Recently some of my customers asked me to join in a discussion on a Facebook page involving DIY speakers. They had posted pics of their build and were being asked some questions. I don't mind joining in and answering questions. So no problem. I have a GR Research Facebook page, and I am involved in several racing pages so I do drop in on Facebook several times a day.
Follow the page: https://www.facebook.com/grresearch/
Then I was asked to join several more Facebook speaker building groups by those that saw me there.
Next my news feed is flooded with DIY builds from all over the world. And a lot of these guys are noobies trying all kinds of crazy ideas not realizing what the results will be. I feel for these guys, and try to give some direction when I can. I could spend all day helping these guys if I had nothing better to do. But Facebook is not a good place for this stuff. After a day any response can be so far down in the news feed that it is never seen again. So good information is lost quickly. Here at the Audio Circle information posted can be readily found, seen by many, and many can be helped. It can even be searched for later. This is a much better format and place for exchanging information. So I want to encourage you guys to send folks here when you can, and it should be a lot more helpful for them and others.
The next thing I noticed right away was the prevalence of what I call the flat-Earth guys. To me those are the guys that let preconceived ideas get in the way of learning and bettering their systems. It's the same old story from years ago.... They are basically against or religiously opposed to anything high end audio. We've all heard it. Anything expensive is snake oil. Speakers don't burn in your ears do, so nothing burns in. Wire is wire, and expensive cables are all snake oil. Expensive components don't sound any better than the cheap ones. Iron core inductors sounds just as good as air core inductors. If you can't measure a difference then it won't sound different. Blah, blah, blah...
And don't recommend anything that might make a sonic improvement or they'll all jump on you and call you names. A few guys even took name calling to PM's.
My goals are and have been the same for many years. I strive to bring up the performance of everyone's system in any way that I can. I love helping someone reach that next level, and opening their eyes to new performance bench marks. And through the years I have help more than I can ever count move a little closer to their audio nirvana. And I have moved many a nay sayer from the dark side and turned them into listeners.
Funny thing is this hobby is all about listening and enjoying music. But according to the flat Earth guys you can't listen to something and decide if it is good or better. It is too easy to fool yourself into thinking that any one thing is better than another. It's all the placebo effect you know. You need a double blind panel of people to get a statistical analysis of whether or not there is an audible difference in something. And any observance that you may have made is just an opinion and you have fooled yourself into having it...
I admit that over the years of doing this every day I have learned a lot of tweaks and some of them may have seemed a little crazy at the time. But these tweaks have taken me a long way. And there is also valid science for all that I do. If it makes an improvement there is a reason for it whether that reason is easy to measure or not.
And because of what I have learned, and because if what my industry friends have learned, GR Research and friends have consistently done really well at the audio shows, and won tons of awards for having the best sound. And I know that if you were to take away the power conditioning, the really good power cables, the really good interconnects, the speaker cables, USB cables, tube connectors, high end internal wire, digital front end tweaks, room treatments, diffusers, special capacitors and components, and replace them with the generic budget versions, we wouldn't be so far ahead. We'd be right there with everyone else. If I pulled all of the stuff out of my system that the nay sayers say doesn't matter then I wouldn't even be able to listen to it any more. I can't go back that far.
Sean Foley posted this. I love it and had to use it. "Suffice it to say, plateaus are meant to be climbed, step by step. The higher you go, the closer you are to the next plateau. Keep going until you can't go any higher. Once you've reached that point, measure where you are & look back to where you started from. Then you have the before & after".
That reminds me of when I first got started good in this industry and I thought I had a pretty good sounding system. Then Dave Elledge came over and dropped in a couple of his power cables in place of some el cheapo stock power cables that I was using, and it changed everything forever. Suddenly a new plateau was reached. And it just never stopped. Several years ago we went through a revolution of improvements in the digital domain. Every few weeks there was another improvement. My inner circle of guys working in the digital area were just coming up with new advancements constantly. It was great!
I look back now and feel like I have come thousands of miles. Even since I last exhibited at RMAF, and had the best sound that we've had in years, and won "best sound cost no object" by the Absolute Sound, my personal system has moved up many plateaus since then. Some of it has been little tweaks here and there but some of it has been big jumps in speakers too. I am literally way past my personal best of a few years ago that was already really good.
I can't wait to have more people over and share every tweak there is to help everyone I know move up to a high plateau. So I don't understand the motivation behind the guys that adamantly want to keep themselves and everyone else in the dark. They'll fight tooth and nail to their cause. They are dumbing down the industry. They even kicked me off of one of the Facebook pages for mentioning higher quality components and A/B listening comparisons.
And trying to show anyone the light just starts an argument that I simply don't have time for. I am still a member of a lot of those groups, but I have turned off notifications and set preferences to un-follow. So I don't even see that stuff anymore. It's just not worth the battle and not worth the time to help those with closed ears or closed minds. They don't listen anyway. So in the future if you need me to respond to something on a FB page then I will, but I am not going to get into a daily battle of trying to teach those that don't want to learn.
So in light of that let's make this a learning and sharing thread. Post and tell everyone about your favorite tweak or something that moved your system to the next plateau.
And if you read all of this, thanks for following along.