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Why Are Audiophiles so Bound and Determined to Make Others Waste Money

audiofooled

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#22
Because for a lot of people it's easier to part with their money than to make an effort to learn something they don't understand. Unfortunately it works most of the time and it will continue to do so until more and more people understand what they need to know.
 

Jim Matthews

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#23
Another user came along and complained that I couldn't just let people enjoy their purchases. Why exactly are these people so insistent on their right to lead people to spend loads of money on the back of no evidence at all? It drives me absolutely crazy.
The subreddits are used as media for insidious marketing. If everyone were required to disclose their position in the sales chain, half of the usual suspects would vanish.

Methinks the respondent doth protest too much.

https://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/04/20/friends-and-influence-for-sale-online/?_r=0
 
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#24
Because, it's for THE SYNDICATE!

Like a lot of stuff from Catch-22, it's very funny and at the same time frightening.....
This comes at the same issue from a sellers perspective. It's easy to turn it around and approach it from the consumer side of needless consumption and all it brings with it

If you click the directly on the title of the clip it'll take you to Utube and play with sound


 
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ta240

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#26
....One dude just went "why can't you let people enjoy their purchases".....
On one hand that is a valid argument. If I've already spent the money and am happy with the purchase then why try to make me feel bad about it.

On the other hand, since they are posting online about the purchase and their amazing results, they are telling others that their purchase was a good investment and thus pushing for others to do similarly.

This makes it so any effort to share a counterpoint is both helping to inform others and taking a dig at their purchase. There is no way to warn others without saying their purchase wasn't smart. But, it isn't as
if you went to their house and off the cuff told them they wasted their money.

They were publicly bragging about their purchase and should be able to handle other opinions; especially mild ones like the way you said you worded yours.
Keeping in mind that the 'saving others' thing often becomes the attitude of "why would they ever make a component like that?" simply because an amp doesn't put out the power that you want or because a speaker can't play at the levels that you want even thought they perfectly fit the buyers needs. So the over the top saving thing tends to cause a lot of the issues with the smaller 'you only need this' comments.

I wish I had read more posts with the other side about 'upgrades' before I spent a lot of money on fancy capacitors, wire etc. Like all things anymore, the herd mentality and the need to belong is strong so we separate out into groups and don't like having our group view questioned.
 

ta240

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#27
I'm curious about how much growth the internet forums have create in industries like audio.

We know youtube drives a massive amount of sales. The big guys have finally caught on to that; which is why companies like polk and svs recently had mass releases of 'review' videos on their product launch date.

But I want to know how much sells based off of a glowing reviews from random people online. Back in the day you'd have a small circle of friends to get input on products from; and they would only occasionally buy something new to tell you about. But now the group is in the thousands and every day someone in that group is buying an amazing new product to tell you about.
 
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#28
A lot of this hobby is about bragging rights and feeling good about over priced products. If it was really just about sound, most audiophiles can just use studio monitors. IMHO, as an audio engineer, the supposed differences in sound between an audiophile system and studio monitor system is made up marketing for audiophile fools who are more than happy to confirm their biases towards lusting over overpriced high end audiophile gear. :)
 

MattHooper

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#29
A lot of this hobby is about bragging rights and feeling good about over priced products.

No it's not. Most audiophiles are chasing what they believe to be captivating sound quality, and generally speaking audiophiles buy gear on that premise. Even if they are "wrong" or mislead or delusional in thinking they have to pay so much money, it's still the main motivating factor.

If it was really just about sound, most audiophiles can just use studio monitors.
Nope. Many audiophiles simply like the sound they get with passive speakers and have bought in to the 'system synergy" and "everything makes a difference" so they enjoy having that personal, creative hand in choosing their components, creating their own "synergy."

Again, the fact that some of that is based on a certain level of ignorance or delusion is beside the fact. Most do want good sound, but believe they are getting what they want, and having more freedom in selecting components, with a passive speaker set up.
 
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#31
You probably get a bigger and more reliable dopamine hit clicking the checkout button than the Play button. Then you seek solace with your tribe to justify the expense and wastefulness.
 
