• WANTED: Happy members who like to discuss audio and other topics related to our interest. Desire to learn and share knowledge of science required as is 20 years of participation in forums (not all true). There are daily reviews of audio hardware and expert members to help answer your questions. Click here to have your audio equipment measured for free!

Describe your decisive experience that completely changed your view of audiophilia with a comment.

Neuro

Member
Joined
May 23, 2019
Messages
32
Likes
43
Describe your decisive experience that completely changed your view of audiophilia with a comment.

A classmate had found a pair of used German (Siemens?, Klangfilm?) studio monitors. I was completely surprised that out of our old records came a completely new sound dimension with "distortion-free" high volume and a hard firm bass.
This was the starting point for a lifelong journey of pleasure.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Els

Tangband

Major Contributor
Joined
Sep 3, 2019
Messages
2,098
Likes
1,977
Location
Sweden
Describe your decisive experience that completely changed your view of audiophilia with a comment.

A classmate had found a pair of used German study monitors. I was completely surprised that out of our old records came a completely new sound dimension with "distortion-free" high volume and a hard firm bass.
This was the starting point for a lifelong journey of pleasure.
The discovery that the source signal is rather important, even from digital outputs and inputs. There are sometimes small, but important differences that affect the whole sound of the system.
This happened 1991.
1989 I learned to install loudspeakers correctly in a room, by listening to the bass tones playing melodies . This made a huge difference to my sound in my room, and it was free:)
 

Galliardist

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Joined
Jun 26, 2021
Messages
741
Likes
894
Location
Sydney. NSW, Australia
Back in the 1980s, HiFi Answers magazine gave away some of the Peter Belt electret foils. I was suspicious, my friend was convinced. So we tested them. I played identical LPs to him, pairs of discs, one with the foil and one without.

Sure enough, I heard no differences and my friend heard improvements in stereo separation, bass, smoothness, details he'd never heard before and all of the usual stuff.

Except, I hadn't stuck the foils on...

It took me a long time to get the full implications of that lesson, but I certainly didn't look at audiophilia the same after that day.
 

Holdt

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 10, 2022
Messages
322
Likes
216
As very young, I discovered that small speakers could make equal or more bass in a room that larger ones. And I wondered about that for years. I was a kid and didn't know physics, but figured it had to be something to do with the room. I found out that I could place my own speakers in the corners and get more bass. I nerdy with this stuff and it annoyed me that none i knew really could hear the difference or cared about sound quality.
 

Sokel

Major Contributor
Joined
Sep 8, 2021
Messages
2,284
Likes
1,807
I'm some kind of claustrophobic when it comes to audio so my only way is big rooms with stuff that can fill them when I have the chance.
I like big,open (and accurate as much as I can get it) sound and in such conditions what makes the difference is adequate lows and mid-bass that follows.

Strangely that is not as easy as it sounds (yes,lows are nearly impossible to tick all the boxes,depending the theory).
Midbass is an area often neglected these days,I can suspect the reasons but I do not have the proper education to be sure.

So,until some time ago I went both by measurements and ear,I never got something poor in both areas even if one was not necessarily guarantied the other in some cases. Finally I got on to professionals but I get my own things too.

The one guilty pleasure I have promised myself though will be a small fun side system with all the possible flaws and enjoyment that comes with this.
Smiling and not caring about recordings,source,etc (as long as it respects the creator to some degree) is nice from time to time!
 

Mart68

Major Contributor
Joined
Mar 22, 2021
Messages
1,336
Likes
2,380
Location
England
Two epiphanies for me.

After owning tons of equipment over 20 years and not getting what I was after had a sit down and re-think. Came to understand that it is electricity, not music, that is running through those cables. Started to see the whole audio thing in a different light.

The other was a scientist friend challenging me to take a blind test 24/192 vs 16.44.1 - the obvious differences I thought I heard (deeper bass, extended highs, more 'texture') vanished. I realised immediately that I had no chance of passing the test. After that I have always viewed my own uncontrolled perceptions with a healthy scepticism.
 

