How do you judge audio components and speakers?

I would say - listening to music you're familiar with, and comparing. We can talk about tight/bloomy bass, midrange clarity, treble extension and things of that nature. We can also be very specific with regards to how a particular track is supposed to sound; based on high-performance gear that we were able to experience - but only if it purports to be accurate without sonic colorations. Therefore, I guess you could say we have a reference point. This part is what I would consider "objective performance." 

Along with this, measurements go hand-in-hand.

On the other side of the coin - subjective performance is how we "want our systems to sound." If the vocals are too bright or sharp, if snares or unpleasant sounding instrumentals ruin an otherwise good song, it's usually because the system is too accurate. So high-end audio is about chasing an ideal that doesn't exist in reality - but in the minds of audiophiles who are seeking a very particular kind of sonic presentation that bodes well with their music library as a you just enough detail to keep you interested, while at the same time having a sense of realism, presence, and imaging that makes the speakers dissapear. We are seeking the illusion of a live performance.


The above are just my points. Feel free to share what you think. If you think I'm wrong, I don't mind. 







mahgister some people understand acoustics and some people don't. It's pretty simple. Helmholtz is the ONLY way to tune a room. Vibration and electrical are just as important.. 

I personally like ugly.. I don't have 10,000 post but I've read 10,000,000 post. I've followed Mr. Mahgister sense the beginning. Pictures. I got some pictures all right..

I've heard more BAD room than good by a long shot. Everyone was pretty too. Cost the people 100k and still sound like crap.. Do you think they would listen. NO to busy LOOKING rather than listening. It looks pretty so it has to sound good.

80% of the time it's not the case..

I'd report someone in my mailbox too. EXIT only, I send mail I don't receive it. :-)

Yeah, well it’s ludicrous.

I agree. Your posts are ludicrous.

Perhaps you should have called yourself jackasshifiguy.

My Experienced Ears and several Different genres of Music

I look for Realism 

Close your eyes

Does it sound like the instrument or Band is In the Room or coming out of the speakers?

You can have the best equipment you are able to afford, but the room acoustics are the single biggest determinate of how your system will sound. So I try to match the system to the room (generally speaking), with the brightest-sounding going into the room with the most upholstered furniture and bric-a-brac scattered about. The majority of floors in my condo are laminate, so wall treatments are  used, along with two large floor-standing absorption panels in one room. Ironically, my highest end system is located in the area where the acoustics are the worst (the dining-area/kitchen), because that is the area where my Vandersteen 3As work the best because of the square footage available (20' x 10'). The floor there is ceramic tile, but the uneven wall surfaces (cabinets) help ameliorate that large negative factor.

I am also a big believer in the heavier-is-better theory, because that is usually an indicator of a well-made product (the one exception to that rule in my inventory is a PS Audio HCA-2 amp, which sounds really good and only weighs 30 pounds). The synergy between components also matters more than the quality of any one piece.


you said:


I’ve heard more BAD room than good by a long shot. Everyone was pretty too. Cost the people 100k and still sound like crap.. Do you think they would listen. NO to busy LOOKING rather than listening. It looks pretty so it has to sound good.

80% of the time it’s not the case..


Oh really? Well you must have a subjective-only view to sound.

In that case, I suppose you can’t tell the difference between a costly system and a cheap one, or a .mp3 file and CD quality or high res.

You might as well get a bluetooth speaker and be done with it.


I speak the truth. Got attacked because some of you disagree with me and that’s fine on the surface...but you all take it way too personally. Reminds me of the fellow students I used to outlass in gym class back in high school. The good old days. I got labelled a bully even though I never picked on anyone or tried to make enemies. And online, all the losers get together and attack the big wolf.

Audiophiles are non-technical kooks. And you are the king of the audiophile kooks. Congrats. And you know what? I’m quoting Ken Rockwell. He was right all along.

Goes to show that most audiophiles have no idea what good sound actually is - especially here on audiogon and other forum sites. So many of you have no real conceptual understanding of what makes 1 system better than another, except for purely subjective viewpoints. May as well have the opinions of children and high school students to guide me.