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Why is audio so angry?

restorer-john

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#41
Out of those, there’s no doubt that audio is by far the angriest and noisiest hobby, based on forums.
I'd say the photography/camera forums would give audio a good run for its money. Some of those pixel-peepers are crazy.
 

Wombat

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#42
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#43
Dunno the issue your talking about seem's to vary on other sites on hostility. With Reddit i had to stop posting there when a few posters attacked others for enjoying stuff they didn't like and no idea about they stuff there were talking about. Like how the ER4SR only peaks 0.5% at 100db or getting upset that some guy fave headphone was a Grado GS3000e??.
 

JJB70

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#45
Interesting topic, I find that most of the things I'm interested in attract similar behaviours from hobbyists. I enjoy cycling and if you go on-line some cycling fans are borderline bonkers in their views of Shimano vs. Campagnolo vs. SRAM or carbon composite vs. steel frames and don't get started on wheels and tyres....... I am a railway modeller, and if you want to see full on obsessive behaviour then some model railway forums are verging on tragi-comedy and almost make extreme audiophiles seem reasonable and rational. I think a lot of it comes from passion, if people are truly passionate about something then it engenders strong opinions and attitudes. Part of it is group think and wanting to belong (tribalism), when you look around forums it is quite sad how many are pretty much just whoring themselves to try and be accepted and/or being manipulated by unscrupulous manufacturers who prey on the desires of some to be seen as insiders. Then there is the elitism, many cyclists dismiss the sort of bicycles normal people ride as "bicycle shaped objects" and will deride anything costing less than a decent car as being junk based on the same highly subjective opinions that we see in hi-fi and denial of science. I'm not a materials specialist, but I have a little knowledge of materials science thanks to my jobs having necessitated a decent understanding of material properties and I must admit I sometimes take a guilty pleasure in pointing out the stupidity of some of the arguments as to why certain frames and materials are so much better or junk. And of course, people like to sit in echo chambers where they can be re-assured that their opinions are correct, this is a much wider problem as I think peoples views of world events and politics are in many cases dangerously distorted by confining themselves to media channels and information only providing confirmation bias. Is audio better or worse than other hobbies? I'm really not sure. Something to keep in mind is that these vocal elements tend to exist at the margins of a hobby, they may seem to be a large part of a hobby because of their presence on internet forums and the editorial policy of magazines but in reality they tend to be small niches or niches within niches of hobbies as a whole. The hobby of hi-fi itself is a small niche (just about everybody I know enjoys music on BT speakers, or sound bars, or played on car audio and they seem very happy) and I think it is easy to get a distorted picture if judging a hobby from forums. I am friends with a lot of railway modellers and most of them do not get involved in internet forums and are much more reasonable and normal than you'd expect if you were forming an opinion of railway modellers based on internet forums. I suspect hi-fi is the same.
 

Blumlein 88

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#46
Interesting topic, I find that most of the things I'm interested in attract similar behaviours from hobbyists. I enjoy cycling and if you go on-line some cycling fans are borderline bonkers in their views of Shimano vs. Campagnolo vs. SRAM or carbon composite vs. steel frames and don't get started on wheels and tyres....... I am a railway modeller, and if you want to see full on obsessive behaviour then some model railway forums are verging on tragi-comedy and almost make extreme audiophiles seem reasonable and rational. I think a lot of it comes from passion, if people are truly passionate about something then it engenders strong opinions and attitudes. Part of it is group think and wanting to belong (tribalism), when you look around forums it is quite sad how many are pretty much just whoring themselves to try and be accepted and/or being manipulated by unscrupulous manufacturers who prey on the desires of some to be seen as insiders. Then there is the elitism, many cyclists dismiss the sort of bicycles normal people ride as "bicycle shaped objects" and will deride anything costing less than a decent car as being junk based on the same highly subjective opinions that we see in hi-fi and denial of science. I'm not a materials specialist, but I have a little knowledge of materials science thanks to my jobs having necessitated a decent understanding of material properties and I must admit I sometimes take a guilty pleasure in pointing out the stupidity of some of the arguments as to why certain frames and materials are so much better or junk. And of course, people like to sit in echo chambers where they can be re-assured that their opinions are correct, this is a much wider problem as I think peoples views of world events and politics are in many cases dangerously distorted by confining themselves to media channels and information only providing confirmation bias. Is audio better or worse than other hobbies? I'm really not sure. Something to keep in mind is that these vocal elements tend to exist at the margins of a hobby, they may seem to be a large part of a hobby because of their presence on internet forums and the editorial policy of magazines but in reality they tend to be small niches or niches within niches of hobbies as a whole. The hobby of hi-fi itself is a small niche (just about everybody I know enjoys music on BT speakers, or sound bars, or played on car audio and they seem very happy) and I think it is easy to get a distorted picture if judging a hobby from forums. I am friends with a lot of railway modellers and most of them do not get involved in internet forums and are much more reasonable and normal than you'd expect if you were forming an opinion of railway modellers based on internet forums. I suspect hi-fi is the same.
You forgot to include the cycling forum discussions of proper bicycle fit and fitting. Do you really need a custom frame or will off the rack do? Even one of the early guru's of fit, Ben Serotta voiced the opinion that 98% of the cycling population could be properly fitted by standard sized off the rack frames.
 

