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Audiophiles lack of respect.


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from the article ""The masses listen to music while they work, drive and do household chores. Their end goal is entertainment, so it’s not important how they listen or why they listen."" the masses are so much on the GO these days they can careless. Armed with their ipod's devices with the volume turned UP they feel the are getting the best sound they have ever heard plus most don't know difference between good sound and ho-hum sound, and most don't really care. No harm no foul.

 

And PS: I think the author of the article misses the point all together.

 

An audiophile is a person with a strong interest in high-quality sound (usually music) reproduction

 

Which means it can be of any high-quality sound production, be it vinyl, CD, computer audio or any other form of reproduction best suited for the person listening.

 

The Truth Is Out There

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"Do they actually think they know more than these professionals who have invested a lifetime of training into their respective fields? Do they think musicians say to themselves, “let’s make a sucky recording?” "

 

1) should read, "a lifetime of training into maximizing their profits".

2) sucky recordings by cutting corners to save money

 

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...for what it gets wrong as well as what it gets right.

 

In all aspects of life I find the greatest admiration for the intelligence and abilities of the person who does not speak too quickly or too much, who listens and encourages, rather than browbeating with superior "knowledge." This works both ways - as the author of the article says, with audiophiles who just "know" they have a better understanding of how something should sound than a professional; but also with the professional who has worked in the industry forever, "knows" the way things should be done, and who are these amateurs saying it doesn't sound good?

 

The best example I can think of is not regarding audio at all, but when my wife and I were planning our home. The new homes in our area differed from the older ones in a way I disliked: the new ones generally had their garages way out front of the rest of the house. I strongly preferred an older, more classic look, with the garage set back. It felt friendlier to me to in effect say "Welcome to our home" than "Welcome to our garage."

 

We saw a house we generally liked, though it had the garage out front, and went to talk to the builder. When I asked about setting the garage back, he said it could not be done with the locations we wanted for our first floor laundry room and bathroom. When I started asking further - whether this or that couldn't be moved or adjusted - he cut me off, saying "Listen: I've been building houses for 30 years, and you can't do it the way you want it." We thanked him and left, my wife somewhat distressed that we wouldn't be able to have the home we wanted, me stubborn enough to tell her the "professional" did not necessarily know all.

 

I am lucky enough to have a good friend who is an architect. He is one of those quiet ones who listens a lot, talks little (though when he does say something it is well worth listening to), and is very, very smart. I hadn't asked him about our house because I knew he would insist on doing a lot of work and taking no money, and I didn't want to presume. But I didn't know where else to turn, so I called him specifically about the placement of the garage, laundry room and bathroom. Of course he went ahead and designed the whole house, with laundry room, bathroom, and a few other things we hadn't thought of besides, and yes, the garage was set back just as we wanted.

 

I think parallels can be drawn to the world of audio. Of course, who is assigned the more positive or negative roles depends on your point of view. :-)

 

One never knows, do one? - Fats Waller

The fairest thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and true science. - Einstein

Computer, Audirvana -> wi-fi to router -> EtherREGEN -> microRendu -> USPCB -> ISO Regen (powered by LPS-1) -> USPCB -> Pro-Ject Pre Box S2 DAC -> Spectral DMC-12 & DMA-150 -> Vandersteen 3A Signature.

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A lot that is said in that article is true, but... if that is true why are so many horrible sounding works being created and sold today? The vast majority of the work being put out today is rather obviously not targeted for the audiophile market. And not classical guitar.

 

Considering that fact, it reveals this issue to be far more involved than this article chooses to address. Are there cases where arrogant audiophiles are unfairly jabbing at the people (engineers, musicians, etc.) this article puts up on a pedestal? Sure.

 

But there are at least as many cases where it is not true at all. Indeed, there is a very strong argument that audiophiles are nothing less than the modern day Patrons of the Art.

 

In effect, audiophiles spend more money on traditional musical arts than any other group. Does that mean the latest hip hop release? Probably not.

 

But who is going to buy the guitar recording referenced in the article? It is extremely unlikely that it will be the same person who bought the latest hip hop recording. Unless of course, that person was an audiophile.

