Fact or fiction?
I thought it might be fun to start a mini-series called Fact or Fiction: dispelling or accepting audiophile beliefs. Not to get political, but when it has somehow become acceptable to separate facts into categories of believably I thought it’s time to put some of these concepts to the test.
What I will attempt to do is offer up the audiophile belief and then follow that with what facts we know and how they may or may not relate to real life.
Here’s the list we’ll tackle and, if you have others to suggest, certainly feel welcome to offer your suggestions in the comments section.
- Performance above 20kHz matters
- Expensive audio equipment always sounds better
- Vinyl is more musical than digital
- Amplifier headroom matters
- Power supplies are equal in importance to amplifier circuits
- Sub-woofers are an unnecessary luxury
- Parts quality affects performance
- Single driver speakers are better than multi-driver designs
- Speaker size should match the room
- Cables matter
- Vibration isolation products are snake oil
That’s quite a list and we start with item number one in tomorrow’s post.
I agree with most of this.
I have great a great sounding digital set up, but I find it hard to go back to vinyl, for different reasons than Paul and it all has to do with spoiling me for the best quality sound.
My digital sounds great and is so convenient with all my music on an iPad, at my fingertips.
Better sound quality would be vinyl. Reel to Reel is probably better yet.
Other than the essentials: sweet, salty, savory, our tastes are learned. And those learned tastes don’t apply to only flavors, they cover quite a bit of ground. I remember forcing myself to learn opera because I didn’t want to miss out on an entire catalog of music. Now, it is among my all time favorites.
Reproduced sound is also an acquired taste, though it’s one of the easiest to come by. If we hear a favorite form of music on a decent stereo system we’re immediately attracted. As well, there are few of us who don’t gravitate towards better within the category. But once we’re exposed to reproduced music a kind of standard is set up in our heads. Deviation from this new norm, even if it is technically better, is often met with difficulty.
I was raised on vinyl and when digital came around I was repulsed. Of course, in those early days I had every reason to run. Digital back then was nasty. But over time it’s gotten better to the point of more than just acceptance and now I find it hard to go back to vinyl.
The tough part of our quest for music’s enjoyment is the polarized nature of the two major mediums: vinyl and digital. Depending on what your acquired tastes for reproduced sound might be you’ve likely chosen one over the other. And that’s fine because knowing each is an acquired taste allows us the freedom to understand one isn’t necessarily better than the other.
Vanilla or chocolate can both taste good.