Is it important to long demo or own HIGH END gear to have a fair accurate view about it?

I have heard a lot of opinions about high end gear on the forums but a lot of it comes from folks that don’t own it. They bash it because of the price. Which I understand on one end but many don’t own, haven’t long demoed or even heard a lot of higher end gear thoughts? Please no personal bashing just your opinion? 


@asvjerry …”....I’m still stuck on ’grain in the treble’, and whether is was wheat or oats....”


I would have to say actually more like sandy. I remember hearing about grainy treble. I could not for the life of me imagine what that would sound like until I heard it… you know that feeling when it is as if your blood just turns hot 🥵 and descends down your face making you realize you made a huge expensive mistake? Like that. Sandy. Not smooth… the last big mistake I think I made in audio… that was about 1980. I returned it at a big loss and bought a used Audio Research preamp which the guy guaranteed I would love… I did. I think I kept it for nearly twenty years. Now all my equipment is all Audio Research…. No sand.


“Long demo”?

A year?

A quarter? 

Many opinions on the definition of “long.”

Mine is about an hour. If it doesn’t irritate me beyond belief it remains for a while for further investigation. I’ve found that if it’s that irritating out of the gate, good luck getting it to sound favorable to you. 


unless of course the amplifier and speaker designer are one and same with a deep understanding of both the load and amplifiers to deal with it, tame as it might be. 

A unique high end state of mind is the ability to understand the trade off inherent in a particular design ( edge clamping distortion and energy storage / release are just 2 attributes of planers…there are more ), being able to relate those to measure and listen results and move the ball forward without being a my way or the highway blowhard …ah that’s a high end audiophile to know….. i seek them out….

Please note i own both planer and point source, oh and a former that approximate the latter ( RIP Peter )

OP i appreciate your correction…. most creates doubt…. wondering how many tonearms you have heard ? …. while controlling the other variables……