The Totalitarianism of the Rational Audiphile

I read not too long ago a blog post by some one who called himself a rational audiophile. I found it amusing across multiple dimensions.

Among the first, the idea you can be rational without being emotional. In fact, nothing is further from the truth. Our emotions are motivating. The words even share a similar etymological origin. Even if you want to be rational, you’ve made that choice based on your emotions. The entire concept of personal choice and values is emotional. Those without emotions lack the energy to make choices. In other words, if you’ve made a choice, you have done so using emotions to push you towards a goal.

Further, as an audiophile, I buy for pleasure, not for numbers. What I mean is, the precision of the experience will not trump what I hear. I’m not buying a CNC machine, or laser cutting device. Nor am I buying an oscilloscope when I buy audio gear, or listen to music. I’m buying to sense and to feel. Even when I’m designing speakers, I rely heavily on tools to explain where my design is going, but the tonal balance I choose is very much based on gauging my listening pleasure.

The other thing that struck me about this person’s’ blog is this: They were not actually engaging in science. They were using 50 year old measurements (for the most part) to gauge the value of a product. If your measurements are this old, you aren’t doing science, you are doing quality control. Science involves research, invention, the discovery of new ways in which our ear/brain mechanism interprets sound. That would be science. Using THD to make absolute judgements between two pieces of gear is hilarious.

Science ceases as well when you believe you have defined everything that can be known about human experience with a dozen or so numbers. Repeatedly in mechanical sciences, medicine, etc. the one's who advanced science did so in spite of those who went before them who insisted nothing more could be learned.  So, in this case you go from scientist, to egoist. A very very irrational and emotional take.


A lot of music is crap, perhaps there is a market for vintage crap equipment to listen to it with.

I just saw Quest Love drummer for the Roots band on a late show. His LP collection is up to 130,000 lps and growing.

He says he is now collecting the worst music he can find.
I KNOW,! What’s happening to me? I think I’m may be going through “The Change”.....keep rockin Geoff
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