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Your most hated audiophile-related misconceptions? - Page 11

post #151 of 201
Quote:
Originally Posted by streetdragon View Post

I don't really like how it is expressed here as if headphones like the HD650 will sound god awful without an amp that costs as much as the headphone itself, when i tried it unamped i felt it sounded great!


 If you don't buy a 1000$ amp for the hd800, there are some disdain from other head-fier too.

I  believe , it's about "prestige". I will always remind someone, that upgraded the source for  his hd650, and still asking confirmation from other head-fier if his hd650 really sounded good. Let's talk of human  nature.

 

@paulchiu

Quote:
I actually prefer my Ultrasone ED10 for some music over my Stax SR-009.  My Philips Fidelio L1 over my Sennheiser HD800.  Yeah.  That's life.

That's what I call being honest. It's a bit boring to see all the newbies expecting more enjoyment from spending more. I think the "upgraditis" game, is not healthy.

post #152 of 201
Thread Starter 
I think I wanna chime in at this point...

There's the whole ruckus on "more expensive don't mean it's better", but what about the other way round? I'm talking about "just because it's better value, doesn't mean it's better" (I'm looking at you, Dsnuts followers).

I'll just cite a couple of early examples; the Kickers headphones and the Panny HTF600s. Yes, they are very good for the price. Excellent budget-fi cans, no doubt. But then comes the wave of M50-esque fanboys start coming in recommending them to newbies with triple-digit budgets, claiming that they're giant killers and whatnot when they are no better than the entry-level regulars. And when someone does prove that the budget FOTMs aren't sonically superior to their higher priced competitors (completely understandable really), the fanboy's consensus is:

"It's better 'cause it's more bang for buck."

Which, frankly, bugs me quite a bit.
post #153 of 201
Quote:
Originally Posted by crinacle View Post

. And when someone does prove that the budget FOTMs aren't sonically superior to their higher priced

You can't really "prove" that something is sonically superior, there is a consensus about what everyone hear,

but it's unfortunately influenced by factors not related to sound: hype, brand loyalty, expectations and so on..

Unless you rely on measurements, but then there will be always someone to tell you that what matters is what your hear.

At the end, what matters is your satisfaction.

If lot of people are satisfied with the M-50 , they must be good somehow.

post #154 of 201
Quote:
Originally Posted by Currawong View Post

. . . I think the two problems that are encountered here are both that people don't always understand what they are after (is it more bass or a different "sound" or do they really want higher fidelity) and if they do know, they don't know the best way to go about seeking it. Then there are people telling them they need X or Y without first understanding what the person is actually after, either because the person hasn't said or they haven't read and are projecting their own goals on the answer.

 

+1

 

This is such a problem, and particularly when the people recommending X or Y themselves don't also understand how subjective headphone choice is. 

post #155 of 201
Quote:
Originally Posted by obobskivich View Post

This. I have an issue when people make comments like "this is proven better than this" (and it's usually based on measurements and nothing else), the only thing I think we can make this argument about are isolation figures; but even there interpretation is still somewhat important (in other words, sure, it provides -30 dBr of broadband isolation, but do you need that, and do you know how uncanny that can actually be?).

 

+1

 

I've been surprised by how much frequency response charts don't help so much with comparing different headphones. Although I do think that they might be a useful predictor when comparing phones in the same line (same manufacturer) with similar enclosure. 

post #156 of 201

This thread is starting to resemble many of the Sound Science threads - circular arguments and navel gazing on a grand scale.   eek.gif

 

Whether you and I like it or not, the 'latest, greatest and most expensive' gear will always get the lion's share of interest from those with the requisite bank balance. That's called 'life' .

post #157 of 201

the more someone wants, the less he will enjoy his stuff cause his expectations will be raised, and after the first step of $5 -> $50, they might expect it to me much, much better at $500, but then they might be wrong and end up dissapointed, then rant here

post #158 of 201
Quote:
Originally Posted by pp312 View Post

 

Argyris, I won't quote your whole post but I just want to compliment you on it. One rarely reads such common sense so well expressed on the Net, and I would urge those who merely skimmed it to go back and read more carefully. If you're not now spending much time here I'd urge you to spend more, even at the risk of listening to music less. We need more rationality like yours in these threads. 

 

My warmest thanks, pp312! I'm glad my point resonated with somebody. I've found that when I first started on Head-Fi, the more time I spent here the more doubt and buyer's remorse I tended to feel. The more time I spent just listening to music, however, the more I came to appreciate the kit I already had. I'm not saying there's anything wrong with wanting to upgrade, or even just wanting to hear another set or a different amp. Sometimes, though, that slippery slope of diminishing returns makes you feel like your equipment is somehow inadequate just because something newer and shinier has come out.

