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Stop recommending gear you've never heard: rant warning

post #1 of 316
Thread Starter 
Okay, I just bumped into it yet again in the amp forum. A guy posting about gear he's never heard. Does he say that? Nope. Do I know he's never heard it? I'm pretty damn sure, unless by some financial miracle he just got it and forgot to post about it everywhere as he normally would do. In this post, he just says the company makes a great product and throws in a couple pics. Innocuous enough? Maybe, except for the fact that it seems to be becoming an accepted practice for people to toss off recommendations without knowing what the heck they're talking about. How can the op, or anyone reading for information, know what to think? Why wouldn't they assume the guy knows a thing or two? He tries to come off that way. The product may in fact be excellent, but the problem is HE DOESN'T KNOW. Why the heck is he posting? Ego? Need to belong? I dunno. I do know that this type of crap spawns bad information and misinformation. People, including myself, rely on this forum as a resource before putting good money down. Do you want to rely on some fool posting for the sake of posting? I don't. The sad truth is that many of us most likely have.

When head-fi went down, I started thinking about the community, the good and the bad of it, and who is responsible for cleaning up what bullhooey there is. The only answer is that we are. So if you haven't heard something, stop posting like you have. I think it's perfectly helpful to mention that you've read about something and the op might want to check into it based on what you've seen, but stop saying, "Get the DT770s. They have great bass!" or a simple "RP-21!" if you, in fact have no damn clue. Other people have heard these things and can answer fully, provide real information, perhaps offer comparisons, and even recommend synergistic components or ones to avoid. That's helpful and interesting to everyone. Your two cents is garbage. If you've read that the 650s have more bass than the 600s, you're right, but if you haven't heard both, don't post. It's pretty easy.

On the other hand, if you're the one seeking a recommendation, it's a good plan to ask more probing questions that taking anybody's word at face value. That responsibility is yours as well as using the search function.

I don't think most members here engage in this practice, and I'm still impressed on a daily basis with the abundance of knowledge here and the willingness to share. Why not let those who know enrich us all rather than diminishing their contributions with crapola? Again, if it ain't you, wonderful; if it is, knock it off. You know who you are.

/rant
post #2 of 316
I know whatcha mean and I salute you.

If you ever see me make a recommendation where it's not clear that I've just said "I've read this or that" or "Could be worth looking into" and if it's also not clear that I've heard it, then ask me nicely. Either I've made a boo-boo, or wasn't specific enough.
post #3 of 316
Great post, Boomana. Thanks for stepping up to the plate for all.
post #4 of 316
Boomana is the bestest
post #5 of 316
Thanks Boomana. That's one of the ways to make tis forum even better.
post #6 of 316
There is a natural tendency for those who are enthusiastic to contribute here to throw in posts whenever the opportunity presents itself. To repeat information that they have previously read, opinions that they think generally shared, state what they think obvious, is easy enough, and done with great regularity.

Posting about equipment I have not heard is not something that I believe I have done (I certainly hope that I do not do it). And I also tend to withhold my opinions when they do not fit the modus of the inquiry. For example, someone asks a typical question like:

"Which is the best, HD650, K701 or DT990?"

I have not heard the DT990 (properly). However there are times when I have made this clear, and then pointed out that between the K701 and HD650, I prefer the HD650. In situations such as this, I think that is is far less common for people to give recommendations if they have not heard the equipment at all. However it is perhaps sometimes done by those who may have heard the HD600, K501 and DT880, and/or some down-from-the-flagships selection from these manufacturers.

People who are keen to post and contribute, and may in fact only have experience with the PX100, SR-60, KSC75 and RP-21 (or less) will want to share with others the enjoyment they have gained from these headphones, and so will shout out about them in response to any question that they think might apply. (Like "What is the best cheap can for rap?"). They like rap music, they have heard the RP-21 and the PX100 and they prefer the RP-21 because it has more bass, thus they shout it out as being what the person should get. In doing so that person will gain the enjoyment that the poster already enjoys.

The problem, so it seems to me, is based in two factors:

1)The first is the keen attitude or over-enthusiasm of members here with limited experience to post based out of that enthusiasm rather than out of a greater experience or knowledge.

2)The second factor is that such context is not provided in most such posts.

So it can be difficult or impossible (unless the poster is a well known head-fier, in which case that still doesn't matter to a site newbie, or one-off question asker, although they will probably give a degree of respect to answers to their question which come from those which higher post counts.) for the person asking to actually know who speaks from experience, and if they do, the degree and nature of that experience. Articulating such information with every post is of course, tiresome.

