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Audiophiles and Snake Oil...

Discussion in 'audio' started by G T Audio, Jan 24, 2020.

  1. Alex S

    Alex S carbon based lifeform

    Do they? They were on a sort of list I keep in my head.
  2. G T Audio

    G T Audio Trade: Manufacturer and Distributor

    If music-lovers or "audiophiles" can hear an improved sound with a better mains cable, then it is perfectly possible they might also hear an improvement with a better quality mains fuse. For the record, I don't sell or recommend expensive fuses, but I've lost count over the years of clients all over the world either asking me what fuse I would recommend, or telling me they fitted an "audiophile" fuse and could hear an improvement...
    Cereal Killer likes this.
  3. Mr Pig

    Mr Pig ^'- -'^

    I've never tried a fancy fuse but I did notice a difference when I soldered a piece of fuse wire in place of the fuse. Cheaper and seemed like a better idea.

    I also heard a difference with mains cables. The ones I thought sounded the best were the ones Naim use, which are simple 'kettle' leads with well connected MK plugs. Fancy gold plated leads sucked the life out of the sound.
    2ManyBoxes likes this.
  4. thebiglebowski

    thebiglebowski pfm Member

    What you need is a really high resistance power cable as this stops all the weaker electrons and only the good strong powerful ones get through to the amp.
  5. Shadders

    Shadders pfm Member

    At what stage will audiophiles stop, think about what they are doing, when they hear changes based on exotic products applied to their hifi ?.

    There must be a point at which they must think that they hear a difference, and realise they are fooling themselves, as the sheer and utter stupidity of the foo product must eventually dawn upon them.

    The green pen was believed by many - so, does it take 20 years before the penny drops ?

  6. Mr Pig

    Mr Pig ^'- -'^

    Most normal people would say that about virtually every Hi-Fi product that costs more than a cheap TV.
  7. Alex S

    Alex S carbon based lifeform

    I’ve done the fuse thing, copper blanks even, in my RKR days. I can’t tell you how much better everything sounded when I removed them all for standard ones. The stress of imminent inferno is not conducive to listening pleasure.
    booja30 and Emlin like this.
  8. Jonathan

    Jonathan pfm Member

    WELL - i'm not sure what your experiences with studios are (could well be extensive) BUT I think i'm in a pretty good position to generalize ... I'm a studio owner and have worked at building studios and visiting friends' studios (In the US to be fair) for going on thirty years now. We aren't talking world class studios certainly (most of those from what i've seen are pretty decently fit out with Genelecs and the like - concert speakers, etc) but probably middle range studios and I've never seen anything even REMOTELY approaching a PMC or an ATC (save the much lower end models). Most of them have been using Yamaha NS-10Ms or equivalent for near field and usually something much worse (like old altec lansings or unserviced JBLs) for mains. It gets even worse with amplification. And yes this is a generalization but I will bet you dollars to doughnoughts that the average is very very close to this. You will get into fights with engineers even suggesting the idea that 'all amplifiers are not created equal'. Because they sure know better. Nearly the entire emphasis of every studio acquisition is on 'vintage colour' and not on 'transparency' or 'dynamics' or any reasonably popular adjective used by audiophiles. But I'm nearly always gobsmacked how muddy many of the monitoring speakers are. Not only that - they are nearly always set up on a flimsy table or console shelf at the rear of the console or built into flimsy wall soffits (ok now I'm starting to rant - i should end here). I'm forever trying to show them how to set up their monitoring 'properly' ... but again -I don't know - maybe over there there's a better sensibility about this kind of thing ..?
  9. Jonathan

    Jonathan pfm Member

    i know this guy got quoted earlier in the thread for whatever reason but this is pretty straight up and defensible. Start about half way through and he explains the differences in audio culture quite nicely

  10. david ellwood

    david ellwood Kirabosi Kognoscente

    When an engineer asks about a studios equipment the first question will be ‘what’s the desk?’ Followed by ‘what reverb ?’ And ‘what compressors?’

    it will be assumed that you have some ns10, they will bring their own near field's of choice. The big impressive soffit mounted main monitors will be inactive 99.9% of the time.
    Jonathan likes this.
  11. Cereal Killer

    Cereal Killer 432 Point5

    Interesting vid regarding active'v'passive... Especially considering he owns the Kii's (which are marketed as studio monitors)
    mega lord and jackbarron like this.
  12. TheDecameron

    TheDecameron Unicorns fart glitter.

  13. Roger Adams

    Roger Adams pfm Member

    Good grief!

    As an "Audio" "Phile" I found listening to his voice offensive and an affront to my sensitive ears.

    Anyone convincing themselves as to the unimportance of measured performance relating to faithful and realistic reproduction of music is an "audiophool" IMHO. I've been there too many times myself and in all cases it has come down to people selling an obsession with audio as opposed to one with the music being reproduced. The vendor clearly profits from the former, yet again in my own experience), the end user is caught up in a never ending and fruitless pursuit, searching for the perfect combination - a combination readily available had they not encountered the world of the "Audio" "Phile".
    Shadders likes this.
  14. G T Audio

    G T Audio Trade: Manufacturer and Distributor

    Indeed, and what I have been saying for years. With a good passive speaker, it is possible to have a very simple crossover, which is much less obstructive to music than an active crossover, Plus I haven't even mentioned the harmful effects of the DSP on ultimate sound reproduction...

    For the best sound, it is not a good idea to fit everything into one box. Doing this creates too many compromises.
  15. Cereal Killer

    Cereal Killer 432 Point5

    Absolutely Graham, Having been (owned for years) to the studio side with ATC actives a few times, and tried more domesticated actives and studio inspired DAC/Pres... i can vouch for yours and Darko's sentiment. My current setup/configuration is near enough the same as the passive system in the video, albeit with better kit ;)

    I'd even go as far as to say I'd never go back to an active speaker again, the myth of them being simpler with less cables etc is bollox.
  16. Roger Adams

    Roger Adams pfm Member

  17. YNWOAN

    YNWOAN 100% Analogue

    I watched the Darko vid and, having also heard the Kii 3s at home, I agree with some of what he has to say (not about the treble sound, but perhaps that says more about my usual speaker/amp system compared to his Kef/Hegel combo). It did make me think though; almost universally, all really high- end, cost no object, speaker designs (I don’t mean in the UK, I mean worldwide) are passive designs or, and this is not uncommon, semi-active designs where the bass section alone is powered actively from its own amplification with the mid and treble allowed to be run passively. Why this is the case is open to debate, some may argue it has more to do with customer expectations and market forces in the super high-end rather than absolute sound quality* - on that account I really don’t know, GT would have much more insight here, but it is true that fully active ‘cost no object’ speaker designs are, almost entirely, configured as passive, or semi-active designs.

    * I am reminded of YG Acoustics who used to use a semi-active configuration for their (then) top end design; a built in plate-amp powered the bass section. Subsequently they have reverted to a fully passive configuration and I suspect this had more to do with dealer/customer expectations and YG not wanting to use a third party for their amp design (and not wanting to build their own amps) than it did outright sonic performance. As is often the case, even at these cost levels I don’t think sound quality is always the major driving priority.
  18. pjdowns

    pjdowns Living the Hifi dream

    I think that anyone that uses the term Audiofool is overly judgemental and should give it a rest!
  19. Roger Adams

    Roger Adams pfm Member

    I used the term "audiophool"

    One should also be offended by the term "snake oil" in the thread title if one is to form that opinion surely?
    Shadders and booja30 like this.
  20. Colin L

    Colin L pfm Member

    I think that anyone using the term audiofool probably hasn’t heard what a really good, well chosen and tweaked system can do.

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