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Your most hated audiophile-related misconceptions? - Page 8

post #106 of 201
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Originally Posted by pp312 View Post

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Originally Posted by Focker View Post

The whole vintage thing is proof enough that the FOTM is exactly that. People get all excited about the new gear....then it gets old cause everyone has them....then it turns into a large portion of the people moving on to something newer, while what was formerly new starts getting boring...then sometime much later, that gear that was once the FOTM and new and exciting has become "vintage"....people try out said vintage gear and realize, "wow, this stuff is great!" lol   Just goes to prove that, like Obob said, this isn't computer software that becomes obsolete ever six months. Audio technology doesn't change overnight, and often times you'll find older gear that sounds as good or better than newer gear. 

 

 

One of the most radical examples of that is the LCD-2. It came out to extravagant praise--'one of the finest headphones ever' etc. Then the Rev2 came along and suddenly the original was passe--and worse, riddled with faults like dark, muffled, narrow soundstage, you name it. The Rev2 was the one to have. Then the LCD-3 came out and the Rev2 was passe. Funny thing though, I have the Rev1 and it still sounds great. Given its myriad faults, well documented in these pages, and all the "better" products that have come out since, it should sound like crap, but somehow it doesn't--it still sounds like it did when I got it--like music. I can't explain it, but it's true. rolleyes.gif

 

Having read the entire LCD-2 and LCD-3 threads up to a point (I stopped some months ago), those criticisms of the original LCD-2s and the R2s were voiced from the beginning. I think though that those comments about them were more prevalent when people were discussing comparisons between the new and old versions, or the LCD-2s and 3s. Many people seem to prefer the LCD-2s over the 3s. There was even an LCD-2 vs. HD-800 thread, which became very heated.

 

What I observed going through various headphones with a radically different frequency response, such as Denons, then Grados and from that HD-800s and LCD-2s is that it is possible for one's brain to adapt. I used, for example, to find Audio Techinca headphones to be unbearable to listen to, but now don't. Likewise the original LCD-2s were wrong for me at the start, but I got used to them, and so on.

 

I think one common theme amongst the criticisms here has to do with a general desire for simple answers to everything, when audio is really a very complex subject. From this, we see people wanting to be told that one model of headphones is better than another definitively, or something is worth it or not worth it. My pet peeve with this is people who post about science who have no practical exprience or understanding of it, instead imaginging it as some kind of arbiter of truth. Again though, it is the same aspect of human nature -- the desire for simple answers for things that are not and will never be simple.

 

One of my favourite quotes sums it all up though. It was written almost 2000 years ago (pause and think about that for a second). Considering that, nothing has ever really changed.

 

"Men are disturbed not by the things which happen, but by their opinions about the things"
 --Epictitus (AD 55-135)

 

smile.gif

post #107 of 201

Currawong, you and I haven't always seen eye-to-eye, but that may very well be the post of the decade century. Bravo. 


Edited by estreeter - 10/11/12 at 1:30am
post #108 of 201
Quote:

Originally Posted by Currawong View Post

 

What I observed going through various headphones with a radically different frequency response, such as Denons, then Grados and from that HD-800s and LCD-2s is that it is possible for one's brain to adapt. I used, for example, to find Audio Techinca headphones to be unbearable to listen to, but now don't. Likewise the original LCD-2s were wrong for me at the start, but I got used to them, and so on.

 

 

 

 

 

Yes, exactly, which is why I keep insisting that headphones should be judged by live music, not other headphones. You can get used to anything, but getting used to something doesn't make it good or right. To someone used to Grado, I guess the HD800 could sound dull--and the LCD-2 will certainly sound as dull as dishwater. Yet recur to live music as your arbiter--at least live music heard from a reasonable distance--and things come back into perspective.

 

Just harking back to your first sentence, yes, I was aware there were some early references to the LCD having shelved treble, but my point was that it didn't seem to matter so much until the Rev2 came out. It's the lure of the new, as always.

post #109 of 201
Quote:
Originally Posted by estreeter View Post

Currawong, you and I haven't always seen eye-to-eye, but that may very well be the post of the decade century. Bravo. 

 

 

Steady on there, boy! At least wait a few more weeks before you start voting your favourites for the century. smily_headphones1.gif

post #110 of 201

If the Mayans were right, 'a few more weeks' is all we have. I figured I wouldnt waste any time. 

post #111 of 201

Ah yes, the Mayans. I'd forgotten about them, the little pikers.

