$39 gold plated fuses for audiophiles

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63 Responses to “$39 gold plated fuses for audiophiles”

  1. Anonymous says:

    i get the feeling that many of the people commenting here have never even cracked open an amp, let along the kind of machine that would actually benefit from this type of tweak. the clearest argument for a better fuse is the gauge of the fusing element. depending on the design of the amp, a normal fuse is likely to act as a “bottleneck” for the current. specially designed audio fuses (admittedly this one doesn’t look that special, but there is a better brand that is silver coated in gold with opaque ceramic instead of glass and a thicker more advance fusing element) remove the bottleneck effect to the point where it’s plausibly noticeable. but you need an amp that is well designed in the first place and a good system surrounding it, otherwise this improvement would be masked by all the other bigger potential improvements sitting there waiting. i agree that there is a law of diminishing returns (i’m into high-end vintage myself, not new megabuck gear), but this tweak is really not as silly as it sounds.

  2. redrichie says:

    @Chevan.

    Fair enough – back to the numpties mentioned earlier, I s’pose.

    I noticed a couple of posts early on about interconnects. To do salesmen in hifi shops justice, I remember buying a DVD player and asking if they had the HDMI cables. Of course, they came in varying prices. When I asked the chap if I really needed the £50 ones, especially considering that was about half what I was spending on the player at the time, he did say probably not, no.

  3. redrichie says:

    I don’t get the audiophile thing.

    Yeah, sure, £400 worth of gear will reproduce the sound better than a £30 hifi (and last longer, I suppose), but beyond that it seems to me that you’re really onto the law of diminishing returns + absolute bollocks (those wooden volume knobs, for example.)

    Do people really buy that stuff?

  4. Anonymous says:

    Makes me glad I am tone deaf.

    However even I can tell that Californication sounds terrible on anything due to loudness.
    http://82muchf00d.wordpress.com/2008/01/26/loudness-war/

  5. Chas44 says:

    Dem gold fuses is wack, yo.

    (Or something like that.)

  6. jsauter says:

    All I have to say is…

    Dooooooouche baaaaaags.

  7. BastardNamban says:

    Ok, it’s been said many times, but actual intelligent audiophiles DON’T PAY 400$ for things like that harmonic wooden knob. Fools do. The same goes for Monster Cables. Fools.

    I think it’s really sad that it’s a popular meme to bash the intelligence of people who want or look for better sound in life. I mean, I get it (that knob controversy did it for many), but why do we make fun of the real deal? I like coffee A LOT- I have tried every method of brewing, tweaking as much as I could, to repeat excellent flavor. That’s the kind of person I am, and some others too. Audio, coffee, what have you. You don’t laugh at the nice people at Intelligencia Coffee, do you? I don’t.

    If you have ever actually HEARD an audiophile system at some point, haven’t you noticed it? Yes, there are speakers out there, if you look (Ebay is your friend!) that can be had for under 500$ that will blow you away. Even more to be found around 1000$.

    Case in point- I have 2 sets of Klipsh computer speakers. The old kind that look like Cadillac taillights from space- very cool looking, with great sound quality. They got cheap after discontinuation. I picked up a 2.1 set for about 150$ on ebay, and then another set of the same style in 5.1 on ebay, twice (1st set got stolen!), both times for about 200$. I bought a 25$ optical input/wire input basic sound card, and wired up both sets in a custom configuration to get both working independantly synced.

    So I have, in total- a “7.2″ set- the crate sized, room shaking subwoofer from the 2.1 set, and another one from the 5.1 set, and 7 individual identical satellite speakers. I arranged everything together in a 7 point star pattern (well, one satellite in each corner of my room, high on the wall at the same heights, 2 to each side, and one directly in front of me), with the 2 subs each in a corner. Now, I have bass that shakes a small house- but with excellent sound clarity in the bass. And 7 speakers that, tuned to sync together in 2 sets just so, that it sounds like I have Carnegie hall in my room (and I lived near the real thing to compare).

