The goal of this website is to provide some additional knowledge for those who are interested in audio technology, technology of sound reproduction or acoustics in general. And guitar amps of course... Without all kinds of snobbery and hocus-pocus, with a special emphasis on the objective approach.
In the past there have been several attempts to set up quality categories for audio systems: in the 70s 'hi-fi' appeared on the scene, then a bit later categories 'high-end' and 'audiophile' came... While 'Hi-Fi' was a very limited attempt to define a real quality category (which is obsolete by today), 'high-end' and 'audiophile' are more of a creation of the marketing world and are used mainly for marketing purposes. It would be worth to have these categories either forever forgotten or reinterpret them and fill with real content...
Sound reproduction (audio technology) is not black magic. It doesn't have to be mysterious and it's not impossible to understand. As there is no royal road to Geometry, there is no royal road to acoustics. Unfortunately, this is a direct consequence of the many misconceptions and foolish, esoteric views.
Real sound quality should be more important than stereotypes and meaningless labels. In my opinion, the word 'audiophile' is just a stupid categorization of people and products. The main problem is that it has no clear and exact definition and everyone uses it as he likes. In reality, there are as many meanings of 'audiophile' as there are 'audiophiles'. In addition to that the expression is kept alive by the audiophile market: most of the time it is just a wrapper class for some kind of pseudoscience.
And there is a lot of pseudoscience and marketing fraud (snake oil) in audio... It's possible to sell almost anything at any price as long as it is not harmful to anyones's health in the audio business. Exotic speaker cables, mains conditioners, tube amplifiers with magical sound...
Some general ideas about audio devices, speakers and the human hearing:
- Any audio device can be labelled as hi-end or audiophile if it's expensive enough and has an extraordinary design. It's easy to fool people with marketing tricks...
- Although the musical experience is rather subjective, it doesn't mean that human hearing and sound reproduction cannot be investigated with objective scientific methods. Fortunately, from loads of experiments in the last hundred years, we know quite a lot about the human hearing. Moreover, since the 1970s, there have been no revolutionary breakthrough in human hearing research (excluding cognitive brain research).
- Speaker design and music reproduction is mainly about understanding the laws of psychoacoustics and room acoustics, not about branded 'audiophile' crossover capacitors and speaker cables.
- A loudspeaker is not just an electroacoustic transducer. It turns a one dimensional electrical signal into a three dimensional sound wave.
Audio quality (sound quality) is measurable: factors that influence the sound quality of audio devices can be determined and measured. This applies to all audio devices: amplifiers, audio players (turntable, CD-player, MP3/MP4 player, software audio player...), speaker cables, loudspeakers or headphones. Seeking for the perfect tone or perfect system is completely hopeless, but seeking a system with no audible error is a practical goal.
The majority of myths that live in the audiophile community are mixtures of various types of logical fallacies such as 'false dichotomy' and 'cherry picking'. The hype about vinyl records, the magical sound of tube amps or the false opposition of analog audio with digital audio, the false opposition of lossy and lossless audio compression fall into this category. (Deep inside all digital audio formats are lossy... And those who are afraid of MP3 are completely happy with JPEG images, which is ironic, because the compression algorithm is very similar.)
And last but not least... You can support further development of this site by making a donation here. In 2018 there will be no new software release or updates, because I have to finish a bigger project.
I hope that you will find a lot of useful information and knowledge on this website. As a bonus here is my video lecture collection.
Don't forget: the greatest tool is between your ears.