 

What a downer. frown.gif

post #112 of 201
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Originally Posted by estreeter View Post

 

I pretty much disagree with everything you have just typed, but I dont even know where to start so I guess we'll just have to agree to disagree. 


lol yes

post #113 of 201
Quote:
Originally Posted by pp312 View Post

Ah yes, the Mayans. I'd forgotten about them, the little pikers.

 

What a downer. frown.gif

 

The doco wasn't much fun either - apparently we need to get to the Rockies, fast. Given that you and I live a very long way from said Rockies, there are some logistical issues that need to be overcome. Uluru, cobber ? 

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2012_(film)

post #114 of 201
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Originally Posted by Lou Erickson View Post

Yes, the "more expensive == better" thing bothers me, but that's true in a lot of places.  Every person I've ever discussed Bose headphones with falls for their "It's expensive, so it must be good!" pitch.  They're not bad headphones - they're just overpriced.

The excesses of excitement of the FOTM bugs me too.  Once you've got good headphones, what's with the constant changes?  The vendors won't get rich off me; I have a setup I love and I'm staying with it.  It all turns out to be vintage, too, even the K1000s.

I agree with this. Personally I've stopped "chasing the dragon" - but I still buy new cans periodically. It isn't about getting "the best sound" though - it's just something I enjoy. Like some people enjoy collecting shoes, or cars, or whatever; the point there isn't to find the best pair of shoes, it's just having another pair of shoes that you like. But yeah, the FOTM cycle is really interesting to watch - iPride 3G is the life-altering end of the century, and then iPride 4G comes out, and iPride 3G is suddenly more worthless than a turd, and we need the new iPride to even continue living because life will surely end without it. And that kind of thinking, coupled with the dragon chase, annoys me greatly. Because it has no respect for logic.

Unrelated: I have no idea why I keep using shoes as an analogy recently. Maybe I should get a new pair, my current ones are pretty beat to heck. redface.gif
post #115 of 201
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Originally Posted by obobskivich View Post


Nowhere near the most expensive in the world. redface.gif
I also don't consider AudioQuest in there with real audiophile manufacturers, mostly because they're kind of a "sellout" brand that Best Buy and RadioShack picked up a few years ago just to hawk with new TVs. Look up Shunyata, Furutech, MIT, Virtual Dynamics, etc - I'm not a big cable proponent, but I think if I were going to spend some major coin there, I'd look beyond AudioQuest or Monster. redface.gif
I agree with this. Like mother always said in the shoe store: if you don't love it in the store, you won't wear it on the street, and it should be comfortable like slippers. I kind of apply that to things other than shoe shopping.

 

AQ may not be the most expensive but the sufficiently qualify as a "real audiophile manufacturer."  Anyone who dares insert a battery in a cable and paint arrows on it for "which direction the electricity flows" to ensure you don't put electrons through a conductor "backwards" certainly has earned the mantle of "audiophile manufacturer" wink.gif

 

Still, Furutech and Shunyata are pricy, but next to ALO, they're discount products.  And Furutech 1/4" plugs are pure awesome wink_face.gif

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Currawong View Post


I think one common theme amongst the criticisms here has to do with a general desire for simple answers to everything, when audio is really a very complex subject. From this, we see people wanting to be told that one model of headphones is better than another definitively, or something is worth it or not worth it.

 

I think I commented similarly to a similar post from you in one of my threads, but if I didn't...here goes!  I think a lot of that has to do, especially in the headphone world, of the agegroup and techy nature that is flooding into the hobby.  In the olden days of stereos subjectivity was assumed, almost to a lunatic fault.  We still see plenty of that here too of course.  But the younger more tech oriented set comes into this hobby of electronic items with the nature of other electronic items as their baseline.  In computers and cellphones, newer is always more advanced.  This years is faster than last years, and tech is always moving forward.  Model A is better than model B is better than model C.  It's faster.  It has higher resolution.  Etc. etc.   So they look for that same element here without the background of understanding that audio hasn't changed much since the 60's.  There's always a model "A" that's better than model "B", but that model "A" might be the out of production model from '76 and trashes half of what's come out since then except the competing model "A" released 3 years ago.  Old doesn't mean worse, and often means better...and that notion hasn't clicked with certain generations (yet.) biggrin.gif  Audio isn't disposable, in a world where everything is disposable....  Sure HD800, HE-6, T1, whatever may be more resolving across the full spectrum than K701, but Orpheus existed before any of those...

 

 

So my four pet peeves:

As others stated, the tossing around of the word "mid-fi" to discuss 70% of the hi-fi gear out there.  The worst being "Only TotL is hi-fi!"  That's my biggest pet peeve.

