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Crazy Audiophiles?


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The Wall Street Journal has an interesting article, posted today, about audiophiles and equipment.

 

If You're Not Insane

About Sound, Maybe

You Can Just Go Crazy

January 16, 2008; Page B1

 

If you had to choose between two sets of speaker cables, one costing a

few dollars and sounding fine, the other a few thousand dollars but

perhaps sounding slightly better, and you chose the second pair, then

you would have had a great time last week in Las Vegas.

 

The city's many goings-on included The Home Entertainment Show, an

audiophile trade show held in two small motels off the Strip.

Audiophiles, as you probably know, are the hi-fi zealots who think

nothing of spending $50,000 on a turntable. I've learned over the

years that audiophiles actually come in two varieties: the totally

insane and the merely crazy.

 

The latter have a sense of humor and shrug that theirs is just one of

many hobbies -- like wine -- for people with money, expansive

vocabularies and the ability to discern differences lost on the rest

of us.

 

By contrast, my interests involve the extent to which beliefs

influence perceptions. Scientists have discovered that brain scans of

wine drinkers show they physically enjoy a wine more if they think it

is expensive. Can audiophiles really hear all the differences they say

they can, without being influenced by the brand or price of their

equipment?

 

To find out, Portals became an official exhibitor at T.H.E. Show last

week. I set up a room with two sound systems, identical except for one

component. Everything except the speakers was hidden behind screens.

 

Complete story

 

Founder of Audiophile Style

Announcing The Audiophile Style Podcast

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