Don’t become one of these type of people!

I have been wanting to write about this for a long time and was trying to find a way to be as cordial as possible, but……….there is not really a way to do that and most audiophiles keep proving that to me. So, with inspiration from a good guy and a recent experience, I decided it is time to blow the whistle as it were.

Sean at Zero Fidelity came up with the Seven Audiophile Sins in a recent video and it was just about the simplest and yet best editorial on the subject I have ever heard. (I actually came up with a number 8 “sin”). I think many of us can relate to at least one of them and if we are intellectually honest with ourselves we can also find at least one that we are or were guilty of. (By the way, I do recommend you check out Zero Fidelity. Sean does a great job talking about gear and such in a real world and very honest way).

I am not going to use the word “sin” though as it denotes oppressive religion. I’m going to use the term “defective thought”, that is really what it is.
So, I am going to break it down similar to the way I saw it and explain it from my own experiences and knowledge. This is not going to be a “bitch session” (well, maybe a tiny bit) or a call for a lynch mob or a doctrine of hate, because how is that different from the defective thought and behavior I am discussing in this article? This is more a note of awareness to avoid these behaviors, not only in others, but ourselves as well.
Besides just being unpleasant human traits that some have, the other reason is that I always hear complaints about how there are not enough folks in the “hobby” and that “we need to find ways to attract more people to it”. The problem is that there are two agendas to it and they are working against each other and therefore unless one is eliminated, we will be forever stuck on this treadmill. Agenda “A” is that of what could be likened to religion. It is the theory of “strength in numbers alone”. Just as with monotheistic religions who constantly complain that there are not enough members and then turn around and continue to be exclusive to remain in judgement of others instead of inclusive and fair. So it is with most audiophiles, they complain constantly how nobody is interested in the hobby and then run around like religious zealots, harshly judging others (even among themselves) and doing everything they can to remain exclusivity and “holier than thou” attitude keeping anyone interested in the hobby out of it while continuing to complain. By the way, that “harsh judgement” comes in a variety of topics: the biggest being money (income, budget, your existing system’s monetary worth, your choice in music, brand names, what you read, etc.).
The opposite agenda (we’ll call it Agenda “B”), we almost never see from these groups is the one that says, “hey, we can’t keep this goodness to ourselves, it brings so much happiness, we need to share it with others, so they can enjoy it too. We need to find a way to welcome new folks into the hobby genuinely”. So group/agenda “A” is selfish, exclusive, elitist, prehistoric, the good ol’ boys club (and by the way, exclusive to men as well, women are not allowed unless they serve as eye candy or some kind of receptionist function or something. That is almost a whole other subject too). Group/agenda “B” is sharing, kindhearted, fair, inclusive and evolved. Continue reading

Arguments over acronyms

It seems to me that the audio world/hobby/call it what you want goes through a seemingly endless hallway of arguments over acronyms. It’s like a hotel hallway with an argument behind every door in every room. If it is isn’t PCM, its DSD, if it isn’t DSD, its MQA, DTS, SOFET, …………… It was enough with CD, LP, SACD, DVD. Even other acronyms are added all the time and then there is cute stuff like WAF. Even music titles and artists are now acronyms such as DSOTM (Dark Side Of The Moon) and PF (Pink Floyd).
It’s enough to make you want to say you can’t give an IOU to UPS for a COD or they might call the FBI..ha ha ha.

All kidding aside, it seems to me that this is not limited to the audio hobby, but part of everything now, business, everyday language, etc. It is as if while non-native English speakers dedicate themselves to learning the English language, native English speakers have all but given up on their own language. With everyone talking in acronyms, it is no wonder nobody understands each other.
The point here is that partly because of lack of understanding each other with all this tossing around of acronyms, there are more arguments. Not necessarily from the acronyms in and of themselves, but the way they are used as subjects. For example: There was a period of time not too long ago when there was endless arguing about PCM vs DSD and even DSD itself. That has not gone away but has dimmed a bit, but it will be back I’m sure. Not long ago the MQA arguments started and are still going. The arguments are not based on the acronyms themselves but based on a lack of understanding what they are and a refusal to look at the evidence at hand. In other words, a refusal to self-educate and believe and put faith in hyperbole over facts. (Personally, I have no dog in the fight and could care less about MQA, DSD, Etc. What concerns me is communication and intellect).

It seems to me that all this arguing over acronyms and gear and what have you is not only a result of a breakdown in communication in general, but seems to be by design as well resulting in a complete disconnect from music and the purpose of it and the gear on which it is played. All the time and energy spent on arguing over acronyms, formats, gear, etc. is time and energy taken away from the whole purpose of listening to music and benefiting from that. Music is communication and language. Those whom spend more time arguing over acronyms, gear and the like obviously have no respect for music and are not interested in letting music speak or benefiting themselves and letting others benefit from music. In my opinion, this is about as shameful as you can get.

So I encourage you to ignore all those whom engage in such fighting. I don’t care who they work for or with or who everyone thinks they are, if they are engaging or feeding such arguments, fights or trying to divide people, ignoring music then what is the point in listening to them if they are only going to be killjoys. Music is the all important point and end game, don’t lose sight of that.

A hidden Audiophile litmus test?

Lately, I have noticed the “audiophile litmus test” has been coming back lately. Of course, there is no official test, but more and more reviewers and other folks with audio blogs and you tube channels have been dividing folks between audiophile and non-audiophile and even assigning grades of audiophile in an “us vs them” tonality. None of this does anyone any good and is only divisive (a tool to sow division). My reaction to this is, don’t we already have enough division regarding everything being sown since #45 took office? Do we really need this in the audio and music world? I have even addressed some of these individuals to try to get them to think about what they are saying, but as expected it falls on deaf ears or just causes more problems because they are elitist and think they are right to posit an “us vs them” mentality as they divide people instead of encouraging people to listen to music. It’s like they are saying “you must join the club and drink the koolaid or you will not be allowed to listen to music now and that music is leaving the world and you will not get to keep it unless you are a member in which you will be spared from the coming apocalypse”. It even gets to the point that these dark-side beings also try to tell people what to listen to and what not to listen to in music. I find this attitude to be ludicrous at very best and severely damaging on many levels at worst. The scary thing in addition to that is that some of these types appear to be angels of light, but are really mean-spirited with an agenda in disguise, (like a sociopath who appears to have your best interest at heart but is really in it totally for themselves leaving you drained dry at the end). Continue reading