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What is High End? - Page 2  

post #16 of 163

To put things succinctly,

 

High End is not necessarily High Fidelity.

High Fidelity is reproducing sound as close as possible to what was originally recorded.

This means necessarily that electronic music cannot be High Fidelity as it has no original sonic signature.

 

High End is any part of the musical reproduction chain proffered by people or companies that say their equipment is high fidelity.

This does not mean that the equipment is High Fidelity.

 

Some say that HIgh Fidelity is anything that sounds good to them. This the epitome of some High End manufacturers.

 

High End is not necessarily snake oil, but can be.

 

Do not confuse High End with High Fidelity.

They are not necessarily equal.

post #17 of 163
Quote:
This means necessarily that electronic music cannot be High Fidelity as it has no original sonic signature.
I am offended at that comment! I'm surprised how many "real" instruments there are in EDM. Perhaps you don't have a high-end DAC!? wink.gif
post #18 of 163
Quote:
Originally Posted by m2man View Post


I am offended at that comment! I'm surprised how many "real" instruments there are in EDM. Perhaps you don't have a high-end DAC!? wink.gif

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by wink View Post

This means necessarily that electronic music cannot be High Fidelity as it has no original sonic signature.

this makes no sens, hifi is about reproducing in hifi, no matter what u r reproducing, and about recording in hifi, electronic generated sounds r the most hifi when digitally recorded, digital to digital, bit perfect, while analog to digital, or vice versa, recording is just an approximation, same applies for reproduction.

 

EDIT:

Quote:

Originally Posted by En_R View Post

 

 Also please bear in mind that English terms might sometimes have multiple definitions. Tho u kno dis right?

 

yes but this is clearly not our case, u r just selling apples as cucumbers now

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by En_R View Post

 

I enjoy off topic schiit. I'll go make a mango and banana smoothie.

 

     glad u did, however u should upgrade to a high end all mango smoothie


Edited by roskodan - 1/9/13 at 9:24am
post #19 of 163
Thread Starter 

 

This is an amazing writeup.

 

As for those new links Curra those are excellent- I didn't even see when they went up. Before it was just "describing sound" and "a glossary of terms". Perhaps Tyll's writeup deserves a sticky too?

It's good to let new members not only know what headphones are recommended, but some key principles and the underlying philosophy (and conflicts) of this hobby.

post #20 of 163

There was another article from Tyll about listening enjoyment too, where he asked for responses, which were quite good. The basic gist of it is, he was enjoying hearing music from a basic radio in the other room -- totally not high-end at all, and started to ponder what it all meant.

 

I keep feeling the answer to your question is: You'll understand when you hear it. It reminds me of a comment from someone that when they listened to music through an EMM DAC2X, it "made [their] PerfectWave DAC sound like a toy". However we want to try and nail down a specific factor that can describe it, high-end hi-fi is a combination of things from the science behind the electronics to the resulting enjoyment when listening that the components bring that is readily apparent -- as much so in comparison to other equipment.

 

It's as much about the music as anything I reckon. I wouldn't be interested in listening to a lot of music that I do like now if it weren't for the high-end gear I have that can reproduce all the subtle beauty of the instruments and the skill of the players and singers. A great deal of that does have to do with the equipment being high-fidelity, but also the skill in the designers in not only being able to make equipment that is measurably excellent, but also audibly euphoric, that seems to convey the spirit of that music.

 

I recall a comment made about a person who had bought a very expensive hi-fi set-up and demonstrated it to a friend with an "audiophile" Christmas music recording. When asked if he liked the music, it turned out he'd never even considered that the point of buying all that gear! Similarly, much of the music I liked before I joined Head-Fi is poorly recorded (it is relegated to being listened to in the car now) and if it were all I liked, all the expensive gear I own would be pointless IMO.

 

I feel high-end is about reproducing as much of the spirit of a performance as possible. How much of that is achievable is invariably limited. An interesting experiment in this was done by Stereophile and makes for interesting reading.

post #21 of 163
Quote:
Originally Posted by En_R View Post

 

You should read over my original post though. The point of this thread is not only to establish that people have different tastes, but also to generate some general guidelines as to what advice (a guide would be very nice) people should be receiving when buying new components.

Meets are great. If you enjoy the community, even more so. But not everyone can make meets, so it is critical to establish another method for component recommendations that both sides of the party, that is as you put it the "bits is bits" crowd and the everything-is-subject crowd (not to say there isn't anything in between) can benefit from.

One good method I found is to buy a pair of popular cans (without reading anything about them), then see which reviewer's/member's impressions agree with your own. You can use these members as your "reference ears" for future purchases tongue.gif.