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#32
No it's not. Most audiophiles are chasing what they believe to be captivating sound quality, and generally speaking audiophiles buy gear on that premise. Even if they are "wrong" or mislead or delusional in thinking they have to pay so much money, it's still the main motivating factor.
Head over to Whats best and look at all the dick swinging regarding cables, routers, LPS, and a host of other overpriced crap. Every added dollar or tweak somehow improves the playback. Any push-back is met with derision.
 

MattHooper

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#34
Head over to Whats best and look at all the dick swinging regarding cables, routers, LPS, and a host of other overpriced crap. Every added dollar or tweak somehow improves the playback. Any push-back is met with derision.
(My emphasis).

That's my point. They think paying those prices are improving the sound of their system. That's the main motivation.

Like many here I have some pretty expensive gear, especially my speakers, that would seem very extravagant to the average person. I could easily imagine a non-audiophile, not understanding the mindset, thinking I'm just throwing money at the gear to show off. But that would be wrong. Am I "proud" of some of it. Well, if a person with an interest in that stuff happens to visiting, yeah I can be enthusiastic in giving them the tour. But is that the main reason I paid all that money? No, it was in my own pursuit of what I think to be good sound. After all, that is almost always how I experience my system: my own solitary listening, not in the presence of an adoring crowd. Any pride such as it is is secondary to that goal.

I've never met an audiophile who wasn't essentially motivated by achieving the performance they were after, so I feel charitable in inferring the motivations of others, including people in a position to spend a lot more than me on their system.
 
OP
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Thread Starter #35
I've never met an audiophile who wasn't essentially motivated by achieving the performance they were after, so I feel charitable in inferring the motivations of others, including people in a position to spend a lot more than me on their system.
I'm honestly not really bothered by it until it crosses into recommending things to others based on completely incorrect claims. The problem is that it always does, and some poor sucker ends up spending 5 hours convincing himself he can hear a difference on the 500$ DAC a redditor recommended he buy.
 
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#36
To answer OP's question with some long winded nonsense.

It is unfortunate that there are so many vested interests at play on forums, but there are. You may think that I am discussing the shilling and subtle hidden marketing disguised as a hobbyist that is simply a part of the community, but that is only one type of vested interest. Others have pointed out the fact that people want to belong to a group, surely. We all know how that works as we are more so than not very social animals.

There are also many pathological reasons people do the whole circus act of shunning others for bucking the status quo of the message board. These insidious types look to impose a sense of authority on others as they are weak in their own knowledge and beliefs etc and wish to externalize away their own insecurities and have a false sense of power over some stranger out in the nebula.

I do believe that far too much audio gear is sold as identity making gear. The word that comes to mind often is "prestige" and often with higher end gear we see terms like "pedigree" as well as other terms that try to persuade the potential buyer into thinking that they will obtain the holy grail of the eternal chase for perfection. These methods prey on a weak ego that is on the hunt for the best of the best because it is going to really validate them when they obtain it.

I really liked the take syn08 had. Seeing the black sheep picture they use really reminded me of my own personality. I would like to build on the general meta point I believe he was getting at. Our economic system has taken the reigns of politics in many ways. The old way of democracy having leaders that impose some sort of will on the economy is over and now we have many technocrats taking on these roles as leaders while owing nothing to the voter base. They will only be held responsible to the share holders and only if they fuck up big time. They often do very little to add any real value, but they are able to psychologically manipulate large swaths of people into thinking that the mumbo jumbo jargon about their product or service really does enrich.. when it often times does nothing or simply duplicates what has came before in a redress presentation. A big one that comes to mind is MQA. Individualism allows one to not care about the external so much in terms of group effort as it allows us to focus on our own effigy and the trek it is on while ignoring much outside it. Expensive work out clothes.. to get all sweaty and a mess in is another example. The gadget fetishism people have now days is insane. The perfect key chain, the perfect phone, the perfect camera, the perfect bottle opener, the perfect anal retentive search for every single object that we own to say the perfect thing about us as individuals.

