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Do you consider yourself an audiophile?

Are you an audiophile?

  • Yes

    Votes: 27 13.3%
  • No

    Votes: 72 35.5%
  • Audiophiles are deluded bullshitters

    Votes: 104 51.2%

  • Total voters
    203

newbie

undisambiguated
I suspect that the reason that worked is because introducing balanced cables into the equation also breaks earth loops.
not necessarily. Professional analogue interconnection is all balanced but grounding schemes vary, some installations carry all drains through, others break them, either in the XLR etc or at jackfields or Krone frames.

I'm afraid I don't get what these cables are for. Standard length is 1m, the longest on offer is 5m. What use is that?
 

beesonthewhatnow

going deaf for a living
I await a more technically adept explanation :)

I just know (because someone showed me) that putting a DI box in between a (mains powered) laptop and the (equally mains powered) PA stopped the horrible noises, and was given to understand that this was because I wasn't directly connecting signal earth from one to the other.

Was that not correct? *stands by to learn a bit more*
A DI box uses a transformer to pass the signal, so the earth connection is broken.
 

existentialist

Fabulous shoes
I wonder if expensive musical instruments fall into the category of "think I can tell the difference, but I'm fooling myself"
Depends. My main area of expertise here is acoustic instruments, where design, quality of materials, and quality of manufacture play a significant part in both the cost and the quality of the instrument.

At my level of playing, I know that I could quite easily tell the difference between a £100, £1000, £10000, and £30000 violin (I know this because we had a little game amongst a bunch of us once to pick them out) . The higher-priced two were harder for me to tell apart, so I'm not confident I'd be able to, say, pick out a £2m Stradivarius. Indeed, I gather that some top spec instruments sound worse in the hands of less experienced players, so the Strad might be harder for me to play as well as the £1000 one. But, played by an expert, it is not hard to identify the qualities of a really good (ie., expensive) instrument.

And it is quite surprising how closely cost correlates with quality. In the test above, the £1000 fiddle was mine - given (lent, really) to me by my dad - a 1796 German effort that was probably made as a "pit fiddle" to be owned by a theatre. It caused some confusion amongst other players, as it plays like a much better instruments, perhaps one 2-5 times its value. The reason for that is that its valuation is very low (hence the reason my dad had it - he paid £40 for it in 1973),because it had been badly damaged, and repaired well enough, but not cosmetically. So it served a a handy blind in our unscientific test.

With electric instruments, I cannot see how the same might not prevail - there is still a lot of scope for quality of manufacture and materials there, too.

And remember that the user base for higher end musical instruments already has a high degree of training and skill, so are less likely to be misled by marketing dazzlement over practical, subjective listening, and I bet that's as true of Strats as it is of Strads.
 

8ball

Hetero Sapiens
I wonder if expensive musical instruments fall into the category of "think I can tell the difference, but I'm fooling myself"
I doubt it happens that often in the low.second hand to mid price range. Most people I know who play instruments don't have that much money, and will want a good reason to shell out the cash. Though you do get a certain kind of middle-aged male who collects guitars as a hobby and likely doesn't play them all, or know their instruments that well.

Sometimes there are subjective preferences, obviously, but usually people who aren't totally cloth-eared can tell the difference between a good and a mediocre instrument (which does not always fall along price lines, as any fule kno).

The major caveat would be that when you get to silly money, then like with anything, it becomes about the money, which is really about status. I once played an expensive piano (a make I didn't know), and the owner would not believe one of the pedals did not work because she had paid so much for instrument and just had it tuned.
 

existentialist

Fabulous shoes
I doubt it happens that often in the low.second hand to mid price range. Most people I know who play instruments don't have that much money, and will want a good reason to shell out the cash. Though you do get a certain kind of middle-aged male who collects guitars as a hobby and likely doesn't play them all, or know their instruments that well.

Sometimes there are subjective preferences, obviously, but usually people who aren't totally cloth-eared can tell the difference between a good and a mediocre instrument (which does not always fall along price lines, as any fule kno).

The major caveat would be that when you get to silly money, then like with anything, it becomes about the money, which is really about status. I once played an expensive piano (a make I didn't know), and the owner would not believe one of the pedals did not work because she had paid so much for instrument and just had it tuned.
There are people who will buy an expensive musical instrument purely for the cachet of owning one, but in the musical circles in which I move, people playing expensive instruments are playing them because they're good, not because they're The Name To Have.