 

While my response wasn't to you necessarily, you would still benefit from understanding that what my responses drive at is that there cannot be an answer to the question of "How Can Users Make Better (or more "accurate"?) Reviews" which seems to be your real question, not "What is Hi End". Regardless, both are troll topics from the start, and that's why you get heated responses, because the responses are personal for each responder.

 

To me, your response I quoted above covers one step in the path towards more accurate reviews: using personal experiences with your gear to validate listening notes from other member reviews and then choosing the ones which are most sympathetic to your personal biases.  But similarities in personal sensibilities are only a part.  There have been other hints in the responses here as well (e.g. musical genre selection similarities between the reader and reviewer), as well as personal experience with the other components in the reviewer's signal/source-amplifier-transducer chain.  Show me two members out of umpteen thousands here on these forums that have the exact same system (down to the cables), exact same musical experience and history, exact same musical tastes and exact same listening notes.  I doubt there's a single match here (or anywhere for that matter).  But only with such equivalencies can a review(er) and reader share the common foundation to determine whether you would like a set of headphones or a piece of gear or not (and by "you" I mean the general reader here, not "you" specifically).

 

The first (over)reaction that people have then is: why bother with equipment reviews then, on these forums or anywhere?  And again, the answers are as plentiful and as diverse as the members here: people want to share their experiences with equipment (which are often emotional reactions), people want to introduce or announce new equipment, people want to brag about their swag, people are looking to up/downgrade their rigs and look for ideas, people looking for attention to flout a popular opinion ...  etc.  All are good reasons and all are why I read these forums. 

 

Do the reviews here (or anywhere) influence what gear I personally buy?  Only in so far that I use these forums to get ideas for potential purchases I may not have heard of otherwise.  I have never bought or not bought gear based on what "Member X" here wrote about it.

 

So what's the answer your looking for?  My opinion is: There isn't one.  As I said, this is a troll topic; always has been, always will be.  Just like you need to know what kind of listener you are when you're selecting gear (or music), you need to know what's the purpose you read these forums for and then decide how you use the opinions presented.  Ultimately, decisions to purchase gear or music, as well as whether to keep those purchases, is based on personal experience.  And you won't get that in a forum post or magazine review.

post #22 of 163
Quote:
Originally Posted by johnwmclean View Post

 

There is no piece of audio gear that is considered neutral, by benchmark I was referring to measurements.

Ah.   Glad we agree.

 

So with gear that by definition has biases in it (including the reviewer's gear), we are to form a reliable basis of "what is neutral" based on measurements which themselves cannot be neutral? 


Good luck building your house on those shifting sands.

 

 

 

Quote:

Really? What help is here for the OP. Don’t get me wrong it’s a nice sentiment but bloody useless if one’s trying to understand a little bit more about the hobby.

 

EXACTLY! You've been here long enough to know that there is no answer for the question(s) being asked, no matter how many different users ask it.

 

See my post above.  If you are reading these forum reviews (which may or may not include quantitative measurements) to answer " will I like this piece of gear?" you're not using the forum correctly, in my opinion.

 

You used the word "hobby" which is great.  How do you learn about a hobby?  By reading about it on a website or a magazine?  By watching a TV show?  By meeting with other people who have been engaged in the hobby for years?

 

No.  You can start there, but ultimately your enjoyment will only develop if you go out and do it and learn from personal experience and build your own knowledge base.

 

So what purpose do forums like this serve?  I've enumerated potential reasons above.  I choose to use this place as a basis to learn about potential new products.  Whether I purchase and enjoy them is based solely on my own experience with them.  But I have never bought or refused to audition a product based on whether someone here liked it or not, or whether John Atkinson said it tested like like a champ or like a freshman's electronics experiment.

 

You know where measurements work well? Quality control.  Like when the LCD-3 came out and Audeze used the first batch to test their ability to make the driver diaphragm consistently.  Turns out, they couldn't and that the measurements showed that there were variations within the first few batches of products.  They went back and fixed it and since then, not so many complaints.

 

Did those measurements tell you whether the LCD-3 was a good headphone or not?  Did they tell readers here whether they would "like them" or not?  No.  They only revealed that there were inconsistencies between products. Did those measurements end all conversation about whether the LCD-3 "is a good product and I will like it"?  Shouldn't Purrin's charts (or Tyll's) have ended all discussion about the LCD-3s? One look at these forums tells even the most casual reader "Of course not".   They're still one of the most popular topics here.

