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What Happened to Head-Fi? (Rant) - Page 2

post #16 of 215

vkalia: It is human nature. People want to understand complex topics in a simple way. Unfortunately, audio is complex, let alone something like digital audio. Sometimes the more you know, the more confusion you end up passing along. It is like a person standing on one side of a building and thinking they understand the whole building from that one perspective, with people shouting at them from different sides.

 

There's much I could write -- enough to fill a book. Maybe I'll write a book one day about the whole thing. A quote that comes to mind, that may have been from Churchill says in effect: The price of freedom is a lot of rubbish. :smile:

post #17 of 215
Quote:
Originally Posted by livedavid View Post
 

Hello,

 

While this may be my first post, I assure you I am not new to the world of headphones or this forum.  I started to really get into this hobby around 2000, but had some interest in the late '90's.  At the time Headwize was the authoritative forum.  Then Head-fi appeared and grew.  It was a great place where people formed their own opinions and shared with the community.  I lurked for a few years.  I was getting a lot out of it, but not contributing.  Maybe I was selfish, maybe I thought I had nothing to offer, maybe I thought people were more knowledgeable than myself?  I do not have a good reason for being a member for almost 10 years and making this my first post.

 

I am not trying to go off on a rant, but I think it is important for people coming to this great hobby to understand that there are many great opinions here, but there is equally a lot of misinformation.  How can someone recommend something - a headphone, a DAP, a DAC, an amp or even a cable without even trying it?  How can they dismiss it?  This forum is filled with people with thousands of posts posturing and declaring an opinion that is not even their own as a fact.  The headphone market has grown over the last two decades (thanks mostly to Apple and Beats) which has brought about pseudo-experts.  For the people who have enjoyed this community for years, they have learned who they can trust, but often a very vocal or prolific user does not have the knowledge or experience to make a thoughtful recommendation.  Music is personal, sound reproduction is personal, our ears are all different.  There is too much regurgitated circle jerking information here.

 

I don't know if this post will be deleted, but my whole point is that sometimes it is best not to talk, but to listen.  Please don't make a headphone recommendation to someone if you have not owned the headphone in question.  Listening to something in a store or at a meet does not qualify you as experienced with that item.  I have owned or own most TOTL headphones HD800, LCD-2, TH900, T1, ED8 and many others, yet I have not felt the need to pass my opinion off as fact.  Please be considerate of others and don't just copypasta other people's thoughts or give praise to your latest purchase when you have nothing to compare it to.

 

This rant is over.  I will continue to lurk, but I want to thank all of the experts on here for the great advice and recommendations over the years and let you know how difficult it is to sort through all of the BS to find you...

 

Join Date:

10/20/04
First Post Date:

6/10/14


You are spot on. There's no reason why your post should be deleted..

post #18 of 215
Quote:
Originally Posted by Currawong View Post

vkalia: It is human nature. People want to understand complex topics in a simple way. Unfortunately, audio is complex, let alone something like digital audio. Sometimes the more you know, the more confusion you end up passing along. It is like a person standing on one side of a building and thinking they understand the whole building from that one perspective, with people shouting at them from different sides.

Oh, no disagreements from me. That's why I said it will be 5000 years before humanity evolves to the point that internet arguments cease to exist. By then, maybe we'll have answers to abortion, gun control and religion as well smily_headphones1.gif

Your analogy of perspectives is a good one - complicating things is that a statement that may well be BS as made by one person could equally be true as made by another. So we could well be talking about different buildings, even
Quote:
There's much I could write -- enough to fill a book. Maybe I'll write a book one day about the whole thing. A quote that comes to mind, that may have been from Churchill says in effect: The price of freedom is a lot of rubbish. smile.gif

I don't envy your job modding anything related to audio. And to be clear - while I have been vocal about some issues in the past, I also think that the way you guys moderate Head-Fi is about as reasonably as makes sense, given the contentious nature of some of the topics being discussed. It is more a case that a certain section needs a little greater separation of self from product. But that is hardly unique to Head-fi. Human nature, as you said.

Perhaps you should do a Stoddard-style blog? smily_headphones1.gif
post #19 of 215

I don't know about your experience, but I believe if you tried something, then you already have an impression about it; you don't have to own a pair to know how it sounds.

post #20 of 215
Quote:
Originally Posted by KlarkKentThe3rd View Post
 

I don't know about your experience, but I believe if you tried something, then you already have an impression about it; you don't have to own a pair to know how it sounds.

