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"Dealerspeak"

royals1871

New member
"Provided you are into music rather than Hi-Fi and your dealer has set up his equipment properly your ears will tell you something very quickly that cannot be measured any other way."

This comment has been stated to me (in different ways) over the years constantly by dealers and aficionado's of particular audio brands.

Usually very expensive audio brands, why would you say that otherwise? It's persuasion isn't it?
 

Pharos

Member
The inconsistencies of audio marketing ...

The inconsistencies of audio marketing ...

Although there ar a few scientificlly established rules, one has to ask exactly what 'setting up the equipment properly'. is.

One can walk into a demo and be impressed, but, odd quirky presentations can give an impact which appears at first to be revelation, but which does not always 'pan out' as faithful in fidelity.

I have a tape recording from '91 of a man who was a Sales Director of a company selling expensive 3 way professional speakers in which he is effectively telling me that I have 'cloth ears' if I cannot immediately hear the superiority of his product.

He has since left that company, and now extolls the superiority of two way speakers, and now criticises and condemns the three way ones he used to praise.
 

A.S.

Administrator
Staff member
Proper demonstration

Proper demonstration

"Provided you are into music rather than Hi-Fi and your dealer has set up his equipment properly your ears will tell you something very quickly that cannot be measured any other way."

This comment has been stated to me (in different ways) over the years constantly by dealers and aficionado's of particular audio brands. Usually very expensive audio brands, why would you say that otherwise? It's persuasion isn't it?
Well, there is certainly truth in that statement, to a point. It is true that the correct interconnection and 'setting up' of a hifi system requires sensitivity to avoid the situation, all too common, where the numerous variable can stack-up against a good listening experience. We looked at one serious concern here, that of CD transports having such a huge output voltage that it stands a good chance of overloading the amplifier's input stage. Once that sort of distortion and subjective hardness is present, it matters not how many thousands of $ you throw at ameliorating the problem by changing interconnects, speaker cables, room tuning crystals and all that razzmatazz - the hardness cannot, logically, be removed. Audio white cannot cancel audio black - never, ever. If it could, the principal of causality would have broken down; not in this universe.

But what is the statement really saying? Is it a caution that the listener should disregard the marketing fluff and use his own judgement? That's a great approach. Or is it saying (and I'm less comfortable with this notion) that the ear is the ultimate technical instrument? Well, whilst the ear will the the arbiter of good or bad sound, it's not in any sense a reliable instrument. Anyone who has suffered a head cold (or worse) will testify that.

Don't forget too that audio dealers are first and foremost businessmen. They have to be. They have staff to pay, hungry mouths at home to feed and horrendous rent and rates. They are not providing a free public service to the casual audiophile who has nothing better to do on a wet Wednesday, although dealers say that's how they reluctantly perceive themselves these days thanks to the internet. They have to make sales. One would like to believe that all Harbeth dealers give a fair and honest demonstration - and I'd be horrified if I discovered otherwise - but have you yourself actually traced the interconnects? Do they disappear 'out back' somewhere? Have products been maltreated? Modified? Is everything completely as it should be? There are limitless opportunities to steer a demonstration towards what the latest HiFiInsideWhat says is a 6 ♫♫♫♫♫♫ product. Why wouldn't a dealer give the public a first class demonstration of a hot product; isn't that a 'no-brainer'? What possible motivation would there be to fish out from the stock room and dust down a product that is, in all honesty, better but doesn't have the current marketing circus around it? Such a product would have to be truly exceptional.

After all, the public want to be led: they want to be told, in succinct summary, what to buy, what to think and who to follow and they are willing to subscribe for that advice. That is the insightful genius of a highly successful publishing empire - one example here.
 
G

Gregl

Guest
B for BS?

B for BS?

Amen — I could name a few brands that do this. But I would get in trouble. But they reside in America and across the pond. And start with the letter B
 

fred40

New member
Who DO I trust then?

Who DO I trust then?

