Giving Advice without recommending your own equipment

I've noticed over the years that you can't ask a general question on Audiogon without getting people answering who with a specific model recommendation.  They  think the answer to every question is to just buy their model.  For example:

OP:  What is the difference between R2R and FPGA DACS.

ans 1:  I have a model x that is R2R and you should just buy it.  it is spectacular.

ans 2:  I have model y what is FPGA and it is spectacutlar.  buy it.

ans 3:  I have model z.  I don't know if it is FPGA, R2R or what, but you should buy it.

ans 4:  I have owned both.  I found the FPGA to have the following attributes..... and the R2R to be more ......  The models i owned were not exactly in the same price range so YMMV.  But my opinion is that I like ______ better.

Which of those answers sound more useful?  I'm just suggesting that your advice is more meaningful if you can refraim from recommending your latest and greatest piece of equipment.   I would totally ignore answers 1 thru 3.  Ans 4 is well thought out and give you a useful opinion.

Sometimes people ask for specific model advice from people who have heard certain models.  Of course 99.9% of the comments come from people who love their model x.  Apparently nobody ever buys something and decides it is not that great (I wonder why there is so much used equipment for sale).  But comments about specific models are appropriate then.

Just a few thoughts about how to navigate theough the forums and sort the wheat from the chaff.  there is lots of good advice here and lots of bad advice and this is more of an example of useless advice and how to avoid giving it.



Good point. People (and not just with hi-fi) tend to recommend what they own or use. I had a really bad mechanic and a crooked dentist before I learned to take such advice with a grain of salt.

Of course, 4 is the advice that tries to be useful. But one could append to that, "I really can’t say whether the differences I heard were due to the underlying architecture (R2R or PFGA) or to other differences in the implementations." A huge issue with audiophiles is the tendency to overgeneralize from limited experience, which includes the tendency to assign causes to heard differences without really knowing. This is similar to the tendency to think expectation bias applies only to other people. One runs into these issues constantly in audiophile comments.

People are substituting recommendations from internet forums for the visits we used to make to our favorite audio equipment dealers where we could actually hear stuff. The problem is that, considering the level of individual care invested in the systems of people on this forum, nobody can really tell anybody else what they like to hear. For the most part, you have to hear it for yourself.

Most here are trying to be helpful but there is still a healthy dose of confirmation bias, the same as there was from the dealers we used to visit - I own it (or, I sell it) so it must be good. It is just human nature, people trying to help. As an example, there is a dealer here on A’gon that often takes the opportunity to promote one of their products as the de facto solution for underperforming digital applications. Sometimes you need to separate the chaff to find the wheat.