The Truth About Audio

Rummaging through my piles of lost papers the other day, I came across the following pearls of wisdom. Nothing on the paper indicated where it came from, or to whom it should be attributed. It has the ironic angle of the late Stereophile founder J. Gordon Holt, but may well have come from elsewhere. In any case, here it is for your delectation. I’ll add my own comments in a future blog entry, but leave this to speak for itself for now:

Truth 1: Any idiot can design a loudspeaker, and unfortunately, many do.

Truth 2: You can say anything you want, who’s to prove you wrong?

Truth 3: The right amount of magnet is the right amount of magnet.

Truth 4: The only transient of significance in the audio business is tranquility. It is also the briefest.

Truth 5: Accuracy of reproduction is determined by how well a sound system models someone’s warped set of preconceived notions.

Truth 6: In audio, as elsewhere, foolproof systems prove the existence of fools.

Truth 7: The size of a woofer is determined not by desired low frequency response, but by perceived sexual dysfunction. After all, it’s not the mass it’s the motion.

Truth 8: Price buys not performance but paranoia.

Truth 9: The most outspoken experts on concert hall sonic reality have seldom, if ever, been to a concert.

Truth 10: The more money spent on an audiophile system, the less time spent on listening to music.

Truth 11: In a minimum phase system there is an inextricable link between frequency response, phase response, and transient response, as they are all merely transforms of one another. This, combined with minimization of open-look errors in output amplifiers and correct compensation for nonlinear passive crossover network loading, can lead to a significant decrease in lost system resolution. However, this all means nothing when you listen to Pink Floyd.

Truth 12: All small, state-of-the-art audio manufacturers are really manifestations of Phineas T. Barnum.

Final Truth: The audio business is no place for reasonable people to make a living.

mikem's picture

The eternal axiom that any truth in and of itself itself is more of an illusion than anything else, hence the reason we have audiophiles who pay money out the ying-yang to support the grand and useless experiment of sound and video perfection. Oh the money spent and the horror, the horror.

gregsgoatfarm's picture

Is trying to glean a semblance of truth and verity from reviewers, who, by their very nature, often lead otherwise rational people on self-destructive paths of Holy Grail seeking. A sad state of affairs. But we all have that axis of cost vs. benefit. Where is your threshhold? Honestly I don't care if someone of significant means keeps a charlatan in business. If the same sound quality is available to me for 25% of the cost...

grtgrfx's picture

Are still good enough to tell the difference, you young whippersnappers. Get off my lawn!