The money expenditure competition: "Mine costs more than yours, therefore yours is low end" as though that relates to SQ.

The measurements crowd: If it doesn't measure like an anechoic chamber it's bad!

And finally the opposite of the measurements crowd "My ears tell my it sounds better when I keep a turntable within 3ft of my PC, don't knock it until you try it, it's just what my ears tell me!"

post #116 of 201
Quote:
Originally Posted by IEMCrazy View Post

AQ may not be the most expensive but the sufficiently qualify as a "real audiophile manufacturer."  Anyone who dares insert a battery in a cable and paint arrows on it for "which direction the electricity flows" to ensure you don't put electrons through a conductor "backwards" certainly has earned the mantle of "audiophile manufacturer" wink.gif

Still, Furutech and Shunyata are pricy, but next to ALO, they're discount products.  And Furutech 1/4" plugs are pure awesome wink_face.gif

My gripe with AQ is basically that they cropped up just to hawk $350 USB and HDMI cables at Best Buy, a lot like Monster. Whereas something like Virtual Dynamics, Shunyata, Kimber, etc are certainly cable believers and certainly are tweaks chasing the best sound. I just don't see that with AQ or Monster - it's more like the $500 "solar clothes dryer." *shrug*
Quote:
I think I commented similarly to a similar post from you in one of my threads, but if I didn't...here goes!  I think a lot of that has to do, especially in the headphone world, of the agegroup and techy nature that is flooding into the hobby.  In the olden days of stereos subjectivity was assumed, almost to a lunatic fault.  We still see plenty of that here too of course.  But the younger more tech oriented set comes into this hobby of electronic items with the nature of other electronic items as their baseline.  In computers and cellphones, newer is always more advanced.  This years is faster than last years, and tech is always moving forward.  Model A is better than model B is better than model C.  It's faster.  It has higher resolution.  Etc. etc.   So they look for that same element here without the background of understanding that audio hasn't changed much since the 60's.  There's always a model "A" that's better than model "B", but that model "A" might be the out of production model from '76 and trashes half of what's come out since then except the competing model "A" released 3 years ago.  Old doesn't mean worse, and often means better...and that notion hasn't clicked with certain generations (yet.) biggrin.gif   Audio isn't disposable, in a world where everything is disposable....  Sure HD800, HE-6, T1, whatever may be more resolving across the full spectrum than K701, but Orpheus existed before any of those...

But even that misconception is absolutely screwed up. But I agree with the point about kids finding everything disposable - really I just shudder when I see people posting things like "oh I need PS-500 because it's the newest Grado, and I only plan to have it a year, so what's resale like, since it'll be old hat next year and something more advanced will come out!" Good grief. mad.gif
Quote:
So my four pet peeves:
As others stated, the tossing around of the word "mid-fi" to discuss 70% of the hi-fi gear out there.  The worst being "Only TotL is hi-fi!"  That's my biggest pet peeve.
The money expenditure competition: "Mine costs more than yours, therefore yours is low end" as though that relates to SQ.
The measurements crowd: If it doesn't measure like an anechoic chamber it's bad!
And finally the opposite of the measurements crowd "My ears tell my it sounds better when I keep a turntable within 3ft of my PC, don't knock it until you try it, it's just what my ears tell me!"

Those all annoy me, but don't make me want to engage in ritual animal sacrifice like seeing "ohm rating" does. But those are certainly annoying. Like papercut and eating potato chips annoying.
post #117 of 201
Quote:
Originally Posted by obobskivich View Post


My gripe with AQ is basically that they cropped up just to hawk $350 USB and HDMI cables at Best Buy, a lot like Monster. Whereas something like Virtual Dynamics, Shunyata, Kimber, etc are certainly cable believers and certainly are tweaks chasing the best sound. I just don't see that with AQ or Monster - it's more like the $500 "solar clothes dryer." *shrug*
But even that misconception is absolutely screwed up. But I agree with the point about kids finding everything disposable - really I just shudder when I see people posting things like "oh I need PS-500 because it's the newest Grado, and I only plan to have it a year, so what's resale like, since it'll be old hat next year and something more advanced will come out!" Good grief. mad.gif
Those all annoy me, but don't make me want to engage in ritual animal sacrifice like seeing "ohm rating" does. But those are certainly annoying. Like papercut and eating potato chips annoying.


