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New content can be found under the Stupidity heading below.
It’s not a real corporation, but a futile spray on a global juggernaut of deceit by exploitative marketers and willing consumption by idiots who choose to believe it in their pursuit of the “ultimate” sound system, only to dive unwittingly even more deeply into mediocrity and addlepated delusion. For example there is no audible difference whatsoever between CD (standard PCM) and so-called “high-res” PCM stereo downloads and I proved it, but try convincing an audiofool. It doesn’t matter how awesome they think their speakers, amps and more particularly their own 40+, or 50+ year old ears are. There’s no audible difference at a digital level! But they’ll pay a premium and claim to hear something extra – every single time.
The hi-fi salesman has no interested in the customer or the quality of his sound system. He sees only a commission. If the customer is so uneducated and ignorant of science and engineering as to believe what he says, then he deserves what he gets – over-priced mediocrity.
- Although apparently rantish by it’s shear length, this page has been appended over some 5 or so years. Please be amused, bemused, offended or bored by it in that context.
- Any audiofool thugs looking for a place to vent their ignorance and punch each other are not welcome to comment here! Join the Facebook group “Audio Bullshit” instead. It’s already infiltrated by trolls and audiofools who don’t recognise themselves as the targets.
- Oh and is this a fat-shaming page? Not really. They shame themselves with excuses. The extra “!“s simply indicate an observed correlation. 😆
The targets are primarily the owners of sponsorship-based audio forums, their sponsors and subscribers, boutique hi-fi salesmen and manufacturers who can’t utter two sentences without at least one containing a deception, technically incompetent audio equipment reviewers who receive free samples in exchange for their most florid verbal diarrhoea, and ignorant placebo-affected audiophile fantasizers who adopt the easy path of mindlessly believing and regurgitating the trash ad nauseam rather than applying what little intelligence they might have to learn basic theory and/or simply shutting up. It’s a vicious cycle around maintaining prices which are orders of magnitude above true value through deceit and that’s why it winds me up. If it offends, too bad! It has offended me for years. Specious sales pitches with meaningless words like “Signature Series” deliberately exploit the dubious belief systems of non-technical expectation biased tweak obsessors acquired from audio magazines and the ‘net. They bounce one piece of misinformation off another. One ligitimate blogger quite humorously refers to them as “occult audiophiles”. I only wish I thought of that one! 😆 😆 They also come in the shape of self-proclaimed experts and gurus (usually with a commercial agenda) loitering around audio forums spewing quackery at their adoring followers. If you enjoy the page – good – you’re probably in the sensible minority and I hope you find my spin at least mildly amusing – if somewhat uncompassionate. 😛
Then there are the “casual audiofools”. These are people who have other (less important) things to do, but randomly come out with such pearls as “vinyl just sounds better, sorry” (a morning TV news presenter). They’re not really targeted here and can just be ignored/forgiven.
Some might consider this page the rantings of a “hater”. It isn’t. It’s the rantings of someone very annoyed with the stupidity of it all. The money could have gone to charity! Others might consider it simply unconstructive. I can only hope that in some small way it is.
I used to be one of these idiots! Yes – too busy with work to think about my audio hobby sensibly and spent money like it was going out of style. It is extremely shameful and embarrassing! But as time goes by one learns that “science does not care what you believe” and I was believing the advertising! I finally saw the light in semi-retirement and now fully retired, haven’t looked back!
I was a member of a Sydney-based audio club for a couple of “amusing” months, but with only one or two exceptions it too proved to be a parade of blind believers in the absurd – a most annoying slew of guff spouters. Each month these retards expected you to fill in “feedback” cards with “ratings” on such things as the interconnects used on the day! A cult of imbeciles. Some of what follows is quoted from a few of its more vocal members.
July 2020 update
I had a look to see if that Sydney-based club had improved in the 5 or 6 years since I left it. Its ridiculous president had resigned and I figured that could only be a good thing, BUT NO! Once bitten, twice shy. I dipped a toe into their Facebook group, but only lasted 2 days before exiting stage left. Had I not done so voluntarily, I’m sure they’d have booted me for insubordination. The mere expression of certain facts about the limited fidelity of LP was met with a warning to be “respectful”. Respectful of what? Crummy pressed discs of scratchy vinyl or the birdbrains still swearing by them? It is a failed, fragile technology like valves! Apparently I seriously ruffled some feathers. So they’re still to be regarded as a cult of deliberately defiant dimwits to be avoided. Respect is to be earned – not presumed. These blithering boobies still swear by their $3000 power cables, which can do no more than deliver dirty mains power from a wall socket – while voiding their home insurance for non safety compliance. These are the same people who cannot tell you what Ohm’s Law is about! What’s that?
- An active, but moronic and undisciplined home audio enthusiast in a dazed state of delusion perpetuated by marketing that saw him as a sitting duck in their cross-hairs. An unwitting, brainwashed extension of the audio industry’s marketing department, who speaks in trademarks rather than fact. Usually a cake-gorging, beer-swilling slob having exercised neither brain nor body for decades. → A fool so far gone he denies it. A technical ineptitude and believer by choice. The one without so much as high-school science who rejects scientific evidence as too difficult – preferring to elevate himself by proudly sharing delusions gathered from hi-fi publications about expensive products and who can hear the flutter of butterfly wings on Mars. With copious toxic abdominal flab, these credulous displayers of expectation bias are proud to remain in oblivion, they “hear things” that others cannot (like “improvements” from expensive cables). They usually need to feel special and better than their peers through ownership of perceived-exotic home audio equipment. When faced with a suggestion that their claims, lifestyles and obsessions are absurd, the most stupid of these recalcitrant deniers usually become emotionally defensive, but never provide a meaningful argument – instead retorting with anecdotal twaddle in puerile attempts to discredit you with words like “you are in denial”.
- One who actually desires the sound of resonances and other distortions without so much as realising that what they “enjoy” is garbage. They therefore waste their lives on: LPs, SET amps, ESL and other dipole speakers etc. and stick them all on spikes, cones or “isolators” that isolate nothing. They also like to use the words “reference”, “synergy” and “solution”! 😆
- One who prefers debating the merits of MQA (sorry I was too generous with the word “merits”) over measuring their own speaker/room interactions with a view to correcting REAL non-linearities that are actually audible!
Synonyms: audiophool, audiophile, cretin, subjectivist, lunatic, defective individual, cognitive dissonant and yes – sitting duck.
Audiofoolsville: A place of audiophile elitism and stupidity en masse.
Primary character traits of all audiofools:
- They have extremely low fidelity “fancy brand” sound systems,
- They have profound hearing impairment so imagine hearing “air”,
- They always come back with anecdotal drivel – often prefixed by “I know what I hear”, but usually repeated from a commercially motivated “product review”, or from another audiofool,
- They like to use the word “Nirvana” or derivations of it like “Audivana” (which I deliberately just misspelt!)
Am I an audiofool?
Try this quick quiz and fill the gap: Did I buy a product with a band name like “A[blank]Quest”? If the answer is “yes”, then YES! Or “Did I purchase a vinyl LP or an audio tape recently? If “yes”, then ABSOLUTELY YES!
What do the most serious audiofools have in their systems?
- OB loud speakers (often electrostatic), or UUilson speakers
- SET valve amplifiers
- DSD or MQA capable DACs
- Fancy cables
- Spikes or other “isolators” (that don’t) under everything
- “Room treatments” other than ordinary furnishings
What kind of equipment do audiofools not use?
- grey matter
- A calibrated test microphone
Audiofools grew up without self-control. They failed the marshmallow test. That’s why most of them are overweight. They must have that latest DAC now, or they’ll have a childish melt-down.
- Add. (August 2017): An audiofool just purchased a new AUD5K DAC. It replaced a near-identical DAC that also cost some AUD5K a coupe of years prior. He believed the marketing spiel and that the superior on-paper (most likely false) technical specs would produce miracles. Gushing with excitement he invited some people over to regale its astonishing glory. Well IF YOUR SPEAKERS ARE STILL THESE AND YOUR AMPS ARE STILL THOSE, YOUR WEAKEST LINK IS CERTAINLY NOT THE DAC! Of course it sounded the same and a second-hand Focusrite 2i2 for $80 would sound the same too!
Audiofools need to learn that measurements do not care what they believe!
A typical audiofool interaction at an on-line forum:
- Air Head A (perhaps just back from Hill$ong) raises a stupid question – unanswerable for omitting essential information.