 

It is far more likely to be the audiophile who buys that classical guitar recording. The same audiophile who is going to be thrilled to hear it, and complain loudly if the recording is substandard.

 

Like it or not, all forms of art have always depending upon satisfying the patron who supports it. It is nothing other than self deception to think otherwise - it is not ever "all about the music" for the artists and engineers. An awful lot of it is about getting paid for their work. They have to eat too.

 

And in effect, the patron that classical artists need to satisfy is the audiophile community.

 

Looks to me like a very great deal of the arrogance referenced in this article is held by the author. And like always, it will backfire on the artists and engineers who practice it.

 

-Paul

 

 

Anyone who considers protocol unimportant has never dealt with a cat DAC.

Robert A. Heinlein

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How would audiophiles respond if a mixing engineer sat them in front of a mixing console and asked them to adjust the equalization of a guitar on a specific track so it cuts through the mix better?

 

I would respond by NOT adjusting equalization, but having a conductor arrange, instruct, and conduct the musicians to achieve a proper 'mix'.

 

The engineer may be a 'professional', but is not a conductor, so his/her practices there are open to criticism, IMHO.

 

 

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... audiophiles have about current music production would be the excessive use of compression. Yet the author doesn't address this issue at all.

 

Oh, I'm sorry. He's got a whole article devoted to the subject here.

 

Perhaps we aren't as crazy as he thinks.

 

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The piece said "The barbs towards musicians and recording engineers are much more pointed. Here’s a response to a Facebook post that talked about the quality of a particular recording: “You couldn't be more right ... Many of today's engineers are technogeeks who wouldn't know a trumpet from a clarinet (visually or auditorially).”

 

It was in the context of such a comment being off putting or out of place. I have to disagree. Audiophile 'stuff', both gear and software (files, records, CD's etc) is expensive, often very expensive. Our hobby suffers from an industry that often could care less about quality (MP3'sor software that simply is a nightmare to use, or gear that crams $500 worth of gear into a $5K price)...If a $50 record is recorded poorly, if a CD is compressed so as to suit the loudness wars, if the Hi-Rez download is actually simply upsampled dross, the industry is offended if we notice.

 

I work on the assumption that quality matters and the best should sound like, ...well, 'the best'!

 

The industry often treats its customers like political parties do their base...they are necessary but who in their right mind would associate with them, much less pay any attention to what they want or expect...why WE (the elites/industry) know best and the base gets what we produce or endorse the ungrateful wretches...

 

I have found you an argument; I am not obliged to find you any understanding – Samuel Johnson

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Our 'educators' make a similar argument to justify ever increasing pay and benefits. The problem is, it forgets the issue is not the desired job security and comfort of the educator but instead the education of Junior...If Junior gets a crap education, all the teachers perks in the world do not matter. If the audio engineer produces crap, if the box is way overpriced, if the effect of the thing is described in the terms of magic, the folk creating it are not deserving of praise but of scrutiny. Their expertise and years of training cover a naked emperor...

 

I have found you an argument; I am not obliged to find you any understanding – Samuel Johnson

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"If the audio engineer produces crap, if the box is way overpriced, if the effect of the thing is described in the terms of magic, the folk creating it are not deserving of praise but of scrutiny."

 

Unfortunately even the most skilled engineers won't save you from the sales and marketing departments...

 

(hint: it is not the engineer describing the product in the terms of magic. It is also not the engineer determining the pricing.)

 

I won't go into the education debate - I am married to a teacher, and I can't believe the workload, even compared to the very competitive industries I have been working in...

 

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The point is, 'qualifications' simply do not trump results...I believe it is the same in audio...don't dazzle me with experience or qualifications, dazzle me with the result.

 

I have found you an argument; I am not obliged to find you any understanding – Samuel Johnson

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t is not the engineer describing the product in the terms of magic. It is also not the engineer determining the pricing.

 

Well, occasionally engineers can be less than utterly transparent in describing what a product does, or can be company principals responsible for setting product pricing.

 

I worked in a large engineering and chemicals company, and strangely enough it was I who often counseled the engineers to stick to the facts when they wondered how best to put things in various internal and external communications.

