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Audiophile phrases


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#1 of 29 OFFLINE   Yogi

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Posted August 16 2004 - 04:53 AM

Here are some audiophile phrases you will often hear in hi-end reviews. My favourite one is :

"It felt like I had crawled into a warm and inviting sonic womb." Posted Image

The phrases follow:
----------------------------------------------------
"Pulling harmonics together from a jumbled auditory stream to form a coherent harmonic envelope."

"Image outlines were sharply focused in space with believable palpability."

"There was plenty of bass detail to behold."

"The music flows with gusto and verve. It squeezes instrumental images into incredibly palpable outlines."

"...more muscle and definition, and a heart that is pure gold."

"Most preamps when pushed hard change their sonic signature."

"Harmonic colors were somewhat on the dark side."

"By using the $450 gold plated RCA stereo jumper cables for all line-level connections, and the newly available $1200 gold plated XYZ speaker wires, we were able to achieve a distinct improvement in highs and the deepest rich bass lows I have ever heard. A massive improvement over ordinary old copper."

"These cables deliver big time! The sound is surprsingly smooth and spacious, with particularly sweet upper octaves."

"If you connect a ground to the chassis of your power amplifer and use 4 gauge wire connected to a bucket of salt water with a copper coil in it, your mids and highs will be the sweetest you have ever heard. Works with car audio systems too. Place the bucket in the trunk and reduce speed on corners and when braking, to avoid spillage."

"Special wooden resonator disks made in Asia from a special tree, only found in one area. Placing these under EACH of your components, at strategic locations will remove 'unwanted resonances', and DRAMATIC improval tonal quality. The difference is astounding. These disks of wood sell for around $100 to $400 EACH (depending on size)."

"somewhat fuzzy portrayal of image outlines."

"Harmonic textures ebbed and flowed with startling dynamic nuances and the sort of liquidity and purity one only comes to associate with world-class audio products."

"Harmonic textures are painted slightly gray in color."

"Spatial detail was painted with a fine brush that readily resolved massed voices and the air around individual instruments."

"Image outlines, however, are more precisely focused within the soundstage and in general the Accordance is capable of sketching out a convincing 3-D acoustic impression."

"It felt like I had crawled into a warm and inviting sonic womb."

"Not content with straight S.E.X. (the single-ended experimenter's kit), the Doctor introduces the "69" tapered pipe loudspeaker. Sounds like a recipe for a mind-blowing sonic orgasm."

"The impression of speed and control was strong."

"Bass lines were fleshed out with excellent definition."

"It is less lush sounding than..."

"...force feeding the listener an earful of detail; more accurately, a barrage of in-your-face zingers that becomes almost an instant irritant."

"Each tube brand seems to have a unique flavor of its own."

"Certain busy passages of music get congested."

"... sounds either euphonic or bright."

"The Equilibre ($8,475) - nominally a 60-watt stereo amp."

"It could well explain the sweet sounds that come from using passive preamps straight into the power amplifiers."

"...with an easy-to-drive impedance magnitude."

"Rendition of harmonic colors was suave and smooth, with a believable sugar coating."

"Exposure of low-level detail, even in complex passages, without leaving anything to the imagination."

"The mids are vivid in spades with wave after wave of honey-coated harmonic bliss."

"The midbass region is "fun"

"the upper mids are a bit more laid back than I would like."

"the low bottom end is not there..."
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#2 of 29 OFFLINE   Dan J S

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Posted August 16 2004 - 05:48 AM

You forgot my favorite: "This power cord has a lot of bass"

#3 of 29 OFFLINE   Angelo.M

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Posted August 16 2004 - 05:57 AM

I want to see Stereophile review my toaster... The toast it produced featured a lush, enveloping crust, full of microdynamic detail. The bread remained coherent, three-dimensional and textured, and a taste gave the impression of unforced dynamics, only slight congestion and an uncolored finish.