 

I actually came across this on another audio form (Audio Karma), and I can't remember who posted it or I would credit them, but this always stuck with me: Perfection is not when nothing can be added but when nothing can be taken away. If your equipment is clearly lacking, or else it's clearly inferior to something you've already experienced, that will probably bother you every day until you upgrade. But if you're perfectly happy with what you've got and can't imagine what might be better, then you should probably take a step back and ask yourself why you feel the need to get something different at all. If you've never known better, then why are you suddenly so convinced that better exists? If you're happy, and your current gear checks all the boxes and makes your music sing, then you'd do well to remember what Currawong said earlier: it's not the sound but the music that's coming out of your headphones that's important.

 

Saying all this, I think I might take up your request, pp312, and come around these parts a little more often. smile.gif

 

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by estreeter View Post

This thread is starting to resemble many of the Sound Science threads - circular arguments and navel gazing on a grand scale.   eek.gif

 

Whether you and I like it or not, the 'latest, greatest and most expensive' gear will always get the lion's share of interest from those with the requisite bank balance. That's called 'life' .

 

I think this is pretty much spot on. Shiny always gets the majority of people's attention because, well, it's shiny. There's a certain part of all of us that finds excess amusing. We'll all bash on a $30,000 tone arm, as I believe you mentioned, but lord we want to hear it, too! Manufacturers are not blind to this effect. You call it life. I call it social psychology. Marketing people and boutique firms know all about this sort of tendency, and they capitalize on it every day. If that tone arm was $300, we might judge it (unseen and unheard) as a solid product and move on. If the same product is priced at $30k, all of a sudden we expect the moon and the stars, and the price makes us automatically assume it's super-uber-high end, and that makes us want it that much more. Trouble is, most of us can't afford it. But for those who can, the wallets come open. And now we have an exclusive club who get to tell us how much better it is, and we can only dream of having it.

 

The people with the fat wallets are not buying gear. They're buying the notion that they have the best. And they arguably overpaid by $29,700 for the privilege, but they don't want to hear that or they don't care, because it makes them exclusive. When the $40k tone arm comes out, they'll buy that, too.

 

All the rest of us can't know for certain whether or not that tone arm is worth the extra $$$$$ because we'll never have one. But we can still knock it down or debate whether or not it's worth it (whether we've heard it or not) or swear that my one friend has a rich friend who has one, and I heard it, and maaaaaaaan was it great, and on and on and on. Circular arguments, indeed.

post #159 of 201
Quote:
Originally Posted by Argyris View Post


The people with the fat wallets are not buying gear. They're buying the notion that they have the best. And they arguably overpaid by $29,700 for the privilege, but they don't want to hear that or they don't care, because it makes them exclusive. When the $40k tone arm comes out, they'll buy that, too.

Reminds me of the Futurama episode where Farnsworth buys a new TV.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LOHb5NfKAC0
post #160 of 201
Quote:
Originally Posted by Argyris View Post

 

 

I think this is pretty much spot on. Shiny always gets the majority of people's attention because, well, it's shiny. There's a certain part of all of us that finds excess amusing. We'll all bash on a $30,000 tone arm, as I believe you mentioned, but lord we want to hear it, too! Manufacturers are not blind to this effect. You call it life. I call it social psychology. Marketing people and boutique firms know all about this sort of tendency, and they capitalize on it every day. If that tone arm was $300, we might judge it (unseen and unheard) as a solid product and move on. If the same product is priced at $30k, all of a sudden we expect the moon and the stars, and the price makes us automatically assume it's super-uber-high end, and that makes us want it that much more. Trouble is, most of us can't afford it. But for those who can, the wallets come open. And now we have an exclusive club who get to tell us how much better it is, and we can only dream of having it.

 

The people with the fat wallets are not buying gear. They're buying the notion that they have the best. And they arguably overpaid by $29,700 for the privilege, but they don't want to hear that or they don't care, because it makes them exclusive. When the $40k tone arm comes out, they'll buy that, too.

 

All the rest of us can't know for certain whether or not that tone arm is worth the extra $$$$$ because we'll never have one. But we can still knock it down or debate whether or not it's worth it (whether we've heard it or not) or swear that my one friend has a rich friend who has one, and I heard it, and maaaaaaaan was it great, and on and on and on. Circular arguments, indeed.

 

Put me in just one of those shops in Jude's vid and we'll see how well my resolve stacks up. Ever seen a fat kid thrown out of a cake shop ? No, me neither ..... 

