Originally Posted by Sonic Atrocity
Ahh, I must admit I'm a pretty hard objectivist when it comes to sound. Though, I do think the suggestion that science has yet to account for certain properties in sound is quite intriguing, and I think it's more plausible than most would like to think.
I lean more objectivist than subjectivist myself. Where I draw the line is the evangelist aspect, where some people just feel like they need to spread "the word" about their knowledge to everybody. At the end of the day audio is a very personal thing--if you want to understand what's happening better, then more power to you. If you just want to believe that magic pixies flutter around inside your gear, and that more expensive = more pixies = better audio, well, that's up to you, but don't ever expect me to loan you money.
I can sort of see the reason for the evangelist objectivist attitude--sometimes people going around and telling newcomers to the hobby that "Oh, you don't like headphone x, well buy a different amp, or a different DAC, or a different cable, and that 12 dB spike in the treble or that huge hump in the mid-bass disappears. Night and day difference!" just makes me want to go Hulk.
I feel especially bad for the people who believe that line of reasoning, spend a bunch of money, miss their return window, and then are stuck with a headphone that they fundamentally don't like and can't unload easily, and $$$ worth of unneeded equipment to go with it. I feel even worse when I watch them post "Yeah! You're right! Night and day! It's so much better...uh...", which is obviously just them trying to convince themselves their extra money made a difference. Over time the posts are less and less enthusiastic, and six months later their headphone is up in the FS section in order to finance something else.
All of this can be avoided if people had realistic expectations for how much of a difference upstream gear can make. That's made a lot more difficult with all the anecdotal accounts of massive improvements (see: more pixies). I can see how people can come to believe that the pixies will save them. Nobody wants to admit that they got a dog. They want to believe that there's some way they can salvage their situation. But at some point you have to know when to stop throwing good money after bad and just admit that you don't like something.
But this is all stuff where people pretty much need to work out for themselves where they stand. Like I said before, audio is highly individual. Where I differ from the evangelist objectivists is that I don't mind putting all this down in a post like this one, but I won't go around beating people over the head with it and trying to make them feel stupid or inferior if they don't see things my way. I post because I want to try to help people, not indoctrinate them.