The Strads and Guarneris are not usually owned by the musicians who play them, but are on long-term loan to them - there is little point in someone owning such an instrument if it is not being played, and most people interested in buying such instruments will know this.
 

8ball

Hetero Sapiens
There are people who will buy an expensive musical instrument purely for the cachet of owning one, but in the musical circles in which I move, people playing expensive instruments are playing them because they're good, not because they're The Name To Have.
Well yeah, when you're talking about the long-term loans and the people who have mortgages and massive insurance policies on things then that's another different thing. Usually classical stuff ime. And the odd folkie here and there, though you get some of those who will play any old thing.

Lots of differences compared to the audiophile world. Maybe it's because with playing an intrument you're a much more active agent than just being a consumer...
 

existentialist

Fabulous shoes
Well yeah, when you're talking about the long-term loans and the people who have mortgages and massive insurance policies on things then that's another different thing. Usually classical stuff ime. And the odd folkie here and there, though you get some of those who will play any old thing.

Lots of differences compared to the audiophile world. Maybe it's because with playing an intrument you're a much more active agent than just being a consumer...
Yes, definitely the latter, and I was talking more from my experience as a "classically" trained musician. But the same would apply to my more musicianly rock/blues/jazz colleagues, albeit at somewhat lower levels of price.
 

Cid

嗯嗯
Iirc blind tests have shown violins made by modern luthiers can match or er... outperform Strads. I don't know how well designed tests have been though... And these are top end contemporary luthiers, i.e anywhere from 15-60k Euro.

No personal experience, just my cousin plays professionally in a good (classical) string quartet (and a piano trio). I think he owns his, dunno what it is though. Certainly he couldn't have bought it without relative death windfall.
 

xenon

ContentIsBuffering....
I doubt it happens that often in the low.second hand to mid price range. Most people I know who play instruments don't have that much money, and will want a good reason to shell out the cash. Though you do get a certain kind of middle-aged male who collects guitars as a hobby and likely doesn't play them all, or know their instruments that well.

Sometimes there are subjective preferences, obviously, but usually people who aren't totally cloth-eared can tell the difference between a good and a mediocre instrument (which does not always fall along price lines, as any fule kno).

The major caveat would be that when you get to silly money, then like with anything, it becomes about the money, which is really about status. I once played an expensive piano (a make I didn't know), and the owner would not believe one of the pedals did not work because she had paid so much for instrument and just had it tuned.
I've only played two expensive electric guitars. A PRS Custom 21 and Ibanez JS 1000. The latter I have owned for about 10 years thus know it very well. Put simply they just feel easier to play. More tonal subtlety and variety and balance. Compared with my cheaper Ibanez, it sings rather than screams.

That said, even if I ever had the money I don't think I would ever buy a multi thousand pound vintage Fender, for example. Law of diminishing returns and at that level it's more about collectors item value as you say.

So called budget electric guitars these days are really very good though in terms of build quality. They can just lack a bit when it comes to the pickups and electronics.
 

existentialist

Fabulous shoes
Iirc blind tests have shown violins made by modern luthiers can match or er... outperform Strads. I don't know how well designed tests have been though... And these are top end contemporary luthiers, i.e anywhere from 15-60k Euro.

No personal experience, just my cousin plays professionally in a good (classical) string quartet (and a piano trio). I think he owns his, dunno what it is though. Certainly he couldn't have bought it without relative death windfall.
Aha. So perhaps my perceived inability to tell the difference at that price/quality range isn't just down to my competence.

I'm not surprised; ultimately, a good musical instrument is going to be about materials, design, and execution, just like good audio equipment. If you can accurately manufacture something to a proven design (a lot of modern violin makers still use tables of dimensions from Antonio Stradivarius), precisely, and with equally good materials, I don't see why it shouldn't be indistinguishable from a top notch hand made one.
 

8ball

Hetero Sapiens
I've only played two expensive electric guitars. A PRS Custom 21 and Ibanez JS 1000. The latter I have owned for about 10 years thus know it very well. Put simply they just feel easier to play. More tonal subtlety and variety and balance. Compared with my cheaper Ibanez, it sings rather than screams.

That said, even if I ever had the money I don't think I would ever buy a multi thousand pound vintage Fender, for example. Law of diminishing returns and at that level it's more about collectors item value as you say.

So called budget electric guitars these days are really very good though in terms of build quality. They can just lack a bit when it comes to the pickups and electronics.
Some of that might be down to the actual makes you quoted and personal preference. I've found PRS and Ibanez guitars have a fretboard profile that is great for playing rock stuff.