"Ay, and there's the rub."

One can post rules and guidelines regarding purchases and inquiries at any level of individual experience, as such information can be gathered simply from reading material that already exists, and has been established over time by many people.

For example: The K1000 needs a speaker amp. Sure its a fabulous headphone, and it can sound flabbergastingly good, but that isn't something that comes out of the box, you need the ancillary equipment. If you need a rig and you have $1100. And you spend $1000 on the K1000. Then you may be very disappointed in running it from a T-Amp.

Same can be said for many headphones. Substitute K1000 for HE60 and T-Amp for HEV70.

One should though, refrain from individual specific recommendations within these contexts if this is the only knowledge that the person has. Giving the big thumbs up to the Aleph 30 over the Firstwatt F1 in the K1000 example. When you do not in fact know the difference, is bad.

The people asking the questions should of course, do more than just surface reading and opinion seeking on any question they have. That is simply basic research.

But I agree with the thrust of your point. That there are bad, or certainly naive or inexperienced recommendations being made on head-fi. However I do think that the voice of those who do know better does shine through when those people contribute. Their posts tend to be longer, more in-depth and simply more articulate and this is what gives them power.

I disagree though, that those without personal experience should not repeat what is simply commonly known information, your example being that the HD650 is bassier than the HD600. What they should not do is try to say which is better for a given situation.
post #7 of 316
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Duggeh View Post

I disagree though, that those without personal experience should not repeat what is simply commonly known information, your example being that the HD650 is bassier than the HD600. What they should not do is try to say which is better for a given situation.
Point well taken, Duggeh. I wasn't thinking in terms of passing on common knowledge, but really in the context of posing personal recommendations as if you had heard whatever is in question.

I also agree with the enthusiasm bit and the desire to participate. I do it all the time or my post count wouldn't be so high. I actually like reading posts from members, especially new members getting excited about their first or second or third new headphone/amp/source and passing that enthusiasm on. Yet this thought came up for me in another thread, where I was questioning how our actions affect others, and in this case, others' decisions. Before we get too enthusiastic, maybe we can just think about that before pressing submit reply.
post #8 of 316
Quote:
Originally Posted by Duggeh View Post
I disagree though, that those without personal experience should not repeat what is simply commonly known information, your example being that the HD650 is bassier than the HD600. What they should not do is try to say which is better for a given situation.
Common knowledge? I disagree: I think the HD600 is bassier than the HD650.*



*I have heard neither.
post #9 of 316
What if I heard them in a dream?
post #10 of 316
I like this thread. I also agree with Duggeh's ending point. Saying that, for example, the DT770 is a bassy headphone even if you haven't heard it is acceptable IMO. That's about as far as I will go into things like that. That said, I'm still pretty new here myself and am learning things constantly
post #11 of 316
I agree. It's very unhelpful when other members present their own 'personal' view on headphones they've never used, by lifting/adapting someone else's comments. I've seen one member do this regularly, but he never responds when pulled up on it.

For anyone about to part with their money, and still undecided about what to buy - it is not productive to be told THIS phone is better than THAT phone when the poster clearly hasn't used either!

I only comment about what I've used - or if someone is desperate for a response, I might say I've heard/read that X phone is comfortable, bassy, lacks isolation, whatever - but I make it clear I've never tried it. We all want *real* user reviews, not second-hand titbits.

It's not just here, I've seen people reviewing products they don't own at Amazon too, very irritating!
post #12 of 316
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kirosia View Post
What if I heard them in a dream?
As long as you tell the whole dream, I think that would be perfectly acceptable.
post #13 of 316
How about coming up with guidelines for recommendations and asking for recommendations and having Mods sticky it? Doesn't have to be strict rules that ppl follow but should be a good guidance to all.
post #14 of 316
Quote:
Originally Posted by boomana View Post
As long as you tell the whole dream, I think that would be perfectly acceptable.
What if it was someone else's dream I dreamt about?
post #15 of 316
Quote:
Originally Posted by zoomjohn View Post
How about coming up with guidelines for recommendations and asking for recommendations and having Mods sticky it? Doesn't have to be strict rules that ppl follow but should be a good guidance to all.
Stickied guidelines are never read, and not even enforced.
Bump for a great post, great guy!
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