Amps, DACS, Faith, And The Art Of Communication In An Ever Changing World

“What am I supposed to believe in? What am I going to leave behind when I’m through?”

“We can tell other people about… having faith. What we had faith in. What we found important enough to fight for. It’s not whether you were right or wrong, but how much faith you were willing to have. That decides the future.”

-Solid Snake to Raiden (Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons Of Liberty), 2001

Greetings COMRADE and welcome aboard, Stuart Charles here, HomeStudioBasics.com helping YOU make sound decisions leading to a beautiful audio experience that will make you fall in love with music, (NOT gear) all over again, so…

If I wouldn’t buy it myself, WHY would I recommend it to YOU?

That today is going to be the crux of this discussion; the idea of faith, or belief. What do you believe? What do you believe in? What do you have faith in? We’ll also cover the art of communication and the pitfalls of the technological age while touching on some deeper concepts like social engineering and the like.

Let’s get rolling!

I was doing some laundry the other day and noticed the phrase “Hearing is believing” on the Koss KPH30i’s box.

In passing, this may seem like some weird marketing tactic, but there’s something really profound hidden deep beneath the surface.

Think about it again: “Hearing is believing.” Now I’m not going to go all John Keating on that a** and start whispering in your ear, but really, I should. If you want me to whisper sweet nothings, I can do that as well. 😉

Handsome bloke, Robin Williams was. Rest In Peace, my friend.

“Hearing is believing.”

That phrase is incredibly important because it speaks to the philosopher in all of us. The intellectual in all of us. The skeptic in all of us. I’m not sure Koss intended it, but it takes on a more universal connotation when we look at the phrase more literally, rather than within the context of headphones.

Caution: We got a free thinker over here *looks around nervously*

In the case of headphones or DACS, If I don’t hear what you hear, that doesn’t mean I’m wrong and you’re right. It just means that you convinced yourself something was there when it may or may not have been there.

I’m no different, in the sense that if I hear something you don’t hear, that doesn’t necessarily mean I’m right.

Just because YOU don’t agree with MY assessment of a product, that doesn’t mean I should stop reviewing gear or giving my opinion, does it? It just means that you may not be able to handle opinions or points of view outside of your own, thus why you told me to stop. Whatever I said threatened your belief system. It’s a thinly veiled form of censorship if we’re being honest.

From The AudioQuest Cobalt Video.

What you’re basically saying is that I don’t have the right to express my opinion or thought process because it rubbed you the wrong way. Never mind extrapolating on why I’m wrong or what you don’t agree with.

I post exactly how I feel about a given topic and why, and I’ve never wavered. You have to respect that on some level. If I disagree with a reviewer, which I have, I’m not going to word vomit all over his comment section with empty/hollow arguments and passive-aggressive insults, because, well, that’ll sure convince him to change his mind!

*rolls eyes*

He’s going to believe exactly what he wants. The only way I can appeal to his willingness to consider my viewpoint is by calmly and rationally presenting my stance, with the respect he deserves. What he chooses to do or not do with that is completely up to him, but my conscience is clean. Give respect and get it in return.

This isn’t first-grade SpongeBob!//

I’ll give you an anecdotal example to prove my point.

I stumbled across a weird video once about findom (or financial domination). If you’re not aware of what this is, it’s basically when a female sucks a male dry of their money through coercion, amongst other things. The male is what’s referred to as a “Pay Pig.” It’s really screwed up. Degeneracy at its finest. To me, it’s completely unethical and those women (and men) have serious psychological issues, but there are some who would disagree.

Let’s take a look at the dialogue as a whole in response to the video:


In the case of audio, I have to accept the backlash and the fact that not everyone is going to agree with me as well.

The people who get a response from me are the ones who frame their stance with respect. That’s it. I’m more than willing to hear an idea contrary to my own, but the way many folks go about it is completely wrong and/or immature.

The ones who I’m referring to are like little babies who still haven’t grown out of suckling on their mom’s nipples for nourishment.

I mean, you attack me or leave a snide remark and then expect me to empathize with your thought process and ideas? Give me a break. Learn how to debate without resorting to ad hominems, and then maybe we can talk.

My HD600 video is a perfect example of me identifying with and empathizing with people who claim there is a veil on the headphone. I understand now where those people are coming from and made that public. I experienced it for myself and was bold enough to come out and say that maybe those people have a legitimate gripe. This was AFTER I had the completely opposite viewpoint for many years.

Put another way, stop with all the dogmatic bullshit.

Sennheiser HD600 vs. HD6XX
HD600.

My opinion and stance on Amps & DACS are that they’re overrated and almost inconsequential when looking at the bigger picture; that is to say that the source file + how the song was recorded, mixed, and mastered is of the utmost importance. It accounts for over 95% of how any given song is going to sound, and that will never change no matter how many new dacs flood the market. And trust me, there are thousands of them.