Conversely, I don't get on with Strats and a mate of mine's Dad has a lovely old one. I still don't like playing it because of the horrible neck. To my ears it only sounds 'good- ish' too.

Re: electronics and build quality, I think you're right - buying a cheap guitar then changing the pick ups is a great way to get a pretty good noise without paying too much.
 

newbie

undisambiguated
ultimately, a good musical instrument is going to be about materials, design, and execution, just like good audio equipment.
That's too sweeping isn't it? Pushing air around to make people happy, which is a what an instrument does, is somewhat more challenging than the design, component selection and calibration of electronics. The art of the maker may lean heavily on science, but it's art none the less, because each instrument has personality, revealed by the beauty created when a sensitive musician bonds with their instrument. Or so they say, I'm no musician. When a piece of audio equipment fails you just bung another one in, check the line up and fo to the pub. Even back in the days of huge analogue desks, when getting the lineup consistent across all the channels and groups was a major task, there wasn't much art involved until the final user got their hands on it.

As for bits of wire, I see no art whatsoever there.
 

hash tag

chillin
I wonder if expensive musical instruments fall into the category of "think I can tell the difference, but I'm fooling myself"
The easiest way to get this is listen to something played by Seasick Steve and soemthing played a more "discerning" musician.
 

rutabowa

LOSE IT
Do these actually work then? I'm not an audiophile but i'm a gamer with a Vive headset looking for 3D audio. Is 3D audio possible? Or is it all guff? The CEO of THX seems to like them.
I dunno if those work but I'm sure 3D audio is possible, I was more questioning their claim that you will hear "music as the artist intended it". For gaming, where I guess the makers could specially make 3D sound in the game, I could see it working.
 

ska invita

back on the other side
Do these actually work then? I'm not an audiophile but i'm a gamer with a Vive headset looking for 3D audio. Is 3D audio possible? Or is it all guff? The CEO of THX seems to like them.
3d audio is technically impossible with a left and right headphone - you need more than 2 sources, but there are ways you can give an impression of 3d with clever reverb-based plugins. but i cant see how the hardware would do that - thats in the mix surely
ive just watched the video from that - with headphones on
seems to me its just a crap "3d" plugin with a bunch of hardwear bundled in to the deal
 

beesonthewhatnow

going deaf for a living
ive just watched the video from that - with headphones on
seems to me its just a crap "3d" plugin with a bunch of hardwear bundled in to the deal
No, it's very far from crap. Let's imagine a performer on stage. The bass player is too his left, guitarist to the right, drums behind. So when setting up and IEM mix I'd pan stuff accordingly, so they hear things in the ears as they see them.

But if they move that imagining is now incorrect. Use the Klang stuff with head tracking and the mix can move around as the performer does.
 

ska invita

back on the other side
No, it's very far from crap. Let's imagine a performer on stage. The bass player is too his left, guitarist to the right, drums behind. So when setting up and IEM mix I'd pan stuff accordingly, so they hear things in the ears as they see them.

But if they move that imagining is now incorrect. Use the Klang stuff with head tracking and the mix can move around as the performer does.
ah, that sounds clever
 

rutabowa

LOSE IT
This is a real solution to a real problem. 3D positional audio can be done in software, but they have to use a generic filter for the "average" ear shape. If you can calibrate the filter so that it exactly matches the effect of the wearer's ear, then you'll get more accurate positioning.
that isn't going to make records sound more "like the artist intended" though. from a music perspective.
 

Crispy

The following psytrance is baṉned: All
that isn't going to make records sound more "like the artist intended" though. from a music perspective.
Correct, it's pointless for music (unless you want to make it sound like the music is coming from "over there" no matter which way you turn your head).
 

Ming

Massive prawns
Thanks for the replies. I've paid for a pair as they're on offer at the mo'. Not for delivery till next May though. Have to admit i bought them for the Vive rather than music listening.
 

Enviro

Make your assessment
Anyone seen these EVEN headphones? They're supposed to account for variations in your sensitivity to different frequencies to provide a better experience. I'm suspicious about this. Could be good for people with real issues, but for general use it seems a bit un-necessary.

EVEN Earphones. Get Your EarPrint

I'm sure they will sell though, with all that individualistic 'your ears are unique, you're a special snow flake!' type spiel.

Reading the FAQ it sounds like the system is an all in one audiometry system that applies a filter based on the results - sounds quite interesting.
 
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