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ASR MEMBERS: What System Would YOU Choose To Blow Away Non-Audiophiles?

Gringoaudio1

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Yeah, and I'm sure they are also "blown away" by any of the more expensive systems on display at the local Best Buy. It's not that they won't be blown away by a great audiophile system...it's that they'll also be blown away by pretty much any half-way decent system. And frankly, that's as it should be because many of us would also be the same if we're being honest (or we can't see the system we're listening to.) The audiophile magic we're all chasing is to some degree an illusion - it's way more subtle than a fairly brief casual listening session is going to reveal. Attempting to blow non-audiophiles away with our gear is pretty much a fools errand. Depending on how "boutique" the rig is, they are more likely to be blown away by the visual aspects of our systems than the sonic aspects...

And yet even so I'm entertaining the thought of attempting it once again, lol. I have a good friend who is a long time music lover. In fact, he's the guy who pretty much stoked my own love of music more than 4 decades ago. He also does appreciate a nice sound system. But,, he's not an audiophile. He doesn't obsess over sound. He doesn't frequent forums like this one or any other audiophile forums. If he wants a new piece of gear, he'll go to Best Buy and get something that seems decent. He's been at my place and heard my system and he's impressed, but I don't think he really notes anything particularly mind-blowing about it. I know my setup sounds significantly better than what he's got going on...even just on the basis of speaker positioning and room arrangement...but it doesn't really register with him. Not in a brief listening audition anyway. But, I'm thinking about having him come by sometime for a serious session with my headphone rig that would include a carefully curated list of tracks that I think he might be more impressed by - stuff that both shows off my system and also that he happens to be very familiar with including some of his faves.
Typically most folks don’t care or even if they are impressed cannot believe that people could spend hundreds of dollars on a sound system. Much less thousands or tens of thousands or …
 

dinglehoser

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Typically most folks don’t care or even if they are impressed cannot believe that people could spend hundreds of dollars on a sound system. Much less thousands or tens of thousands or …
To this point, I've found that the thing that impresses "normal" people the most - and either strong curiosity or defensiveness from self-proclaimed audiophiles (you know the type) - is fixing obvious problems whatever they already have. Stuff like turning on crossovers on subs, making speakers face the listening position, adding a layer of software EQ or DSP, etc. It really hits the "getting something for nothing" neurons.

Along similar lines, one of my old parlor tricks is to strap together a "garbage speaker" - a couple of dogeared SB Acoustics 2.5" full range drivers I used to have in my car, mounted in whatever small cardboard boxes I have lying around (stuffed with old rags) with an ample amount of packing tape. With a little $30 bluetooth amp and a surprisingly small amount of DSP in Roon ARC, it actually sounds good enough to startle people.
 

izeek

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my o is that the persons you are trying to impress will be impressed because they'll hear music in a manner they might not otherwise.
they, having been used to everyday audio(car, businesses, etc) so nearly any dedicated system will be impressive.
my pedestrian gear always gets a smile when playing their favorite songs.
and maybe they'll be see a path for them with room to grow as they come to understand gear instead of possibly being daunted by the price and size of high-end.
 

Nabussan

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Mac Mini -> RME ADI-2 DAC FS -> ME Geithain RL 901K

:)
Alternatively, saving some bucks while adding surround options and reducing space requirements: Wiim mini -> Realiser A16 /w 5x ME Geithain RL 901K + 2 x Geithain Basis subwoofers + room treatment PRIR -> Headphones.
Pro tip: Mount the A16 on a loudspeaker stand and transport your monitors whereever you please within the reach of your WiFi, even to your favorite place in your garden.
The Geithain "blow away" effect may of course be superseded by the astonishment about the virtualization.
 

MaxBuck

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Wasn't sure how to phrase the thread title but...

I was re-visiting a couple ASR threads discussing some articles about audiophiles and high end audio. I'm sure many remember the discussions of this article:

Audiophilia and its discontents


And

The New York Times visit Ojas:


I think the main annoyance with such articles is this: Here we are with some big magazines deigning to write articles about high end audio, and what do we get? A focus on all sorts of goofy retro gear, tube amps and the like. Another missed opportunity to describe where audio actually is now, the advances available, e.g. powered speakers, DSP etc.

So my question is:

If you had the power to have an article written, in which the author and other non-audiophiles were introduced to high end audio, AND were given listening experiences to see what it's all about, to impress them: what type of gear would you talk about and want to demonstrate?

