about nuances, soundstage...
post #89 of 244
Quote:
Originally Posted by die kassette View Post
Heh, all of us here are simply art fanatics.
That one is absolutely true. And so few people I know actually take time to appreciate art. Its ok, can't blame others, we all have our own agendas, but its nicer to be in a group of like-minded people Q.Q
post #90 of 244
Quote:
Originally Posted by MaloS View Post
...Some people I know who walked in here and saw my phones, listened, but were like 'whatever, its the same thing' ... They would not spend money on anything but upgrading their car - and I would not spend anything on making a faster car because speed to me is a cheap thrill.
Funny you mention that...when I saw this thread the first thing I asked myself was whether other HeadFiers would sympathize with or appreciate modifications considered to be desirable on the sportscar & motorcycle forums I also peruse.

For me these two worlds are actually very similar...the common thread being the constant search for the best performance. Not speed per se, but performance, which in the realm of cars & motorbikes includes handling, roadholding, acceleration from a dead stop and at different speeds, maneuverability, reliability, road feedback, braking, control and the quality of the ride. Each time I hop in my car I enjoy every aspect of the ride, not just the acceleration. Heck, I've taken vacations just to go riding or driving in mountainous areas to enjoy my cars' and bikes' dynamics.

I think we are all delighted to find performance bangs for the buck too...I was very happy to release over 30 additional HP on my son's Mustang through simple intake and ECU programming modifications for less than $400, just as I have been pleased to improve my mobile listening with a Corda Move for under $250. Having seen many Headfier's favorable reviews of Future Sonics' Atrio M5s and their bang for the buck, I am considering a pair.

Although nearly all my spending on cars/bikes has been on performance mods, I admit to occasionally getting sucked in by cosmetic tweaks (I am a sucker for carbon fiber), just as the striped zebra wood on AT W5000 cans drew me into reading more about them and jonesing for a pair.

Just as many people see a car as an appliance to get from point A to point B, many see audio equipment as a means of generating sufficient SPL's to fill their ears with contenders for the next Grammy awards.

Just as many car nuts and bikers extol the virtues of the journey as opposed to the destination, I think all of us enjoy the act of listening to music, as opposed to cataloging a piece in our memory as something we've already heard on a BTDT basis.

Steve
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