- Guru B (who like Air Head A chose the easy path of arts and humanities at high school, but was the school bully) jumps in with an absurd answer (defying any one of Newton’s Laws) and which would still have been wrong even with the missing information.
- Poor C (who also pretended to study arts and humaities, owns the site and was bullied by Guru B at school, but doesn’t know it’s him) enters and endorses Guru B’s “great advice” because it happened to involve the purchase of site-sponsor D’s over-priced and ineffectual Product Z- (that’s Z minus).
- Engineer E who shall remain nameless (but passed maths and science at university with distinctions and who should probably know better, but has a strange masochistic failing) stumbles onto the thread part way though an Internet search and attempts to correct Guru B’s retarded answer instead of pressing on with his search.
- Thug F, Quasi Professor G (who quotes from Wikipedia) and Sargeant H (a forum “moderator”) as well as Poor C come to Guru B’s defence and ridicule each other in agreeing that Engineer E is a “troll”.
- Air Head A dashes out to purchase Product Z-, believes he hears more air – this time around his head (or some such air-related BS) and shares this fantasy back at the forum much to Poor C’s delight. Now Guru B has a new disciple and the sorry cycle of blind ignorance continues. They probably continue to ridicule Engineer E because they’ve formed a stronger pack – not realising that Engineer E got amnesia from banging his head against the wall and never looked back.
😆 😆 😆
All but Engineer E are irremediable audiofools.
Where might you find audiofools?
Perhaps at these places:
- at duiAudio.com – an endless parade of the same recalcitrant fuckwits where the prime “moderators” are very apparently the prime antagonists (and audiofools themselves)
- at the thread about the making of the twin line array towers with 25 supposedly “full-range” drivers per side. A complete waste of effort. Line arrays are for PA and are for mono – YES MONO! They are intended to deliver shitty mono to a wide-spread audience and nothing more. There is no place for stereo line arrays in small rooms. The fruitless, copious and randomly overlayed DSP filtering in desperate attempts to get them sounding acceptable can only crush the dynamic range and will never result in a system having low IMD or any semblance of a convincing soundstage. And the comb filtering! If you’re interested, take a look at the horrendous distortion measurements. They don’t even recognise and acknowledge that they’re horrendous! Update (October 2017): Now he’s using even more DSP to roll off the treble! If you just built proper speakers and used tweeters as tweeters you could probably listen to them!
- June 2018 and that two towers thread is over 4000 posts long and he thinks he needs to re-do his DSP on the basis of a new power amp in the system! “Now that my amplifier is up and running as it should be, my DAC has moved and now resides by the amplifier, I’m about to redo some of my processing to make up for the small differences between the Pioneer amplifier and the new one.” Ermm.. there aren’t any audible differences between any two competent amplifiers. If an amplifier isn’t completely linear across the audible bandwidth then something is seriously wrong!
- at most other duiAudio threads and certainly the one discussing the optical attenuator. What a bunch of OCD retards
- off with the loonies at stereo met dot com dot au *
- at any forum set up to venerate an expensive hi-fi brand
- at every page of audio gone
- at practically any other audio forum – especially the ones where members receive “thumbs ups” because other twits considered their misguidance “helpful” 😆
- at either side of the counter at any boutique hi-fi store
- anywhere they’re discussing an audio product with the word “Research” or “Labs” in its name
- anywhere they’re discussing an audio product with a precious metal or gem in its model name – especially “diamond” for speakers. For example, here to the right → is the hideous and embarrassing truth about an expensive speaker not only with the word “Silver” in its name, but “reference” as well. What a pile of garbage!
- anywhere they’re discussing a tone arm or cartridge (or anything else to do with vinyl records) in a positive light. If you still buy vinyl, sorry but you’re an audiofool
- at any audiophile club (usually front row, centre and always those on the “committee”)
* This is probably the worst of the toxic worst. An endless parade of ignorant wankers and otherwise irremediable ignoramuses. They assess the technical merit of such harmless things as cables solely on the basis of RRP! Dare not shed any light on their sponsor’s revered Śūnyatā products or you’ll be “warned” then banned by an alleged “moderator”. DSD, “isolation” spikes and cables galore. IDIOTS! Go there for “purchasing advice” if you dare.
Verbose Aside (you can skip this bit):
Call me a masochist, but before uploading this page I actually sat through an entire audiophile society meeting. Don’t get me wrong – there were one or two sensible and highly skilled people in the group, however they were the exception and the meeting as a whole was fundamentally painful. It was basically a group hypnotherapy session for pot-bellied believers of “The Absolute Nerve” magazine, “Half Dozen Moons” (or is it “Six Loons”?) and similar irksome pollution like Stereophool Magazine. In fact its president wrote fairy tales for one of them. A random guest salesman/magician/hypnotist/crook stood at the front and sewed the poisonous seeds of suggestion and the group then listened with eyes either glazed in wondrous bewilderment, or closed (as though in prayer) – either way actually hearing the suggested differences between the heavily marked-up products despite the fact that they all suffer from profound hearing impairment! They either missed the showman changing the volume at the end of the preceding track while talking jovially as a decoy (they are all jovial – they need to be to gain the confidence/money), or the simple fact that the substituted component had a different electrical gain. I looked around the room, heard no differences apart from the obvious volume change and shook my head quietly when they spewed comments about improved “air”, imaging and various other imagined “magazine talk” BS phenomena. And they will never change – even to the point of ever-hearing the “vast” improvements after a power cable swap! All this without so much as moving the crummy speakers! Go home and dial another clairvoyant!
Within such groups there is usually at least one “supreme loud-mouthed smart A” usually with a commercial agenda but with no engineering or science degree (probably not even a Higher School Certificate). One such fog horn at the meeting had the gall to turn around and exclaim that “damping factor is a myth”. If that were true, then numbers themselves must be mythical because it’s just a definition by ratio! Sure extremely high damping factors are pretty irrelevant, but so what? Turns out he lurks around places like duiAudio.com with an avatar being a PhotoShopped graphic representation of himself – looking quite “scientific” and convincing. What is that – a lab coat? He has “endorsements” and blind followers who seem to hang on every word. It’s all BS. I’d link to his web site (maybe I will right here). He and so many others seem to actually believe their own crap and it’s all part of the mass of misinformation. Simple fact: They have no formal credentials.
Here are some actual examples of the stupidity – I’ll add to the top as I recall things or encounter new ones:
- Just discovered a UK-based Facebook group called “Audio Cables” with thousands of idiot members. Their spiel: “This group is dedicated to ALL audiophiles and music lovers who know how important component of audio system cables are”. Both grammatically and (probably) factually defective. “Probably” as I assume of course that their members don’t know how unimportant they are.
- Did a quick search related to speaker stuffing and came across this in a “let’s all be dumb” forum. Dr Avuncular starts off with “Let me clear up the misunderstanding”, then goes on to say … (wait for it) … “What you really want is air pressure blowing accross the port, not sound.” Um no! What you Dr Avuncular want is a basic level of education.
- Revisiting the stupid “cable elevators” – those dumb-arse things to raise speaker cables off the floor. One of the ignorant assertions is that there’s a detrimental magnetic field interaction between the speaker cable and the floor. When reminded that the floor is typically either timber or concrete, these nitwits introduce steel rebar reinforcing to the argument. They have very obviously never used a current clamp! Try putting the jaws of an AC current clamp around a standard speaker cable while playing music and you’ll see a sum total of 0.000V on the DMM! You’d have to bifurcate the cable then clamp just one half anyway. That forms the single primary winding of the transformer formed by the “secondary” clamp jaws. Zero reading: no net field! Even if there were a net field, SO WHAT?
- Now they’re raving about “improved detail and clarity” from USD500+ audiophile Ethernet “regenerators” and “isolators”! WTF? Idiots! The only valid reason for purchasing an Ethernet switch is to get more ports! If you need one, then buy a used HP ProCurve, Cisco, Netgear or other ordinary brand of unmanaged switch and be done for $40. They’re plug and play perfection. The big IT companies spend millions on R&D, whereas these bastards’ budgets are spent primarily targeting the most stupid and gullible placebo swallowers in the world – the audiofool market.
