Does someone’s opinion affect your opinion?

So I have a very nice turntable with a new MC cartridge which I liked and enjoyed…that is until someone said that the cartridge was very “piercing” and in his opinion almost unlistenable. Now I find I am not enjoying it as much. Two things to add, he is not anymore “golden ear” than me, and the brands are well known with good reviews. 
But now, I don’t enjoy it as much. I know I shouldn’t let it bother me, but it does and it has impacted my enjoyment.

So, has this happen to you and what did you do? 


It's only natural to seek validation or a rational for your personal opinions. I believe we've all experienced it, at some point or another, in some form, what @DEADHEAD1000 is experiencing. Most of us don't do this with just our audio, but with most everything in life: food, art & entertainment, cars, on & on. We read reviews, we invite opinions to inform our perceptions.

I think your friend has provided you with a valuable insight: you now know how his experience ("piercing" & almost unlistenable) relates to your perception ('enjoyable'). That is a refence point by which I mean that a refence point is neither right nor wrong, bad or good. It is simply a point to refer to relative to you and your opinion. That is the utility of audio reviewers: when you get familiar with their opinions you know how to interpret those in relation to your own.

Also you mentioned it's a new cartridge, so there's folks hear that will say it needs to 'break in'. FWIW I think its the listener that really needs  to 'beak in'.

Cheers and let your ears be your guide

If all adjustable parameters are good,your own ears do the final sign off.

Every listener at a show/demo room will not agree a SOTA rig sounds amazing.

It looks like your perception is tainted however. Time for another cartridge upgrade.




I spend a lot of time in Company experiencing different Sources, i.e Vinyl, CD and even Streaming of late.

Along with this there are Cables, Phono Amp's, Pre-Amp's, Power Amp's and Speakers put into service to be scrutinised be a Group of experienced audio enthusiasts, that have approx' 200 years of being quite interested in and owning audio systems under their belts as a group.

I can assure that at times the whole of the follow up descriptions can be largely gobbledygook, as there are times when each individual has locked on to a frequency that another had not been effected by, or overlooked the frequency and was more attuned to detailing and dynamics.

These items produced during a replay, that become a sticking point, are in my view related to ones mood at the time of the occasion, as mood brings out variances of sensitivities.     

It seems to me that your friend would be a more valuable friend if they would expose you to a system that is not harsh to their ears. That would at least give you some ability to relate to their comments, or not.

I engage my preamp’s 10k equalizer to compensate for my age related hearing loss. I am guessing that should I forget to disengage the equalizer, my teenage daughters would find some music to be quite harsh.


It is normal for most to be influenced to some level or degree by others opinion....

Another important thing is learning to trust our ears....

Then we must set some acoustic experiments and train ourself then this improve self confidence a lot...

Exactly, perfectly right!

Guttenberg said something interesting about the audio journey, recently. As we age, we change our opinions in part because of our physical hearing, but largely because of our ability to discern. 

If a friend made a comment which lead me to question what I was hearing, it would probably because I trust their discernment. That would give me a reason to do what Mahgister suggests -- do experiments. We only have the science and technology of audio because of skepticism, testing, questioning, and corroboration of results.