This getting a bit awkward. And please don"t get me wrong but:

You can"t trust your ears (Non-linear)
You can't trust your dealer. (They sell only what you want to buy or have in stock)
You can"t trust reviews. (Sponsored by manufacturers and do they have linear ears)
You can"t trust the room acoustics.
You can"t trust Audio manufacturers. (Wrong output voltage, far to commercial)

Is there anything in the hifi business you can trust? And what to rely on if you want a new hifi-system?
 

A.S.

Administrator
Staff member
Trust ......... ?

Trust ......... ?

This getting a bit awkward. And please don"t get me wrong but:

You can"t trust your ears (Non-linear)
You can't trust your dealer. (They sell only what you want to buy or have in stock)
You can"t trust reviews. (Sponsored by manufacturers and do they have linear ears)
You can"t trust the room acoustics.
You can"t trust Audio manufacturers. (Wrong output voltage, far to commercial)

Is there anything in the hifi business you can trust? And what to rely on if you want a new hifi-system?
No, you can have faith but you have to use a lot of common sense.

Like it or not, audio gear has to perform within the realms of real-world physics. If some claim (such as room tuning crystals) smacks of voodoo, then it's unlikely to have any foundation in physics, and since music is also grounded in physics, those voodoo gadgets are exceedingly unlikely to provide long term value for money.
 
G

Gregl

Guest
People will believe

People will believe

Yes like little wood triangles that cost a fortune and battery powered speaker cables. And cream with silver in it that cost 300.00 dollars for a 1 ounce jar.

Really and people buy this stuff. I had the luxury of working in an audio store called Audio Insight and was able to try a lot of this over advertised stuff and it was all -s.

Yet people still fall for it as an audio salesman it was so frustrating to see people waste their money on it when they could have been buying records and cd's.
 

A.S.

Administrator
Staff member
A good habit

A good habit

I think we should differentiate between those who have the time/cash/energy and need to buy into the audiophile dream, and those who, in American speak get 'suckered-in'. Those with the resources we have no place to criticise or be concerned about, any more than those who invest in running a private plane or yacht. Their cash, their choice, their right. The ones we are concerned about - that is, the ordinary hi-buff - are the ones who do not actually have the readies to chase the dream but have the dream. They are easily parted from their limited cash. It can all too soon become a compulsive disorder. There is, it seems to me, a sexual component at the very heart of the avaricious consumption of technical equipment and as soon as the hardened audiophile recognises that - I did about 30 years ago in myself - then he starts to be released from the dungeon. If he doesn't see that audio hardware fulfils a deep emotional need then no words of logic here or elsewhere will penetrate to that rational place in his brain and he is trapped at the mercy of the latest fad and fashion. That's a problem for us here (and me in particular) because it implies that the vast majority of the pragmatic sense that is written here is just wasted effort: words that cannot penetrate and change behaviour for the better. It has always been of note to me that I have never met a female audiophile. This equipment mania seems to be a wholly male preoccupation.

I must admit that even I have been tempted - yes it's true. When buying a new camera recently it was damned difficult to resist taking the extended insurance cover, the dinky protective bag, the lens cleaner and the extra half-price super-fast memory card "just in case you miss those precious memories". I knew in my brain that I already had these a plenty, but as a proportion of the overall price they were not significant and, well, just might make me take better pictures. And this is the issue with audio exotica: there is just that feint flicker of self doubt that one last investment, that final yard of cable or tuning device just might be the big one, the revelation that turns audio black into audio white, the last mile on the long audiophile journey: the terminus.

You've just got get a grip on yourself. All you have to do is get into the habit of saying to the salesman, or the journalist or your best mate down at the Dog and Duck (and of course everyone who writes on the internet, me included), "prove it". Depending on how much they flail about with quasi-scientific mumbo jumbo you must decide, on the balance of probability, if there is any truth in what they say. In audio there are no black and whites because no two ears interpret an identical sound the same way, but there is always the credibility of the argument to fall back on. Most commentators are offering personal opinions and see no need to justify any view they hold.