- That enduring fraud over at DUIaudo.com has been around for years and keeps pumping out sh|t like this: “I have already shown to a number experts and physicists that an amplifier can produce two 2KHz sine waves simultaneously and 30 degrees apart, you have to ask the question, which sine wave are you listening to? One represents the voltage of the amplifier and the other is the current of the amplifier.” Really ❗ ❓ It would be one thing showing them, but another thing altogether to describe their reactions. An audio signal is never anything other than a single voltage at any point in time ❗
- A self-appointed authority on in-room speaker set-up publishes a paper called “PRINCIPLES AND TECHNIQUES OF SPEAKER PLACEMENT” that’s downloadable as a PDF. He describes a supposedly ideal (yet impractical and ridiculous) speaker and seat arrangement in which the speakers are at the “center points” [sic.] of an “ellipsoid” [sic.]. Imbecile! An ellipsoid is a three dimensional surface! He shows in plan a rectangular room and an ellipse with the speakers at its foci. The ellipse has all room walls as tangents and the seat is at the rear wall. Genius author then writes: “In this position the sound from the speakers reaches the ears before any reflections coming from the sidewalls, resulting in a better soundstage and an unaltered perception of the speakers’ tonal balance.” What! Mate – if the speakers are facing the seat, then ALL positions in the room satisfy that criterion! You’re an idiot in disguise!
- The Van den Hoax “Extender” allegedly has a kind of telepathic power. A wooden box with a light on it, but they say it “produces no sound and is also not a supertweeter. You cannot measure or hear any sound coming from The Extender. The Extender emits a signal which communicates direct with the brain.” The whack job behind it describes it as a “torsion field generator” which is a pseudoscientific fraud of Soviet origin. Unbelievable!
- A Facebook group called AnalogSound has over 6.7K members who drool over reel-to-reel tape machines. Maybe they’re mesmerised by the spinning spools. Any $50 second-hand CD player will perform better!
- TV “News Breakfast” presenter said today “I was listening to high-res in the car”! Yep – sure you heard all that “micro-detail” over the traffic too.
- Just spent some time “observing” over at duiAudio.com and have come to the conclusion that nothing of any value has ever been shared there! An example from a tool who calls himself Max Headroom: “Nope, speaker cables are one of the first of your worries because they are last in the energy train and are ‘final filters’ of sorts. AC cables as ‘final filters’ are similarly important because they are the system connection to energy admitted in from the ‘outside world’. All those upstream resistors, caps, opamps, pcb’s, wires, cables, power transformers/supplies, enclosures, connectors, interconnection cables etc etc each have a voice in the sound of the system. The speaker final cables diminish these upstream voices and add an overwriting new voice that imprints the ‘house sound’ characteristic of different cable types. Cables are final filters, get used to it, understand it, utilise this knowledge and you can find the right cable to enable you to enjoy your music even more.” Bloody twat hears voices! Several posts later he claims to hear the colour of speaker cable insulation!
- The total phuck-wit wanker “ZA” interviewed here surely takes the cake!
- Just remembered from ages ago: this fool had purple “velvet” sleeves (or socks) around the plugs of his expensive power cables! YES – velvet! They even had “cute” little laces to tie them in place! What the socks were supposed to achieve still eludes me. Shame the cable itself was completely incompetent for having no ground conductor but hey – who cares? Just another “electro-magical” miracle from hell!
- An example of ingrained/obsessive need to “upgrade” by paying for something, when the time would be better spent on grammatical upgrades: “Hello, so I am currently still using MC 20. Have there been any upgrades in regards to sound quality output since or any other massive features that would warrant the upgrade? I don’t have any bugs or crashes atm so just trying to see if there’s even 1% audio improvements to justify an upgrade.” Despite not making it clear whether he wanted “massive features” or a mere “1%” it attracted an even more interesting answer: “Memory playback, the SoX resampler, TPDF dithering, the WDM driver, etc. have all been added since MC21 was released.” The truth: None of those things have any audible impact whatsoever! The real answer to the question is: “We haven’t bothered in 5 years to correct our lame DSP Studio. As a result our “Linkwitz Riley” filter remains undefined and useless along with most of the rest of it, so NO.”
- Golden-eared 75 year-old claims to hear a test sweep past 15kHz on cheap PC speakers that measure 10dB down by then!
- The use of the word “cab” for “enclosure”. A cabinet is a storage unit! Irksome.
- Classic blubber-brained audiofool line: “I know what I’m hearing“. Well no you don’t! You took the cable to your mental midget peer’s place, suggested to him that there was something wrong because you were having a bad hair day, he washed the seed down with booze and agreed on the basis of one thing only – confirmation bias! Only an imbecile would consider a $900 cable as some kind of “reference” BTW. The “reference” is $20 and there is no audible difference. Oh when you dislocate that chicken wing shoulder lifting one of those cables, that’s just “too bad, too bad”.
- About 3 years ago I inquisitively (yet somewhat reluctantly) listened to a pair of the most famous DIY open baffle loudspeakers out there. Let’s just call them the “Bellend-521”
designedconjured by the late Sigmund Winston. These are IMO a monstrosity of “design” – empirically “calibrated” not by measurement, but by the sole and dilapidated ears of it’s famous (for other reasons) conjurer. There is no mention anywhere of double blind comparisons to real sealed speakers, and there are no polar measurements to be found anywhere on the ‘net to validate their allegedly brilliant “controlled directivity”. The owner claimed that they were built exactly to design and that the active 4-way crossover was to spec. The imaging, spaciousness and general fidelity of these speakers was woeful to be generous. And the bass was shot. Seriously I might as well have been listening to a 1950s radiogram! But there are hoards of believers and followers all over the net building these junk piles and actually paying for a set of plans. “Audiophool cultism at its best/worst” someone said to me about them. The only half decent thing about the speakers was their very expensive drivers! Rip them out, mount them in appropriately aligned BOXES and redo the crossovers with his fourth order filters (in which there is some merit – even though they’re just an application of Butterworth filters).
- Ultrasonic record cleaners. The only useful apparatus for your beloved garbage is the recycle bin. Move on!
- Guy in his 60s claims to hear DSD “superiority” with headphones. Have a hearing test for the truth – which is that you can’t even hear all that MP3 has to offer. Get hearing aids.
- OMG – now there’s a cassette tape revival! “Let’s just compress it all below 8 bits worth”! Where will these idiots go next? 78s?
- Ridiculous horn speakers for hi-fi! Let’s just megaphone everything because we can’t hear. Did you ever hear of anyone amplifying a violin through a trombone, or playing a guitar through a sousaphone? Play a horn through itself – that’s what it’s for! 😆 Everything else will honk! For example, this absurd pile of horn garbage → doesn’t quite know if it comprises gramophones, sousaphones or triffids! SET tube amp and all. Hope his only album is “All Time Marching Band Favourites” 😆 Hi-fi loudspeakers are NOT musical instruments!
- “Re-capping”! There’s a decades old obsession among audiofools to replace capacitors in just about anything simply because other audiofools trend it up. Outside of obvious visible or measurable damage this is unnecessary. Not once has any one of them actually admitted that the originals were fine after removal! But they all claim to hear miraculous improvements afterwards! Well they must. Effort and money were spent after all. This is not to say one shouldn’t replace electrolytics when overhauling a very old component for other reasons. That’s just sensible practice, but to strip something down for the sole purpose of “re-capping” is insane.
- Senile delinquent: “… box loudspeaker illuminates the room quite differently from a constant directivity dipole”. So what? The thing is – this guy’s dipole speakers do NOT display constant directivity anyway!
- Some shill helping his mate sell active speakers on a forum posts this “helpful” advice: “Preamps generally add more tonal variation than power amps so you’re free to experiment as you wish.” Well if your preamp isn’t completely linear across 20Hz to 20kHz and has any audible distortion, then it’s an effects unit – not a hi-fi preamp! There are no audible differences between all decent preamps. A basic opamp-based preamp made from a kit ought to be just as good as the very most expensive and elaborate valve or solid state preamps. TRANSPARENT! These arse-wipes have NEVER measured their system performance let alone applied a little EQ here and there!
- There’s still a plethora of cavemen modifying Marantz CD players and Oppo (which they can’t even pronounce) universal disc players – usually the power supplies. Some twit is posting “helpful” butchering advice at that DUI insane asylum to supposedly make a Marantz read CD-R’s “better”. The only optical drive that anyone might need occasionally for audio in 2019 is the one in their PC to rip the music once to HDD! That’s it!
- Insistence that CDs pressed in Japan sound better than the Australian, EU or US equivalent release. NO! If you rip them both with dBPoweramp and see that the checksum for each track is identical, then they are identical! You can show this to them, but they’ll still believe that the Japanese one “sounds better”.