 

I believe you can have an idea of something after experiencing it in person, but to really have a deep understanding about it and its pros & cons you would have to live with it. Ask yourself this question: If you're planning on buying a Ferrari, which person's words would you give more weight to, a person who have test drive it, or a person who actually owns it?

post #21 of 215
Quote:
Originally Posted by vkalia View Post
 
Perhaps you should do a Stoddard-style blog? smily_headphones1.gif

 

have a blog here, but I don't use it a lot.  If I can think out a chapter-by-chapter structure like Jason has with enough material I might consider it.

post #22 of 215
Quote:
Originally Posted by vkalia View Post
 

The problem isnt Head-Fi.   The audiophile community at large is full of bull-droppings.   This was the case nearly 20 years ago when i got into the high end community, and is the case now.

 

The subjective nature of the hobby means that all sorts of idiotic BS get passed as facts, or are grossly exaggerated.  Shakti Stones and green pens, anyone?    Hell, people post whatever the hell they want, doesnt even make any sense (wtf is "warm bass"??) and it gets repeated until it becomes a generally-accepted reality.   Of course, the flip side is that if all the arguments are challenged, then this becomes rec.audio.high-end V2, where every thread degenerates into a flame war about A/B/X testing, so it isnt as if there is a better solution - FWIW, i think the approach Head-Fi takes is reasonably sound.   

 

Personally, I'd like to see a little more discussion/debate b/c right now, disagreeing with a FOTM product leads to the cyber equivalent of a stoning.    But that is primarily up to the individual posters to be a little more mature, a little less emotionally-vested in their products and a little more open to the idea that it is possible to share different views without establishing a right/wrong answer, and without getting into an endless debate on who's right and who's wrong:  state your position, and maybe comment on why you disagree with the other guy's position and move on.   Sadly, humanity is going to need 5000 years of evolution before THAT is going to happen :)

 

@vkalia Awesome!

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by livedavid View Post
 

Hello,

 

While this may be my first post, I assure you I am not new to the world of headphones or this forum.  I started to really get into this hobby around 2000, but had some interest in the late '90's.  At the time Headwize was the authoritative forum.  Then Head-fi appeared and grew.  It was a great place where people formed their own opinions and shared with the community.  I lurked for a few years.  I was getting a lot out of it, but not contributing.  Maybe I was selfish, maybe I thought I had nothing to offer, maybe I thought people were more knowledgeable than myself?  I do not have a good reason for being a member for almost 10 years and making this my first post.

 

I am not trying to go off on a rant, but I think it is important for people coming to this great hobby to understand that there are many great opinions here, but there is equally a lot of misinformation.  How can someone recommend something - a headphone, a DAP, a DAC, an amp or even a cable without even trying it?  How can they dismiss it?  This forum is filled with people with thousands of posts posturing and declaring an opinion that is not even their own as a fact.  The headphone market has grown over the last two decades (thanks mostly to Apple and Beats) which has brought about pseudo-experts.  For the people who have enjoyed this community for years, they have learned who they can trust, but often a very vocal or prolific user does not have the knowledge or experience to make a thoughtful recommendation.  Music is personal, sound reproduction is personal, our ears are all different.  There is too much regurgitated circle jerking information here.

 

I don't know if this post will be deleted, but my whole point is that sometimes it is best not to talk, but to listen.  Please don't make a headphone recommendation to someone if you have not owned the headphone in question.  Listening to something in a store or at a meet does not qualify you as experienced with that item.  I have owned or own most TOTL headphones HD800, LCD-2, TH900, T1, ED8 and many others, yet I have not felt the need to pass my opinion off as fact.  Please be considerate of others and don't just copypasta other people's thoughts or give praise to your latest purchase when you have nothing to compare it to.

 

This rant is over.  I will continue to lurk, but I want to thank all of the experts on here for the great advice and recommendations over the years and let you know how difficult it is to sort through all of the BS to find you...

 

Join Date:

10/20/04
First Post Date:

6/10/14

 

@livedavid I was (and continue to be) a victim of such misinformation. While not limited to headphones, I'd "wasted" most money on them than any other product. I had to spend beyond my means as a student just to verify one hype after another. However, I disagree with your claim that people should not be allowed to parrot second-hand experiences. There is such a thing as citing references. Buying and trying out the headphones yourself before you can speak of them is akin to repeating the research yourself before you can cite it. As long as the reference is credible, there should be no problem. And as long as the second-hand claim is cited and not plagiarized/passed of as one's own, then that should be fine. Of course this is not often the case, even in academia.