If you can be shown a sonic difference under reasonably sensible conditions - which means a comparison where the time gap is no more than a click or two of a mouse (seconds at worst) then there probably is a difference. And if there is a difference, is it repeatable, sustainable and worth paying for? It may well be.
 

kittykat

New member
Music makes us happy people

Music makes us happy people

And what to rely on if you want a new hifi-system?
Rely on your happiness as a goal. We live in a world of engineered insecurities. Set out what you want, go for it and never come back to any “hifi” website including this one.

After you've achieved the above, set less shallow goals eg. “Listen to all the great female vocalists of the past 10 years”.
 
Take your time, visit a real not virtual dealer ...

Take your time, visit a real not virtual dealer ...

A word of advice .........

In choosing a new hi-fi component (do you really need it?) never believe absolutely what a dealer / magazine / forum / blog tells you. Make a note of that 'opinion' and go elsewhere to collect further views. It is not a question of trust, rather it is a question of what meets your individual needs (and is cost-effective).

When you have completed an extended review (over a number of days or weeks, not an hours trawl on the internet) compile a shortlist of promising candidates to meet your need. Then use bricks-and-mortar dealers to enable you to audition these, preferably by borrowing items to listen at home for an extended period.

This process has served me well for over 30 years. Remember at the end of the day it is your personal opinion that matters most - you are going to have to live with your choice.
 
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boland7214

Guest
The Harbeth recommended list

The Harbeth recommended list

ALAN SHAW WROTE: You've just got get a grip on yourself. All you have to do is get into the habit of saying to the salesman, or the journalist or your best mate down at the Dog and Duck (and of course everyone who writes on the internet, me included), "prove it". Depending on how much they flail about with quasi-scientific mumbo jumbo you must decide, on the balance of probability, if there is any truth in what they say. END

WHAT JOHN BOLAND WROTE: There is an "easy answer" to the above suggestion that "we can't trust dealers, we can't trust magazine reviewers, we can trust ourselves...." JUST GO AHEAD AND HAVE THE COURAGE TO RECOMMEND STUFF THAT YOU BELIEVE IN YOURSELF? That way you will YOURSELF, unilaterally, ....... SAVE foolish expenditures for the impoverished bloke who can't afford to waste a ton of cash his money...so he can pay his rent and buy petrol for his lorry. (I'm trying to use some of the words you people across the pond are prone to using.) You have the speakers...why not make a list of "Harbeth Recommended" stuff......like cables.....interconnects......amps....CD players....Recommended CD's? Why not recommend other products that you mention frequently like toothpaste or skin creams ....or virility pills (a little attempt at humor here...edit it out if you wish!)

I'M SERIOUS ABOUT THE ABOVE. If you come out with YOUR list we assume and we will be CERTAIN that it is "a real list" that is not influenced by greed and not influenced by extraneous concerns OF ANY TYPE....the only criteria you would use is: "Does this product perform and is it worth the price?" THEN FINALLY WE COULD SAY, "Wow, I TRUST THAT MR. ALAN SHAW SO I WILL USE HIS LIST OF RECOMMENDED STUFF TO AVOID BEING TRICKED AND MANIPULATED BY THOSE BIASED DEALERS AND ADVERTISERS AND BIASED REVIEWERS.". AND VOILA!....THIS METHOD WILL ONCE AND FOR ALL REMOVE ALL OF THE PROBLEMS OF BIAS AND MANIPULATION THAT YOU'VE BEEN CONCERNED ABOUT FOR SO MANY YEARS!