- This typical spew from some tube wanker: “Not only is tube amplifier distortion harmonious, it increases as things get louder – exactly as they do in a musical performance. As instruments play louder, or as you hit a percussion instrument or piano key more strongly, they generate more harmonic content. As notes decay, the percentage of harmonic content drops again. Tube amplifiers mimic this. A good tube amplifier like the (Poo Audio Whatever) increases its distortion directly with output level across three decades of voltage, or a million-to-one power range”. Wow and whoopdee-bloody-doo! Talk about stating the obvious – as though it’s something extraordinary and that any speaker transducer won’t do anyway! Hey dick nose – the harmonic content of instruments is there on the recording and that’s all you need – hi-fi is diminished by additional unwanted but unavoidable embellishments!
- Owner of dubious DIY OB speakers of a well-known design: “These are true dipoles from DC to daylight”. Seriously? Need I even analyse that? Suffice to say 1 – so what? 2 – WTF is so good about a “true dipole”, and 3 – at DC they can do nothing but melt, and in daylight – well I guess at least you’d get to see the smoke.
- “Symbiotic Research Tranquillity Platform” (name may have been changed). You’re supposed to put your DAC or CD player (or anything) on this piece of sh:t which apparently “creates a drain for EM noise so it can immediately find ground by essentially creating a uniform relationship between ground and the fields that exist within a circuit.” Holy crap! Like modern PCBs don’t have a ground plane already? Dick heads!
- From one of the incessant clique of retards at duiAudio.com: “Even more enlightening is to measure (or just listen for it) the amount of sound that comes back out through the cone! Mount a driver in a box (e.g. on the baffle). Put a small speaker inside and play music on it. Enjoy the sound coming out through the thin paper cone! That’s why boxed (closed box, vented, box, etc) speakers often sound very bad. It’s why I am currently only pursuing open baffle designs…” What a self-misdirected imbecile! He is 1: suggesting that such reflections aren’t completely masked by the driver doing what the amp is forcing it to do, and 2: that the so-called “wanted” front wall reflections off the back of his beloved (and stupid) dipoles are somehow OK despite his apparent abhorrence of reflections! AAAARGH!
- Audiofool: “I don’t know the technicalities, but I know what I hear” – validating his purchase of a multi-thousand dollar LP demagnetizer. Um, no!
- The recent dreary discussions of “full range” speaker drivers at the dui stupid asylum. These lazy people won’t put in the hard yards of building properly crossed and aligned speakers and prefer to ask the same dumb question “which is the best full-range driver to use?” The answer is NONE. They are all limited to midrange useability – compromised by their maker’s attempts to defy physics! The ones that go ahead and build something with them often end up resorting to a lifetime of digital “correction” instead. The reality: You cannot digitally eliminate the horrendous distortion.
- “Dual mono”. Ha ha ha! WTF?
- Trying to sell off some piece of audio crap: “Lots of positive reviews”. My spin: “I knew nothing about it then, and if I did I wouldn’t have purchased it, so now – like me – I hope you rely on reviews too”.
- “Using the Wave Kinetics A10-U8 is like using spikes without their inherent sonic signature, or vibrapod like semi soft compound devices without their bloated bass type ill effects”. To think that people actually believe they can hear some kind of “sonic signature” of a “footer” under a DAC! Pretext the discussion with mention of say a USB cable and they’d swear the imagined “signature” was attributed to that !
- The use of Magnesium for speaker cones! Yeah – let’s use the most corrosive metal we can find and skimp on the coating so they have to come back for more!
- USB “regenerators”, jitter “doodles”, “isolators”, “reclockers” and other silly noise filters. Feeding the obsessors with nothing but placebo.
- “Audio grade” USB cables! A $3.95 USB 2.0 certified cable is all that anybody needs! Correction: $4.95 if it needs to be a bit longer. There’s a parade of stupidity emerging on this front too. Obsessors needing to split the power conductors out of the sheath that houses the data lines for example. For what?
- Yet another duiAudio.com thread that opens with a statement of stupidity: “I understand that each surface will gain bass by 3dB so placing it in corner gives us 9dB boost”. Cretinous ignoramus 1: thinks he’s starting from zero dB, 2: that a “surface” is some kind of standard shape and size, and 3: does not know how to add dB. And all in one short grammatically catastrophic sentence! 😆
- The obsessive need for a silent/fanless HTPC! Just get a standard mini PC with a quiet fan and shut up. There’s wind outside. Your fridge is running and your aircon is probably running too!
- “Grand Affairs” (name may have been changed) loudspeakers! OMG, these hideously over-priced thin-walled “tone wood” open baffle junk piles are designed to resonate like a guitar! With bronze field coil “full range” (but not) drivers these are deliberately designed to add harmonics – i.e. ring! “Tuned” solely by deaf ears, these foul resonators are plastered all over YouTube with the tedious rantings (says I 😉 ) of a (now deceased) madman audiofool along with his cohort of moronic yes men. All his speakers have the same “rich” distortion. He uses the words “beautiful” and “nice” over and over to describe it. It is not! Every established rule of proper speaker design is broken – and proudly! Hey – who needs tweeters? We couldn’t hear them anyway. Just another example of people who think a hi-fi speaker ought to act like a musical instrument. NO!
- 1930s type field coil drivers – so what! They need a DC power supply. It just makes a magnet, so use a permanent magnet!
- A recent trend to re-hash the unfunny joke that no decent recordings were made prior to 1995! They claim that microphones and recording equipment wasn’t up to scratch before then. Well as I type I’m listening to something recorded in 1962 and it sounds like it might have been recorded yesterday!
- Computer Audiofool: “Your Volume Levelling is ruining the transients. Can you turn it off?” Me: “No. It’s just an automated album-preserved volume control so you don’t have to keep adjusting the level manually when playing different albums.” Turn down any volume control and you’ll turn down the transients along with everything else above the noise floor of the system which you cannot hear from your seat anyway. It isn’t a dynamic range compressor! That might “ruin” the transients, but just changing the volume? I don’t think so! This nonsense of course came from someone who also insists that any adjustment of the volume done digitally is bad. I think he had a brain spasm when I explained that sometimes “Volume Levelling” increases the level.
- The insistence by brainwashed consumers that their active digital crossovers and/or DSP processing all be done using processor-hungry FIR filters! Who cares? The recording engineers use FIR and/or IIR filters as desired for their different characteristics. Those characteristics are on the recordings. So you use FIR for playback – it won’t undo what the IIRs did to the material! And the speaker drivers are IIR filters!!!!
- Reviewer: “Colorful yet uncolored, the DeVore Orangutan O/96 is the loudspeaker many of us have been waiting for..” (notice they “wait” rather than build)
- Reviewer: “These are musically, harmonically and texturally rich cables…”
- Once writer for The Absolute Nerve (comic book) reviews yet another ridiculous $2000 power cable: “My first startling perception was that the system had been unleashed through a vital, surging force.” And “… each source is now (and don’t ask me how) individually injected with a high-octane, jet-like infusion of pure energy. Moreover, this change is truly neutral… ” Eh? This nitwit surges in neutral apparently. 😆
- “Studio reference amplifier”. WTF?
- Reviewer: “The speakers might have sounded better if they were up off the floor to alleviate energy transfer reactions with the floor. They didn’t have spikes which may well have helped in this respect.” Oh yeah? How’s that?
- Self-appointed “sound engineer” using cheap “audiophile” software suggests he can “correct” the quality of one of the greatest audio recording achievements in history – Georg Solti’s Wagner Ring cycle with the VPO. He says: “However, even in 24/48 I found the treble peakiness irritating, especially in loud trumpets. My solution was a 3.5 dB notch filter centered at 6 KHz plus iZotope upsampling to 96 KHz in Audirvana.” I have the very recording and have even looked at it on a spectrum analyser. It needs no such thing – there is no 6kHz peakiness! Anyway where does he get 6kHz from when the highest trumpet fundamentals are around 1kHz? Genius or smart A? Mate, if you have a speaker resonance at 6kHz that’s your problem!
- Sales spin: “The Spurutech rhodium plated, ceramic fuse has proven to be an excellent complement to the upgraded power supply …”. Sure – so like any other fuse, remove it and it won’t power up. Another genius.
- Sales spin: “As with the other Hydride products (name may have been changed), the HD DAC is cryogenically treated to maximize the sonics. Cryogenic treatment (sic) results in a smoother, more resolved sound.” My spin: Freeze your ears then.
- Hi-fi salesman: “The circuits need music played through them to bed-in properly.” My spin: “You’ll get used to it. Sign here please”.
- In a similar vein: Web site: “… the My-tech (name may have been changed) requires some break-in before it relaxes. Over the course of the first few weeks, the My-tech’s sound changed considerably, going from uptight to relaxed to even more relaxed.” Was that you or the My-tech?
