Is Audiophile level sound an acquired taste?
Aug 22, 2007 at 10:12 PM Post #136 of 244

Bizzel

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Quote:

Originally Posted by NoPants /img/forum/go_quote.gif
just wanted to chime in...my roommate preferred the hd280 to the k501 because "I know what I like and that's bass." I wanted to punch him when I heard that haha


That sounds like a fair enough preference to me. I know I prefer musicality and involvement over detail any day of the week and if bass is part of that for your roommate, that's okay.
 
Aug 23, 2007 at 12:37 AM Post #137 of 244

TempestX

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One thing we all need to consider when letting others listen to what we all love or know is better sounding equipment to "Our Ears", is that others listen to music for fun. We all as an audiophile or enthusiast strive for the best sound, closest sound to the way the artist/engineer intended the music to sound, or how close the sound matches a live performance to our ears.

This is a problem of and within itself. Unless we all have the same headphones, amps, speakers, or equipment the artist/engineer used to master the CD/Album etc., we will never know what sound exactly they were trying to achieve. To further elaborate on this particular subject; everything we listen to is colored by the artist/engineer mastering the CD, and the headphone manufacture etc. Their ears are not our ears. We all perceive our favorite amp/headphone as being the most accurate. But is it?

If accuracy is the key then we would never achieve it in this hobby. We would however achieve what sounds best to our ears. To achieve accuracy, all amps, headphones, and equipment would sound the same, or near the same. How boring would that be. Just some things I am pointing out when we bash our non-understanding friends who can't hear the difference.

I love this wonderful hobby also, but there is a point of no return, or in this case the phrase "Sorry about your wallet" becomes a real factor for a lot of folk. This is where Head-fi Members are great at helping others with wallets not so deep. Everyone asks: What is your music preference, what is your budget, and can you spend a little more??? Helping others get the best sound they can afford.

This is why I love this place! Now carry on with the acquired taste discussion.
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Happy listening!
 
Aug 23, 2007 at 2:35 AM Post #138 of 244

catscratch

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Hearing acuity is a bell curve; on one end you have people that can't tell the difference between an electrostat and ipod earbuds (one of my friends is like this, or claims to be), on the other hand you have people that can easily hear the difference between 320k mp3 and lossless and constantly whine about bad transients in all the gear they listen to (my recording engineer friend is like this). The bulk of the population falls somewhere in between, and can usually hear the difference between gear but to varying degrees.

So, I don't think that audiophile-quality sound is an aquired taste; it really is objectively better. It measures better, it is closer to life, it retreives more sonic information. However, the value that we place on quality sound is very, very different. While most of my friends can easily hear the difference between the A250 and the SR-404, which have a similar sound signature, they cannot for the life of them envision spending the extra $300-400 premium for the SR-404 over the A250 - though they can plainly hear that it's better.

Likewise, I cannot understand the point of spending more on computer hardware than the minimum you need to run something at max settings. I don't get the point of designer clothes, though I do admit that a lot of it looks good, and while I appreciate fine wine, I'm perfectly happy drinking my $8 Khvanchkara (which is actually astonishingly good for the price... the T-amp of fine wine if you will).

Different priorities...
 
Aug 23, 2007 at 4:55 AM Post #139 of 244

RokabillySwagger

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I remember when I got my iPod and I was blown away by the iBuds... Ahh the memories. A buddy of mine pointed me here and I now use JVC Marshmallows with Westone UM-1's arriving tommorow... Now i need something for home use. The bug has bitten me like so many of us. Head-Fi is an amazing mix of cheap thrills (KSC75's), ingenuity(Kramer mods), and utter insanity (R10's, TakeT's) but everyone appreciates every level of audio. We are music lovers, sound snobs, and we know how to have a good time.
 
Aug 23, 2007 at 1:29 PM Post #140 of 244

unclejr

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Quote:

Originally Posted by catscratch /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Hearing acuity is a bell curve; on one end you have people that can't tell the difference between an electrostat and ipod earbuds (one of my friends is like this, or claims to be), on the other hand you have people that can easily hear the difference between 320k mp3 and lossless and constantly whine about bad transients in all the gear they listen to (my recording engineer friend is like this). The bulk of the population falls somewhere in between, and can usually hear the difference between gear but to varying degrees.

So, I don't think that audiophile-quality sound is an aquired taste; it really is objectively better. It measures better, it is closer to life, it retreives more sonic information. However, the value that we place on quality sound is very, very different. While most of my friends can easily hear the difference between the A250 and the SR-404, which have a similar sound signature, they cannot for the life of them envision spending the extra $300-400 premium for the SR-404 over the A250 - though they can plainly hear that it's better.