BDWoody

Chief Cat Herder
Moderator
Forum Donor
Joined
Jan 9, 2019
Messages
5,951
Likes
18,070
Location
Mid-Atlantic, USA. (Maryland)
Describe your decisive experience that completely changed your view of audiophilia with a comment.

A level matched blind test between two DACs.
 

sergeauckland

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Mar 16, 2016
Messages
3,035
Likes
7,819
Location
Suffolk UK
Two in particular:-

In the early '70s, when I started work, I was trained to listen for various forms of distortion and particularly wow&flutter. I was surprised by how much distortion was tolerable, before it got distracting, or even noticeable when on programme material. It stopped me worrying about vanishingly small amounts of amplifier distortions, when tape machines put out 3% on peaks, and loudspeakers several % in the bass. W&F was more of an issue, especially on music with long steady notes like piano or flute, but even then, there was usually more W&F on the test record than on the playback turntable.

The second one was noticing more than once when recording engineers (or more often their producers) were tweaking the equalisers or compressor/limiters until satisfied, then I see that they were in bypass mode... Made me realise that we hear what we want to hear, not what's real.

S.
 

Lieglein

Member
Joined
Dec 31, 2021
Messages
15
Likes
14
1. That a sinetone stays a sinetone regardless if it's digitally or analogue created.
2. That only four parameters are needed to define everything that affects audio quality: Noise, frequency response, distortion, and time-based errors.
 

tonycollinet

Major Contributor
Joined
Sep 4, 2021
Messages
3,624
Likes
5,622
Location
UK/Cheshire
1. That a sinetone stays a sinetone regardless if it's digitally or analogue created.
2. That only four parameters are needed to define everything that affects audio quality: Noise, frequency response, distortion, and time-based errors.
Which come down to 3. Time based errors are just a form of distortion (Or the phase part of frequency response)
 
  • Like
Reactions: MAB

JeffS7444

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Jul 21, 2019
Messages
1,989
Likes
2,951
One such incident concerned speaker break-in: I won a raffle for a Sonos speaker and enjoyed the single speaker for a few weeks, before purchasing a second, identical unit. Although I didn't have any obvious way to do rapid-fire switching between the two, it was pretty obvious that I couldn't hear the slightest difference between the brand-new unit and the one which had been "breaking in" for weeks.
 

FrantzM

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Mar 12, 2016
Messages
3,641
Likes
6,099
Hi

Repeating: There was a test on AVSforum (around 2007?) in which a famous audiophile had to distinguish, in a knowledge removed experiment, his cables (audiophiles = Expensive) speaker cable against run of the mill Monster Cables (around $500.oo) . He could not. I tried similar and the results were the same. Changed my view but not completely. I still thought DAC sounded different to the point of investing brutal money in DACs.. and amplifers and was setting my sights on a used pair of speakers at $25,000.oo/pair ... Did acquire in the meantime audiophile amplifier
I was invited by Amir to join ASR... very ealry in 2016...
My worldview changed.. for the best.
My present system is the best I have had in 50+ years of being an audiophile, it also cost less than some interconnect audiophile cables I had 20 years ago... I posted the total somewhere in ASR. Full range (20 to 20,000 Hz) and less than $ 3,000.oo for the Audio portion...
I have never enjoyed so much music in High Fidelity.

Peace.
 

sergeauckland

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Mar 16, 2016
Messages
3,035
Likes
7,819
Location
Suffolk UK
Which come down to 3. Time based errors are just a form of distortion (Or the phase part of frequency response)
Depends how you look at it. I see wow and flutter as a time-base error, and it does create sidebands, so a form of modulation but isn't a form of non-linear distortion.

It could also be argued that a frequency response error is also a form of distortion, insofar as a null test will show a residual that's not noise, but it isn't a form of non-linear distortion.

Overall, I think the four parameters mentioned, noise, frequency response, distortion, and time-based errors, do completely characterise audio quality.

S.
 

