How much do you rely on others for audio advice? Please tell us who you listen to.

How much do you rely on others for audio advice? Please tell us who you listen to.
I rely heavily on others
11% (15 votes)
I seek a moderate amount of advice
48% (66 votes)
Just a little help
26% (36 votes)
Very rarely do I seek advice
12% (17 votes)
I never ask for advice
2% (3 votes)
Total votes: 137

Audio experts can come in all shapes and sizes: a great dealer, an audiophile friend or relative, an audio consultant---even a magazine writer. How much do you value their opinions?

Louis McFarlane's picture

The ONLY advice I rely on is from Stereophile! There, I said it. Actually, hi-fi nuts are just as bad as car buffs. (My MG is better than your Triumph; tubes sound better than solid-state; planar speakers are more "transparent" than conventional drivers; etc., etc.) Everyone gives you advice based on his or her "bias." Most of it is just "negative feedback." However, I DO give advice, especially when asked.

Hoovenson Haw's picture

When all is said and done the final word is still up to me.

RJM's picture

Ears: a second pair on a second head is indispensable! Especially when they agree with yours . . .

Paul Foley, Whiteman AFB, MO's picture

While auditioning some tube integrated amplifiers last week at Primus in Kansas City, I was having a very hard time picking between the Conrad-Johnson CAV-50 and the Tube Technology Unisis. We took a long time listening to the amps. I felt I knew the difference between them. They both had that tubeness to them I wanted, but the C-J was more open and the Tube Technology had better control of the dynamics (more like solid-state). The salesman (Bill) confirmed my more in-depth description. My brain was saying one, my heart the other, what to do, what to do? Bill asked me if I was planning on keeping the solid-state amp that I had now. Yes, I am going to keep it. He said, go with your heart---you have the old amp to fall back on when you want that kind of sound. Yeah, you're right! And my wife put me out of my pain by adding that I would have a year to trade up to the other amp later. So I could have the Conrad-Johnson now and enjoy it, and later get the Tube Technology. Sometimes it pays to take some advice. Thanks, Bill; Thanks, Darlene.

Mike Mills's picture

The hair-splitting gets ridiculous. If it sounds good, run it, enjoy it.

Greg Carlin's picture

Only from close friends who are also into audio . . .

Jim McDermott's picture

I almost never buy a product without reading a review (negative or positive) in Stereophile. I think you have a huge moral responsibility as your readers are very faithful and a negative review could ruin a company (Sonic Frontiers went nearly belly up after less than favorable reviews of their Line Products, they seemed to be OK when their SFL products were regularly praised in Stereophile). Many people and dealers I talk to quote the "Sonic Frontiers sounds boring!" quote from your review of the Power 2. I don't place the SF downfall entirely at Stereophile's door, but just as an illustrative example of the (borderline) Orwellian influence your publication can have on people. However, I must point out that I love your rag, and it is one of the best written periodicals (never mind audio periodicals) out there.

Ron Taylor's picture

The ultimate decision maker is my ears (wife acceptance factor does have an impact as well in terms of appearances).

Khushroo Cooper's picture

Everyone is biased towards some product line or the other. Never ask for opinions on some product they don't want to talk about. Needless to say, the review will be always negative.

Michael Lopez's picture

I rely on a friend. I just got into high-end audio and he is well versed in the subject and he introduced me to it and man there is a difference in sound!

Jon Weden's picture

HP of the Abso!ute Sound. He has the ears and mind to express what he hears better than anyone else... at the moment! Stereophile's writers write about what sounds good. HP is trying to write to tell us how/what makes music sound real.

Paul Rosenthal's picture

Especially those who don't think they know it all.

M.J.  Brazill's picture

Audiophile mags such as Stereophile are a great place to start when looking for hi-end gear, but nothing beats a good demo in one's home.

Mark A's picture

I'll ask for opinions from others whom I have confidence in to get alternative points of view. Sometimes it can help narrow down potential pieces to audition. My decisions are made based on what my ears are hearing.

John Busenitz's picture

Journalists and dealers are not technically educated. They know little more about audio than Average Joe.

Jeff Vinklarek's picture

Everyone needs a little help. I have worked in the high-end audio industry for seven years. I know that everyone hears music differently and music tastes are personal, but it is sometimes necessary to get a little help. Who knows? Maybe someone would introduce me to a product that I really love, but would not consider before. If I only went on my personal experience, I would still be listening to a Yamaha surround-sound system instead of Krell.

Michael Crespo's picture

I generally listen to writers and a few salespeople (e.g., Uga) at Sound by Singer who I trust. Fremer, Tellig, Valin, Pearson, and Reina are my favorite writers.

MH's picture

My dealer is helpful in cutting through some of the bull out there. He knows my taste, and is always helpful. Thanks to Audio-Video Logic in Des Moines!

Dave's picture

Anybody who hasn't sought out the help of an expert, magazine, friend, or relative is someone who hasn't maximized their audio system.

Gregg Collins's picture

Why would anyone not want to hear the opinion of others (even if you totally disagree)? It can only help broaden your understanding.

Alan Dana's picture

I will ask around a little bit at dealers and on the Internet, as well as read a few magazines, to get started on searching out new gear. But I rely upon my own ears to decide what gear sounds best to me and what is worth the asking price.

Harry Kane's picture

As a frequent concertgoer and live-music enthusiast, I trust my own ears when it comes to audio reproduction.

Ron Newton's picture

I thought I could rely on the basic opinions of some of the writers in Stereophile. When Tom Gillet (aka Sam Tellig) was quoted in another venue that "we play whore to the advertisers" I knew I could no longer trust. After all, why can't he use his real name. Is he wanted for something really bad? As far as dealers are concerned, they will sell you what they got. Period.

Dimitris Gogas's picture

I usually GIVE advice. Mind you, recently I am afraid that I didn't get much appreciation for my valuable knowledge by a hi-fi magazine editor.Very strange.