 

If anyone is waiting for a uniform standard of review to tell them about something as subjective as listening enjoyment, then it will be a long wait.
 

post #23 of 163

Apparently HE500 is not high-end; all its threads here got moved to full-sized headphone forum earlier today.

post #24 of 163
Quote:
Originally Posted by jerg View Post

Apparently HE500 is not high-end; all its threads here got moved to full-sized headphone forum earlier today.


As well as LCD-2 and T1.

post #25 of 163
Thread Starter 

I have given my answer and my views in the very first post. I asked this question to see what other people think. If something that merely generates discussion is defined as a "troll topic" then the internet has very much polluted your thought process.

Actually, the only heated comments I've seen in this discussion have come from you.

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by Smeckles View Post

 

A neutral sound is what you desire, but you don't speak for anyone other than yourself.

 

..."you and the whole "bits is bits" crowd"...

 

So  what is this "neutral" you speak of?  Give me an example of some equipment that everyone agrees is "neutral".  Sources?  Amps?  There should be something right? Some benchmark? Because then, all designers are working from the same page, right?

 

edit: You seem to think there is only one type of listener, and there isn't....

 

 

It's OK to have strong opinions, but I think in attacking someone else's view so poignantly just comes off as narrow minded. His truths are not universal, but of course yours are. Correct?

 

The point of this thread was so people could share their opinions. Hopefully through this process a guideline could be made to establish what someone's end-game components could be. And remember, it is just a guideline- something there to steer you in the right direction, and in this case saving you time and money.

 

I remember there was a time when trying to correlate headphone measurements and sound quality was scoffed at. Yet here we are. It's a good step towards proving that though we all have different tastes, there is definitely some common ground to be had. We are not as unique as we think we are.


Edited by En_R - 1/9/13 at 10:19pm
post #26 of 163
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smeckles View Post

EXACTLY! You've been here long enough to know that there is no answer for the question(s) being asked, no matter how many different users ask it.

 

See my post above.  If you are reading these forum reviews (which may or may not include quantitative measurements) to answer " will I like this piece of gear?" you're not using the forum correctly, in my opinion.

 

You used the word "hobby" which is great.  How do you learn about a hobby?  By reading about it on a website or a magazine?  By watching a TV show?  By meeting with other people who have been engaged in the hobby for years?

 

No.  You can start there, but ultimately your enjoyment will only develop if you go out and do it and learn from personal experience and build your own knowledge base.

 

 

In this particular case the OP is inquisitive and willing to do some research (see post #19). He/she deserved a better answer than “what ever sounds good”. You method may work for the few unwilling to go the extra yards and make an informed decision. 

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Smeckles View Post

So what purpose do forums like this serve?  I've enumerated potential reasons above.  I choose to use this place as a basis to learn about potential new products.  Whether I purchase and enjoy them is based solely on my own experience with them.  But I have never bought or refused to audition a product based on whether someone here liked it or not, or whether John Atkinson said it tested like like a champ or like a freshman's electronics experiment.

 

 

 

Good for you. 

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Smeckles View Post

You know where measurements work well? Quality control.  Like when the LCD-3 came out and Audeze used the first batch to test their ability to make the driver diaphragm consistently.  Turns out, they couldn't and that the measurements showed that there were variations within the first few batches of products.  They went back and fixed it and since then, not so many complaints.

 

Did those measurements tell you whether the LCD-3 was a good headphone or not?  Did they tell readers here whether they would "like them" or not?  No.  They only revealed that there were inconsistencies between products. Did those measurements end all conversation about whether the LCD-3 "is a good product and I will like it"?  Shouldn't Purrin's charts (or Tyll's) have ended all discussion about the LCD-3s? One look at these forums tells even the most casual reader "Of course not".   They're still one of the most popular topics here.

 

If anyone is waiting for a uniform standard of review to tell them about something as subjective as listening enjoyment, then it will be a long wait.
 

 

Measurements and subjectivity go hand in hand when system building, to abandon one or the other is absurd. 

post #27 of 163
Quote:
Originally Posted by johnwmclean View Post


 



Measurements and subjectivity go hand in hand when system building, to abandon one or the other is absurd. 



I don't often quote things, but when I do, they're of this quality.
post #28 of 163

HE500 and LCD2r2 owners want blood! evil_smiley.gif

post #29 of 163
Is there a reason those threads were moved?
post #30 of 163

To keep the focus on the forum being "Summit-Fi". Quite a bit of non-Summit-Fi stuff was creeping in.  You can shout at me about it -- I moved them and I wont be at all offended if you think it was wrong to do so.  It made sense to me to do so but I totally understand why it might not to someone else. Basically I don't think those headphones are at the "summit" of what is available and don't see them paired so much with serious TOTL systems either (though not at all are they unloved by any means -- I'm referring to pairings with many thousands of dollars of electronics).

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