Do you consider yourself an audiophile?

Discussion in 'music, bands, clubs & festies' started by Doctor Carrot, Apr 5, 2010.


Are you an audiophile?

  1. Yes

    21 vote(s)
  2. No

    70 vote(s)
  3. Audiophiles are deluded bullshitters

    98 vote(s)
  1. Doctor Carrot

    Doctor Carrot Bear Grylls grills bare bears

    Does anyone else find the term 'audiophile' a load of old wank? And people who claim to be one smug, self important tossers? Now there's obviously vast differences between a £15 system from Tesco and one that costs a few grand from a stereo shop, but most of the stuff that audiophiles claim is just bollocks and the scope for bullshit is enormous, bullshit such as this $2700 for 3 feet of cable :D.

    I was doing some googling about different bitrates for MP3s and I was amused to see that double blind test after double blind test confirms that the difference between a 192 MP3 and a CD are either so minuscule that it takes several listens of intense concentration to hear them, or they're not heard at all. I also don't doubt there are people who have really finely tuned ears, the sort of people that can name the key you just farted in, but I reckon most people who claim to be audiophiles are deluded bullshitters. The amount of times i've read statements such as "if you're an audiophile, like me you can hear the difference" i'd love to see these people double blind tested and taken down a peg or two.

    I think as long as you have a decent set of speakers backed up by loads of independent reviews, I don't think a great deal of difference is going to be heard, if any at all.
    mrs quoad likes this.
  2. Riklet

    Riklet procrastinación

    High quality MP3 sounds good to me, 256-320kbs and that, I can definitely hear the difference from 128 MP3 and WMA, but when I compare high quality MP3 with CD or FLAC I don't think I can hear a massively noticable difference. Obviously, I can pick up some, there's a greater depth of sound etc, but I have to really be paying attention to notice it generally.

    Good speakers are more important to me, fuck all point fnarring all over your omg 1337 FLAC encoding software if you're blasting out of some shite tinny speakers (or even worse, ipod ones!) which then totally ruin the sound. Crackle and hiss I definitely can hear!
    angie-c likes this.
  3. pogofish

    pogofish Testicle Hairstyle

    I think you will find there are already fairly recent threads on both the cable scam and the quality of MP3s.
  4. bi0boy

    bi0boy Power User

    I remember Q magazine having a big debate in the 90s about whether putting CDs in the freezer improved the sound quality. :D
    moody likes this.
  5. blairsh

    blairsh Dickhead

    What?! :facepalm: :D
  6. The Groke

    The Groke hot hail/Paging Dr. Beat

    I appreciate "good" sound quality, have a really nice set of earbuds with custom tips and a top notch headphone amp/dac and rip my music at much to futureproof as for the sound quality I suppose, though I can usually tell the difference up to about a 256kb MP3 rip, sometimes higher if I know the album really well. My IEMs are pretty sensitive which makes it easier to pick out flaws, though I would probably struggle to tell the difference twixt rates with a lot of stuff without comparison samples.

    I like a nice hi-fi, think amps and speakers are worth spending money on, but regularly point and laugh at those who spend silly amounts on cable.

    So no, not an audiophile really, but I can't abide shitty rips or shitty sound systems and get annoyed by those who think that "bass" is the be-all and end-all of a audio system.

  7. bi0boy

    bi0boy Power User

    They were deadly serious, it was meant to make for a crisper, cleaner sound - they got loads of audiophile types to try it and many reported at length on the improvement.
  8. Fictionist

    Fictionist Serving Eargasms....

    Yes. Sony, Marantz, Rega, Linn, Naim, Audiolab, Pioneer, Arcam (indeed all manufacturers) - have a particular 'house' sound that is instantly recognisable, although I have no doubt that certain posters will write that such differences do not exist and that all equipment sounds the same.

    Silly deaf sods.

  9. blairsh

    blairsh Dickhead

    I'm not completely deaf and it sounds ridiculous to me :)
  10. The Groke

    The Groke hot hail/Paging Dr. Beat

    I adored my old setup - Arcam 7se CD, Arcam 8r amp and a set of Mission 780s...

    Sad day when I moved overseas and sold it.

  11. Doctor Carrot

    Doctor Carrot Bear Grylls grills bare bears

    Oh yeah I definitely agree a 320kbps MP3 will sound better than a 192kbps and i'll always go for higher if I can. I have a lot of 128kbps MP3s that I wouldn't mind replacing but I don't really relish the thought of manually searching around 4000 songs to download again. Also agree with the differences between MP3 and wma, I can't stand wma. It's the flac people that make me laugh, because there's virtually no difference at all.

    I've got a decent set of PC speakers made by acoustic energy, they got full stars in what hifi, loads of good reviews on amazon, blah blah, so I definitely advocate decent speakers but I don't think it's necessary to go to far over £100 if you do your research properly. Mine were £110 and they're beautiful.

    Probably, most subjects get repeated. I did search audiophile in thread titles and only found a few.

  12. Fictionist

    Fictionist Serving Eargasms....

    That would have been a good, solid set up, with Mission speakers adding some 'bite'.

  13. Apathy

    Apathy Roll us yer cap Grandad!!

  14. Fictionist

    Fictionist Serving Eargasms....

