Common Sense Prevails

My son (35) has no interest in audio beyond a pair of earbuds and his laptop.

I have always been heavily into music.
I played electric guitar for 30 years. Then one day just stopped and rarely pick it up now. I tend to listen to music from my PC though a USB DAC into a Fane 50 watt W bin now.
I think in my 50 years of being into music i have bought one record player and one hi fi unit. The rest I have made myself.
One thing I learned > 25 years ago, expressed as a "commandment"; Thou shalt not challenge another audiophile on what they claim to be able to hear. With its implicate if I can hear it, you should be able to also.

Because there's some truth to that, a good salesman can leverage this to sell all kinds of accessories - and system components. Imagine the latitude one has with this - just in the subtopic of DACs, you can have some people hearing their best sound only from the very first audio DACs ever made, to others swearing they can hear better fidelity using a 192kHz sample rate.

What can you say to either side? They actually hear what they believe they can hear. So if the sales person can convince you that "you'll soon be able to hear what I routinely can hear" - after you get these cryogenic cables home and get a few hours in with them.

Because there's some truth to that; you can learn to hear previously unheard sonic qualities by hanging out with people having more audio experience than you and listening to their systems. ALL the purveyors of these audio shows are hoping that's what's going to happen when you visit their room /setup. Look at these crazy cables - these guys must have a lot more experience than me. So when I'm told of the stunning difference they make, I'll see if I can hear it too.

Some will go as far as "if I think I can hear it too, I'm willing to pay for it". Certainly some of this hobby is legitimate, but some is that snakey stuff -
Sometimes you just gotta step back and rethink...


I think that qualifies as stepping back 1 centimeter and rethinking.

This forum is full of old farts who can't face that their beloved hobby has died off and become irrelevant, and so still imagine this "industry" out there that works the way they remember it years ago from their youth.

If anything I bet fancy cables actually help the "industry" out because the few people still buying systems buy them as well so they can brag about their home theatre system to their friends.
I bought a pair of 3 metre speaker cables off Amazon for £30, terminated with banana plugs both ends.
Sounds just as awesome as the £1500 ones some guy was pushing at the last show I did.

I generally buy 16-2 lampcord from the local hardware store for about $20.00 per hundred foot spool. It works just fine.


And for the others it's not just about wires, although Gene does have something of stick up his butt about that, it's about all the do-nothing stuff audiophiles engage in, stuff like little wooden disks on stands, cable lifters, crystals, grounding boxes, power conditioners, power regenerators... and, yes, even swapping capacitors and opamps around in the faint hope of something better.

Does it not occur to you that your system, no matter how much time and money you put into it, is never going to be any better than your source recordings?

Think where that soundstage people make so much if is coming from...
How about that full bass or the extreme highs?
What about the detail and dynamics?
These are all factors of a source recording that has literally nothing to do with your system... If it's not on the source, your system will never reproduce it for you.

Just look were sources have been going for the last few years... music is now compressed, quantized, autotuned and reverbed into unintelligibility. Some recent recordings have come out with 0 --yes Zero-- dynamic range and it's only going to get worse until we stop wasting our money on cables and crap while trying to fix a bad recording.

Check THIS out... There's your real problem.
If anything I bet fancy cables actually help the "industry" out because the few people still buying systems buy them as well so they can brag about their home theatre system to their friends.

Y'know what ... I could not care less about the "industry" and especially not about some company's profit margins. I owe them nothing. In all truth, I figure that a company that has to be dishonest to survive, does not deserve to survive.

What I do care about is decent quality products at reasonable prices. But there is no reasonable price for something that literally does nothing.
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Of course I'm not posting anything new. It's an old topic and one that needs to be discussed. It might go on forever, but it still needs to be discussed.

Doesn't the matter that your friends in this hobby are being ripped off and lied to bother you at all?

Think what that says about the staus quo both in the audio industry and the audio hobbies...

Here, let me give you just one example...
I have a friend who has invested a LOT of money into a truly top end system, something close to $20,000. One day he calls me up and says he's having a problem with sound quality. When I got there, his system was humming steadily at 120hz and there were occasional noise bursts breaking into his power amplifiers (and that was LOUD). This kind of stuff usually comes from bad patch cords and poor grounding. So I started investigating, using one of my standard patch cords to sub for the cords he was using. One by one I isolated the sources of the problem ... in this case RCA cables that had shield connections only at one end and were marked as directional... By the time I got his system sorted, we had a pile of very expensive RCA cords laying on the floor and his system was all connected with standard cords of the $10.00 variety and good old 16-2 lampcord for his speakers and it was, once again sounding really nice.

We added up the prices for all the exotic cords I'd replaced... $7,000... and he literally sat there and cried as the realization of how badly he'd been ripped off finally sunk in.

Somehow this is NOT what we should expect when getting into a hobby that has such huge potential for pleasure and fun.
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"commandment"; Thou shalt not challenge another audiophile on what they claim to be able to hear.

Why not?

I've heard some of the most ludicrous claims imaginable... everything from hearing .1% distortion to .3db loudness to microsecond jitter and megahertz frequencies, all of which are so far beyond the capabilities of the human ear as to be utterly laughable.

The same with listening tests for connectors, interconnects, speaker wire, power cords, even various antennae... all with the claim of a sonic difference that is physically impossible for the component in question.

Then there's the grand USB and HDMI cable thing in which claims of better sound and pictures are made of *digital* cables... changes that are actually guarded against in the equipment's design.

The same can be said for swapping out things like capacitors, opamps, output transistors, etc. Rarely does this make any real change to the sound of the equipment.

So yeah, ask the questions... get out the test gear and verify the claim... I think you'll be surprised how often the grandiose claims are all in the listener's imagination.
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They ALL buzzed? :confused:

The worst problem was between the Pre-Amp and a pair of monoblocks, both were buzzing... but the cables were all the same overpriced AudioQuest garbage, so once we understood it, we decided to swap them all out rather than have the same problem again somewhere else in his system.
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