Pearls of Wisdom - 1


Active Member
Aug 31, 2006
Friends, allow me to share with you all, some Pearls of Wisdom, some hard and naked truths of this hobby of Audio and HiFI.

On the onset let me clear that I am not the original author of these Pearls of Wisdom. Audio (HiFi) is my hobby and while perusing this hobby I read a lot, listen a lot and talk to lot of like minded people, I am a member of many Audio and HiFi communities and quite active in some of them. When ever I found something interesting , I jotted it down but unfortunately I dont have any references to those original source/s So I take this opportunity to thank here all those numerous known / unknown Audiophile friends for sharing their experiences with us.

These pearls came from various discussion forums such as AA, AK, AC, AG, several blogs, review articles, manufactures web sites and Case studies. I also added something from my own experiences and from some veteran audiophiles I came across during this journey towards Audio Nirvana.

Most of these pearls are from US based audiophiles so that naturally reflect American way of living life, thier spending style and also the currency (USD) mentioned. Some thoughts are quite touchy some are witty some are hilarious and some are dead philosophical.

You will see quite a contradiction and sometime stupidity too but remember those are experiences shared by individuals under different situations with totally different priorities and view points. In no way I am subscribing to those thoughts so please refrain from flaming me! I am just sharing what I collected for the benefits of fellow Audiophiles.

Remember these pearls came from hardcore audiophiles who had spent quite a lot in building their systems that too through a long drawn process spread over several years. Unfortunately in India finding such people is rather rare, albeit their experiences certainly help us in prioritizing our requirements, in avoiding mistakes and in enjoying music which is in any case the sole purpose of this hobby.

I have some 150 odd pages of such pearls, once I though of categorizing them into various headings such as Source, Amplifiers, Speakers, Room treatment, Auditioning, Buying pre-owned, buying new and Music etc but at the end I decided to share all these pearls as it is without any classification.

So let me raise curtain , so now just sit back , relax and enjoy the show!.

Here I go,

  • system is as good as it's weakest link
  • Trust your own ears
  • Every one at its own
  • If you're always looking for something better then by definition you'll never find it.
  • AUDIOPHILE: He is that axxhxlx who keeps upgrading his hardware to hear flaws in his software.
  • You had to spend more, just to realize you didn't have to spend more.
  • Sit down and enjoy the music.
  • There is one absolute in this hobby: CHANGE!!
  • Less is more.
  • First of all...RUN!!! Get out of this hobby ASAP! It will leave you bewildered, obsessed and broke.
  • Dont sweat the petty stuff - Dont pet the sweaty Stuff
  • A good system is great to have, but not if having that system means you lose out on other life experiences.
  • A good audio system forces you to music. A bad one forces you to something else.
  • Don't get started in the first place! Do whatever it takes not to get hooked...shock therapy, hypnosis, probes under eye-lids. You are better off remaining a virgin or smoking cigarettes.
  • Dont compete, someone always has better, but at more cost.

  • No one else's opinion is superior to your own ears.
  • Remember that people choose products for various reasons, only one of which is performance usually.
  • Learn to enjoy what you have rather than constantly being self-pressured to make changes/upgrades.
  • Sometimes moving a speaker 3 inches can change the sound more than a new pre-amp!
  • More money doesn't always equal better sound.
  • Before spending a dollar on that new amp or pre-amp, try spending a dime on room treatment , in most cases the dime will bring the same change that a dollar spent was supposed to bring in! You dont need to spend that dollar.
  • Don't volunteer your opinion of your friend's shiny new purchase unless he unequivocally asks you to - and even then, remember you might as well be talking about his religion.

  • Make sure you listen to the music you like. There's no point in demonstrating gear with "hifi records" - most gear sounds fine with these. The real challenge is, will it play your favorite records, and will it play them to your liking? Most high end gear won't like less-than-perfect recordings, but they do exist!
  • Strive for tonal neutrality - use careful synergy to obtain it
  • See live acoustic music to know what instrumentation is meant to sound like
  • This is a hobby that requires one to spend a lot of money to realize one does not need to spend a lot of money. It's all to easy to spend $150k to $250k and end up with a system that sounds like a decent $5000 system
  • Spending can be endless and the results so subjective and minute. I view this as a law of diminishing returns. It is a camel back hump curve where the return on investment decreases after a price point.
  • What I don't quite get is the propensity to spend obscene amounts on the system without paying equivalent attention to the listening room. Spending a significant proportion on the room itself (perhaps a dedicated well treated room) would yield better results than megabuck spent on amps and/or cables.
  • No system is ever going to sound like live music. Live music is an absurd standard by which to judge a system! Musical satisfaction has more to do with the imagination than the stereo! Determine to enjoy what you have, and you will enjoy it.

  • "Money, doesn't buy happiness and size, doesn't matter." (Tattoos available on request.)
  • Speaker positioning! This is where inches really count!

  • The upgrade path is exponential. Once you are at a decent level of sound quality, to move up significantly is VERY expensive.
  • Getting Satisfaction is quick and easy but the REAL problem seems to be figuring out what that Satisfaction means.

(to be continued in part 2...)
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