 

As for reasoning that people should not parrot opinions because "music is personal, sound reproduction is personal, our ears are all different," this is problematic in that it implies an inherent impossibility in communication (a still hotly-debated topic in philosophy). It begs the question, "Why else would you communicate your opinion if it's going to be fundamentally different to the other?" I agree with the subjectivity, but, in a limited context we can derive an "objective measurement/scale" especially when we are dealing with hundreds of reviews of the same product--a bit like using the weak/strong law of large numbers. Nobel laureate Daniel Kahneman specialized in objective measurements of subjectivity later in his career.

 

Finally, I disagree with your assumption that ownership precludes authority, that store/meet auditions do not count. As I stated earlier how this is not feasible, it is also mistaken. @Hawaiibadboy for example changed the climate of Head-Fi at least in the areas where bassheads are concerned. He walks around Japan carrying his own equipment and comparatively tests Summit-Fi headphones in Denki mega-shops with the same settings, and the headphones available in one Denki shop is usually more than one can audition at a meet.

 

The classic approach to objective measurement of auditory experience is using a KEMAR dummy head, which costs $8,000. This A/B/X testing methodology by SonicSenseProAudio is a game-changer in headphone reviews: they measure the FRs of headphone subjects, apply the FR to a test track/song, and play the song on YouTube so you can HEAR how the FR affects the original signal. Also, Headroom has been the number one source for FR graphs. FR graphs, while not accurate (some headphone FRs change drastically with volume, head placement, earpads, and so on), are currently the best representation we have of the auditory experience. However, for EQ and digital signal processing enthusiasts like myself, stock FR means little--if only to approximate the amount of EQ needed to achieve a particular FR curve.

 

To avoid making a "weighting mistake" (in decision-making) by straying from my initial criterion, I resorted to prioritizing a measurable aspect of headphones that I crave (and shunned by audiophile elitists), which is maximum low frequency SPL before distortion. This is no different from car audio SPL competitions. Low frequencies should be as important as any other band in high fidelity sound reproduction--but it astounds me how very few "hi-fi" rated headphones do not distort the low frequencies at normal rock concert loudness (here I am citing HBB). If you want a straightforward need for tons of quality bass and appreciate a straightforward objective methodology, then come say hi at the Extreme Bass Club. It's a new club spawned out of this "meaningless communication between incompatible languages" that you were referring to in your post. You are free to challenge the reigning bass king: the JVC HA-SZ2000. We've been working so hard in finding a new challenger.

post #23 of 215
Quote:
Originally Posted by KlarkKentThe3rd View Post

I don't know about your experience, but I believe if you tried something, then you already have an impression about it; you don't have to own a pair to know how it sounds.

Even this isn't very true. One example from my experience is the HE-500. Back in around 2011 I got to be part of the tour group that reviewed them. Since I was still relatively new and inexperienced, they were one of the best audio experiences I've ever had, and I wrote a review mostly praising them. Fast forward to now, when I've been able to justify buying a pair of my own, the magic is kind of gone now that I've had more than a week to analyze their faults and successes. Sure, you can get a general idea of a sound signature through a brief listening period, but it takes a while to really understand a piece of gear and actually be able to give a valid opinion of them. Another example was the M100. I liked it enough during a demo to buy them, but after further testing, they were really, really underwhelming to me because of both comfort and, after comparing them to my other headphones, their slightly muffled sound.

A big part of the problem with hype is that more often than not, the people praising a headphone to the moon are the people who really haven't heard better, which leads to misinformation regarding absolute quality of sound. The M50 is a pretty good example of this. It's "expensive" by normal people's standards, and there are countless positive reviews and recommendations of them, hailing them to be giant killers, when actually, they're about average.
post #24 of 215
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ishcabible View Post

Even this isn't very true. One example from my experience is the HE-500. Back in around 2011 I got to be part of the tour group that reviewed them. Since I was still relatively new and inexperienced, they were one of the best audio experiences I've ever had, and I wrote a review mostly praising them. Fast forward to now, when I've been able to justify buying a pair of my own, the magic is kind of gone now that I've had more than a week to analyze their faults and successes.

 

 

I found with mine that the magic wasn't there to begin with. I tried very hard to like them, but they sounded dull and unfocused and somehow resonant, like listening in a cave. Later I bought a second pair (used of course) thinking that I must have missed something, since they were being praised to the skies. Nope, still the same. Just not my cup of tea, I guess. Probably alright with vocals etc, but pretty average with classical.

post #25 of 215

I agree.  I always try and comment on the basis for my opinion, either I own it, owned at one time and sold, or demo'd at a meet only.  The last of which I also elaborate that its nothing more than a very shallow first impression... at most.