Ever wonder why some tracks sound like complete garbage and others the best recording you’ve ever heard out of the same headphone and DAC?

Well, now you know.

This is one thing in audio that isn’t up for debate because there is overwhelming evidence that outrageous and unwarranted numbers in DACS companies use as the basis for their marketing strategy mean absolutely NOTHING when considering the science behind MQA, DSD, high PCM, as well as the audible range of human hearing.

That and the fact that no one who has ever claimed there are monumental (or even large) differences in DACS, THX, Amps, what have you can EVER articulate it to me in a way that makes sense from an objective standpoint.

Instead, I get comments like this:

Or: “The diablo is like a fine wine!”

Riiight.

I only comment on audio within the scope of what I can actually hear. You know, that crazy thing they call Frequency Response or something. That outrageous thing that for whatever reason, producers and engineers use to mix and master tracks. I don’t know why they do it when they could just buy a new dac to solve all their problems. Frequency response seems like a scam to me.

/sarcasm.

The only thing those people are good at is making weak, blanket statements and over-generalizing everything to the point where they have no argument other than:

wait for it..

On a 14 minute video taking a deep dive into the literature and science behind MQA and how it works.

Wow, Great rebuttal!👍 You come up with that brilliant analysis all on your own?

The people who tell me to stop making videos only fuel my desire to… make more videos.

Here’s the thing: the 6,000k+ and whatever people subscribed to me currently as of this article are mostly only subscribed because they think I’m right. Their beliefs align with mine. There’s nothing inherently wrong with that, but it doesn’t make me or them correct per se. It just means they identified with something I said and pressed a button.

The problem is when someone discredits you or wants you silenced BECAUSE they disagree. That is dangerous, and it’s what ultimately leads to oppressive governments and totalitarianism.

In an ideal world, we’d always have a civil, open debate where people could freely exchange their ideas without getting emotional about it – as referenced in my example above.

The problem now is the ever-growing idea of censorship and social engineering (that’s starting to become okay) in this bizarre digital age that looms larger and larger as the days, months, and years pass by – something predicted by Hideo Kojima & co-writer Tomokazu Fukushima in 2001’s Metal Gear Solid: Sons Of Liberty.

If you’ve ever wondered why I reference that game so much, it’s because it’s incredibly important when considering the current political and social climate we’re currently in that was essentially prophesied 20 years ago.

I was able to get through to the guy in that Findom video ONLY because of how I framed my stance. Period.

I’ve converted not-so-nice people on this channel into subscribers and friends because of that very reason as well – because I didn’t get mad and lash out.

For anyone reading this who doesn’t like me, my videos, my opinions, etc. just remember that, and this, before you comment: One sign of a mature adult is being able to express his/her beliefs and opinions without going off the deep end, like this guy:

or this guy:

or this guy:

Did you forget to take your meds this morning!? 😂🤣

This is a public forum, so just know that anytime you make a comment like that, expect me to embarrass you. You’re a weak-minded individual. Learn from it and do better next time.

I will say this though: Anytime I use science to back up what I’m saying and you disagree, you’re probably wrong; unless, you can tell me exactly how I misapplied it and provide sources. In that case, I’m totally willing to reconsider. Otherwise, you’re barking up the wrong tree and I will never, ever change my view.

And if you think I’m getting emotional right now you’re D*** RIGHT I AM!!!

Just kidding.

Final Word

So whether I’m wrong or right doesn’t really matter. It’s my sense of integrity that’s important. My ideals. My values. My willingness to be honest about what I think, even if it costs me a partnership. Even at the expense of backlash or ridicule.

If you want people to consider your point of view, speak intelligently. Use proper spelling and grammar. Study the art of language and communication. Don’t get upset. Organize and articulate your thoughts in such a way that causes the other person to let their guard down and actually want to engage civilly with you. The way not to convince me to hear you out is to make a snide remark and expect a serious response.

I think people have lost sight of the virtues of a good debate. Part of the problem boils down to technology and social media, where anyone with a keyboard can now spew whatever they want without repercussion. I’m all for free speech, but I think it’s largely been abused over the last 5-10 years. Most people nowadays simply use technology as an outlet for their misplaced anger rather than a vehicle for intelligent discourse.

Surely there are some things I need to work on when engaging with people, but I’m fully capable of having an intelligent discussion and there are countless instances of that on the blog and channel. The question is, are you capable?

I’m not saying this to attack anyone or put anyone down. In the nicest way possible, and with the utmost sincerity, I just want you to consider growing up.

Well, that’s about it for today my friend! I hope you’ve enjoyed this discussion and came away with some valuable insight.

If you love what I do here and want to support the blog and channel in a more personal way, check me out on Patreon and discover all the value I have to offer you.

Questions? Comments? Requests? Did I miss the mark on something? Please let me know down below or Contact me!!

What are your thoughts on all of this? I would love to hear from you. Until next time…

All the best and God bless,

 

 

-Stu

[Xtr@Ba$eHitZ]

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