 

One never knows, do one? - Fats Waller

The fairest thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and true science. - Einstein

Computer, Audirvana -> wi-fi to router -> EtherREGEN -> microRendu -> USPCB -> ISO Regen (powered by LPS-1) -> USPCB -> Pro-Ject Pre Box S2 DAC -> Spectral DMC-12 & DMA-150 -> Vandersteen 3A Signature.

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O.K. To the 'Harper' character that is the author of the article - I apologise. From now on I resolve to conform and only eat z-grade meat coated in dog sh!t sauce. No sorry, I resolve to live by eating only my own crap. I resolve to love and worship mediocrity and actively destroy my own intelligence so that mediocrity comes to me naturally in every aspect of my life. I resolve to apply that same mediocrity in my workplace so that I can no longer afford anything of value. I resolve to no longer appreciate things of beauty and quality. I resolve to actively promote the cause of Marxist socialism and the z-grade meat that it affords all of us. Finally, I therefore resolve to stop living altogether and bury myself in a grave of dog sh!t. Go F|_|ck yourself Harper, you are a piece of worthless sh!t.

 

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A large segment of the population see "audiophiles" as a fringe element that take things to the extreme with little results to show for the perceived fanaticism. When you see some of the prices being charged for speakers and amplifiers these days it becomes a much more difficult argument in favor of high performance audio. Let's face it, this ridicule of "audiophiles" has not occurred in a vacuum.

 

David

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**"...How would audiophiles respond if a mixing engineer sat them in front of a mixing console and asked them to adjust the equalization of a guitar on a specific track so it cuts through the mix better?..."**

 

As an audiophile who has done a bit of recording myself for close to four decades, my response would be:

"What was done wrong in the recording of that guitar that makes you believe equalization will fix it and what is wrong with the mix that the guitar part is obscured?"

 

Answering these will lead to a better recording, not automatically turning a knob. And based on what I've seen in all too many studios (and heard in all too many recordings) over the years, it is automatically. It occurs in recording. It occurs in mixing. And it occurs in mastering. Too many folks believe the job is to twiddle knobs. I remember one particular mastering session where I said the mix of a certain track sounded just fine to me and I suggested leaving it "flat" (un-EQd) for the final master. The client turned to me and asked "So you're not going to master that one?"

I had to explain that the decision to not turn a knob is as valid a mastering decision as to turn a certain knob by so many clicks. (Whether they "got it", I don't know.)

 

The "article" strikes me as a hit piece by someone with an axe to grind.

If more engineers and producers truly had audiophile sensibilities most records wouldn't be the sonic abominations they are. Not to suggest in the remotest way these folks aren't doing their best. It is just that all too many are not asking the questions they should have been taught to ask as they learned their craft - which unfortunately, when it is not simply imitation of what they've seen or heard others do (either directly or via magazines and Web sites), is due to having been "taught" by folks to whom the questions never occurred either.

 

Most "audio engineering schools" are turning out knob twiddlers instead of folks who ask the questions. "Why this microphone?" "Why place it here?", "What did I do wrong in a previous step that I believe will be remedied by turning this knob?", "Wouldn't I be much better off re-doing the previous step?" etc. etc. In the absence of the questions, we have "engineers" (and "producers") without answers.

 

And we have "articles" like the one in the OP's link.

 

As always, just my perspective.

 

Best regards,

Barry

www.soundkeeperrecordings.com

www.barrydiamentaudio.com

 

 

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Nothing wrong with that. Most people with a minority interest (which seems to be anything other than football, shopping, and TV soaps) are considered 'fringe'.

 

I build radio controlled model airplanes and usually fly them on a public site on which we have a reserved area. So I do it in public! We are thought completely crazy when the 'public' who sometimes watch are told that a totally uninsurable, able to be destroyed within the next two seconds, toy airplane can cost as much as their Mercedes (though mine certainly don't) and took two years to build. We don't care. If we worried about crashes we would do something exciting like collect stamps instead.

 

So we 'Audiophiles' have an image problem :)

 

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A couple of mine are 'IMAA legal', they have to be a certain minimum size.

 

A lot of the landings are pretty poor.If I landed like that I would be too ashamed to show my face for a week or two. Some of these guys spend too much time building and not enough time flying.

 

Regards

 

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