 

Devils advocate....

One time I borrowed another members DT880-600 for a day or two, and its ~10k treble boost aggravated and caused my tinnitus to re-appear.  So I have posted many times that the DT880-600 treble boost is too much for me.  Is one or two days of discomfort too short of a time span?  How much Tinnitus do I have to endure to formulate an "accurate" opinion?


Edited by kramer5150 - 6/11/14 at 5:18pm
post #26 of 215
Quote:
Originally Posted by KlarkKentThe3rd View Post
 

I don't know about your experience, but I believe if you tried something, then you already have an impression about it; you don't have to own a pair to know how it sounds.

 

 

The problem I have is with the posters (probably kids or bitter old men) who become experts on a particular model after only having a quick listen. 

 

I also don't get the mindset of those individuals who make it their mission in life to steer people away from a headphone they didn't like.   When I don't care for a model, I might create a couple of posts in that headphone's thread and I'll probably never post there again.  

post #27 of 215
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gilles De Rais View Post
 

I personally follow the position of Ivor Tiefenbrun (founder of Linn): If you haven't (effing) heard it, you don't have an (effing) opinion. Wise words....

 

regards,

 

Giles

Opinions on the Denon AH-D600 comes to mind. After spending some time on Headfi lately I have come to the conclusion that with any piece of kit you really have to listen to it yourself. That goes for gear that is owned and recommended by other headfiers as well. Still, having said that,  there is a wealth of knowledge on these forums that has assisted me greatly and is the only place I go for advice on all matters audio.

 

Edit: As I was typing this my AH-D600's turned up from HK. Now to find out for myself. :L3000:


Edited by oldmate - 6/11/14 at 6:26pm
post #28 of 215

Every forum is going to have noise, trolls, bad information, newbs asking repeat questions, etc. etc. etc. The larger a forum is, the harder it will be to police. As with everything, people need to consider the source, and take initiative to do their own research. If someone is dumb enough to buy or not buy a product because of ONE subjective recommendation, then they deserve whatever they get. The internet (and this site) is an amazing resource, but YOU have to put the work in to get the most out of it. Not only that, but this is a COMMUNITY, with the ability for interaction and self-policing, whether that be questioning someone publicly about their experience w/ something, calling them out on something that you know to be objectively wrong or to the contrary, giving a good post reputation or other positive feedback, OR reporting something to a mod for editing or correction. Not to call out the OP specifically - you're certainly allowed to be a lurker if you want - but you seem like a senior member with a good amount of experience in this field / hobby, and if people like you participated in the community more it would be a better place overall. Your insights and experiences would be greatly valued, and your desire for less bad info / parroting, and more first-hand experience recommendations would help weed out some of the BS. 

 

Nothing against the OP personally, I guess I'm just not a fan of posts like this. I think the responsibility is on EVERYONE, all of us to do what we can to make the community (and therefore the information & recommendations) better. Instead of looking outwards at all the people who might be doing something you disagree with, I suggest looking INWARDS to see what you can do to help change it. Maybe for you the answer to that was making a thread like this or bringing attention to the problem, but I think you could probably do more, if you wanted to. Everyone here has the ability and power to do something about this directly, if it is a real concern for them.

post #29 of 215
Quote:
Originally Posted by Currawong View Post
 

vkalia: It is human nature. People want to understand complex topics in a simple way. Unfortunately, audio is complex, let alone something like digital audio. Sometimes the more you know, the more confusion you end up passing along. It is like a person standing on one side of a building and thinking they understand the whole building from that one perspective, with people shouting at them from different sides.

 

There's much I could write -- enough to fill a book. Maybe I'll write a book one day about the whole thing. A quote that comes to mind, that may have been from Churchill says in effect: The price of freedom is a lot of rubbish. :smile:


You've been reading Heinlein again haven't you.

 

I think it should be obligatory for new members to view this thread when they sign up.

 

I own more than a few phones I wouldn't bother to post an opinion or review on here, simply because of the flak corridor I'd have to navigate through. There is a defensive attitude in parts here that looks upon some recommendations as some kind of threat to a favourite product they may or may not own.

post #30 of 215
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hutnicks View Post

 

 

I think it should be obligatory for new members to view this thread when they sign up.

 

Isn't it already obligatory to read the posting guidelines?

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