JJB70

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#47
You forgot to include the cycling forum discussions of proper bicycle fit and fitting. Do you really need a custom frame or will off the rack do? Even one of the early guru's of fit, Ben Serotta voiced the opinion that 98% of the cycling population could be properly fitted by standard sized off the rack frames.
Indeed, there is a shop in London Covent Garden that are truly evangelical on that topic and seem to do good business charging $$$$$$$$s for fitting consultation. At one time they were high priests of the custom built frame and dismissive of stock frames (at one time they had an arrangement with Serotta to sell frames under their own badge) but finally had to reinvent their position as bike manufacturers went over to monocoque carbon frames where custom manufacture is not practicable. Clearly good bike fit does make a difference but most decent bike shops will set the bike up as part of their service and if you need a different stem length or whatever will offer a special deal for changing stock parts.
 

svart-hvitt

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#48
The web may be ideal for taking out the basis instinct of man, the «reptile» instincts.

As man is cultured, he learns what is humour, irony, sarcasm, he learns to play with words, not just use words and language to get things done.

Internet is not a place to nurture the finer traits of human culture, so everything boils down to reptile hate-love, fight-or-flight.
 

LTig

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#49
The Pure Subjectivist is the one who has declared his own subjective perception to be infallible; so inviolable that if a scientific blind-test method doesn't produce results supporting that subjective impression, well it must the the scientific method that's wrong, NOT ME!
One should show these people a few optical illusions. Using very simple basic tools (like using ones own finger to hide a part of an image) shows them that they cannot trust their eyes telling the truth. This may help no longer trusting ones ears as well.
 

GrimSurfer

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#50
One should show these people a few optical illusions. Using very simple basic tools (like using ones own finger to hide a part of an image) shows them that they cannot trust their eyes telling the truth. This may help no longer trusting ones ears as well.
Many of these ppl have been living in an illusion for years. Your suggestion of showing them an optical illusion is great but they're likely be too engrossed by their own delusion to make the connection.
 

pozz

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#51
Knowledge and judgment are moral things. Coming with every triviality is a question about how the world works and your ability to participate in it. Which means that a lot is actually at stake.
 

GrimSurfer

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#52
I once had this sort of discussion with a particularly bothersome twit. We were talking about power supplies, in which he questioned the role of PS caps in a power amp.

I suggested he prove his point by unplugging his amp and touch the terminals of his PS caps. If he was right, nothing would happen. If he was wrong, I cautioned him that the consequences might be fatal.

He replied with an emotional response, trying to elicit mod action against my post. They did nothing. LOL.

A few people were secretly hoping he'd test the limits of his ignorance. I just wanted him to confront it. Nobody got their wish that day.
 
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JJB70

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#53
In many ways I think that the debate between objectivism and subjectivism in audio is a false one, or at least there are certain qualifications. I love the measurements here and enjoy objective reviews and commentary. Just as I still read the writings of Peter Aczel (I could read his musings all day). Certainly I think that the only rational way to design audio equipment is by applying sound scientific and analytical techniques, the great Peter Walker of Quad had wise words on that subject decades ago. However, I also think that it is easy to become fixated on measurement and start fretting about differences which are easily measurable but inaudible. I think this is the case with DACs especially. And ultimately if whatever you use to listen to music makes you happy and allows you to enjoy music without feeling that equipment is coming between you and the music then my honest advice would be to just enjoy it and not worry about it. I have done quite a bit of listening to music on sound bars over the last year or two at friends houses and I can understand why they are happy with them as although it may not be a solution many here would want it offers a clean and simple solution and they do sound pretty good. Ditto some of the BT speakers you can buy now. So I do think that subjectivism has its place.
 