    All for about 500$ total, including one set stolen, all from ebay. Billed as computer speakers, but really work like good stereo speakers, all with independant and redundant mid, high, and bass adjustments. Hell, with only the 2.1 set on I hear the sounds my Mp3 player can’t make, and everything sounds crystal clear.

    So bash idiots all you want- the people who actually believe that wooden knob’s product description. Leave the people who can actually hear a huge difference in sound quality for a minimal $ investment and some time committed out of it.

    Finally, to close, I thought at one point the whole “tube craze” was bull too. Then I saw this:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wdd-KOQ12zA

    It shows how tubes do change the sound- here, for distortion. Take a look, and see if it doesn’t sound better- just not “clearer”. Some things just sound better with the right parts, even if it isn’t meant to sound “clearer”.

  8. ROSSINDETROIT says:

    Well, there’s that but I hear worrying stories about wiring actually affecting the sound of equipment. Kevin Hayes is an excellent designer of tube audio gear at Valve Amplification Company (VAC). Kevin uses Math and Science to design, not snake oil and spells to the technology gods. I’ve owned 2 of his preamps, one tubed DAC and 3 sets of mono power amps, so I know his gear pretty well. Kevin told me a story from the middle of the production run of their most popular tube power amp, the 80/80. As well as fully testing them, they audition every production unit to make sure it sounds OK. Suddenly they noticed that the amps coming out of production sounded ‘different’ in some way and not as good. It took a lot of digging and shutting down production on the amp to figure out what had changed. They finally discovered that a supplier of wire had changed the product he was sending them. Still met the same spec but some materials and parameters were different. Changing the funny sounding amps back to the original wire correct the deficiency in the sound.
    Now, if this story was told to me by one of the 40 members of the Southeast Michigan Audio Club who visited here on Saturday to drink beer and listen to records, I’d have nodded politely and gone to refill the coolers, but this was a highly credible guy, bona fide successful amp manufacturer who does not sell wire and has technical credentials out the wazoo. This kind of story depresses me because I don’t WANT the wire to have any effects. I want the sound to be due to the circuit topology, active device parameters, operating points, feedback, bandwidth, phase shift, transfer function linearity, room acoustics and all of the quantifiable things. If non-measurable factors really have a significant impact on audible results then tha tseverely limits what I can accomplish as a technician.

  9. arikol says:

    Ahhhh, this makes me want to start a company and prey on the stupid and gullible.

    Remember, the audio engineers who made your music did not have those fuses installed. Neither did they have $1000 cables. The microphone cables did not cost a huge amount either.
    If the cables are properly terminated with clean contacts and of the wide enough to carry the current then they will be fine.
    Have a good amp, good speakers and a decent D/A converter. The rest is less important.

    Oh yeah, and good room accoustics, that is the single biggest improvement you can make to your listening experience. Getting the speakers set up properly and trying to tune the room a bit (can often be done on the cheap using mostly the furniture you already have).

  10. BastardNamban says:

    And P.S.- these gold plated fuses seem like bullshit- because as others have mentioned, the dissimilarity between the gold and socket surfaces actually INCREASES corrosion likelyhood. Plus, the internals are not gold- so any way about it, signal will go through gold, lose some “integrity”, and go back out gold. But the signal would still lose some, it seems to me.

    Unless all joints, places where signal loss possibility are highest, are gold plated, it’s pointless.

  11. IamInnocent says:

    #51

    (Sigh) Sorry friend but it is a bit more complicated. I am a card carrying audiophile and moreover I am of the DIY persuasion which, granted, is a breed apart. For me an audiophile is first and foremost a music lover, otherwise his passion makes little sense. The Graal is for the electronics to disappear and let the music come through. That illusion is never complete but I believe that it is worth it trying, as a mark of respect for the performers, past or present, who created the recording.

    Tak: the CD is “Half The Perfect World” :) and my favorite track is ‘River’, not a standard this one.

  12. MichaelRN says:

    I installed these fuses in my Acme bullshit-detector and it improved the performance dramatically. Two thumbs up!

