Stuff I wish I'd known as a teenage audiophile

jacobmorrison

Active Member
  1. It’s gonna cost you!
  2. It’s probably the room and/or speaker placement that’s the problem, not your system.
  3. Analogue does not sound better than digital.
  4. Digital does not sound better than analogue.
  5. Mastering matters most.
  6. Hi-Res is good marketing. 16bit lossless is enough. See point 5.
  7. Being bit-perfect is no consolation when it sounds sh*t. See point 5.
  8. Enjoyment of music cannot be guaranteed by using equipment that measures well. See point 5.
  9. If tone controls can make music sound better to you, use tone controls.
  10. Accept that somebody with a pair of cheap headphones and a phone could well be getting far more out of their music than you do with your own setup worth hundreds or thousands more, simply because they don’t care that they’re only using a phone and cheap headphones. These people are to be envied.
  11. If you can hear an audible benefit with a cable then it’s up to you whether that benefit is worth the outlay. If you can’t hear the benefit, don’t spend the money. Don’t let the debate tell you you’re wrong or an idiot if you can hear the difference. I have, but only occasionally. Trust your ears.
  12. Unless you’re hiding equipment away, don’t be embarrassed and accept that looks matter. If the equipment is an eye-sore to you, the odds are you won’t enjoy owning it.
  13. Home audition wherever possible for as long as possible. You’ll know you’re happy when you just want to put more music on.
  14. Value your local dealers.
  15. The quality of modern vinyl is highly variable. 180gsm black vinyl does not guarantee good sound quality. Coloured vinyl does not guarantee poor sound quality. Expensive re-issues often sound worse than originals. So, treasure your old vinyl.
  16. VU meters will always be cool.
  17. There’s no substitute for a nicely weighted volume control.
  18. When you can’t hear the equipment and can only hear the music, put the wallet away and stop reading reviews.
Now to invent a time machine and stop this whole thing before it started.

What are the things you wish you'd known?
 

Ascotbilly

Active Member
Your better half will never think it looks cool 😎
 
D

Deleted member 824153

Guest
Great list. Many truths. I’d also add listen to other people’s systems. I’ve got a couple of mates who also enjoy this lark and we listen to each other’s kit and swap it about. I’m amazed how often one of us says “you must listen to this bit of kit” only for the others to be totally underwhelmed. I’m with Steve Guttenberg: you know you’ve got a good system when you want to keep listening.
 

FootHealer

Active Member
The excitement of buying a new piece of equipment will swiftly be followed by a regret that you don't enjoy music any more than you did on the little boom box your old man bought you as a kid, and often less so.
 

Alan Weir 1

Well-known Member
Further to point 12, when looking at the adverts imagine the kit with cables sticking out of every orifice, a layer of dust on the top and sticky finger marks on the controls.
Only advertiser's are allowed to own the magical cableless free kit and dust free sterile rooms.😀😀
 

Derek S-H

Distinguished Member
Reviews are a useful tool, but music is a personal, subjective experience.

Your kit is there to service the music, not the other way round.

The Point of Diminishing Returns does exist and it's important to recognise this, otherwise you'll be chasing the impossible dream forever and you'll never be satisfied.

You don't need to spend thousands to have a great system that you enjoy listening to music on.

Oh, and tweaking can be fun but it's not to be taken too seriously!
 

FootHealer

Active Member
Further to point 12, when looking at the adverts imagine the kit with cables sticking out of every orifice, a layer of dust on the top and sticky finger marks on the controls.
Only advertiser's are allowed to own the magical cableless free kit and dust free sterile rooms.😀😀
Yes....so true. Monitor Audio's website has images that seem to suggest all their speakers are wireless, and that they are most suitable for use inside the break room of micro-processer manufacturing plants.
 

Ascotbilly

Active Member
Yes....so true. Monitor Audio's website has images that seem to suggest all their speakers are wireless, and that they are most suitable for use inside the break room of micro-processer manufacturing plants.
On one of the speakers threads there’s a pic of a B&W set up. No wires, a magic TT, girl sprawled out in scandi style des res…..🤦🏻🤦🏻
 

FootHealer

Active Member
On one of the speakers threads there’s a pic of a B&W set up. No wires, a magic TT, girl sprawled out in scandi style des res…..🤦🏻🤦🏻
Yeah...I need one of those magic turntables. Forget bluetooth. I saw a marketing image once of a very attractive 20-something girl, vinyl all over the floor, big smile, speakers had no cables, but better yet, the turntable had no power cord. No power cord! Man, I need one ASAP. This mains noise at -130db issue is giving me sleepless nights ;)
 

Ascotbilly

Active Member
Point No 10 - it’s spot on. We probably all started listening to music under the bedsheets late at night on something bought off the local market. Keep it about the music not about “a perfect sound”….
 
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gibbsy

Moderator
Don't lend your copy of Pink Floyds' Piper at the gates of dawn on your second date. You'll never get it back and you'll never have a third date. Damn she was a looker though.
 

Call me Candy

Well-known Member
I think this hi fi malarky can be as addictive as alcohol.
I have only just updated my TT & Phono stage & almost talked myself into going to my local dealer last weekend to change the Phono stage & spend more money upgrading the upgrade.
Im delighted with my system as it is. God I loath myself🤮
 

FootHealer

Active Member
Don't lend your copy of Pink Floyds' Piper at the gates of dawn on your second date. You'll never get it back and you'll never have a third date. Damn she was a looker though.
Related teenage story: when your step-father offers you his small collection of 60s and 70s vinyl, including Floyd's Piper at the Gates of Dawn, don't say, "naaa, no thanks" and put your CD walkman back on. It'll only go to a charity shop. 20 years from now, you'll pay £70 for that same vinyl on Discogs.

EDIT: you'll pay £700 on Discogs. Man, the difference a "0" can make ;)
 
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Mark.Yudkin

Distinguished Member
19. Involve your partner. See 12.
20. When you and your partner can no longer hear a difference as the price goes up, you've found your device. 18 is a more advanced level.
 

Dobbyisfree

Well-known Member
Absolutely brilliant. Thank you for that.

Most of this also applies to AV.

Including 5. Take ITV streaming, it's normally awful. 720p and 2 channel PCM. Then you watch Professor T and find out what they can do with 2 channel PCM, they just don't do it most of the time. Sounded better than some of Netflix "Dolby Atmos" and that's because of rule 5.

Rule 5 is "You can't polish a 💩".
 

Amar

Active Member
If you want to stop spending money, stop reading AV Forums! :rotfl:
 

BigBadTed

Standard Member
Reviews are a useful tool, but music is a personal, subjective experience.

Your kit is there to service the music, not the other way round.

The Point of Diminishing Returns does exist and it's important to recognise this, otherwise you'll be chasing the impossible dream forever and you'll never be satisfied.

You don't need to spend thousands to have a great system that you enjoy listening to music on.

Oh, and tweaking can be fun but it's not to be taken too seriously!
 

musicphil

Active Member
More money spent on audio equals a better sound......NOT!
 
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GW43

Well-known Member
Great list!

The only thing I'd add: it's more important to like what you have rather than having what you like.
 

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