Pearls of Wisdom - 3


Active Member
Aug 31, 2006
(continued from Part-2)

  • Some music is an acquired taste - give them a chance by listening to them a couple of times at length before making a judgment. Complex classical music is even good for the intellect, and is more lasting in enjoyment.
  • Music is like an old friend,
  • it will always be there to sooth our hearts - making the inevitable bumps in our lives, more bearable.
  • We all heard of the Mozart effect - give them to children for their intellectual development, as well as for their bright disposition.
  • Learn how to listen...listen with your eyes sounds better at night.... music sounds better straight...think 3-d when listening (imagine the appreciation of an abstract painting and how it flows through you and relate that experience while listening, read as much about audio and music as you can as it excites you into the interest of listening..
  • If your system ever becomes a chore , unplug it and make yourself wait exactly 30 days to fire it back up ... get used to a single sweet spot ...understand the importance of the midrange ...go to live, un amplified musical events...protect your hearing...
  • As a musician I would suggest many audiophiles invest some time and money in some basic music theory instruction. Learn musical vocabulary, syntax and structure and truly hear the ideas being expressed through the language of music and not just the sound. Really understanding what is going on musically will enhance your listening experience more than any $600 power cable.
  • As the sound improves so does your hearing capacity/accuracy you will find three things:

    A)You will refuse to listen to other stereos of lesser quality.
    B)95% of your CD collection you used to enjoy now start sounding croppy.
    C)You will be compelled to upgrade.

    Try Yoga.
  • Educate yourself in how and what to listen for in music. The Artist and Sound Engineer don't give us instructions on how there tone should sound, the location of the instruments within the sound stage what a Straticaster (SP) sounds like verses a LesPaul (SP), what a Fender tube amp sounds like verses a Pevy (SP), Why an artist might change the pickup in their guitar to alter the tone of the instrument or why they choose a specific cable to bring forward the midrange of their guitar, how to listen to a grand piano with the lid of the cabinet closed verses open and the irritating resonance (that interferes with the sweet decay of the note) of that piano with the lid closed even when it is a Steinway, what kind of microphone was used, what sound board, what monitors, what effects. Ok I think that covers (2). If you don't get the point yet sell your system and invest in your significant others listening room.
  • Know your ROOM
  • The most important part of the system is the room (unless your room is perfect). The first problem encountered does not know that this lack of focus, sound stage or whatever is due to room resonances, etc. There is plenty of information on the web about basic acoustics and DIY projects. With a little chance and some sweat you can fix some problems of your room and dedicate to the other "most important parts".
  • A Mid-Fi system in a perfect room is far superior to a Hi-End system in a poor room.
  • Importance of a powerful amp: At least 70 honest watts per channel.
  • The minute you think "Power cords do make a difference" it's over! You won't even be able to answer a phone without being critical of the "sibilance".
  • Power cords are snake oil. Speaker cables give little bang for the buck, stick with any cheapest 12 gauge (Radio Shack will do) wire.
  • Remember that even a basic audiophile system is a huge leap over mass market. After that, you're playing a game of (rapid) diminishing marginal returns.
  • Pace your-self with care do not become obsessive. I have known many who spent too much and finally lost interest.
  • Just get what you want and keep it for years and ignore the industry induced upgrade hype.
  • Exhaust speaker placement options before upgrading
  • Dont put a large speaker in small room or a small speaker in a big room
  • Speakers are most important, next is the source. Amps are amps, they effect sound but NOWHERE near the level of Speakers or Source. If a new amp changes sound dramatically, something is wrong with one of the amps.
  • If you're serious about sound, spend most of your money only on speakers, source and then amp [in that order].
  • No matter how cool you think that new piece of equipment looks or how great it sounds; somewhere somebody is sick of it
  • When speaking to non-audiophiles, always say, "Hey, listen to this CD, it sounds great." Never say, "Hey, check out how much wider my soundstage is with my new amp." Actually, when speaking to audiophiles, the same advice is probably good.
  • If you like equipment more, you really only need a couple CDs and then you can spend your time comparing components, cables, rooms, etc.
  • A great chef will make magic happen on any 30 yr. GE electric stove. Boxed stuff from the freezer section of the supermarket still tastes like ^%$^#$ no matter the equipment used to cook it!
  • When auditioning equipment try to get it for a home audition and use your own music and particular parts off tracks to see what they sound like.
  • Check to see if there is good used equipment before buying new to save $$.
  • Line conditioners are snake oil.
  • When getting a sub get one that goes closest to 20Hz..Better yet try to get as close to full range speakers.

(to be continued in part 4..)
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