Likewise, I cannot understand the point of spending more on computer hardware than the minimum you need to run something at max settings. I don't get the point of designer clothes, though I do admit that a lot of it looks good, and while I appreciate fine wine, I'm perfectly happy drinking my $8 Khvanchkara (which is actually astonishingly good for the price... the T-amp of fine wine if you will).

Different priorities...



I agree that there must be absolute qualities of audiophile stuff that are better -- something measurable, etc. However, I suspect that most people can learn to hear better. I'm learning all the time how to hear, strangely. For those that play sports -- you learn the rules/how to play in an instant -- it takes a much longer time to develop the finer skills to do it well. An even more extreme example is hearing, as we innately know how to hear, but refining that skill requires practice.
 
Aug 23, 2007 at 2:09 PM Post #141 of 244

Malakei

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Ive only noticed one post about this but i didnt read through all 1000 posts. ive never heard a good recording of stairway to heaven, even though i love the song. always sounds strange when i listen to it, recording wise anyways. Also, when you heard they were expecting sony, bose and koss, you shoulda just blindfolded them, i think they are just as stubborn as some of us are when refusing to hear better sound from a brand we once thought inferior. Denon being a typical bandwagon company in the sound world as far as amateurs go, doesnt suprise me they said that "it sounded best"
As for the aquired taste, personally, i view most of my recordings in cleanliness. The cleaner the sound the superior the sound IMO, doesnt mean the recording is better because it picked up less white noise in fact alot may say the opposite as there are "things you are missing" personally i like hearing detail but only in the instruments and the song, not someone bumping into a chair or wind blowing from the diffusers in the room. Only time i want to hear that is in a live recording, which also is VERY good reference material to test with. A good live recording can make it EASY to determine when fine detail is missing since there is so much more going on its easier to tell when something is missing, crickets or whatever may have you.
Id say, bring the same guys back, blindfold them, play them stairway, the best live recording you can find, and then the cleanest recording you can find, will probably not be rock but regardles its a point of reference for them to hear.
Im willing to bet everyone of them will change there minds.
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you should throw a pair of koss sony and bose in there to make them regret their descisions hehe
 
Aug 23, 2007 at 2:42 PM Post #143 of 244

WindowsX

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Absolutely acquired taste.
 
Aug 23, 2007 at 11:37 PM Post #145 of 244

lopsang

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here's my 2 cents... ive been lurking/posting here for quite some time.

My collection is a very modest one, consisting of an ancient cd player from the early 90s (its an aiwa, surprisingly it has an optical out, i forget the model #), a crappy computer with an onboard sound card, a rio karma, rio carbon, and a bunch of minidisc players.

My headphones arent much better, mostly bundled earbuds, 2 Eggos (mdr-33, and 66), and assorted koss headphones (ksc75, sporta pro).

ever since i got the koss headphones, i basically gave up on headphone shopping. I know there's better stuff out there, but i realized that my source sucks in comparison to others. I can't afford to go deeper in debt for sonic excellence right now, so i chose to get the best "bang for the buck" headphone and run far away from here like a bank robber.

Does the law of diminishing returns apply in this hobby? does $500+ translate to a $500+ musical experience? Im not sure if it does for me, and in some way Im very glad of my "ignorance", or lead ears, or whatever its called.

Not putting anyone down, i applaud all those in search of sonic excellence. Good luck to the rest of you guys, in the meantime, I'll continue to enjoy my el-cheapo-headphones, and smile like i robbed the bank.
 
Aug 24, 2007 at 12:56 AM Post #147 of 244

judas391

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i can't tell differences in detail that well, but i can definitely tell the difference between BIG sound and just loud sound in a speaker rig
 
Aug 24, 2007 at 1:43 AM Post #149 of 244

unclejr

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You know what the best/worst (depending on perspective) thing you can do for your non-audiophile friends? Talk them through what to listen for on a particular recording. A particularly salient feature/detail. Something nearly ubiquitous. High hat decay. Twang in a bass pizzicato. Ask them to listen for it, and they'll start to hear it. And then, when they hear other songs/other gear, they'll try and listen for it ... to varying degrees of success, usually. But now their ears have learned one feature that is now unlocked for them.
 
Aug 27, 2007 at 6:54 AM Post #150 of 244

PenDragon

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Quote:

Originally Posted by unclejr /img/forum/go_quote.gif
I agree that there must be absolute qualities of audiophile stuff that are better -- something measurable, etc. However, I suspect that most people can learn to hear better. I'm learning all the time how to hear, strangely. For those that play sports -- you learn the rules/how to play in an instant -- it takes a much longer time to develop the finer skills to do it well. An even more extreme example is hearing, as we innately know how to hear, but refining that skill requires practice.


Very well put, couldn't agree more
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