Over the years the Audiophile Style forum has been an invaluable resource to many audiophiles and music lovers alike. This is all due to the contributions from members of the community from around the world, who freely give their time to help others and enjoy this wonderful shared interest we call audiophilia. Whether one's interests are mainly music or gear or a split between the two, matters not. Audiophile Style is about increasing one's enjoyment of music, gear, and the community in general. Nobody needs more negativity in their lives or more judgement of their personal pursuits. The world is full of that nonsense. Audiophile Style is a place to leave all that behind, to forget about one's mentally or physically draining day, and to immerse oneself in that which has brought joy to so many for so long.
Recently the scales have tipped a bit too far toward snark, combativeness, imposition, and confrontation. All of this is killing the vibe and the culture of Audiophile Style, pushing it more toward the 4chan of audio rather than a place to learn, share, and have fun. When I don't want to read some threads because I know the usual suspects will be on their high horses, something needs to change. When members of the community can't even have an enjoyable conversation without being rudely interrupted by people with an opposing agenda, something needs to change.
We've had a very limited set of forum rules since our inception in 2007. These rules just keep honest people honest. Others find ways to bend them as far as possible, seeking to impose their own view of how this site should be run and what topics the conversations should include. For the most part, more rules won't change behavior. There are folks on the extreme ends of the audio continuum who just can't live with those who disagree, and that's a problem.
I've always encouraged people to post whatever opinion they hold or facts they have about all audio topics. However, this has to be done either in its own thread or in a thread where the information is desired. Those on the extreme ends just can't live with this either. When given the opportunity to self-police, the extremists can't stop themselves from posting in topics where the vast majority of people have zero interest in what they have to say. It's the equivalent of walking into a classical music party uninvited and putting on a Rage Against The Machine playlist. Sure, it's fabulous music but the time and place are wrong.
The bottom line is this, Audiophile Style is about increasing one's enjoyment of this wonderful hobby. I look forward to the 99% of members of this community working toward this goal and having a good time.
There is a new sub-forum called Objective-Fi. This is the place for objective audio discussions. It will be free from subjectivist appeals to authority, anecdotes, and unscientific experience threads and comments. This will free-up the objective-minded members of this community from going in circles trying to explain why something just can't be, for the 100th time.
This new sub-forum doesn't mean that the rest of the forum is entirely subjective only. Because audio is an inherently subjective pursuit, it makes no sense to create a subjective-Fi sub-forum equivalent to the Objective-Fi sub-forum either. The reality is that life isn't black & white. The other forum areas will continue on as they've been for years. If there is an objective challenge to one's subjective experience, the comment(s) will be moved to the Objective-Fi sub-forum for the discussion to continue unabated.
In essence the rules haven't changed, but now there is a place for discussions to be had where people on both sides of an issue can examine it and discuss it without turning everyone off and ruining peoples' days.
Please remember, the problem isn't what's said, it's the place in which it's said.
Thanks to everyone who has provided feedback in an effort to bring the enjoyment and fun back into our pursuit of HiFi and great music. Audiophile Style wouldn't exist without the wonderful members of this community.