Pearls of Wisdom - 2


Active Member
Aug 31, 2006
  • What we usually WANT is something more but what we generally NEED is to be content with what we've got!
  • Some audiophile systems only sound great playing small number of bland "audiophile" CDs and sound harsh playing average mainstream or some less than perfect quality music. I gladly give up the last 10% of ultra micro detail extraction in favor of smooth natural delivery of music from as many CDs as possible.
  • Goal: To play music without thinking of the system.
  • Goal: To be able to sit and listen to your system as if it was the first time you heard it. That when you hear a snare drum or trumpet hit a note you have to look around your room to make sure you are alone. When you try to get up to do something else and you are frozen in your sweet spot.
  • SACD is about sound quality ... no it isnt.. it's about making you buy all of your albums all over again
  • I believe that if I dont like a CD, I should allow others to use it for free, and the best way to do that is to donate it to a public library, then I am screwing the RIAA and doing a good (legal) deed at the same time. (and for those whom itemize taxes, the donation is tax deductible!)
  • I believe that I will buy some stupid SACDs, when they actually put out some new music, that uses the formats capability, that I don't already have
  • While cables are not components per se, they generally help make or break a system
  • There are lots of fine business/marketing/economic reasons for cable pricing, but the pricing is bordering on obscenity
  • The only beliefs that I hold dear are that (1) most of the folks who want to talk endlessly about what equipment sounds best have never optimized what they have by setting it up properly in a good listening environment and (2) its only the music that really counts!
  • I never draw lines, but I do change pencils once in a while!
  • I believe Blues is better than Jazz. Blues to me is one of the purist forms of music.
  • A high-end amp/Preamp setup is more comparable to a Shoaling Monk who has been studying martial arts from the time he could walk and now retains a very refined and accurate ability combined with precision-power.
  • If you bought a cable costing $1,000 then you wasted your money
  • You can build a system for $10,000 that sounds as good as a system for $30,000.
  • The difference between a $75,000 system and a $7,500 system is like the difference between the back row of a concert and the third row. It's still the same concert, with the same music and musicians, but the quality of the presentation is extremely different.
  • The best hardware in the wrong room, or set up improperly, will not please the listener. Audiophiles should learn more about acoustics, especially standing waves, nodes, antinodes, reflection speed, backslap, etc., before spending the price of a car on hardware. The biggest problems stem from putting the wrong speakers in a room, and positioning them improperly.
  • An Audiophile is one whose software (LPs, CD's, Tapes, etc.) collection costs more than his hardware.

  • au'di-o-phile. n.
  1. A person who exhibits extreme obsessive/compulsive behavior that happens to be directed at achieving perfect music reproduction, even at the risk of compromising their personal relationships and financial security.
  2. A delusional person who believes he or she can find the "holy grail" of perfect music reproduction, a condition often manifest by unrelenting searches for new audio equipment and frequent pronouncements of the type: "If only I had a [INSERT NAME OF AN OBSCURE OR EXPENSIVE PIECE OF MUSIC REPRODUCTION GEAR HERE]."
  3. Any of a class of people who dedicate far more time and money developing a music reproduction system to capture the essence of a "live" concert, than they spend actually going to live concerts.
  4. Any person who is willing to spend more money to purchase a single "upgrade" AC power cord for an electronic device than is earned in an entire year by 70% of the other people in the world.
  5. A malcontent who devotes inordinate time visiting audio equipment dealers, auditioning new audio gear, reading audio magazines, trying seemingly irrational "tweaks" like demagnetizing CDs, continually adjusting their speaker placement and changing cables, and scanning audio-related internet chat rooms looking for other ways to achieve better music reproduction.
  6. A person whose life is characterized by extended periods of dissatisfaction and apprehension punctuated by occassional periods of euphoria and contentment induced by sublime music reproduction.
  7. You and I.


  1. Anyone who would rather listen to Manheim Steamroller's Fresh Aire Holiday album than Miles Davis.
  2. When listening, anyone whose face looks like an emergency room Doctor examining a trauma patient rather than someone who is blissful and happy listening to music
  3. Anyone who has ever said: "You may have never heard of Manheim Steamroller, but this is a GREAT recording
  4. Anyone who would rather make 700 adjustments to VTA, speaker toe-in, listening chair placement and volume rather than sit still and listen to an entire piece of music.
  5. Anyone who relentlessly preaches the superiority of their single ended triode voodoo wimp system emblazoned with tacky logos and made by some under funded garage manufacturer
  6. Anyone who has ever purchased a Shun Mook product
  7. Anyone who can't afford Shun Mook products after their rent, despite the fact that they are, obviously, one of the world's foremost, towering geniuses.
  8. Anyone who thinks that a Linn LP-12, a Denon A/V receiver or a Shahinian Obelisk sounds "musical".
  9. Anyone who has ever purchased Krell

  • Tweaks are like sex - if it works for you, it's normal.
  • MURPHY: your kit always seem to sound worse when you demo it to a friend
  • To my ears the better tube amps sound warmer and more like the sound of live music than solid state amps, but really good solid-state amps sound more detailed and have better defined bass than tube designs. Cheap amps can sound hard and crude--they tend to add an aggressive edge to the sound of music that high-end designs do not. More objectively, better designs are more powerful and have an easier time driving "difficult' speakers or "low" impedance speakers.
  • My philosophy is simple: fix a reasonable budget, buy reasonably good equipment within the budget, arrange the equipment scientifically in the listening room, and leave the rest of the magic to your CD-collection. Don't run after snake-oil acoustic remedies, and outrageously expensive foreign brands.
  • Spend at least 20 times as much time listening to and thinking about music as you do listening to and thinking about gear
  • Buy a lot of music you really like as this music is ultimately the system fuel.
  • If you have a system you like, stop for awhile. Don't read reviews, don't visit websites, and dont go to stores. Why waste time doing all that when you could be listening to the system that *you like*
(to be continued in part 3..)
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