  13. drtwist says:

    there are actually good reasons to gold plate electronics in general, but they have more to do with corrosion protection than sound.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Wouldn’t it be more useful to use silver which has 63 MSm versus gold’s 42.2 MSm (not to mention it’s cheaper)? I’ve never understood why firms do this. Other than duping customers because it’s a more precious metal…

  15. soybeans says:

    A better audiophile value by far than any of the the gold plated knob-polisher accessories and tweaks is the very simple, low tech bong hit.

    The cheapest weed will do more for your appreciation of music (not to mention sex, doritos, gummi bears, black light posters, and public transit) than any amount of cash spent on shakti stones, monster cables, or oscillation overthrusters.

  16. Lucifer says:

    doesn’t make sense. If you take a fuse and add a layer of gold on it, the original metal is still there so the conductivity is not improved at all. What you need to do to actually improve conductivity is to replace the metal caps with a solid gold piece rather than coat some crap metal with gold. Also, silver would initially conduct better than gold, but it oxydizes a lot more.

  17. roboton says:

    @#8: McIntosh Amps are legendary. Someone I know was given a McIntosh system as a wedding present. We listened to Clouds Taste Metallic by the Flaming Lips, and after 10 years of religiously deconstructing the sounds of that album through another very expensive system, were blown away by sounds on that album we that we had never heard before.

    McIntosh makes amazing gear, and many people believe in the prices they go for. They are not Monster Cables blowing smoke up your butt, they are the real deal.

  18. lyd says:

    These’d be perfect in those $15k amps that were on gadgets last week…

  19. jimkirk says:

    Re: the old “just because a test doesn’t reveal a difference doesn’t mean there isn’t one.”

    There are different ways to do this sort of test. A double-blind listening test, which gives subjective results, and an instrumented test, which gives objective results.

    For the double blind test, yeah, it’s easy to say “oh, it’s just one test, doesn’t mean anything.”

    The challenge for those people then is to perform their own double-blind test. Can YOU hear a difference? Can you hear a difference for which you’re willing to pay hundreds of dollars? If so, be my guest! Note that this is a lot different than listening when you know what the set-up is. Just upgrading your system and claiming it sounds different is not a fair test.

    A typical instrumented test, (at least one done by a competent engineer) will result in plots of the response of the [coat hanger[ versus [some hundred dollar cables] as x.xx dB different with a phase difference of x.xx degrees plotted against frequency. There may also be a plot showing THD, maybe other forms of distortion as well. The precise conditions (electronics used, speakers, length of cables, etc.) will be included so anyone can reproduce the test.

    I’ve seen results of tests like that, the differences are typically a small fraction of a dB, and that generally only at the highest frequencies. Differences in distortion are on the order of a few parts per million.

    These kinds of results are in the realm of the “extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof” clause. If you claim you can hear a 0.05 dB difference in a musical passage, or a 0.1 degree phase difference, or a 0.00001% distortion, you’re going to have to prove it, because these are far smaller difference than probably 99.99999% of the population can distinguish.

    Re: interconnects in general…It amuses me that it’s always things like frequency response and distortion that are talked about. There are a whole host of other important parameters that get short shrift.

    For example, a few years ago I performed a series of Electrical Fast Transient tests on a number of cables. This involves coupling in fast (a few nanoseconds rise time) pulses of several kiloVolts. The purpose of this test is to simulate what happens when something like a refrigerator compressor turns on, putting inductive spikes on power lines or other nearby conductors. A bad cable allows this sort in ingress and produces pops and clicks on the audio, or noise on video.

    Guess which well known expensive brand of cable had very poor results. The fix isn’t using ultra-pure mono-crystalline cryogenic treated copper, it’s all about how the copper is physically terminated to the ground sheath.

    Re: gold plating fuses. They don’t say how thick the gold plating is. Anything over a couple of volts and a few dozen milliAmps, like a fuse is going to see, produces a “wet” contact. At the microscopic level the contacts literally weld together producing a gas-tight seal. A few micro-inches of gold is going to vaporize the gold and the weld will be to whatever base metal is present. Typically something that is not very corrosion resistant.

    Besides, it’s the fuse element which is going to have the bulk of the resistance, it’s the I^2*R*t heating that clears the fuse.

