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Trust your ears


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Simon had an unusual upbringing. He was brought up in a small village isolated from the rest of the world. The only people who had access to the outside world were a few elders who had permitted the means to learn languages and the arts and make music with instruments constructed from natural local materials. Technology was a forbidden subject and no technological devices were permitted in the village.

At the age of 21 Simon was given a considerable financial allowance and allowed to leave the village. The very first person he met was a very keen audiophile. Hearing that Simon was very interested in music he invited Simon back to his home to listen to music on his system. Needless the audiophile had a superb system and Simon was stunned and asked where he might get such a system.

He arrived at the Hi Fi retailer recommended by the audiophile and explained to the salesman that he wanted a system as good as the one the audiophile had.

The salesman brought out the components one by one and as they appeared Simon asked what each piece was for. Everything was going well until the salesman brought out the speakers. Simon asked what the speakers were for. The salesman explained that the speakers were where the music came out. Simon got very distressed at hearing this and said that this wasn’t the system he wanted, he didn’t need the speakers. The salesman looked very perplexed and asked why not. Simon said “I did see boxes like these at the audiophiles home but the sound didn’t come from the boxes; it was just there in the air.”


I read a lot of comments on Hi Fi forums saying one should trust ones ears but the whole purpose of the best quality Hi FI is to create an illusion. In theory, the better the Hi FI the more convincing the illusion. The perfect Hi Fi would create the perfect illusion. If you had no knowledge of the source of the music in this perfect set up you would be convinced you were listening to a live performance but it wouldn’t be true would it?



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