Fantasy Audiophiles vs. Objective Audiophiles: Has the hobby changed? 2009-10-23 15:19:19 I believe the audiophile hobby has significantly changedin the past few decades..Today an audiophile who claims wires sound best 8” off the floor,and sells four 8” wire lifts for $40, may not have his unusual claim questioned by any audiophiles!.There seems to be an unwritten rule of the “Fantasy Audiophile” group:- ‘I won’t question your claims if you won’t question mine, because we share the same basic belief': --- Every thing makes a difference,because that’s what I hear, and I couldn’t be wrong..Fantasy Audiophiles are annoyed by Objective Audiophileswho do listening experiments and report that audible differences among audio components are more difficult to hear than they had expected, unless the two components play music at different volumes..Tests annoy Fantasy Audiophiles (FA’s) for three reasons:.(1) The results contradict FA beliefs about audio.(2) FA’s often invest a lot of money inexpensive audio components, and feel theirpurchase decisions are being second-guessed..(2) For FA purchases, the new component wasrarely auditioned at home playing musicat the same volume as the “old” component, under blind conditions, as done for the audio tests . Objective Audiophiles and Fantasy Audiophileshave different methods for evaluating electroniccomponents and wires:.- Fantasy Audiophiles don’t care if the brand names arevisible, and the components play music at different volumes.- Objective Audiophiles hide brand names and comparecomponents playing music at the same volume..I believe these different audition methodologies will have different results, regardless of the participants involved: With brand names visible, and no volume-matching,I believe Objective Audiophiles would usually “hear differences” too.... That has been my experience as an Objective Audiophile sincethe mid-1980's (and a Fantasy Audiophile for almost two decadesbefore that).Fantasy Audiophiles report almost all electronic components and wires sound different, while Objective Audiophiles report they usuallycan’t hear differences among electronic componentsand wires playing music at the same volume. .Both groups agree that all speakers sound different..What’s changed in the past decade is the ease of “debating” invisible, and sometimes anonymousaudiophiles, online:.On websites where Fantasy Audiophiles flock,character attacks on Objective Audiophiles are “tolerated”..On websites where Objective Audiophiles flock,character attacks on Fantasy Audiophiles are “tolerated”.There is one big difference between Fantasy Audiophiles and Objective Audiophiles:.- Objective Audiophiles make very modest claims about their own listening skills, and are willing to demonstrate their skills in front of witnesses … while Fantasy Audiophiles make extraordinary claims about their listening skills, but refuse to demonstrate their claims in any “test”in front of witnesses. .Based on the typical claims of extraordinary listening skills, that are never demonstrated to witnesses, I came up witha descriptive name for this group of audiophiles: “Fantasy Audiophiles” (one can never know if the claimed listening skills are a fact, or just imagined)..I’m not trying to insult any audiophiles by dividing thehobby into two groups, and naming those groups,but I feel Fantasy Audiophiles and Objective Audiophilesare accurate names..In the “good old days” of audio, prior to CDs,being an “audiophile” mainly meant you collected and enjoyed listening to records.There were no on-line anonymous “debates” over audio components. .Do you think the “good old days” (pre-1980) of audio were better?