 

post #161 of 201
What is that gorgeous machine? Simaudio?
post #162 of 201

Reminds me of a review of a $70k turntable rig, whether the reviewer said he wouldn't buy it, because only a handful of his records were high enough quality to be played on it.  It comes back to the criticism of the "more expensive equals better" attitude. It's not that it doesn't necessarily, but comes back to one's goals for buying gear.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by estreeter View Post

Currawong, you have a massive advantage over almost everyone on Head-Fi - anytime you want to hear virtually any combination of gear you can go to Akihabara and hear it. Of course, for many that would be the road to financial insolvency, but life was never meant to be that easy.  wink.gif

 

Any Head-Fier who hasnt watched the Tokyo vid Jude posted a few months back needs to do so ASAP. I'm already planning to fly from Bangkok to Narita in early 2014 - resistance is futile. very_evil_smiley.gif

 

I live in Fukuoka, which is pretty far from Tokyo, so unfortunately I can't. The local Yodobashi, while it has a much better selection of headphones, doesn't have the listening stations that the Akihabara store does. There is a Best Denki store with a high-end headphone listening table, but the idiots who run the store set it up with a headphone distributor out of a Luxman P-1u.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by CrystalT View Post

If a flashship is only a marginal increase of a 150-300 piece of equipment, then there is no reason not to call a $200 headphone high end.

 

Definitely not marginal, either audibly or measurably, but I'd say that, for various reasons, it is possible to get much higher-quality sound for much less these days. If you look at the way headphone-based audio has changed, with a move to primarily low-impedance headphones and the vast improvement in the quality of computer and iPod-based digital sources, then I'd say that what might be called "high-end" in terms of sound quality has become a lot cheaper.

 

If there is a reasonable gripe, it would be with the idea that you need to spend X amount on an amp for a pair of headphones. It's not that buying a good amp wont help, but (back to my point in a previous post) many people can't explain why.   With high-impedance headphones, a better amp results in a larger (perceived) soundstage with better clarity and with each instrument (assuming acoustic music) better defined. With most low impedance headphones, I'd say primarily it is less compression of the sound during complex passages. With both a number of other improvements, but, even then, a great deal of popular music is mastered in a way suited more for radio or iPod earbuds, so the value of these improvements is far less than for someone like myself who listens to old and/or high-quality jazz and classical recordings, live music and the like.  Like the guy who reviewed the turntable, the question of whether any "audiophile" gear is worth getting comes down to what one is looking to get out of listening to music.

post #163 of 201
Quote:
Originally Posted by obobskivich View Post

What is that gorgeous machine? Simaudio?

 

http://www.gryphon-audio.dk/products

 

I thought their CDPs and amps were expensive till I saw the sticker price on their speakers. Bring your credit card - better yet, bring someone else's !  biggrin.gif

post #164 of 201
Quote:
Originally Posted by estreeter View Post

http://www.gryphon-audio.dk/products

I thought their CDPs and amps were expensive till I saw the sticker price on their speakers. Bring your credit card - better yet, bring someone else's !  biggrin.gif

You know now that I think about it, this is the second time I've seen the Mikado and asked what it was...redface.gif

I'm not sure if it's scary or impressive that it's not the most expensive spinner I've seen. ph34r.gif

The speakers look...unimpressive. Big and pretty, but that's about all I'm seeing.

Also, you made a point earlier about how this is turning into Sound Science and denigrating "new toy syndrome" - I don't view it explicitly as that; really I don't care *what* people do with their money (as long as they don't bankrupt themselves and then come crying with a hand out and expect entitlements). Where it gets kind of touchy is when people try to set-up their pocket-book as a "measure of a man" - there's plenty of people who buy all the latest and greatest toys and are absolutely fantastic to chat with, and there's the small few who ruin it for everyone else and turn things into "no, you must spend [a lot] on whatever tweak/amp/etc or you aren't on my level, how dare you talk to me you filthy mudblood!" (Guess what I watched last night!).
Quote:
Originally Posted by Currawong View Post

Reminds me of a review of a $70k turntable rig, whether the reviewer said he wouldn't buy it, because only a handful of his records were high enough quality to be played on it.  It comes back to the criticism of the "more expensive equals better" attitude. It's not that it doesn't necessarily, but comes back to one's goals for buying gear.

Reminds me of the review of the Wavac SH-833 Anniversary (something like $350,000/pr mono blocks) - sure it's nice, but do we NEED that niceness to enjoy ourselves or is the point just to flash a lot of cash/serve some dragon-chasing OCD demon?

Ultimately I think we're in agreement.
Edited by obobskivich - 10/14/12 at 1:15pm
post #165 of 201

This is a cool thread. My pet peeve is when people treat digital signals like they were analog. A series of bits as clearly defined 1s and 0s doesn't have the same demands as an open-ended frequency wave. Optical cables don't need gold plated tips, and aren't effected by EMI. I can understand the reasoning for signal chain OCD if you're passing along analog signals (which are finicky and sometimes appear to abide by mystic principles) but when audiophiles apply the same rational to digital is makes them seem out of touch with technology.  

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