Kal Rubinson

Major Contributor
Industry Insider
Joined
Mar 23, 2016
Messages
4,706
Likes
8,232
Location
NYC/CT
Decisive experiences, well I've had a few. However, the ones that continue to lurk in my mind are the experiences of participating in loudspeaker comparisons under randomized, blind conditions at Harman. The first time was as part of a group and seemed less challenging, perhaps because of the social context. The second was solo and strenuous but it forced me to question every sample and sound unanchored by the ability to associate them with a particular entity or image. Since then, I find even unblinded comparisons much more demanding than I did in the past.
 
Last edited:

Dan

Member
Joined
Jan 27, 2017
Messages
18
Likes
38
I remember I had moved and my new music room sounded awful. I knew nothing about audio back then so went to my dealer for recommendations. I was using a sonos unit feeding some active speakers. They said the DAC in the sonos was garbage, get a new DAC. To their credit they let me audition a fancy Mcintosh DAC which, of course, provided zero improvement. I went back and one of the employees pulled me aside and said try this. It was the Mcintosh lyngdorf based room correction unit. That unit proved life changing.

I stopped looking at reviews of BS that doesn't matter in the audio chain after that and started to educate myself.
 

DVDdoug

Major Contributor
Joined
May 27, 2021
Messages
1,520
Likes
1,939
Probably when I was in high school in the early 70's, I heard a good system and I was surprised that you could get good bass and good treble at the same time!

A few years later after I had been reading Stereo Review and upgrading my little stereo to the extent I could afford to, I was at someone's house where they had a pair of "top rated" speakers. The parents were playing a somewhat-distant FM station and the hiss was terrible.

As time went by I became "picky" about sound. The "snap", "crackle", and "pop" on records annoyed me (especially when it was my record) although it didn't seem to bother most people. I didn't think I had "golden ears" but I was more critical than the average person. Tape hiss sounded worse than records to me so I only listened to cassettes in my car which I made from my records. I don't think I ever bought a pre-recorded cassette.

When I got my 1st CD player I was amazed by the dead-silent background and I collected CD copies of most of my vinyl as soon as it became available. I also noticed that the frequency response was more consistent. A lot of vinyl records had rolled-off highs. There were exceptions so I know records were capable of full frequency response, but apparently the record companies just didn't care. And I realized that most analog studio recordings were very good and the main limitation had been the home-playback formats. (I knew the pro equipment and pro analog tape was a lot better but I didn't appreciate the extent of it.)

The 1st MP3s I heard were low quality and for awhile I was a snob about lossy compression. I don't think I realized that Dolby surround was lossy until after I got a DVD player and the sound was GREAT!

Maybe around the same time, I discovered HydrogenAudio and started reading about ABX tests. (I've never actually done an ABX test myself.)

I was always a bit skeptical of the "audiophiles" and I never went crazy buying high-end equipment. I've always enjoyed "big" good-sounding speakers, low noise, and good frequency response, etc., I have a technical/engineering background so the nonsense audiophile terminology annoyed me and I didn't believe that "these things can't be measured". And when I learned about ABX tests I started reading excuses about why blind listening tests were invalid and then I realized that most golden ear audiophiles are frauds or they are fooling themselves.
 

eddantes

Senior Member
Joined
May 15, 2020
Messages
458
Likes
783
Swapped a random (parameters were unconsidered, only that they were the right dimensions) 3" midrange into a pair of 3way speakers (where the mids were damaged) and was confused to find the sound to have little changed (as I remembered). Suddenly realized that perception in audio is quite maleable, and that my ears/brain were not reliable instruments. My "On the road to Damascus" moment... towards objectivism in audio.
 

Spkrdctr

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Apr 22, 2021
Messages
1,882
Likes
2,459
And when I learned about ABX tests I started reading excuses about why blind listening tests were invalid and then I realized that ALL golden ear audiophiles are frauds or they are fooling themselves.
My experience too. I took the liberty of adapting the sentence to my situation. :)
 
Top Bottom