    That resistance is on the order of 0.01 Ohms to 0.2 Ohms depending on the fuse rating. (Example based on Littelfuse 230 series fuse 7 amps down to 1 amp. 0.2 Ohms sounds significant compared to a nominal 8 Ohm speaker, but really will only affect the response by about 0.2 dB. Many audio amplifier designs put the fuse within the feedback loop, which will reduce any effect to near zero.

    I’ve even seen some amplifiers that put the whole speaker cable within the feedback loop, which can help, but can also cause instabilities and other issues.

  20. starfish and coffee says:

    aren’t audio freaks are kind of like the male equivalent of crazy cat women?

  21. Keeper of the Lantern says:

    Eh. I’ve seen and tried wackier things, some of which worked some of which didn’t.

    I myself have a Krell Integrated Amp, a Linn universal player, Thiel Speakers and some $500 cables. This is after replacing some components over the course of about 10 years.

    The two biggest audiophile tweaks?

    1. Make sure you don’t create any ground loops by powering everything in a “star” configuration. (This means not plugging your components into two different outlets, for instance.)

    2. Get ahold of some audiophile daming pillows to eliminate the most offending standing waves in your room.

    After this, $10K well spent (including decent cables) will result in better sound than you ever thought possible from electronics.

  22. ROSSINDETROIT says:

    It’s possible that tinkering with little things in your system like the fuses will result in some sort of change in the sound. But that’s like experimenting with different hair colors to make yourself look thinner: highly ineffective. Anyone who has given either problem any thought can come up with dozens of more worthwhile ways to improve the situation. Just sticking gold stuff in the signal chain wherever possible is lazy and wasteful.

  23. Moriarty says:

    I coated my TV screen with gold to improve resolution. Now I’m out $10k, and I can’t see a thing!

  24. Takuan says:

    I’m just grateful the common wisdom in audiophile land doesn’t insist ground rhino horn or tiger testicles is the sovereign remedy.

  25. IamInnocent says:

    Funny that the subject should pop un tonight.
    Right now I am listening to a Madeleine Peyroux CD (in fact a copy of my original at home on a CDR) playing on a Kenwood DVF-8100 DVD player, bought used this very evening at CAN40$, connected through AUX to an ‘Ultra Compact Component System’, a JVC FS-1000 with a now busted CD player, circa 1997, bought also used, 4 years ago at CAN70$.

    Absolutely satisfying performance from these electronics.

    Did I say that I am an audiophile? That I am. My ears are telling me so.

  26. Anonymous says:

    LMAO @ Starfish And Coffee!
    So freakin’ true!!

  27. Anonymous says:

    Good lord, I swear people in general are getting stupider every year.

  28. sethasaurus says:

    Bwahaha

    What’s the difference between God and audiophiles?
    God doesn’t think he’s an audiophile.

  29. andor says:

    Heh…

    At first sight I read: “$39 gold plated fuses for imbeciles

    Wait…

  30. ROSSINDETROIT says:

    Mcintosh once occupied the virtually unpopulated pinnacle of quality in Hi Fi. They produced superb performance at a premium price while other manufacturers scrambled over the price conscious buyer. They still make awesome gear and I’m looking forward to seeing their latest at AudioKarma AK Fest next month. They are no longer alone, however. Just as Rolls Royce has been joined by a number of manufacturers of great cars, Mac has lots of company in the high performance audio field. High quality audio is no longer something attainable only by a few companies with the best available engineers. In the 21st century a number of companies make great gear that has exceptional performance, sound, build quality, longevity and reliability to equal or exceed Mac.
    I’ve been a music and electronics nut for over 30 years. Even the garden variety gear of today has superb performance compared to consumer grade equipment of the ’70s.* And I’ve been up to my elbows in enough of it to be considered well familiar if not expert in the field.
    Unfortunately as the quality of gear gets better it’s harder and harder to find good recordings of the music you like.

    * exception: Bose. Was lousy, still lousy.

  31. Anonymous says:

    That’s just nuts.

