• WANTED: Happy members who like to discuss audio and other topics related to our interest. Desire to learn and share knowledge of science required. There are many reviews of audio hardware and expert members to help answer your questions. Click here to have your audio equipment measured for free!

What advice you wish you could have given to your younger self or someone new to this hobby?

Anton D

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Joined
Mar 17, 2021
Messages
859
Likes
983
Never ever never read audiogon. A snake oil cesspool of burn in, cablefoolery and just bad advice. Wish ASR was around 20 years ago. I would have saved thousands.
If not for ASR, you'd still be that way?
 

terryforsythe

Senior Member
Forum Donor
Joined
May 4, 2022
Messages
489
Likes
513
Stock up on magnet wire for coils, it is going to get really expensive.
 

aagstn

Member
Joined
Feb 22, 2023
Messages
66
Likes
94
Don't give away your Technics Spectrum Analyzer. You will regret it and they won't make them anymore.
 

Todd k

Active Member
Forum Donor
Joined
Jul 22, 2020
Messages
164
Likes
472
Location
Hilton Head
If not for ASR, you'd still be that way?
I was drifting away from audiogon at least 15 years ago. I learned thru experience that a lot of the woo woo was BS. Never heard any sort of differences from all the power cords and different cables I had bought. Did learn a fair amount about different brands and build quality in electronics, so that was insightful. There were some fine members way back then and still a lot of woo woo was espoused. Today not so much insight and a ton of woo woo.
 

gsp1971

Senior Member
Forum Donor
Joined
May 26, 2021
Messages
471
Likes
821
Location
Europe
What advice would you give to your younger self?
Sounds like New Year's resolutions conversation - here it goes, in order:

1. Research the basics of audio before spending anything at all.

2. Spend most of your budget on good speakers. Speakers are the most important component - they produce the sound you hear. All other components are voltage devices.

3. Buy well recorded music. Well recorded music played through an average system sounds better that poorly recorded music played through a top system.

4. Don't underestimate bullet point 3.

5. Do all of the above before you start a family.

Happy New Year :)

GS
 

Barrelhouse Solly

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 13, 2020
Messages
375
Likes
359
Learn the weak links in the chain and buy accordingly. In the '60s when I was starting out it was turntable, cartridge, speaker. I remember my first "good" Shure cartridge very well.
 

srrxr71

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Jul 4, 2020
Messages
1,583
Likes
1,246
Way back in the early days of audiogon there was nothing else on the web for audio geeks like me. There were some very good members who did give good advice but there was also a large number of members who espoused a lot of stuff that that today I know is not true. I fell victim to some of that audio woo woo. Tweaks and cables a some questionable gear. It is now easy for me to separate the fact from fiction, but not so say 20 years ago. Been addicted to good sound since my early teens in the 70’s. ASR has made me realize the keys to good sound, great speakers, room considerations, competent source components. I really appreciate the knowledge and fact based content here. I still read over there but for a humorous diversion.
There was even worse. There was audio asylum. Truly an asylum for OCD.
 

jax1993

New Member
Forum Donor
Joined
Sep 13, 2021
Messages
4
Likes
12
Location
Calgary, Canada
Thank you very much CleanSound for a thought provoking question. In the event that some future invention can indeed send information back in time (tongue in cheek), I would like to send the following message:

To my younger self:
Hello and happy birthday from your future self. Regarding your audiophilia journey, I have good news and bad news. Take heart, it is in your fortune to end up in the land of audiophilia paradiso eventually, but your journey there will include a fair number of misinformed choices and misguided pursuits that may be hard for you to avoid.

That said, be inspired by the digital transformation that is happening. In the world of audio recording and reproduction, take interest in two major developments: first is the technologies necessary for the conversion of sound, an analog phenomenon, into digital information (and vice versa), and second is the distribution/transmission and management of that information in such a way that you will be able to access millions of albums and tracks on demand - literally at your finger tips. You will love the sound that you will hear and the music that you will get to listen to.

Unfortunately, all this takes time. So be wary that you will encounter the industry of audio equipment manufacturing and sales, an industry that while pursuing incremental technical advances, becomes entangled in a perverse relationship between product developmental and promotional practices. While you will come across an abundance of seemingly credible opinions, take heed that nullius in verba also applies to lay literature for audio enthusiasts. By the time you become familiar with various forms of selection and information biases in evaluating exposure-to-outcome relationships, look for the book authored by Floyd Toole that addresses a variety of issues on the reproduction and perception of sound. In it you will learn how the key to reaching audiophilia paradiso is through both your ears and your brain.
 

