If you ask a random person with little interest in audio about, say, audiophile speaker cables, the response tends not to be one of "That's silly," but "Caring about differences that small is that silly - I bet they're really hard to hear." That there are audible differences between all these things (excluding the differences from things like impedance) is now taken as fact.
From that perspective, how do you see audio returning to sanity?
Audiophilia has succeeded in not so much skewing the ridiculous "Woo vs Science" argument, but rendering it irrelevant to 90% of consumers by removing the choice as to which to believe. You believe what you are presented with, and by the time you are aware of other views you've very likely bought into (in a very literal sense!) the silly belief system, and a whole array of powerful cognitive drivers come into play to keep you onboard.
How *can* audio return to sanity when the *intuitive* position, for someone who is new to it, is one of "Everything sounds different and the best way to judge it is by sitting down and casually listening", reinforced at every possible turn by virtually everything?
By the time it transpires what a terrible position the intuitive one was, all is lost, if you'll pardon the hyperbole...communities that even approach HydrogenAudio's stance seem destined to remain a minority...
I think that all that is needed is a big enough minority that favor the HA-style viewpoint that most people have at least got a chance to hear the truth before they are too far gone.
Quote from: Arnold B. Krueger on 30 May, 2012, 09:12:39 AMI think that all that is needed is a big enough minority that favor the HA-style viewpoint that most people have at least got a chance to hear the truth before they are too far gone.But as long as that minority only hangs out on HA, they are easy to ignore. I am happy to see that a small bunch of us seem to have steered CA into a slightly saner direction, head-fi is probably a lost case. :-/
CA = Computer Audiophile?
Surely they would get the sense that a technical field can't be treated like wine tasting.The main problem for me is when pseudo-science is thrown into the mix. That requires even more education to sort out the bullshit.
Consumers have the choice of whether to get educated about a topic or not. If they opt not to then they get to choose who to believe/follow. When it comes to luxury goods it is hard to make a case for government funding for an educational program when the consequences would not be good for local employment/business/taxes/...
Obviously, some place along the way you found this little hotbed of audio sanity. ;-)
If anything, HydrogenAudio and others have become more marginalised over time, as those who participate in those communities are increasingly perceived as mad zealots who just want to stamp on all the proverbial sandcastles.
Quote from: Arnold B. Krueger on 31 May, 2012, 07:37:33 AMCA = Computer Audiophile?Yes.
Got some heavy golden ears over there. Do they have anti-ABX rules
1. Hm, probably thanks to ~promotion of foobar2000 by one regional tech blog, since its very beginnings at the turn of 2002/2003 - and I believe fb2k made HA its ~home quite early on?...ironically enough, it was largely promoted there on the basis of being better in audio quality (yeah, with the usual lossy encodes of decade ago, and typically poor audio hardware of ~kids frequenting that tech blog), if I recall correctly - "yeah, maybe it looks like notepad, but it sounds better than Winamp" (well, how Winamp was in a bit of a turmoil with version 3, back then, didn't help its image). Heck, the technical (audio pipeline) aspects were possibly given undue importance also in early ~"official" fb2k PR, IIRC?
Quote from: Arnold B. Krueger on 31 May, 2012, 07:32:53 PMGot some heavy golden ears over there. Do they have anti-ABX rulesNonetheless sometimes it makes fun to read over there.
That there are audible differences between all these things (excluding the differences from things like impedance) is now taken as fact.
At which point it descends into fraud? (and many places do have regulation about standards of advertising, etc.)
And anyway, there's not much of a choice there: you can't possibly track every body of knowledge that you would consider quite important, if you started tracking it - probably we aren't able to keep an eye even on 1% of issues that form our comfy modern lives. That's what societies and so on are about.
When it comes to luxury goods... I do think it's worthy to exert an effort of resisting such primitive impulses (generally, positional or even veblen goods; especially vs. sustainability of our lifestyles). "Good for local employment/business/taxes/..." feels like going in the direction of broken window fallacy. Imagine how we could benefit if all those efforts and resources weren't, really, wasted on spurious activities and pursuits.
Unclear - do they have anti-ABX rules?
You say that, but it's kind of irrelevant when most people have stopped buying pure hi-fis.It's kind of ironic. Back when there were huge sonic differences between most pieces of equipment, review magazines of the day barely mentioned them! (all the archive of gramophone magazine are available on line - take a look at the 1960s hi-fi reviews!). Manufacturers strove for sonic transparency, but the technology of the time made it difficult.Then today, when lots of stuff really does sound the same, and even more importantly some expensive stuff doesn't aim for sonic transparency, we get differences invented for the samey stuff, yet idiotic design choices for the expensive stuff are excused (because they pay for adverts!).But it doesn't matter. Because normal people just aren't buying this stuff any more. And you could speculate which is cause, and which is effect.Cheers,David.