10 Wonderful things and 10 bad things about the audiophile world.

10 Problems with the audiophile world.

#1  Speakers and amps need to be made synergistically.

#2  Room acoustics are so much more important than they realize.

#3. High End audio companies rarely show scientific measurements. Why not?

#4  Audiophiles have very little knowledge of music production.

#5  The dealer system in high end audio is not working.

#6  Snake oil is not loathed but treated as an amusing possibility for better sound.

#7  Expensive equipment, confirmation bias, ego, no standards, will eat people who don’t like expensive cables.

#8  Very little blind listening tests.

#9  No use of audio files showing differences in components, before and after.

#10 Audiophiles make subjective decisions claiming to be scientifically objective.


10 Wonderful things about the audiophile world.

#1   People who love music.

#2  Smart people who are passionate about the latest technology.

#3  Audiophiles rarely eat people for not liking their new expensive cables.

#4  Being an audiophile is a great hobby.

#5  Being an audiophile is mentally healing.

#6  Audiophiles are trying to make fidelity and quality paramount unlike other industries.

#7  Audiophiles are a strong community.

#8  Samsung / Harden is making lots of money.

#9  Audiophiles are always moving toward a goal.

#10 Audiophiles appreciate beauty.



To get the most out of a speaker the driver needs to be designed with a particular amp. There are many reasons for this if there is one amp and 2 drivers putting out different frequencies you are compromising the potential performance of the speaker. A high end speaker engineer selling a speaker without a designed amp is like selling a Ferrari body body being sold without without a suspension and saying just add or match a suspension until you get it right, no one would put up with that. It is understood that expensive cars need to be designed expensive stereos also need to be designed not mixed and matched.

This is really stunning news to me. After reading for years now about the ability to find good and synergistic matches between different speakers with different amps -- so many people are wrong about this. Audiophiles are incredibly misinformed and uneducated about this critical fact that you are pointing out. That is, if it's true.



Here's a little cut and past of my studio speakers on some of the benefits of being powered in just the crossovers. A small part of the design.

The active crossover design offers multiple benefits:

  • The frequency response becomes independent of any dynamic changes in the driver’s electrical characteristics or the drive level.
  • There is an increased flexibility and precision to adjust and fine tune each output frequency response for the specific drivers used.
  • Each driver has its own signal processing and power amplifier. This isolates each driver from the drive signals handled by the other drivers, reducing inter-modulation distortion and overdriving problems.
  • The ability to compensate for sensitivity variations between drivers.
  • The possibility to compensate for the frequency and phase response anomalies associated with a driver’s characteristics within the intended pass-band.
  • The flat frequency response of a high-quality active loudspeaker is a result of the combined effect of the crossover filter response, power amplifier responses and driver responses in a loudspeaker enclosure.

There are so many reasons why powered and active speakers are the future the sports car analogy is one most audiophile understand. Everyone knows powered speakers are the future in every category of playback, I started a thread about how audiophiles were confused about powered speakers, 65k views later people still didn't have a clue. Yes you can put a "A"  or "AB" or whatever kind of amp you want in a speakers you just need big heat sinks (Pass did it).

Look at it from this point of view, today speaker cables cables are becoming some of the largest costs in a system, assuming that this is a proper use of audio money then why not bypass the cables completely. If there is merit in the idea that cables create such a huge deeper, wider, higher, lower, more accurate, tighter bass, blacker backgrounds, more musicality which is caused by hyper priced 1 meter speaker cables then why not do without cables all together just think of the musicality then wow. For that reason alone (if it is valid) designed powered speakers make sense. 



In life or in audio, there is always many roads to the summit of the mountain...

 Thanks hilde45 for the video ...

And for sure my little self powered speakers are impossible to beat for the S.Q. /price ratio scale ...

But there is no one solution for all in my book ...


Here is a story about perception that I've never forgot. 
I was doing the production sound (recording the actors on stage) on the TV show "Bones" about 5 years ago. I was using an excellent sound package with all the very best analog recording equipment then making a long story short I switched sound package and used one with the very best digital recording equipment using the same microphones with my usual headphones recording the actors who's voices I knew perfectly in the acoustic environment that I knew exactly using the same boom operator who I had worked with for many years. I switched systems (which never happen to me before in almost 40 years of production sound). The first 3 seconds of hearing the actors voice made me a believer in digital. In production sound you have to be hyper critical and exceptionally careful about every aspect of the actors voice the digital signal was so much better. It was like looking down the grocery store aisle and seeing a beautiful girl then realizing that that girl is your wife, the reaction was honest.