Puddingbuks

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Forum Donor
Joined
May 31, 2020
Messages
590
Likes
989
Another advice: room and acoustics determine 90% of the end result. Buy a measurement mic and iron out the last problems with dsp.
 

jooc

Active Member
Joined
Feb 5, 2023
Messages
138
Likes
132
I was drifting away from audiogon at least 15 years ago. I learned thru experience that a lot of the woo woo was BS. Never heard any sort of differences from all the power cords and different cables I had bought. Did learn a fair amount about different brands and build quality in electronics, so that was insightful. There were some fine members way back then and still a lot of woo woo was espoused. Today not so much insight and a ton of woo woo.


It's not often that you can save $3800 off retail on a pair of cables!



1706643182161.png





No such discount on this $600 fuse, though, these must be flying out the door.



1706643560042.png
 
Last edited:

Snarfie

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Apr 30, 2018
Messages
1,183
Likes
934
Location
Netherlands
Don't spend a fortune use Room Correction. :facepalm:
 

ferrellms

Active Member
Joined
Mar 24, 2019
Messages
299
Likes
259
Here is the list of HiFi advice I wish I could have given to my younger self:

1) Speakers makes the most difference, spend most of your budget on your speakers despite the fact that electronics may come across as sexier for some people.

1a) Know that the overwhelming vast majority of the time, the speaker's sound performance corresponds to the measurements. Do not buy any speakers that either the manufacturer does not publish their measurements or the speaker has not been properly measured by a reputable third party (or both). Some of these reputable third party for speaker measurements includes, ASR, Erin's Audio Corner, Audioholics and Soungstage (although rather limited in data). And most of that can be found on spinorama.org.

1b) Know that some manufacturers work really hard to prevent their speakers from being measured. Industry insiders tells me Tekton is one of them and PS Audio's new speakers are another (no surprises with PS Audio). Upon learning this, you should be very suspicious; while reputable speaker manufacturers may not publish their measurements, but they have no issues with third parties measuring their speakers. [EDIT: This appears to be proven incorrect as PS Audio's chief speaker designer, Chris Brunhaver, is actively on ASR and openly talks about measurements and is even looking to get budget to send a pair to Amir to measure, don't know if that will materialize or not, but Chris did explain the cost of sending speakers for review where R&D and marketing budget is not unlimited. Chris seems to be a very knowledgeable speaker designer, there are many videos of Chris on YouTube where he talks about speaker design. Also Chris has proven to be a class act in his interactions on ASR.]

1c) Spend time and effort to understand speaker measurements and how speaker works, I am constantly learning just by watching Erin's videos. I personally find that this Audioholics article by James Larson is an excellent starting point. As a side note, I find a lot of newbies making this mistake: if you hear any speakers in the showroom or anywhere else that produces a lot of "detail," know that this "detail" is really nothing more than elevated high frequency and can cause listening fatigue. For me personally, elevated high frequency is ear piercing torture after 20 mins.

2) Using REW to measure in room response and tweak with DSP and room treatment can make a big difference. Most of us don't have the luxury to make our listening space the perfect space, so by having room treatment, it can "correct" some of these room acoustic issues. To be transparent, I still haven't gotten around to doing this myself, but I have witness the before and after with other people and holy moly, what a difference it can make for some situations.

3) This one is trivial but sometimes emotions can cloud one's judgement: Don't always buy into brand recognition and brand history, some of the less marketed products are better, such as Ascend Acoustics, Benchmark, Philharmonic Audio, Hypex and other new generation of Class D amps and of course the Chinese brands (you know the usual suspects), they offer phenomenal value.

4) When in doubt, follow the science (but don't let science suppress personal preference).

5) Do it right the first time around, otherwise, it will cost you more in the end. I was cheap buying equipment and other things, but after all of the selling to upgrade, I must have lost thousands of dollars over the years, whereas I could of afford the more expensive equipment from the start but I was just being cheap.
hat advice would you give to your younger self?
Having been at it for 55 years, I can't think of anything always having had golden ears and a spendthrift heart. The marketplace is so different now with no real audio stores to go to.

For those in the market now, I'd suggest the following (YMMV!)

Keep the signal chain digital and don't worry about it any more.
Use studio monitor powered speakers. (Check spinorama)
Be aware of how the room affects the sound.
Avoid subwoofers if possible.
Consider PEQ and room correction.
Remember that high volume sound is MUCH more expensive to do well.

Listen to Frank Zappa.
 
Last edited:
Top Bottom