Dialectic

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#54
Good thread and good points made here already. I have three major hobbies at the moment on which I spend some time on forums:
- Transport-biking - i.e. using bicycles, often motor assisted, for transporting around all the stuff people usually transport in cars
- Playing digital and acoustic pianos
- Audio

Out of those, there’s no doubt that audio is by far the angriest and noisiest hobby, based on forums. It’s way beyond the other two in testosterone level and posturing.

I attribute that to two things:
A) it’s a male hobby with almost no women to calm things down
B) it’s to a large degree about relatively expensive technology stuff, which makes it suited as a status and hierarchy thing, and allows men who think their penises are too small to feel better about themselves. But then challenges to one’s audio beliefs or stuff also becomes a challenge to one’s *****.

My five cents.
I'm angry because of the blatant bullshit and fraud that is perpetrated regularly in this hobby, by sellers, manufacturers, promoters, and "journalists." If audio weren't so insignificant, most of them would be in prison.

EDIT: Not all of them are bad, of course. Just the vast majority....
 
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#55
In many ways I think that the debate between objectivism and subjectivism in audio is a false one, or at least there are certain qualifications. I love the measurements here and enjoy objective reviews and commentary. Just as I still read the writings of Peter Aczel (I could read his musings all day). Certainly I think that the only rational way to design audio equipment is by applying sound scientific and analytical techniques, the great Peter Walker of Quad had wise words on that subject decades ago. However, I also think that it is easy to become fixated on measurement and start fretting about differences which are easily measurable but inaudible. I think this is the case with DACs especially. And ultimately if whatever you use to listen to music makes you happy and allows you to enjoy music without feeling that equipment is coming between you and the music then my honest advice would be to just enjoy it and not worry about it. I have done quite a bit of listening to music on sound bars over the last year or two at friends houses and I can understand why they are happy with them as although it may not be a solution many here would want it offers a clean and simple solution and they do sound pretty good. Ditto some of the BT speakers you can buy now. So I do think that subjectivism has its place.
The subjectivism vs. objectivism debate in audio has a huge double standard though. If a $100 DAC measures bad, it's junk of course. But if a $1000 DAC measures bad, then it's "measurements don't tell the whole story".
 

JJB70

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#56
The subjectivism vs. objectivism debate in audio has a huge double standard though. If a $100 DAC measures bad, it's junk of course. But if a $1000 DAC measures bad, then it's "measurements don't tell the whole story".
I probably worded that badly, I have no time for golden eared subjectivist reviewers and snake oil. However, if you have an audio system that you enjoy then don't get into a mindset that you need something better because of measurements. And aspects such as the industrial design and quality can also be important.
 
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#57
I probably worded that badly, I have no time for golden eared subjectivist reviewers and snake oil. However, if you have an audio system that you enjoy then don't get into a mindset that you need something better because of measurements. And aspects such as the industrial design and quality can also be important.
True i can't stand the crowd who get rude as hell to any Grado headphone fan or even ER4 fans kinda, on how there opinions are not valid until they get better measuring gear.
 

Tks

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#60
shane, this is a great topic....kudos.
There are some intriguing, insightful and fun to read answers on this thread. The ones on how humans think/reason, our tribalism, dominance, our innate drive to persuade or destroy others. Fascinating stuff. We all think of ourselves as logical, but I do not think that is how God or more likely Darwin made us.

Here is another angle: Audio components are not scientific instruments, they are enjoyment devices. Their entire purpose is subjective. Is there any proof that people with technically faultless systems enjoy listening more than those with less expensive systems, or more expensive systems with lots of shiny snake oil bits?

I own both a JDS Atom (You have to own that or the Massdrop THX to be a full member here), and a LIttle Dot Mk III tube amp. Not the same price, but close. Looking at the Head-Fi post count as a gauge of user enthusiasm, there have been, since the release of the JDS Atom in Nov. 2018, more posts on Head-fi about the Little Dot Mk III than the Atom. A lot are in the multiple tube rolling threads. The JDS is a little 6 oz plastic square.. The Little Dot is a gorgeous heavy chunk of metal, shiny parts, and it glows. There are a lot of things on the LD you can tweek and fiddle with that subjectively improve the sound.

So, who is having more fun, the Atom or LD Mk III owner, in a sector where fun is what it is supposedly all about?

I can understand why someone who just spent $500 on a power cord that looks fantastic and comes with a compelling, if totally false, story; is upset if we challenge their choices and are the cause of them liking their systems less. Is it objectively the right thing to do to provide the misinformed with science if it lessens their fun?
Damnit, the RME isn’t enough.. hurry up Massdrop, delivery my damn 789 so I can be a full memeber here already!
 
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