  32. CastanhasDoPara says:

    A friend of mine worked at Legacy Audio (http://www.legacyaudio.com/), Bill Dudleston is probably a certifiable genius when it comes to audio engineering but lacks in other more sensible areas. Anyway, it came to my attention that the customers were being sold “Black Mamba” power cables (for their 20k+ systems) for 300 bucks. Sure three feet of OFC double shielded cable SEEM cool and necessary when some “genius” tells you they are(like $39 fuses). But really… as my friend confided/asked me, “what difference does it make?” Will that $300 dollar cable do anything significant given that the wiring in a given house is 12-2 romex, and the line off of the pole is just run-of-the-mill copper? The answer I gave was “not really” unless all power for the system is off of the same outlet, but the cable itself doesn’t have much of anything to do with any gain in quality, after all that is the job of the power supply. So yes idiots will buy anything, people who know anything at all about electronics will not be duped.

  33. Man On Pink Corner says:

    #49: No, you’re not an audiophile, you’re a genuine music aficionado.

    Music fans listen to the music.
    Audiophiles listen to the equipment.

  34. geoid says:

    Somebody call James Randy.

    I decided to buy new speakers, and like anybody decided to research reviews and forum postings before making a shortlist. I nearly decided not to bother in the end because of the BS and decided to keep using my ipod. I finally did see some clarity however from a small company in the UK who were equally disgusted by the industry snake oil and decided to buy their active speakers in the end. No fancy cables or £400 optical inconnect that purport to vastly improve the quality of my 1′s or 0′s.

    And if I really want that sudiophile sound I’ll spend my hard-earned on going to a concert or gig.

  35. Tonamel says:

    @9

    See, you mention buying good cables to improve sound, but that just reminds me of the double-blind test reported last year(?) sometime, where a group of audiophiles couldn’t tell the difference between speakers hooked up using $300/ft cables, and the same speakers hooked up using an unbent metal coat hanger.

    This is why some recording engineers have dedicated sliders on the mixer that don’t do anything, so they can trick the brains of finicky micromanagers into hearing something that’s “much better now”.

  36. nutbastard says:

    @#9 keeper of the lantern

    “After this, $10K well spent (including decent cables) will result in better sound than you ever thought possible from electronics.”

    see, i almost want to never hear what that sounds like, for fear it would make me dissatisfied with anything inferior. i would be like growing up on $100 bottles of wine, any social occasion serving wine would be less enjoyable by comparison.

  37. jphilby says:

    A fool and his money …

    It’s true that standard fuse surfaces will oxidize (or be corroded by the environment) over LONG periods of time. The contact areas can be cleaned now and then, but really … the supposed ‘deterioration’ in audio quality would be immeasurable in 99.9999% of cases.

    IF gold fuses actually minimize the ‘risk’ of this minimal ‘corruption’ then the *fuse holder* must also be gold-plated. Good luck with that!

  38. nehpetsE says:

    ” #8 posted by starfish and coffee, April 13, 2009 10:13 AM

    aren’t audio freaks are kind of like the male equivalent of crazy cat women?”

    OH LORD YES!!!! YOU JUST NAILED!!!
    Not just as stereotype(heh… get it?)
    But as an actual quantifiable phenomenon.
    It is also quite common for male audio freaks to also hoard cats.

    File under “doomed to die miserable, smelly, and alone” along with pedophiles and libertarians.

  39. ill lich says:

    Oh no, not another one of these arguments.

  40. ROSSINDETROIT says:

    I already posted my beef about the fuses in that blog’s comments days ago, then forgot about it.

    There are Audiophiles and there are Gadget Freaks. Gold fuses are for the latter. I’m the former. I’m not immune to upgrade-itis but I limit it to such as yesterday’s project to replace the mediocre crossover capacitors in these Kef 103.3 speakers with some film capacitors that I know perform better.
    Many people feel there’s something missing in reproduced music and they’re right. They think that adding fancy doo-dads will bring that something back but they’re almost always wrong.