We all know the feeling of realizing we just spent 30 minutes trying to figure out the best option for a 12 dollar random object on Amazon. We can not escape it. In one way or another we are looking to fill the hole that these economic institutions leave in us. We are being brainwashed by the new religion of materialism and money. The commercials and review gurus are the new priests of our time. No one is awake at the wheel. Its unbridled voyage is dragging us along to extinction and we can do nothing but shine the mini statues of our egos with these new toys along the way.
 
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#38
These methods prey on a weak ego that is on the hunt for the best of the best because it is going to really validate them when they obtain it.
Who isn't on the hunt for the best of the best? I agree that they come to it from a position of weakness as you said.

What gets me most is how they ALWAYS have to mention the price of everything. It's so tacky and just switches me off immediately.

It just amplifies how much of an exquisite idiot you are if you paid $1k for a power cable. Presents the exact opposite image to what I presume they are intending to present. A dumb sheep recently fleeced.

Like with Gucci and whatever other expensive garbage that I don't understand. They are trying to externalize their own opinions, trying and failing to buy good taste, and broadcasting their own stupidity.

I just find it so hard to understand why anyone would be so proud of embracing vapid consumerism to such an extent!

It's not about the money though, I see some expensive rooms where the money was spent in pursuit of scientific perfection and it all makes sense to me and I wish I could go and hear it, eg this one:


Put a couch in there and I'm in heaven.
 
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#39
Who isn't on the hunt for the best of the best?
Im quite philosophical with my reply because i have considered the rat race of audio and the materialism quite a bit. I can say that I do not need the very best of the very best. When we consider the pursuits that man has went on for the best of the best in the past, say the medieval era or colonization we see those with the ability going into areas and taking resources from the original inhabitants. To fill a castle with the best of the last old trees. So they could point to the finest workmanship of the time exhibited through the productions using the best and largest of the world. Believe it or not, regardless of if we see it or not, when we use those resources we deprive them from the rest of our species. I am not trying to preach, really I am not. I do own some pretty nice things (relative to my idea of nice) and they have come from disadvantaged and exploited and they have robbed something from someone in the future for me to own them now. We can not escape our role, but it seems you and I understand something about those that hold up the price tag and then claim that it was a sacrifice they could easily make for what the object does. This is in fact a way of them pretending the price is to be held in disdain, and what they are really saying is that they have access to such while others do not.

More so than ever music as a back ground noise is accessible to everyone, but as an experience, it is offered to fewer and fewer. Worse yet, we have marginalized it to listening with ear buds on the way to work, or at our computer or on the couch when we want to escape the world. It used to be a much more social event. Art was first a tool on a cave used as a utility to tell a story, somehow it turned into a commodity that only the wealthy and powerful could enjoy. Photographs and the printing press allowed a huge change followed by radio and and other physical copy format technologies down to where we are now with digital and the internet streaming etc. Too many people get lost in the economic aspect of the experience for all the wrong reasons. They wish to hold up a trophy and insist that it means something about who they are... and worst of all... who you are for not being able to afford it. There is definitely a hidden streak of hatefulness that they have implanted and hidden behind the vanity and self celebration and pretend party time of it all.

I suppose the reason we get such a dopamine rush of satisfaction when we complete a purchase is due to an infinite slew of abstract and hidden things in our psyche. We satisfy some over blown pursuit we build up in our quest for perfection, and that says something about us. We will be able to partake in the experience of music at a much greater level of technicality and this will mean a much greater experience over all. "I will own THIS! and it does THIS!" There are so many things that happen when we go through the process. I think of how freely people embarked on these experiences in the counter cultural movements of last century. Going to a rock show in the 60s took little to nothing, or a punk show in the seventies, or even a bigger stadium show in the 80s. We are left with paying out the nose for some of those experiences now - whether it be high end gear that reproduces studio and live experiences or actually goign to some live event that costs tons to be experienced once and only be a memory there after. Its just the nature of where we are going...all of these things are down stream of an economic engine that has no one working the control levers out of moral or principle.
 
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