- Reviewer: “Low quality cables can often contribute to sibilance”. Oh yeah? By what mechanism?
- Hi-fi salesman: “I’m burning in some cables for a customer.” My spin: “I’m fundamentally corrupt so in a year or so I’ll call the customer back to suggest that they might have burnt out so he’ll come in for the next ‘platinum signature III series’.”
- Same hi-fi salesman: “Hang on. I’ll just demag’ that CD to take the edge off the sound.” He had magic demagnetiser boxes for sale of course. Apparently these miracles of anti-science demagnetise magnetically reluctant materials! By the way dummy – you just admitted that your super marked-up system sounds “edgy”. 😆 😆 😆
- An individual (half of an age-old duo famous for a couple of analogue filter designs, but where the other guy was obviously the brains) determined to push his dubious dipole flims-panels in his dotage has you rate “spaciousness/openness” on a scale from “airy” to “boxy”! How very convenient – that abuse of the word “boxy”! The guy has basically gone senile, but has a following of believers who spend unnecessary dollars on drivers through his “retail partner” to build piles of junk that both sound and measure like garbage. Throw the flat pack away and build proper speakers using decent drivers bought at fair prices elsewhere!
- Blind followers of the above nitwit at that diy insane forum claim (i.e. repeat) the nonsense about the rear out-of-phase cone radiation bouncing back out of the box (of “boxy” speakers of course) through the cone as “bad”, yet have no problem with the same out-of-phase radiation reflecting off a front wall. IDIOTS! Shove some damping material in the box and shut up.
- Hi-fi salesman: “These interconnects reduce compression.” Me: “Compression of what?” Salesman: “Everything”. My spin: “What little morals I may have once had have long since been compressed by ignorance and greed.”
- Ebay seller of allegedly cryogenically treated RCA plugs: “If you don’t believe me do an A/B test”. My spin: “My head has been cryogenically treated twice. After Thaw A, I wasn’t convinced I’d been completely stupefied, so I tried it again.”
- Audiofool: “I only buy expensive brand name interconnects.” My spin: Measure them!
- Audiofool: “Single-ended triode is the only way to go.” My spin: … well maybe if you enjoy the same flavour and abundance of distortion added to everything you play.
- Audiofool: “I swapped over to the Mordust (name may have been changed) and could hear a big difference.” My spin: “When I swapped the cables I made a clean contact with the sockets without realising.”
- Audiofool: “The Signature Reference Platinum power cable (I invented that one) made a huge difference.” My spin: “… so without it the amplifier wouldn’t turn on eh?” Seriously – if you actually believe that you hear a difference just think about it for a minute. Do I have to say this? You have from tens to hundreds of kilometres of aluminium power cable carrying the mains to your house. WTF is 1 or 2 m of silver, gold or even platinum cable going to do? You tell me! And if you are so lame that you want to say “it must do something because I heard it” then take another pill.
- The use of power cords having USA plugs in Australia and elsewhere.
- An example of some imbecilic reviewer’s power cable assessment: “However, at some point I couldn’t resist and connected a SLapp cable instead of the SPurutech. Sure enough: there was smoother treble and a more relaxed sound. But it subjectively also took away some resolution and articulation in the lower registers. Even though I love smooth treble, this cable was doing more damage than good. Back to the SPurutech then. This is a neutral, detailed sounding cable that is nevertheless comparatively very refined and free from grain. Seeing as it matches so well, I am even more convinced of the Mytech’s neutrality and I think it will work well in many setups and with a wide range of cables.” The guy is dreamimg! I particularly like the “Sure enough” – an admission of lame preconception.
- Audiofool: “Can’t you hear the extraordinary accuracy?” My spin: “I wasn’t there at the recording session so how would I know?”
- Hi-fi salesman: “The only way to implement a volume control properly is within DSP.” My spin: “We cut costs by removing the analogue pre-amp section, but added a 1 to the model number and a grand to the price.”
- Audiofool: “You need a valve amp for fast snappy drums.” My spin: Any amp with a slew rate faster than a mere 2.2V/μs at 20kHz is fast enough for any musical instrument known to mankind!
- Audiofool: “I have never heard drums so fast as on the panel speakers”. My spin: “That’s because they only reproduced the upper half of their frequencies”.
- Audiofool: “It is demonstrated in blind tests that plastic film pots have a much better tone than carbon film pots”. My Spin: “Was that tone you said? Demonstrated by whom?”
- Another audiofool who claims to hear differences between potentiometers, cables and a lot of the other usual BS: “I have recorded this piano (in Room A) and played it back on my speakers (in Room B) and can’t hear any difference”. Of course the implication being that his system is staggeringly awesome (which it was not). So why are you changing your cables and pots then? Reality 1: Piano recording includes acoustics of Room A. Therefore playback in Room B includes acoustics of Rooms A + Room B + distortion! They sound different. Reality 2: You just admitted to having bad hearing and/or being delusional.
- Me: “I can’t hear any difference”. Audiofool: “You don’t know what to listen for.” 😆 😆 😆 🙄 Like your preconceived improvement perhaps?
- Audio reviewer: “… the background is darker. Notes emanate effortlessly with taut transient attacks and decay with a trail of extended harmonics. This inter-note silence somehow creates in the listener a perception of the lower notes being made of tighter ‘stuff’ and of the midrange having an overall smoother more liquid and tonally richer nature.”. My spin: That was about an amplifier! Try it in another room then!
- CEO of very well known US speaker manufacturer on YouTube about their cheap midrange driver: “It has a low noise floor” !!!!! 😯 Funny about that – mine were pretty quiet before connecting them too. 😆
- Some goose trying to sell his second-hand “Jorma” speaker cables for AUD13,000. Reason for sale: “I’ve moved up to all-silver cabling these days”. Why not gold or platinum?
- Audio reviewer who owns junk Dillson Splasha speakers (name may have been changed), and “Audio Magic Orifice” (name may also have been changed) power “conditioner” amidst other lame-branded commercial “power management” junk pieces: “… the remaining cables still consume roughly 40% of the total budget”. And: “… some of today’s high-value speakers and electronics readily reveal any underlying coloration or other distortions in the wiring loom. Finding cables as transparent as the rest of such a system isn’t easy. Those meeting the grade come from the upper echelons of most cable brands.” Are you a complete and utter cretin? You are telling the world that you spent thousands of dollars feeding a delusion that you are listening to a wiring loom! My cables consumed less that 1% of the total budget of an active tri-amplified system (lots of cables) and do a perfectly fine job of achieving the nothingness that cables achieve. Buy it off the roll and shut your mouth. James Randi would have a field day.
- Hi-fi salesman pointing out the more expensive of two similar amplifier racks (yes racks): “This one sounds better than the other one.” 😳
- Audio reviewer on an Ampzilla power amplifier: “There is excellent consistency in the tonal balance between octaves”. Idiot! Are you reviewing speakers, a room acoustic or a musical track? Any half decent power amplifier has flat response over the audible bandwidth!
- Proprietor of a “mystery” item with a non-mysterious price (but probably just houses a 50¢ capacitor) 😆 😆 😆 “The benefits of this process extend beyond the physical length of the Quantum Putrifier (name may have been changed). As electrons speed through the putrifier, a “slipstream” effect is formed which facilitates current flow in the surrounding conductors of the playback system. Introducing Sly Bee Quantum Putrification into the electron path reduces quantum noise and increases signal velocity, resulting in performance improvement beyond what is attainable by any cable alone, no matter how well designed.” Slipstreams in AC eh? 😯 These halfwits have not studied physics and would therefore not know of electron drift, let alone group wave velocity. And if it did accelerate the signal, how is the source going to catch up? Idiots. BTW as soon as you see the words “electron path” or “quantum (anything)” you know the rest is crap.
- One of the craziest nut cases I ever met: “The very best speakers are the ones with inexpensive drivers and massive crossovers of around 2-3 Kg to compensate.” 😮
- Another nut case: “I’m worried that RFI will enter the amp through the cooling slots.”
- Audiofool: “This CD sounds almost as good as vinyl”. Me SCREAMING: “I’m as mad as hell and I’m not gonna take this any more!” 😳 If you think vinyl sounds good, then you have profound hearing and/or mental impairment!
