Originally Posted by z4rdstr
Alas, looking around this forum, I get the strong impression that audiophiles are reviled, not welcome. I see a near 100% wire-is-wire attitude. But the thing that really amazed me was the almost religious reverence for the almighty blind listening tests. Apparently, this is a snapshot of the populace at-large.
We're all audiophiles. We all love music and good sound reproduction. No one is reviled. I happen to be a former high end audiophile myself who spent enough money on high end gear to put a kid through college as mentioned above.
I learned the truth about perceptual hearing by conducting bias controlled listening tests with a group of people from a local audiophile society. They learned the truth as well and all of us abandoned high end audiphilia as a result of those tests. As far as I know they all continue to enjoy recorded music just like I do.
I can't speak for others but I do think it is folly to get involved with much of high end audiophilia knowing what I know now. Not because it isn't fun or because the music reproduction isn't good. It is because our ears lie to us and nurturing those lies and reveling in them is an expensive but pointless process that people should avoid if they have the information I and others can provide.
Personally, my goal isn't to save high end audiophiles from the ravages of the hobby. That's a personal choice. My goal is to help newcomers to the hobby understand the truth. If, after learning the truth, the newcomer wants to biwire his speakers then that's fine with me. I'm just trying to avoid having the newcomer do it without knowing the truth.
If I were going to advise a new audiophile on a process for getting the ultimate sound reproduction, I would tell him to build a room with the right dimensions for good acoustics, put whatever is necessary in the room to ensure good acoustics, put the best performing speakers he can find in that room and not worry much about the rest of it. However, it is the rest of it that the high end audiophiles tend to obsess about. Why? Because that is the part where audible differences are either subtle or non existent so their brains substitute bias for those audible differences. They become consumed with angst about things like DAC's and wires and how one amplifier with inaudible distortion sounds better than another one with inaudible distortion or, worse, that one with audible distortion sounds better than one without audible distortion.
We've tested all these things and found a few meaningless audible differences and found a lot of situations like biwiring where there isn't an audible difference at all. Audible differences in speakers and rooms, however, are very real and represent the key to good sonics. We've understood the reasons that people hear things that are not part of the equipment itself and explained it to people. Some pay attention, many do not. But we need to continue to try to help people learn the truth. They can make their choices after knowing the truth - whatever those choices are. I like 100 lb. class A amplifiers as much as the next guy and I've owned a few but I know it makes more sense to put the money in my retirement account than to buy one.
So, as long as the forum will allow me to do so, I will challenge people who offer things that we have proven to be untrue. I think we owe it to the newcomers to the hobby. That's it from my point of view. I revile nobody.