    Ever heard a Naim set up? PRAT in full, glorious stereophonic sound!

    plurker likes this.
  15. Apathy

    Apathy Roll us yer cap Grandad!!

    my b&w speakers blew the other month after 6 months use, i didnt even have that loud:mad: well my old jamo speakers lasted 10 years and took some proper batterings
  16. Doctor Carrot

    Doctor Carrot Bear Grylls grills bare bears

    Again, i can agree with most of this but I really don't see the point in ripping to Flac instead of, say, 320k, when they sound identical but the MP3 will take up half the storage space.

    I love this guy from the pear site:


    I bet he's gone balls deep in a few port holes and spaffed on some subwoofers in his time.
  17. Apathy

    Apathy Roll us yer cap Grandad!!

    like i just said, im more used to jamo speakers fella:)
  18. Riklet

    Riklet procrastinación

    Sweeeet, i've thought of something to be right wing about. :D Anyone who spends $2700 on speaker cable needs to be put in a re-education camp! :mad:
  19. Fictionist

    Fictionist Serving Eargasms....

    Arguably this thread should also allow for individuals who can identify the recording / issuing label in respect of classical music - Decca, EMI, DG, Hyperion, Archiv......of course it all sounds the same!

  20. Doctor Carrot

    Doctor Carrot Bear Grylls grills bare bears

    I think you'd have to be a spectacularly dull fucker to be able to do that. I don't doubt there are people that can do that, hence why I mentioned about people with insanely finely tuned ears. Those people have a right to call themselves audiophiles, but those people are hugely in the minority.

    Your comment makes me think of that You Bet show :D
  21. Fictionist

    Fictionist Serving Eargasms....

    Being serious for a moment then try the following. Pick out a few of your absolute favourite cds and vinyl and arrange for a listening session at a local Hi-Fi retailer. Ask them to set up four systems based around cd replay, with budgets of £500, £1000, £3000 and £10,000. Explain that these figures represent a total budget to include speakers, amplifier (single and pre/power combination), cables and the cd player itself.

    Make sure that you listen to music that you feel certain is familar and well known to you (dynamic shifts etc) and then listen. To allay the potential critics ask if it is possible for the systems to be set up out of sight, and then allow yourself to listen and hear what is being played.

    You will hear a difference, and there will undoubtedly be a sound that just sounds 'right' to you. Of course, if all stuff sounds the same this won't make a difference at all.

    Trust me Apathy, this could be life changing.

  22. Fictionist

    Fictionist Serving Eargasms....

    Not dull. An audiophile.

  23. Doctor Carrot

    Doctor Carrot Bear Grylls grills bare bears

    I bet you the differences will be so minor it won't be worth forking out an extra £5000. You're misrepresenting what I said, no one's saying "it all sounds the same" I just think the differences are so minor it's hardly noticeable, and certainly not worth forking out an extra £5000. Have you ever done this in a shop? Did the £10000 stereo sound vastly different from the £3000 one?

    The brain is a very powerful drug.
  24. Doctor Carrot

    Doctor Carrot Bear Grylls grills bare bears

    The two aint mutually exclusive ;)

    To me audiophiles are on a par with those people who try and out do you with their obscure taste in music. Like they're some how more superior to you because they know a more obscure artist. There's a few of those types on here :D.
  25. Fictionist

    Fictionist Serving Eargasms....

    I would suggest that you try the process that I outlined to Apathy. Choose the music most appropriate to you, music with which you connect in the deepest way (for whatever reason). Give it a go and see what you hear - not what you think.

  26. Apathy

    Apathy Roll us yer cap Grandad!!

    well ive been in 'Sevenoaks sound and vision' in m/cr and asked for an amp to go with my b&w 602 speakers, they set me up a Marantz amp which i thought sounded nice but i didnt take my own music with me. im still after an amp (i will be getting it second hand off ebay, only way i can afford it) looking at an arcam or NAD or anything similar, mainly for when im just enjoying myself on my decks playing old skool house rave, acid and techno, hip hop soul and funk so im after summat punchy rather than nice and warm if u know what i mean - under £200 tho, hence it'll have to be s/hand off ebay
  27. Fictionist

    Fictionist Serving Eargasms....

    Of course, there are some very dull audiophiles, as there are very dull people generally in all walks of life.

    Regarding the 'obscure taste in music' - one of the best reasons for being on Urban is to see what music people are listening to and see their recommendations, usually at least one other poster will share commonalities of taste that might lead to further exploration on your part (there are at least two that I immediately think of).

  28. Fictionist

    Fictionist Serving Eargasms....

    For the B&Ws I would use a Rotel amp, it will balance out the sound quite nicely (and Rotel make good sub £300 amplifiers too). The Marantz would be too warm (to my ears) and relatively dull sounding. The NAD combination could be interesting. Try the Rotel on Ebay as (given your taste in music) I think it would work very well with Chord interconnects.

  29. beesonthewhatnow

    beesonthewhatnow going deaf for a living

    I could write shitloads on this, and if I'm bored tomorrow probably will, but for now this will do:

  30. beesonthewhatnow

    beesonthewhatnow going deaf for a living

    Argh, how many times - copper is copper is copper.

    Cables. Make. No. Difference.

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