#4 of 29 OFFLINE   Chu Gai

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Posted August 16 2004 - 06:24 AM

Great job Yogi! Now for some translation of advertising phrases. "New and improved" Either the old one sucked so much that we were getting swamped on returns or we've changed the way it looks. "And now, free upgrades for a year. All you do is pay s/h." Won't somebody please buy this product? I'll come out with a meaningless upgrade within a year but in the meantime, you're past the 30 day get your money back period. "Even my wife (kids, dog, neighbor, mother in law, Hellen Keller, etc.) could hear the difference." This is another way for your wife to say, "Now if I tell you how wonderful this POS is, will you finally get around to doing some work around the house?" or "OK, I've said its great. Now if you keep dropping money like this on stuff that doesn't work, the next thing you hear is me moaning like a rusty door hinge while your friend is drilling me like a jackhammer." "It may take several weeks for the speaker to finally break in." This speaker is so f*cked up it'll take you that long to convince yourself that its really wonderful. "The speaker really comes into its own with low power SET amps while solid state amps don't do it justice." The speaker is so f*cked up it needs an amp that's capable of giving it a low end boost. "We have gone back to the old ways and chosen our drivers and tuned our crossovers in order to give the speakers the proper voicing." We don't have a clue what Thiel-Small parameters are and we have no idea how to do any kind of measurements and even if we did, we couldn't interpret them because we're clueless. "We use ash (birch, mahogany, you name it) because it allows the melodious sounds to be released and not absorbed like MDF." Great. Someone stuck a driver in a guitar. "We don't use any screws in our construction." But our price will certainly screw you. "Even what's his name from Sonus Faber said he liked our speakers." 1) Might've been a sarcastic remark. 2) Professional courtesy. The same way that sharks stick together or that lawyers don't sue other lawyers. Honor among thieves and all that. "Finally a DAC that can reveal the differences among cables." Finally a DAC that's so badly designed that it can't get out of its own way. Bravo! "These cables are superb but lack that ability to remove the final layer of glare that my reference ones can." Next time don't ask for your cables back and let me keep them. "Science cannot explain everything." I have no idea how to interpret scientific measurements. "This (stick your product here) represents a worthwhile investment." If you like investments that depreciate, I'm sure it does. "We use only single drivers because they have minimum phase errors compared to multiple driver approaches." 1) I can cut a hole and make a nice cabinet. Don't expect more than that. 2) Yes, our speakers have low phase errors so you can use them with your tube equipment that does which amplifies vinyl that has even more that was recorded using equipment that has more phase error than you can even imagine.

#5 of 29 OFFLINE   ChrisWiggles

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Posted August 16 2004 - 08:50 AM

The ones about imaging did make sense though.

#6 of 29 OFFLINE   Robert Cowan

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Posted August 16 2004 - 10:23 AM

most of those phrases made sense to a degree. keep in mind its their job to sugar things up a bit and more them sound more appealing. also, if you've never heard a system that sounded so amazingly real it blew your mind, these phrases may sound stupid to you.

#7 of 29 OFFLINE   Lee Distad

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Posted August 16 2004 - 10:55 AM

This reminds me of a joke: Two older gentlemen, who also happened to be wine connoiseurs were lunching at their private club one day. With each wine that was served, they jockeyed to one up each other with their levels of expertise: "This vintage is fruity, with a low nose, a sharp bite, and the slightest aftertaste of cinnamon." "A hearty, robust vintage. Mellow, yet firm, redolent of paperkosh." "Hmm, petulant, yet still oedipal. Maybe a little too overbearing in the afterbite." And so on... Finally, after several exchanges like this, the first fellow made one last gasp for supremacy. He swirlled the wine around his glass, sniffed, sipped, and declared: "I say, I rather believe that the workers who crushed these grapes pissed in them first!" "You don't say?" responded his friend, who proceeded to sample the offending wine. After much sniffing, sipping, and pondering, he responded: "Why old chum, I do believe you are correct, but only after dining on an indifferent beaujolais the night before!"

#8 of 29 OFFLINE   Chu Gai

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Posted August 16 2004 - 12:33 PM

God, that was funny! Robin Williams commented that the wine Pouilly Fuisse, pronouned Pussy Fussy, was obsequious yet flaccid.

#9 of 29 OFFLINE   Yogi

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Posted August 16 2004 - 03:30 PM

Actually Robert you are right. I myself find some of the adjectives quite true. I myself use terms like midrange bloom, warm and bright/sterile/analytical etc to describe certain tonal qualities. So I do see their point. Some of the pharases although are downright funny.
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#10 of 29 OFFLINE   Jack Briggs

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Posted August 17 2004 - 04:03 AM

For that matter, no "golden-eared" audio "reviewer" has ever explained exactly what is meant by the phrase "liquid midrange." Is that as opposed to a solid midrange?

"Graininess" in sound can be taken to mean an amplifier that breaks up under stressful loads. I suppose.