Well, AQ had BJC making their Toslink cables for them....and no doubt what's under the overpriced weave is some half decent Belden most of the time....so they don't peddle overpriced garbage in most cases like Monster, they peddle overpriced genuinely good stuff evil_smiley.gif   LOL on the solar clothes dryer part, though.....sadly true.

 

I don't think the misconception is screwed up about tech though...that is the world as presented and each year they do release something faster, better, etc (that they had on the drawing boards 8 years ago, of course...)  They keep it in controlled bursts to force the yearly cycle.  I don't like it, but that's how they work it.  So for "kids' that grew up knowing only that world, the idea that a product isn't replaced annually with the "new version" or that, indeed, technology is for the most part not "marching forward" (or not at a rate faster than the continental drift) and that a "new model" doesn't auomatically mean better or higher tech.  That idea is as alien as breathing a methane atmosphere.... The idea that there's no "this model is better than that one, it benched superior" doesn't exist in their universe yet. Heck, to me the idea that a telephone isn't attached to the wall by a cable is still alien.  Imagine growing up in a world where being on call 24/7 wherever you are is the norm must be like? confused_face.gif  I like my world better... wink.gif

 

"ohm rating" is your pet peeve? Sheesh.  I didn't even bring up the magic sub-atomic quantum Smurf stickers...

post #118 of 201

I forgot to mention that I hated "audiophile grade" USB cables. They should be illegal.

post #119 of 201
Quote:
Originally Posted by IEMCrazy View Post

So my four pet peeves:

As others stated, the tossing around of the word "mid-fi" to discuss 70% of the hi-fi gear out there.  The worst being "Only TotL is hi-fi!"  That's my biggest pet peeve.

The money expenditure competition: "Mine costs more than yours, therefore yours is low end" as though that relates to SQ.

The measurements crowd: If it doesn't measure like an anechoic chamber it's bad!

And finally the opposite of the measurements crowd "My ears tell my it sounds better when I keep a turntable within 3ft of my PC, don't knock it until you try it, it's just what my ears tell me!"

 

I tend to agree with this for the most part. Very good points, in my opinion. Especially the first point, I've always wondered what actually constituted 'hi-fi', because I never really believed it was just pure money that bought high fidelity sound. Sure, it costs money to get good sound, but I think what you're saying there is a great point.

post #120 of 201
Quote:
Originally Posted by BrownBear View Post

I tend to agree with this for the most part. Very good points, in my opinion. Especially the first point, I've always wondered what actually constituted 'hi-fi', because I never really believed it was just pure money that bought high fidelity sound. Sure, it costs money to get good sound, but I think what you're saying there is a great point.

"In the day" hi-fi meant high quality audio reproduction (low distortion/noise, as close to full range as possible), in terms of RtR or 33RPM versus AM and 78RPM. This may even predate "stereo" as a concept. Coming out of the 1940s, "hi-fi" can also refer to a VHS standard that has close to CD quality audio (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/VHS#Hi-Fi_audio_system). There is also a somewhat modern use of the term as synymous with the "hi-fi smile" which is roughly a v-curve EQ (either speakers/headphones that exhibit this FR, or systems that have been EQ'd this way). It can also relate to the quality of a recording - but given advances in recording/processing equipment, even hobbyist producers are able to produce fairly high fidelity (CD quality at least) music at home. But there are certainly old recordings out there that are absolutely "low fidelity" (Heroin's compilation CD is supposedly the poster child for garbage recordings dumped onto CD, but I have never checked this one out myself).

There is no standardized meaning for the term, but in a very base definition (based on the above understanding) we could assume anything at or around CD quality audio (or better, obviously) is "hi-fi" - and systems capable of reproducing that to be "hi-fi." It's a very value neutral phrase, until you involve snobophiles who want to step on everyone else and show off how much money they're able to spend. By and large most anything discussed on Head-Fi truly fits into "hi-fi" when you take the insanity out; things like iBuds would be something that is very much *not* "hi-fi." But when you consider that even inexpensive headphones these days are capable of reproducing a fairly full range and low distortion output, it's kind of futile to try and sub-categorize them. Finally, the whole idea of "mid-fi" is just silly; it isn't structurally plausible (you can't have a "mid-end" because it has no defined point in space, you can have "low end" and "high end" because they have defined "ends" on a spectrum), and simply exists just to let people beat their chests and make themselves feel better for stepping on someone else.

Personally I only use "hi-fi" to describe the VHS concept (which is actually a real and separate thing from linear). "V-curve" seems more appropriate to describe the "hi-fi smile," and I see no reason to step on someone for not having spent as much money.
Edited by obobskivich - 10/11/12 at 5:11pm
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