  41. Anonymous says:

    A fuse in a loudspeaker or audio power-supply would ideally have no resistance. Barring that, it would ideally act as a linear resistor, but even then the resistance would have an effect on the damping of the driver by the amplifier. Barring that, if, for example, the heating effect of the current passing through the fuse modulates its resistance, the change in resistance should ideally be so small as for the “limiting” effect to be inaudible.
    All of the above can be objectively measured without resort to double-blind testing. I have no clue as to whether the fuses in the post are any better or worse than standard fuses.
    Corrosion can and does cause a rise in the resistance of connectors, hence once can buy fuses with gold-plated terminals from many marine suppliers (for far less money, as well).

  42. theWalrus says:

    I had a recent insight into the thinking of that strange beast known as the audiophile. In an email debate with a friend over whether the music coming off a CD is slightly corrupted due to error correction algorithm used in CD players, I pointed out that music on a CD is just a file, like a digital image, a spreadsheet, or word processing document. You don’t worry that saving photos to a CD will change the color cast, contrast, or brightness of the images, or that your spreadsheet will have wrong numbers in it that weren’t there when you saved it to your hard disk drive. His response:

    “…with all due respect and I mean that absolutely, we’re talking about music not Word files or jpegs.”

    Which is what lead me to the insight that audiophiles revere recorded music over all other art forms. They cannot admit that, even on a base technological level, music is as mundane as the candids from your kid’s birthday party, an Excel spreadsheet, or even a digital file of a Shakespearean sonnet. Sadly, an audiophile’s devotion makes them easy prey for hucksters, and others less deceitful but equally worshipful of recorded music.

  43. ROSSINDETROIT says:

    See, you mention buying good cables to improve sound, but that just reminds me of the double-blind test reported last year(?) sometime, where a group of audiophiles couldn’t tell the difference between speakers hooked up using $300/ft cables, and the same speakers hooked up using an unbent metal coat hanger.

    I’m glad you brought that up. Can we please once and for all put to rest the blatantly obvious logical error of thinking that a test that fails to reveal a difference proves that no difference exists? Because it does not prove that, and to generalize from a single test is just foolish.

  44. Anonymous says:

    Unless the fuse holder is also gold plated, the contact with two different metals is actually going to make it more prone to corrosion.

  45. Takuan says:

    I thought the appeal lay in knowing the common peasants couldn’t feel the same warmth in knowing their fuses were gold plated?

    Oh, I wish I could place the excerpt… a story about an adopted, young, poor girl living with foster parents who want to give her “culture” – so the mother plays classical music records until the girl points out they are on at 45rpm instead of 33.

  46. spocko says:

    I noticed that the sound coming out of my iPod was getting heavier and heavier so I deleted some of the files in the memory (I got rid of almost 1 gig of junk files) and the music seemed lighter.

    Also I think the iTunes dRM was making the music sound strangled. It wouldn’t soar, it almost sounded chained. So I got the same music WITHOUT DRM and it just soared! It had a full throated sound that DRM music just doesn’t have.

    It add more warmth to my iPod music I often play it while showing a picture of a fireplace on the screen in place of the album cover.

  47. Anonymous says:

    I once saw a pair of cables that cost > $1000/ft (or something like that). Of course, they had adequately flat frequency response into the gigahertz, and were elaborately engineered accordingly. No, they weren’t hooked up to a stereo.

  48. allen says:

    I think that stories lampooning the audiophile are kind of delicious in a class-warriory way, but that at some point you need to distinguish between the audiophiles that are wealthy engineers and the audiophiles that are mystical yuppies.

    The two sets identified by #51 are not mutually exclusive, and not everyone who has an expensive system wasted money on $5000 cable and gold plated fuses.

    I’m more of a music fan, but I have heard some of my favorite albums played on the systems of audiophiles, and I must say, it must be nice to have such a system in your living room.

  49. ROSSINDETROIT says:

    The more I learn about audio, the less $$ I have invested in it. Unfortunately my electronics bench is now worth more than my car.
    I was delighted last year to ditch a good CD player for one that sounded slightly better and cost 1/20 as much. If I think I want something and don’t want to pay full price for it I’ll build one, modify something, repair a defective one or wait for the right price. Just taking expensive consumer products out of the boxes and plugging them in doesn’t automatically guarantee good sound, just a thinner wallet. You have to do the work to find what’s worthwhile and what’s not. Do enough work and you’ll find equipment like chip amps, vintage speakers and the Playstation SCPH-1001 that make outstanding sound and cost next to nothing if you know what you’re doing. Good sound will cost you time or money but not necessarily both.

