Seek advice on forums but always listen to your own ears!

I’m starting this thread because in our hobby there are no absolutes.  You as an audiophile will bring a different experience. You will have different equipment, speakers,room,  experience level and level of equipment. Be careful seek the advice but you never know who is giving it to you. Trust your ears not random measurements from random people. Some folks are not who they say they are. 


Yes. But you can often evaluate the posters experience and values through their post(s) / virtual systems. People trying to be helpful will usually provide enough context for you to understand where they are coming from and their experience… and they creat virtual systems. But you are correct, just like any thing, you must read critically.

It is simple. You read many users opinions, you study acoustics concepts and well authorized experience users here are well known.

For example if i need information about speakers, i will consult among others here erik_squires... If i need advices about amplifier i will ask atmasphere. If i need more general information or simply opinions i will among others ask ghdprentice opinion for example .


All the people i know here for years are who they claim they are... I had read their posts...😊

We must be cautious not defiant or suspicious.. Anyway we must trust ourself first for basic information across the web ...And for very specfic information it is easy to have many answers to compare ...


By the way listening with our own ears is a common place fact... How to listen otherwise? No opinions even the most educated and experienced one and even your own ears is not enough at all ... You must learn basic acoustics concepts by training your own hearings in your own room ... That is what i learned and thats was my only advice since i am here ... Some dont like it ... Guess why ?


No one can understand what he hear if he does not have the concept relating to the acoustics aspects and parameters at play... This must be learned the hard way doing it ... Sorry ... Then the best advices and your own ears tastes cannot replace experiments ...

@mahgister @ghdprentice great responses from the both of you.  I respect both of you guys. We may not agree all the time but I can see where yall are coming from. Some posters play big games. You just don’t know. 

I think those of us who have been here a long time know who "really knows" stuff, and what their biases are, and who are the self appointed expert advisors who disguise opinion as fact. There is so much wrong fact presented here, and so much great explanation...very difficult if you are new here...but totally agree, read all you can and then go listen...

@jl35 there are some here that just want to be important.  Some are here to settle beef that they have had.  Some are here to sell things.  Some are here to tear people down.   Some get suspended and come right back after bullying.  Look I had people say because I’m now affiliated with a company my opinion dont matter. Been on Audiogon almost 20 years only affiliated the last 4.  That was even by happenstance.  But I respect people’s opinions.  I do audio on the side.  I’m have a 22 year non audio related business that I do well at.  I just want to hear audio at its highest level and enjoy the music. 

“I just want to hear audio at its highest level and enjoy the music. ”

 …….and promote/sell products that I’ve vested interest 🤣

But I do agree…in our hobby there are no absolutes and we must rely on our ears to buy what sounds best in our unique environment. 

calvinj OP

In my book you are an experienced audiophile and you had more to offer than most ... We are not all idiots ...

I personally want more people with experience in the industry as designer or sellers reviewers etc...

Why not ?

It increase the discussion depth and the expertise pools...

Even the average user is biased as i am as all simple user and audiophile ...

Why refusing the opinion of someone affiliated with a brand name ?

Our biases are not only negatives they may be and are positives also ...


If all is in the open it is a + not a - for all of us ..

Dont bother with narrow minds ...


You can only trust your ears if you have good ears and know what to listen for.  Otherwise it can really be helpful to take advice and direction from others.  Unfortunately it can be hard to figure out what is good advice and what's not.   What I mean to say is that trusting your own ears has its limitations.

@lalitk the proof is in the ears.  No one can talk you into buying smthg if it sounds bad if you do your own research and put in the work.  Yes I would love to,sell a lot of gear. But if I don’t sell a thing it’s fine. I don’t live off that. I have a business I been running 2 decades.  I actually let people demo before they buy in a lot of cases. We will be at Axpona in room 476 in the Chicago Area on April 12,13,14.  We will be in Dallas at the lone star Audiofest June 7,8,9th. We will be in California Audiofest June 7,8,9th. We will be at pacific Audiofest and Capitol Audio fest later in the year. You can come see us. I’m not hiding the fact that I sell gear.  But I’m an audiophile first. If you don’t buy a thing I want you to learn from my experiences and maybe I can learn from yours as well. 

@mahgister well said. I think it’s good to,gain perspectives from different people we all have different experiences. I tell people. That the gear I’m affiliated with I own because to me it sounded great. It might not be for everybody.  Some guys like tubes. Some like warmth. Some like hug soundstages. We all have our preferences but I have owned or long demoed at least 15 Amps in the last 20 years. I have had at least 10 pre amps and at 10 to 15 sources.  I have tried 50 different speaker cable brands. I have heard systems from 200.00 to 1.2million dollars. I try to share as much as I can. 

Unfortunately it can be hard to figure out what is good advice and what's not.

That's a +1!  Someone asks a question and five people (or there abouts) answer one way, and then another five (or so) answer the exact opposite.

Problem solving starts defining the problem, conditioning a literature search and interviewing those individuals experienced in the field to established potential cause and effect.  Pro-reviews and forum discussions are a starting point to guide on potential products that align with your personal preferences and to gain technical knowledge.  However, you must use experimental design to find cause and effect improvement.  In our hobby that is audition.  Comparative audition controlling as many system variables as possible is best but not always feasible.  Recognize the audition process will work better if you have defined your goal clearly on the improvement you want to make (problem definition, in other words).  To define the improvement you need to understand your preferences.  In conclusion, pro-reviews are excellent research tools to gain knowledge, but using your own ears in experimental, controlled auditions is the only way to make a final choice.  

Seeking advise, recommendations and suggestions from other audiophiles, whether it be from forums like this, or from sales persons at your local high end audio dealers, is just a natural aspect of being an audiophile.  We've all done it, at some point.  I know I have on many occasions.  Over the past 25 years, a combination of others recommendations and intense auditioning is how I've always built my audio systems.

You can only trust your ears if you have good ears and know what to listen for. Otherwise it can really be helpful to take advice and direction from others.

100% agree. The advice that one has to "listen for themself" is true enough, but as with a lot of other things in life, one can get better at listening. And there are better listeners out there than me -- by seeking them out, I've gotten better at doing something which seems simple, but it's not. That why this is a hobby and not just a place where people come to just blurt out that something "sounds good to them." There are criteria, specific things to listen for and notice, judgments to be made. In the end "it's up to each listener" is true, but it's a simplistic truth, which barely needs saying.


@everyone there was also another reason for this post. Without saying actual names we had poster here that for years came on to shill and to destroy threads of people he didn’t agree with. He was consistently abrasive and disrespectful. He isn’t on here now but we have to be careful who we take advice from. What equipment do they actually have. What experience do they actually have. Are they who they say they are. Do they have experiences with the stuff they say they do. Some have accused me of being a shill because I work for a company. But the truth is the real danger of these forums is people flat out being dishonest to validate themselves in the hobby. A lot of us are OCD in audio. But there are folks that want to come on our platforms to destroy healthy debate. We must be careful. I travel to audio shows so I have actually met a few of you in person. I want to meet more of you if I’m in a show in your area. Just be careful with who you get advice from they may not be who you think they are.

good post @calvinj what wares will you be offering in your room at Axpona.  Hope to connect with you.

@woots infigo audio cabling. Infigo audio method 3 amplifiers. The latest edition.  Method 7 pre amp with phono stage.  Method 4 Dac. And the new Alta Audio Aphrodite 50k speakers. Room 476. We will also have a turntable.