But what the hell is a liquid midrange? Even when I was a part of the high-end cult I never quite got that one -- but it sure didn't prevent me from using the phrase in those days. Posted Image

#11 of 29 OFFLINE   Kevin_R_H

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Posted August 17 2004 - 04:59 AM

Yogi, Thanks for the time to type all that stuff in. I'll go you one better - I hate the gross ranking of equipment as: "High-End" vs "Mid-Fi" vs "Low-End or Entry-Level" These terms are meaningless and arbitrary (not to mention mean-spirited). I remember reading a Stereophile article (circa 1991) which had one of their reviewers stating (paraphrased): "I may not be able to define 'High-End', but I know it when I see (or hear) it". Give me a break - if you can't define it, don't use it. "Synergy" is the name of the game - it's the only thing that matters in the end. There are countless possible combinations of "Mid-Fi" gear that will outperform countless combinations of gear that is considered "High-End". But it's some of the owners of the latter that present themselves as being members of some special, exclusionary club. They can all enter Monty Python's "Twit of the Year" contest for all I care. In fact, I've even gotten frustrated with the way the term "audiophile" gets misused in audio conversations, attempting to conjure up images of obsessive, neurotic pefectionists. That's fine - I've started using the term "music-lover". Kevin

#12 of 29 OFFLINE   Angelo.M

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Posted August 17 2004 - 05:12 AM


Can you describe the color blue to me while you're at it? Posted Image

I shouldn't, but here goes. If the terms mean something to you, then fine. But I find those descriptors useless, because one man's "analytical" is another's "shrill." But I suppose that if you have an internally-consistent algorithm for describing sound, and if you have some use for it, then so be it. My problem begins when folks start spouting out to the masses about how receiver or amp Brand X is "musical" and Brand Y is "warm" and Brand Z is "detailed." Eventually, of course, this becomes mantra.

Man, I went and did it again. Now I have to put the lid back on the box. Where's my medication?


#13 of 29 OFFLINE   Levesque

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Posted August 17 2004 - 05:28 AM

You also forgot the mysterious and omnipresent ''veil''... Posted Image

I often read in audio reviews that after changing the cable A for B, or changing the power cord A for B, it's like ''a veil had been lifted''...

IMHO, cleaning their ear canals would probably yeild the same results... Posted Image

#14 of 29 OFFLINE   Chu Gai

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Posted August 17 2004 - 05:29 AM

Posted Image

#15 of 29 OFFLINE   Yogi

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Posted August 17 2004 - 05:31 AM

:laugh:
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#16 of 29 OFFLINE   Charlie C

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Posted August 17 2004 - 05:45 AM

What about "hey, I was supposed to deliver these speakers to this real expensive house and the bill said 5 speakers but I picked up 5 pair. So... Iv'e got 5 left over, I'll cut you a deal if you want them right now. they are solid speakers, see me hit the cone?!? they say Awdyofyl so they must be good. I guess they retail for, like $3000 but you can have them for $200 EACH. just give me $1000 so I can fill my van's gas tank up" or "man, tube gear sucks, they've come out with so much better stuff. Technology rocks man, listen to my Ipod." or "my Altec computer speakers sound just as good as the old Altec Horn speakers."

#17 of 29 OFFLINE   ChrisWiggles

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Posted August 17 2004 - 06:16 AM


SMPTE C Blue

xb=0.155 yb=0.070



Posted Image

#18 of 29 OFFLINE   Lee Distad

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Posted August 17 2004 - 06:33 AM

I admit that, as a sales person, I am part of the problem. And I am reminded of Steve Martin's classic line, that "writing about art is like dancing about architecture." However, as I am guilty of having a degree in literature, I take a strange pleasure in the potential language has to evoke mental pictures when used to describe sensory impressions. Am I saying all audiophiles and reviewers are poets? Of course not. According to Sturgeon's Theory, maybe only 20% of them qualify. All I'm saying is that it is language's facility to describe. The challenge lies in using language to describe things well.

#19 of 29 OFFLINE   Steve_AS

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Posted August 17 2004 - 07:56 AM

"Music lover' doesn't connote someone who is obsessively interested in *reproduction* of recorded music in the home. Plenty of bona fide 'music lovers' couldn't care less about audiophile concerns. There are some legendary stories of certain conductors and their crappy home stereo systems...

#20 of 29 OFFLINE   Steve_AS

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Posted August 17 2004 - 08:00 AM

I admit that, as a sales person, I am part of the problem.
Sturgeon's Law is that 90% of SF is crud, because 90% of everything is crud. So you're being optimistic here.




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