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What the heck does "audiophile" mean anyway? - Page 2

post #16 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by SomeGuyDude View Post

 

I'm a metalhead, and I can't even count how many albums I've heard where the production ruined the experience. I think the people who talk about listening to it exactly as it was recorded are making a few fatal assumptions, namely that the equipment used to record was accurate, that it was set up properly, and that the producer knew what the hell they were doing. We talk about headphones and speakers accurately recreating the sound of the instruments, but that's only valid when all the instruments were purely analogue and when the producer had all of his levels right. It's a nonexistent ideal. You put two dudes at the board for the same recording and you'll get two different products. 

 

Yeah, this is true too. There are so many albums that just sound so bad, it messes up the listening. And the point of exactly how it was recorded is a great one. There's no perfect replication, especially when it comes to that kind of music. It really relies on so many things that we don't have control over, like you said, everything being set up properly and the producer knowing what they were doing. All that stuff.

 

That's an issue I have with it all, because I see so many times on advertisements or on here or wherever, people saying they want to hear it like the artist intended. I just think that there really is no way to hear it exactly like that without being there, because there's so many variables that affect the finished product.

post #17 of 36
High fidelity is the most highly faithful to the live performance. I don't know if audiophilia is related to fidelity.
post #18 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by Coq de Combat View Post
 

I'm not too keen on the term 'audiophile' and everything that goes with it. It's a problematic one, and depending on definition, assumes a lot of you.

The term 'audiophile' has been adopted as a term of abuse by gadget fans who value the quality of everything except sound. They'll wax rhapsodical about a new hi-def display, the user-friendliness of an OS, great apps or useful extra connectivity, but as soon as sound comes into the equation, there'll usually be a sneery comment about "hi-fi snobs". It is evidence of a terrible insecurity, if you ask me.

 

Then there is the enthusiastic but terrible gadget reviewer, who can give you chapter and verse on which mobile phone to buy, but doesn't have much of a clue otherwise. Here is, verbatim, an excerpt from a recent review of a Bluetooth boombox I read in a lifestyle magazine recently. "The bass goes really loud and the treble is nice and sharp so you can hear everything". Indeed... I think we can imagine how good that sounded.

 

Headphones have to be in the vanguard of the gospel of sound quality in the modern era. Why? Because they are a visible status symbol when you're out and about, unlike the home hi-fi, which is only visible to the owner, his family and visiting friends. If the headphone craze started by Beats continues, people are going to try different cans from different manufacturers, just to avoid looking like part of the herd. And some of those people are unwittingly going to buy something that sounds fantastic.

post #19 of 36
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by PalJoey View Post
 

Headphones have to be in the vanguard of the gospel of sound quality in the modern era. Why? Because they are a visible status symbol when you're out and about, unlike the home hi-fi, which is only visible to the owner, his family and visiting friends. If the headphone craze started by Beats continues, people are going to try different cans from different manufacturers, just to avoid looking like part of the herd. And some of those people are unwittingly going to buy something that sounds fantastic.

 

Exactly. Otherwise brands wouldn't be offering multiple finishes or custom engraved ear shields. It's not like home theaters are custom ordered by appearance. 

 

I think there's a bit of an irony, as well. I had actually avoided listening to Beats for a while because I didn't want to be part of the "herd". I bought the Mixrs because, despite my disdain for being "another Beats owner", the things sounded really nice for the music I listen to. I swapped out, but it was a tough call, and I still will tell folks to look into the Mixrs if they want a bass heavy phone.

 

There's a phrase I've always held by: whether you're following the crowd or avoiding it, you're letting them dictate your actions. No one should get Beats to be one of the cool kids, nor should they stay away from just because of their status. Let your eyes decide what looks cool and your ears decide what sounds right.

post #20 of 36

Also, I think with 'true to the original performance', comes the fact that a lot of us weren't there when it was actually recorded, and also like was mentioned previously about how everything was set up, and how things were done. 

 

I guess I'm saying there's just many variables.

post #21 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by BrownBear View Post
 

Also, I think with 'true to the original performance', comes the fact that a lot of us weren't there when it was actually recorded, and also like was mentioned previously about how everything was set up, and how things were done. 

 

I guess I'm saying there's just many variables.