The greatest audio imbeciles of all…
… are those that continue to insist that pressed vinyl records sound better than CDs. This is absolutely retarded lunacy – so stupid that they’ll often resort to quoting such things as the weight of their pressings in grams (because they paid more for heavier ones) as if that’s of some relevance and then shouting their misguided viewpoint even more loudly. They never have a degree in science nor engineering, yet bombard you with such pearls as “you cannot measure it”. Well it’s all been done and what the measurements clearly demonstrate is that LP is grossly coloured, has low SNR (around 65dB), poor stereo separation and provides the equivalent of about 10 or 11 bits of digital resolution at best – like on the first play and with a brand new stylus only. If you get a warm fuzzy feeling from that garbage, too bad. That does not prove that it sounds better. And if it’s a recent release, it’s almost certainly from a digital remaster anyway. They’re so bogus, they don’t know how bogus they are. Oh and if it’s the Appalling Stones that they’re listening to, the SNR can be no greater than zero dB anyway! That’s 1:1! 😆
- The misapplication of “constrained layer damping” material to the walls of home theatre and music rooms in the belief that it will make an audible difference inside the room. No!
- Attempting to bitstream DSD from player software to a “DSD DAC”. They’re all fools. They can’t hear any improved quality from DSD over standard CD format and they cannot even apply a simple digital filter without converting to PCM – and the recording has more than likely been PCM at some point anyway
- Insane question from one audiophile genius to another: “Was there a defining moment when you first realised that sound was an important part of the musical experience?” OMG!
- “All bass traps work best when installed in corners because this is where low frequencies tend to focus”. This is utter BS! Boundary gain at corners is pressure. There’s near zero particle velocity at boundaries! Read Toole! Reality: Bass traps do very little practically anywhere and even less in corners. Don’t buy them! A soft lounge spaced off a wall is very useful to sit on and will provide more (but still nearly zero) “trapping”. Use EQ.
- Audiophile when questioned about his illegitimate admiration of LP in a “high resolution” discussion: “LP is infinite”! Well if you consider 10 bits worth of dynamic range to be “infinite” then the conversation must stop right there (which it did).
- duiAudio.com thread: “Is this a good phono preamp circuit to build?” Well, if you’re living in the 60’s then maybe, but who cares? Otherwise, no!
- The “Fartass golden ratio” (name may have been changed). For goodness sakes this famous company (pushing stupid over-priced cables) is basically telling us that practically everything must adhere to a magical “golden ratio” from the size of the conductors in their speaker wires to the positioning of speakers in a rectangular room! Who believes this drivel? Follow their speaker positioning guidelines and you could barely navigate, let alone furnish the room around the speakers.
- Crazy “supreme sounding opamp substitutes”. Idiot discrete opamp junk piles that stick up about 30mm out of a DIP socket, draw 4 times the current and don’t even compare to a standard LME device costing 100 times less! So much for keeping the leads short to minimise capacitance. Let’s just poke some bulky antennas in there and pretend!
- From a duiAudio.com thread: “Hi Scott. I had the same epiphany when I went from Solen to Jantzen Superior Z caps…”. I think we all know what word to substitute for “epiphany”!
- Mono-blocks! What a joke. Their argument is “stereo separation”. It’s BS. You can feed a stereo signal through a dual opamp. The ones I often use have inter-channel isolation of around 118dB! How much do they think they need? But they’ll continue to impress their friends with authority – especially if their gaudy CrapIntosh mono blocks happen to be the ones with the blue backlit VU meters the size of a computer monitor! Let’s just give them a bow!
- The ridiculous computer audiophile notion that the PC must be disconnected from the internet (even via wi-fi) for best audio quality!
- More computer audiophiles and their obsession over “galvanic isolation”. A whole new wave of paranoia – isolating their “noisy” computers from their USB-connected devices. Hey! Your old CD/DVD player is a computer!
- Claims that the “first Watt” is the most important for a power amplifier. What a load of rubbish. Practically any power amp can deliver a clean 500mA through a 4Ω load! It’s only 2V!
- Van Den Pull (name may have been changed) cable “knowledgebase” and “technical papers”. Translation: Random nonsense.
- Some smart high school drop-out on a forum: “A 12-inch woofer has a theoretical surface area of 452 square inches.” Oh yeah? By what formula is that?
- The recent obsession with LDRs at duiAudio.com! A complete and utter waste of time and for what? Use a pot as a pot! Actually duiAudio.com has become so retarded that I only ever look there for laughs.
- People who have under each of their thread posts as part of their signature a long list of their over-priced, fancy-branded gear as a declaration of their glory. Hey! It just says you’re stupid for not getting cheaper gear that does the same job! If you want to ligitimise youself – GET OFF! Here’s a random example “Marantz AV-8801, 3 x Rotel RB -1581, Rotel RB-1552, Oppo UDP-205, 2xBlueSound Node 2, Chord Qutest, Mytek Brooklyn Plus, Isotek Gii Sigmas, Isotek Polaris, Isotek Evo3 Mini Mira, Bowers&Wilkins 800 Series 805D3, 700 series HTM71 S2 and 707 S2, isoAcoustics Aperta 200, Rel T9i, Apple TV 4, Sony KDL-X9000E 55”, Van Den Hull/Wire world/Clearer Audio/Audioquest Cabling. Audeze LCD-X’s”. Dimwit.
- Describing a component or system as “musical”.
- The ceaseless discussions of single ended triode valve power amplifiers. One very good web site goes so far as to describe SET valve amps as “pointless atrocities”. I totally agree. Anyway stupids, if you really like all that distortion so much, wouldn’t it be easier to use one of the many DSP “tube effect” plug-ins with your playback software? Use any solid state amp and have it spew out SET garbage without ever having to replace a valve again. Do likewise for the LP brigade. A “crackle, skip and compress the living crap out of everything” VST plug-in. 😆
- Re the above, I was invited to a house to hear someone’s system a couple of years ago only to see what looked like push-pull valve mono-blocks on the floor as they each had a pair of prominent output valves and a mediocre sized output transformer. I mistakenly said “well at least they’re push-pull” only to be corrected with “no, they’re single-ended. The output tubes are in parallel”. AAARGH!! Doubly pointless atrocities, and the sound that followed was consistent with that assessment.
- Some “engineer” writes a commercially-motivated “white paper” alleging that S/PDIF coaxial cable ought to be at least 1.5m in length to lessen the imaginary impact of reflections along the cable. The arguments go left and right between people at the forums who know nothing, but nobody notices that his entire “theory” is illogical and is based on a very dubious assumption! Read some of his other so-called “white papers”. They’re just as ridiculous.
- The use of alleged “true 75Ω RCA plugs” for video and digital audio. Ermmm… you’re sticking them into standard (non-75Ω) RCA jacks! Use proper 75Ω BNCs.
- The unwavering belief that Toslink optical S/PDIF sounds better than decent 75Ω coaxial or a 110Ω AES/EBU. It does NOT and the Toslink standard is limited to 96kHz anyway (if you think you need higher). These people often also insist that their expensive glass fiber Toslink cables sound better than a regular plastic ones over a mere 1 metre.
- Calling a CD player, an optical drive, a turntable, a DAC or media streamer a “source”. A source of what?
- “No capacitors in the signal path”. Big whoop – have fun blowing your speakers then.
- Using silver instead of ordinary copper in speaker cables, interconnects and now even transformer windings. Why?
- Using so-called oxygen-free copper instead ot regular copper in speaker cables and interconnects.
- “Hi-Fi Solutions”! What thaaa?
- The continued use of vinyl records and the discussion of expensive cartridges etc. You’re dragging a stick down a dirt track for goodness sakes. Some of these twits are so proud of their stupidity that they actually use a picture of their beloved tone arm or cartridge as an avatar! Fact: In a modern world LP stands for Low Phi!
- Bi-wiring (connecting a 4-conductor cable or two regular 2-conductor cables between a single pair of amplifier output terminals and two pairs of binding posts on a speaker)! Why? Telstra seems to do OK sending ADSL and voice over the same pair.
- Phase inversion misunderstandings: In a standard stereo set-up as long as your matched speakers are connected with the same polarity as each other, the phase button (with say “Normal” or “Invert” indications) on a preamp or DAC for example is completely irrelevant! Such switches are a waste of a switch. Some manufacturers deliberately confuse their audience by preaching “absolute phase” etc. in their literature just because their preamps happen to invert. So what? You don’t have to reverse your speaker wires! Move your head two inches and you just inverted 3.3kHz anyway! You cannot hear it!
- The installation and use of J-Pay! (name may have been changed). The singularly most useless computer audio software on Earth.
