Audio equipment prices range from dirt cheap to off-the-chart. How does price affect your perception of products?
The battle rages on in the audio shops, the pages of <I>Stereophile</I>, and in the online news groups: Subjectivist (relies on direct experience to judge audio quality) versus Objectivist (relies on experimental evidence to judge differences and quality). What are your tendencies?
With multichannel DVD-Audio and SACD discs close to reality, record companies can encode their discs in a variety of multichannel formats (see recent <A HREF="http://www.stereophile.com/shownews.cgi?849">Chesky interview</A>). Any preferences?
The results from last week's Vote! indicate a clear distaste for watermarking as a means of preventing the pirating of recordings. But what do you suggest be done in its place?
Using a digital code, or "watermark," has been proposed for SACD and DVD-Audio recordings to help control what consumers can and cannot do with the new discs. The downside is that some engineers feel that the watermark, though subtle, might be audible at times. Does this bother you?
The urge to upgrade audio components seems endemic to the condition of being an audiophile. Which of the following is usually your main reason for upgrading?
In general, it's still true that you get what you pay for. But sometimes you don't . . . you get more. What audio product has surprised you with its return on investment?
Assume that digital audio streaming will reach or exceed CD quality, and that you'll be able to hear anything you want to hear, any time of day or night. What would such a service be worth to you?
So far, the audio quality of downloadable music has been almost as good as AM radio. How far does it have to go before you'll want to pay for a download?
You've decided to add a new piece of equipment to your system. Now begins the process of figuring out which make and model you want. How do you test products to make sure you get the right stuff?
Reader "Bob" says that he'd be very happy to pay for access to a complete Web-based version of <I>Stereophile</I>, and suspects other readers would too. Do you agree that this is a good idea?
One of the most enduring advertisments for an audio product is Maxell's image of the seated listener with his hair blowing back in the wind created by the tape's alleged sound quality. Have any other marketing campaigns stuck with you?
Reader Sean Stewart reports that every time he goes to Hudson's in Albuquerque and watches their lights flicker while driving their Nautilus 801s, he wonders about what audiophiles do to customize their AC supplies to improve performance.
This week's <A HREF="http://www.stereophile.com/soapbox.shtml">Soapbox</A> has Martin Bruczkowski pondering how much power is being wasted by audiophiles who leave large systems on 24/7. What are <I>your</I> power habits?
We all have to start somewhere. What would <I>you</I> recommend to someone assembling a first audio system, and how much would it cost?