As for "true to the original performance", I have been to some concerts at the Royal Albert Hall when, due to an unfortunate seating position, I have had to leave at the interval because the sound was so bad. Yet, after the BBC have got their clever little hands on it, I have heard that same concert as a perfectly acceptable broadcast. Authenticity can be taken too far.

 

What we are seeking, I would argue, is enhanced levels of pleasure. Look at the number of gear-fi threads, and you will see that this same passion extends well beyond audio. We unapologetically enjoy the good things in life.

post #22 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by PalJoey View Post
 

As for "true to the original performance", I have been to some concerts at the Royal Albert Hall when, due to an unfortunate seating position, I have had to leave at the interval because the sound was so bad. Yet, after the BBC have got their clever little hands on it, I have heard that same concert as a perfectly acceptable broadcast. Authenticity can be taken too far.

 

What we are seeking, I would argue, is enhanced levels of pleasure. Look at the number of gear-fi threads, and you will see that this same passion extends well beyond audio. We unapologetically enjoy the good things in life.


Wow, it was that bad? That's a great personal example though, thanks for sharing.

 

And I also agree with the enhanced levels of pleasure. I also think that the different types of gear itself can bring 'pleasure', in other words maybe some people might enjoy listening more on gear that they like, even though it may not be 'the best'. And 'the best' I think is highly subjective, anyway.

post #23 of 36
:
Originally Posted by BrownBear View Post
 


Wow, it was that bad? That's a great personal example though, thanks for sharing.

It was awful! I was in one of the lower boxes, looking forward to hearing Maxim Vengerov play, but the sound was like listening through a mattress while suffering from a heavy cold. I left at the interval.

 

I have also watched the rather wonderful comic opera by Wolf-Ferrari, Susanna's Secret*, in a hall where the echo on my right hand side meant I got the whole performance twice.

 

Sometimes what you hear from your hi-fi is better than live, whatever some experts may claim.

 

*possibly the only opera about smoking cigarettes. Opera buffs, feel free to contradict if necessary.


Edited by PalJoey - 2/27/14 at 2:02am
post #24 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by PalJoey View Post

Sometimes what you hear from your hi-fi is better than live, whatever some experts may claim.

High fidelity strives to be the most faithful to live performance under good performance conditions--not what you went through.
post #25 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by Claritas View Post


High fidelity strives to be the most faithful to live performance under good performance conditions--not what you went through.


Exactly! I agree with you, which is why I made sure I started the sentence with 'sometimes'.

 

Those were just two concerts among many many great live experiences.

post #26 of 36

We're not audiophiles, we just don't like music to sound terrible.

post #27 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by SomeGuyDude View Post

I think you're like me: you want as little to mess with as possible. Different gear sounds better on that song, swap that out rather than sitting there fiddling with the EQ. It's actually one reason I'm kinda hesitant to use an amp with a lot of settings. I'd rather just be able to plug in, hit play, and relax.

well I also don't really like to mess with settings too much. I like just plug and play, I also find that I don't really change headphones. I have my sony xb500 for times when I want more bass, I find that I don't really use it, I just have it there just in case I feel like listening to a bass heavy headphone which is like almost never.
post #28 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by Claritas View Post

High fidelity strives to be the most faithful to live performance under good performance conditions--not what you went through.

I would say your definition of hifi is exactly the same as mine, closest to good live performance as possible
post #29 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by reddragon View Post

I would say your definition of hifi is exactly the same as mine, closest to good live performance as possible

 

I take that to be the definition of hi-fi, but it's not necessarily the only valid approach. I'm open to the potential of the recording studio where performers can develop musical ideas and sound worlds that would be impossible in concert. But I don't want to the studio and recordings to diminish interest in live performance or make the public ignorant of how real playing sounds. We choose to improve on live sound at home too to suit our personal tastes by using EQ, tubes, colored headphones, &c. So I'm pretty moderate about it without forsaking the core notion of hi-fi.

post #30 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by Claritas View Post

I take that to be the definition of hi-fi, but it's not necessarily the only valid approach. I'm open to the potential of the recording studio where performers can develop musical ideas and sound worlds that would be impossible in concert. But I don't want to the studio and recordings to diminish interest in live performance or make the public ignorant of how real playing sounds. We choose to improve on live sound at home too to suit our personal tastes by using EQ, tubes, colored headphones, &c. So I'm pretty moderate about it without forsaking the core notion of hi-fi.

I agree with you.
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