Cost is no object, dream up whatever system you'd think would wow the subjects and demonstrate what can be done. So it's your chance to represent High End Audio in an article, what do you choose?
I would build the system around the Radialstrahler System MBL 101 X-Treme MKII speakers. Not because the produced sound would necessarily be sublime (IME people generally are bored silly by hifi and discussions surrounding it), but because the things are just so massive and bizarre in appearance. How could people not be intrigued and even frightened by these monstrosities?

Bottom line: I have no interest in engaging in such an exercise. Just wanted to post something insulting today, as is my custom.
 

spigot

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Creative MuVo V100 mp3 player + JVC Flats. You can hear enough of the music to appreciate all of the song for very little money. When you're jogging.
 
OP
MattHooper

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I would build the system around the Radialstrahler System MBL 101 X-Treme MKII speakers.

Great choice! I just realized I don't remember answering my own OP question, and I'd probably go with MBLs as well, either 101E or the X-Treme.
There's a reason they are continually one of the most popular rooms at shows, year after year.



Bottom line: I have no interest in engaging in such an exercise. Just wanted to post something insulting today, as is my custom.

Eh, you made a good choice :)
 

Philbo King

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Wasn't sure how to phrase the thread title but...

I was re-visiting a couple ASR threads discussing some articles about audiophiles and high end audio. I'm sure many remember the discussions of this article:

Audiophilia and its discontents


And

The New York Times visit Ojas:


I think the main annoyance with such articles is this: Here we are with some big magazines deigning to write articles about high end audio, and what do we get? A focus on all sorts of goofy retro gear, tube amps and the like. Another missed opportunity to describe where audio actually is now, the advances available, e.g. powered speakers, DSP etc.

So my question is:

If you had the power to have an article written, in which the author and other non-audiophiles were introduced to high end audio, AND were given listening experiences to see what it's all about, to impress them: what type of gear would you talk about and want to demonstrate?

Cost is no object, dream up whatever system you'd think would wow the subjects and demonstrate what can be done. So it's your chance to represent High End Audio in an article, what do you choose?
To impress a non-audiophile: Lots of colored lights that flash to the sound, and a 5" woofer packaged in a surround that looks like 12" diameter. Walmart probably has one.
 

sonitus mirus

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I've found that the compact Bose Wave clock radio and Apple HomePod have an uncanny ability to astonish non-audiophiles with their sound quality. It's the unexpected power and clarity from such unassuming devices that really blows minds.
 

Ron Texas

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th-4145567429.jpeg

This should blow them away..
 

Martin

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Mine... piCorePlayer on a Raspberry Pi4 to a Topping E70 to a Benchmark HPA4 through my Audeze LCD3 or my ICEpower 1200AS1 monoblocks and Von Schweikert VR5 Anniversary speakers.

Martin
 

Robin L

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To impress a non-audiophile: Lots of colored lights that flash to the sound, and a 5" woofer packaged in a surround that looks like 12" diameter. Walmart probably has one.
I've seen one at Costco, has a built-in light show besides. Very boomy.
 
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MattHooper

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To impress a non-audiophile: Lots of colored lights that flash to the sound, and a 5" woofer packaged in a surround that looks like 12" diameter. Walmart probably has one.

Well, even as a joke, that seems a bit snobby doesn't it?

I don't think non-audiophiles are incapable of hearing differences in sound quality. They may not care as much but that's a different thing, and doesn't mean they need lighting tricks or couldn't hear what you and I could hear.
 
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MattHooper

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I think perhaps some people are put off by the proposition of describing a sound system that "must" impress non-audiophiles.

Perhaps another approach to the question can put aside whether any particular person is "impressed" or not, but we can ask:

What system would you use, if given free reign, to demonstrate the high level of sound quality possible from audio equipment?
 

RosalieTheDog

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I think perhaps some people are put off by the proposition of describing a sound system that "must" impress non-audiophiles.

Perhaps another approach to the question can put aside whether any particular person is "impressed" or not, but we can ask:

What system would you use, if given free reign, to demonstrate the high level of sound quality possible from audio equipment?
This is indeed the interpretation that many people have given to the OP's question: fantasies about their ideal systems, which dodges entirely the fact that many other people don't care for that and are much more 'easily impressed' with decent systems.
 

darrellc

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Probably Dolby Atmos / Spatial playing through a stereo pair of Sonos Era 300 or Apple HomePod speakers that they can easily control from their own iPhone.

On a well mixed recording, hearing such immersive sounds from a small, decent looking, easy to use device that they could see in their own homes might impress more than a lot of audiophile setups that most people just couldn't imagine in their own homes.
 
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