  50. Alethea says:

    Once again BoingBoing has failed to distinguish the difference between audiophiles and idiots, that said even though I consider myself an audiophile it is fun to bait the real fruit loops.

    In truth the sort of people who would buy these fuses are unlikely to do so, since they will be helping Nigerian Princesses get their inheritance out of the country.

    Speaking as an Audiophile I feel the golden rule for satisfaction from your music system is:

    “If you cannot hear the difference then don’t pay it”

    I spent the best part of a years wages on my system and at least 6 months listening blind to different set-ups before making the purchase.

    Over 10 years later I still love the detail and clarity it can bring to a recording. When I listen to the same music on more affordable systems it sounds muddy and loses a lot of its ambience.

    I know all about the mind tricks people fall prey to, once upon a time I worked in a UK electrical goods store selling hi-fi. Nice customers always got a great system (usually at a far lower cost than they intended to spend) while Rude customers went away with the overpriced junk with the flashy lights.

    Here is my advice to anyone looking for a new music system:

    1. E-Bay, some people update their systems every few months so there is always fantastic kit available for next to nothing.

    2. The difference between a £100 and a £1000 is far greater than that between a £1000 and £100,000 one.

    3. Buy separates, a £350-450 separates system will produce a far better sound than something costing upwards of £1000 in Comet or Curries.

    4. Bring the music that you enjoy with you, I can make almost any system sound good by using the right music and playing it loud… chances are this will not be how you listen at home.

    My one small eccentricity is that I do feel cables can make a difference… but even then not the ridiculously overpriced ones.

  51. Moriarty says:

    @#19, Takuan:

    Don’t know if this is what you’re referring to, but there’s a very similar scene in a Kurt Vonnegut novel, I think God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater.

  52. mdh says:

    Once again BoingBoing has failed to distinguish the difference between audiophiles and idiots,

    In their defense, every so often (by no means DAILY) an audience member misses the point too.

  53. Takuan says:

    thanks Moriarty, that could very well be the one.

  54. mypalmike says:

    #25: Once again BoingBoing has failed to distinguish the difference between audiophiles and idiots

    The difference is that idiots think there are such thing as “warm electrons”. Audiophiles are certain of it.

  55. Ian70 says:

    Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight.

  56. ROSSINDETROIT says:

    Laugh while you can, Monkey Boy. Comes the shortage, who you going to go to for your electrons?

  57. Chevan says:

    @ #3 – redrichie
    The thing to understand is that there’s two kinds of audiophiles.

    There’s the kind that really know what they’re looking for – they look for and buy speakers and amplifiers that will accurately reproduce sound. Ideally, a good sound system will produce a flat response graph, meaning that it reproduces every tone at the same volume. There’s a lot of other stuff to consider like room shape and whatnot, but it really just boils down to accuracy. And from that point on, it’s all about the quality of the recording.

    No equipment is perfect, however, and that leads into the second kind, which is the crowd that will spend thousands of dollars on knobs, paneling, wires, and technobabble. Some people want good sound but don’t know the ins and outs of getting it, so they’ll buy whatever sounds reasonable (or doesn’t but knows how to sell itself).

  58. Neon Tooth says:

    “the fuses did make a difference. The sound was fuller, weightier, and the stereo imaging was more 3D with the fuses in the speakers.”

    And then the test subject’s blindfold was removed and he found that he was actually listening to an ipod hooked up to a little solid state peavey practice guitar amp in mono….

  59. Anonymous says:

    Y’know, all the audio heard on home systems first passed through the cables at the recording studio. Take a look at the cables, connectors, etc. used there. So much of what is being sold to consumers is, in reality, a complete ripoff.

  60. GregLondon says:

    oh my lord.

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