- Amateur installations of “bass traps” and other commercial “acoustic treatments” around rooms followed by claims of having achieved sonic miracles without so much as taking an acoustic measurement!
- Any use of “bass traps” in domestic (i.e. furnished) listening spaces. Sorry, but they do not work because they cannot work and especially in room corners where particle velocity is zero! “They” will tell you that bass EQ cannot remove ringing and you therefore need their bass traps. Well this is a spectrogram of my own downstairs system – Jamo Oriels in a small, allegedly badly dimensioned rectangular room (dimensions outside the ideal area of a “Bolt” chart) with standard furnishings and no “room treatment” whatsoever. Just simple analogue bass EQ:
Please show me the dreaded bass ringing! The scattered blue low frequency flares are down around the noise floor. All I did was move the seat to a good spot (away from obvious nodes) and EQ to minimise ringing. If you want huge lumps of foam in you music room then get something useful like a sofa and sit on it.
- The use of the word “real” in relation to bass traps!
- Stereofool Magazine: “The Premier Twelve clearly had the edge in excitement and rhythmic drive”. What? “Rhythmic drive”? A power amp which affects the rhythm apparently. 😮
- Audio reviewer about a DIY valve amp: “… But I felt it lacked body in the notes, and the decay of notes was somewhat truncated…” How the heck do you suppose an amplifier truncates the decay of notes? By what mechanism?
- The Qual Signal Corruption Stage (name may have been changed 😆 ). This $4000 “pseudo-Blümlein shuffler but WAY-WAY stupid by comparison” or “one trick pony in a very expensive box” mixes left and right channels, phase-inverts bass with respect to treble and sends the completely CORRUPTED sum of 4 twisted versions of the original stereo signal to the power amps. I read what I needed to of the patent rather than relying on some dumb hi-fi magazine reviewer’s non-patent attorney “interpretation” of it. It is a completely random absurdity. No more interesting than any of the numerous “surround field” settings in JRiver Media Center that costs fifty bucks and does a helluva lot more! I have heard the Qual at a group demo and it’s “very interesting, but stupid”. To think that anyone would actually pay for one is beyond any rational reasoning. And if the album producers wanted such an effect, they could very easily have put it on the recording! I have no question as to why they do NOT!
- The Absolute Nerve magazine’s comparison and score ranking of WAV vs. FLAC sound quality. Any claims that WAV “always” comes out on top in subjective listening tests are nonsense. The tests must be done double-blind! They sound exactly the same because FLAC is lossless! But FLAC is better because: 1. it can contain a lot more meta data; 2. due to its compression, you can stream it wirelessly around the house at up to 192/24 stereo; and 3. it takes up less hard drive space!
- Individuals choosing to rip their CDs to uncompressed FLAC on the misbelief that it sounds better than compressed FLAC. Maybe they think the dynamic range is compressed or something. Who knows? Waste your HDD space then. Waste your network bandwidth while you’re at it.
- Architect come self-proclaimed home cinema acoustician/lecturer (i.e. salesman) professes this and that, but admits to having never read Toole! Swarms of internet believers hanging onto every word. Actual in-room experience was of highly localised surround sound despite his pitch to the contrary.
- “Smart technician” with highly regarded Scandinavian active studio monitors with DSP places them on tall posts (about a metre above ear level) with their rear-firing ports an inch or two off a flimsy drywall in a large room with 4 rows of seats. Talks “impressively” about million dollar studios. Runs “room calibration” to a cheap randomly positioned microphone (at knee-height in front row). Plays some of the most distorted sound I have ever heard claiming that it was “room-corrected”. Says on another occasion with different speakers right in front of him “they’re not bass reflex”. Well they were B&W 801 Series 2 and the ports were right there! Claims 30 years of experience – yeah – in sales! An absolute pain in the ear.
- Comparing sound quality using different player software! I sat through a “group assessment” of alleged audible differences between JRiver and Foobar on the same laptop through the same D/A converter through the same amps to the same speakers (distorters). The middle-aged demonstrator asked “so who preferred No. 1?” and “who preferred No. 2?” in this single blind test of extreme dubiousness. There was of course no “who heard no difference at all?” option. Nevertheless there was only one person in the audience that did not raise his hand – me! There was no difference, yet they all imagined one and the split was about 50-50! By the way, the demonstrator (in his 60s who seems to have guru status and golden ears sufficiently glistening to hear differences that don’t exist) could not hear a loud 12kHz tone on another occasion! The tone pierced my ears. I said to him “did you hear that?” He looked at me bemused and said “hear what?” Well a guy at the front of the room had just aligned the heads of his old reel-to-reel tape deck with a 12kHz calibration tone. That’s what ninny! 😯
- Audiofool insistence that their interconnects or speaker cables be exactly the same length for left and right channels! Some retarded notion about the speed of light apparently. Then move your pea pod a nanometre to the left dimwit. I have 3m (left) and 1m (right) for midrange interconnects downstairs and couldn’t care less. Just use well-shielded cable (like Blue Jeans LC-1) and cut it to length.
- Synergistic Speculation Quantum Fuses (name may have been changed). Yes fuses! Gold plated and supposedly “treated” to a zillion Volts. All yours for a bargain price. Oh and don’t forget to reverse them occasionally coz that AC might lose count of how many cycles it did the other way around and you don’t want an odd number. 😆
- “White Papers” written by marketing departments!
- Sound & Deception Magazine on Bo$e boom box (names may have been changed): “possibly the best-reproduced sound many people have ever heard.” 😆 😆 😆
- Hi-fi salesman demos $40,000 speakers’ “amazing 3D surround effect” by playing Roger Waters CD that has the 3D effects on it!
- The utterly absurd notion that heavy maple blocks placed under electronic components make them sound better.
- The double-utterly absurd notion that timber coin-sized “mpingo” disks placed strategically around the room absorb resonances! 😮
- So called 3D holographic fractal field speakers: “the algorithms we use … stop all those reflections”. Yeah just as you can’t see Dracula in the mirror. 😆
- Hi-fi salesman lifts cheap gold-plated RCA plugs from a tray over a glass counter with extended pinkies as though displaying exquisite jewellery or sipping tea at the Govenor’s garden party with Emily Post.
- Hi-fi salesman demonstrates “superiority” of LP over CD by playing same album on both formats with the LP played louder.
- Audiofool magazine hands out “Power Cable of the Year Award” to something costing over $9.95 and which is illegal to sell due to non-compliance with safety standards.
- The “CD Improver”! (name was not changed 😛 ). This one grinds the edge off CDs (hopefully not taking the last few minutes with it) and costs $999! Supposedly it “makes previously unreadable data CDs accessible once again whilst improving the data rate. DVD films generally impress via sharper images”. BS!
- The “power conditioner” that probably does nothing more relevant than a power strip and a $9.95 EMI filter, but costs thousands and weighs a lot more because it’s filled with SAND! The amazing Shonkyata Hydro! (name may have been changed 😀 )
- The absurd notion that rigid isolation cones or spikes as component feet arrest vibrations before they might enter the circuits. My Spin: Check Newton’s 3rd Law! Use rubber feet if you want some damping. How the F is point contact going to “isolate” anything? Only the contact pressure changes. Given the same mass and stiffness, the same vibrations pass straight through and who cares anyway?
- Placing speakers on some kind of “isolation pad” or “coupling spike” (they have it both ways!) to prevent speaker cabinet vibrations transferring to the floor! Um… if your floor is shaking, it’s the boundary pressure from the air that’s the predominant cause of it – not the cabinet! There are forum threads discussing this dreary subject ad nauseam and seller after seller pushing some kind of misguided “recoil solution”. I have yet to read the post of a single contributor that has the faintest idea. The problem is the floor!
- RCA socket covers or “hats” to block the ingress of EMI to sockets that are switched out. Oh my!
- Ridiculous “super tweeters” in pods that sit upon your main speakers to “extend the highs” beyond the limit of human hearing! Not only that but what the heck – let’s just plonk them anywhere “up there” without regard to phase alignment at the crossover region with the existing drivers. It won’t matter because no one could hear it even if it were present on the recording anyway. Idiots!
- The idiotic notion that ultrasonic response is audible “due to the harmonics”! One fool actually said to me that it “preserves the timbre”! My spin: Science doesn’t care what you believe! It matter nought how/if it got onto your brilliant HD download – harmonic or prime! If it’s ultrasonic then you cannot hear it! Yes of course audible instrumental harmonics are present on recordings and are readily reproduced by standard tweeters.