Correct? :eek:) John Boland, USA

{Moderator's comment: No not correct. 1) We only endorse product where we have personal experience with the product are acquainted with the management team. 2) It's not our job to do the dealers job for him 3) Our knowledge is imperfect 4) Our view is only our view; as Alan says, 'it is a buyers democracy'. Perhaps most important of all 5) you wouldn't take the list seriously if we did produce one. No interconnects. No fancy electronics. No spikes, pucks, crystals and NO SPEAKER CABLES. Use your common sense not ours.}
 
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boland7214

Guest
I still want RECOMMENDATIONS

I still want RECOMMENDATIONS

QUOTE DIRECTLY FROM MR. SHAW: "After all, he public want to be led: they want to be told, in succinct summary, what to buy, what to think and who to follow and they are willing to subscribe for that advice. That is the insightful genius of a highly successful publishing empire - one example here." END OF QUOTE. THIS STATEMENT ABOVE BY MR. SHAW IS TOTALLY UNTRUE OVER HERE IN NORTH AMERICA---WE ARE MUCH TO0 INTELLIGENT TO BE MANIPULATED BY THE PRESS OR ANY OTHER ENTITY OR PERSON!!! (at least most of the time, that is!)

LOOSELY QUOTED FROM "THE MODERATOR": "You wouldn't take our advice anyway and it's not our job...that's the dealers job (to trick you into buying, I presume) END OF QUOTE

YESS...........it WOULD be a RISK to come out with your own list of "recommended components"---especially as Harbeth being a "for profit" company. And, you would "piss off" many people (that is an old anglo saxon word and I see nothing wrong with using it) you would perturb (I can be dignified when I choose)...you would perturb many people who make their living selling the garbage...uhhhh.....I mean the expensive and/or useless audio stuff that you keep harping upon like interconnects, speaker cables, tooth paste, youth skin creams, virility pills.......and other such rubbish.

THUS.....if you don't want to take the risk of putting out YOUR LIST OR RECOMMENDED COMPONENTS....and you don't want to "take the HUGE risk of putting out a Harbeth Speaker Cable and Interconnects" (like some of the other companies like LFD and Naim)....THEN HERE'S YOUR ANSWER IF YOU ONLY WILL HAVE THE COURAGE TO PUT IT INTO EFFECT: HAVE A SECTION ON YOUR FORUM FOR "HARBETH CUSTOMER RECOMMENDATIONS FOR SPEAKER CABLES AND INTERCONNECTS AND OTHER RUBBISH THAT THEY BELIEVE GO WELL WITH THEIR BELOVED HARBETH SPEAKERS". You already have a "Recommended Album" area (go to Forum, click on Community, the drop down menu click on Albums and this will bring you to MY recommended albums...I'm the only person with enough courage to post my recommended CD's so far. Maybe you could be second?) JUST DO THE SAME THING AS YOU DID FOR "ALBUMS" BUT DO IT FOR "CUSTOMER RECOMMENDED COMPONENTS".

The above would HONESTLY BE VERY VERY HELPFUL TO ALL OF US LESS THAN WEALTHY USERS OF HARBETH SPEAKERS. YOU DO WANT TO BE "HELPFUL" TO YOUR CUSTOMERS...AND WIN THEIR UNDYEING LOVE FOR HARBETH SPEAKERS AND THE PEOPLE WHO MAKE THEM....CORRECT? SO GO AHEAD AND TRY OUT MY IDEA. OK, I KNOW, if it were your idea you would do it in a flash. So, when you make that list...I CLAIM NO ROYALTIES AND NO CREDIT OF ANY SORT FOR THE IDEA.

Thanks for considering the idea and putting it into operation today. John Boland, USA
 

anonymous

New member
Tell me you're serious

Tell me you're serious

QUOTE DIRECTLY FROM MR. SHAW: "After all, the public want to be led: they want to be told, in succinct summary, what to buy, what to think and who to follow and they are willing to subscribe for that advice. That is the insightful genius of a highly successful publishing empire - one example here." END OF QUOTE. THIS STATEMENT ABOVE BY MR. SHAW IS TOTALLY UNTRUE OVER HERE IN NORTH AMERICA---WE ARE MUCH TO0 INTELLIGENT TO BE MANIPULATED BY THE PRESS OR ANY OTHER ENTITY OR PERSON!!! (at least most of the time, that is!)
John, is this a joke or are you serious?
 
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