- Placement of flat “acoustic panels” made of fabric-covered polystyrene on walls and ceilings for anything other than decoration. These do nothing acoustically different to the flat surface that they are used to cover. Read Toole and place random and irregular decorative objects around the room and have one or two large fabric covered lounge chairs and have curtains and heavy carpets to absorb the sound scattered by those objects. No money need be spent on purpose-designed “treatments”.
- “Geometry matters” magician promoting “superior” speaker cables by connecting his oscilloscope to both ends and posting YouTube videos on the pretext that he somehow differentiates from others in the “black art” of audio. Yeah. Well show us real distortion measurements instead of displaying a dumb cable capacitance magic act! We’ll then see that speaker distortions themselves swamp everything! Yes geometry does matter if you want to distinguish from simple and competent figure 8 cable by making yours into long capacitors! Nice selection of “basic” amplifier by the way. No doubt it has an inductor at its output and it’s by no accident that you chose it!
- Proponents of open baffle/dipole speakers conveniently describing the sound of traditional speakers as “boxy” when conventional box speakers can be near devoid of cabinet-induced colourations when built stiffly and damped properly. In most cases your tweeter points forward only, so it’s no different sonically, and what makes your baffle immune to vibration anyway? If you ask me it’s going to vibrate more.
- Say does anybody notice that I cannot stand open baffle speakers by now? Ha ha. Well yeah – they’re simply the most feeble excuse for hi-fi out there and anyone that swears by them is plainly retarded, or at least DEAF!
- Proponents of so-called 3D holographic speakers conveniently describing the sound of traditional speakers as “2D”.
- Claims that isolating transformers improve sound quality. My spin: 1. In most cases all your components have isolating transformers anyway (but they’re safe because they’re either double-insulated, or the chassis is earthed). 2. Good luck being electrocuted handling any faulty connected equipment, because your mains safety switch isn’t going to save you!
- And even worse are the ridiculous “balanced power supplies” – also isolating but raising the ground potential to half the nominal mains voltage
- And “little man syndrome” has them purchase the biggest/heaviest one they can afford. Little do they realise that a 2.4kVA/240V isolating transformer is specified at 240V output only when 10A is being drawn! That’s a lot. Less than that (like any home audio gear) and they’re providing a massive over-voltage! And for what?
- The preposterous optical attenuator “preamp” with useful range so limited by poor channel tracking that it can’t attenuate to mute and becomes a random balance control along the way! It has no gain either. With four opto-couplers as a stereo volume pot substitution, this low precision junk is said to overcome the terrible horrors of regular pots in these terms: “Pots and their wipers have a diode rectification effect on the AC music signal, trying to rectify it which is very bad.” So why is it that standard pots are still used universally in oscilloscopes and other high precision lab and hospital equipment?
- Same shonk strikes again: Tells believers at a forum that his speaker spikes transmitted sufficient vibration to the timber floor that it shook his feet some metres away! One fool at least rushed out to purchase rubber pads to stick under his speakers and believed that he heard “improvements in the soundstage” (or some such)! My spin: Um… if his floor was shaking, it was due to air pressure and there is nothing that the rubber so-called “isolation” can do about it. And how come his spikes didn’t penetrate the timber floor like nails anyway? Lame brains.
- $50,000 speakers with their binding posts described in these exact terms: “copper binding posts are silver then rhodium plated. Sonically these are one of the best sounding terminals in the world. They are far superior to common brass terminals.” Utter and tautological BS!
- The linear current loudspeaker! Does this guy (of “mythical damping factor” fame) have blinkers on to achieving a purely resistive load for reasons that allude everyone but himself or what?
- Rip-off merchants offering DVD player “upgrade” services. Why would anyone pay someone with no qualifications apart from a loud mouth to install crummy unproven PCBs in their expensive DVD players?
- The cheap comebacks from audiofools like: “Just buy one to find out”, “just listen to it” and “you will have to work it out for yourself (despite the fact I’m really a truck driver and I know you’re a qualified engineer).”
- Raising speaker cables off the carpet with “cable elevators” to ameliorate the dreaded static charge! Same stupid company that offers the sand-filled “plug board”.
- Using batteries for “smoother DC” in such things as USB-to-S/PDIF converters, DACs and pre-amps. Just get ones with decent power supplies and stop crapping on the environment and wasting your time and money!
- The “Yike-man bullet” RCA plugs. These are the cheapest junk plugs that I have ever seen. So crap that they fall apart in your hands when pulling on them because the plastic is so soft and thin that the threads jump. Then there’s the price! Absolute bastards.
- Some nitwit selling speakers at the tip using this photo which says nothing more than “I use cable elevators too” and “careful grandpa”. →
- “System conditioning” CDs. Give me a break!
- Junky Australian speaker brand’s web site showing the founder shaking hands with a very famous person (the T of T / S) to infer an association and/or legitimacy upon their brand which is allegedly “Designed and Manufactured in Australia” when in fact all they design and manufacture are plain boxes! The photo was probably snapped at a hi-fi show. They describe their own cone transducer thusly: “OVER NOTHING® (name may have been changed 😀 ) cone transducers are based on unique compact under-hung motor systems with large neodymium ring magnets. The patent pending motor offers a very long linear excursion …”. Who’s patent? Certainly not theirs. Plagiarism perhaps? They then go on to describe their tweeter by giving it a unique model/serial number: “We believe the XXXXXX (model number) is the best sounding HF electro dynamic transducer in the world.” There’s even a photo of it with their own stupid sticker hiding the truth. Well guess what? We can see that they are off-the-shelf Danish Scan-Speak Revelator and Illuminator drivers and know that you had nothing to do with them! They weren’t even custom-made or modified for you! The tweeter is the standard Revelator D2904/7100-03. Yes – I know that practically all speaker brands use OEM drivers, but so what? Many claim that they are “custom-made” when they are not. These crumbs even have the gall to suggest that only others spew hype! The Australian bit is nothing but a crummy MDF box with a cheap finish, the giant self-serving brass name plates that would look more at home in a wild west saloon and perhaps the passive crossovers – whoopeee! Another quote from their site: “Our products are neither derivative, nor do they conform to contemporary design dictates.” How embarrassing! 😳
- Next time some salesman says that their drivers are “custom made”, ask in what way are they different to the OEM version. You are assured of a diversion.
- “Power Plants”!! 😆 Do they mean “amplifiers” perhaps?
- Chinese supplier of amplifier chassis parts: “Aluminium sound more details and airily compare with steel”. 😯
- Now here’s an absolute doozie in a YouTube video from Be & Fuddle You (name may have been changed): “By using diamond we were able to create a tweeter that breaks up at 70kHz compared with a value of 30kHz with the standard aluminium domes. What this means is that when you compare the response of the diamond to the perfect hypothetical rigid tweeter the responses are very similar below 20kHz so we think there’s a dramatical (sic) improvement in the response that results … and you can hear it for yourself …” How’s that then? Perhaps they mean your dog. These people would be magic in a court room!
- Same company’s “Nought lust” speakers (name may have been changed) which look like some wierd squid monster from outer space just dropped its shell in your living room. One of the most ridiculous designs I’ve ever seen including pointy tentacles for chambers designed for aesthetics – not acoustics, but “justified” by alleging that they eliminate internal resonances (like foam or wadding perhaps?). Just be careful when you’re around the back connecting the cables that you don’t take your eye out on one of them! Anyone who buys these is a victim. £55,000! And there are people trying to copy them for some unknown reason. AAARGHHH!!
- Some random Conrad-Johnson owner: “10 years ago, when the MV-55 was in production, it never had cables so transparent and resolving. With higher-quality cables, the MV-55 proves to be of better quality than it originally was given credit for.” Crap.
Oh and there’s the forum-misguided DIY misuse of specialised (and of course expensive) components such as:
- Teflon capacitors!
- Super-expensive high-bandwidth SMD opamps soldered onto DIL adapters for fitting to narrow bandwidth through-hole audio PCBs. They’re not produced in DIL packages for a reason!
That they cost 100 times more amounts to nothing but a very probable deficit.
And such idiotic things being deployed in blissful disregard for “improvement”-swamping speaker distortions! These blessed people can hear through those apparently.
If there is any moral to this story it is that audiofools must be avoided at all cost because they are irreversibly brain-deadened (perhaps from a history of drug or alcohol abuse) into perpetuating their own stupidity. Now if any middle-aged audiofool ever suggests to me again that they are so blessed as to hear the fuse in their amp (or anything else as insane), I’ll simply suggest that they consult a therapist. 😆 😆 😆
Well that ↑ was my therapy and I feel so much better for it.