What is the most important pearl of audiophile wisdom you can bestow on someone?

Anyone who participates in this hobby for a few years develops some insight that is worth sharing. What is the most important pearl of audiophile wisdom you can bestow on someone?

What is the most important pearl of audiophile wisdom you can bestow on someone?
Here's my pearl of wisdom
92% (137 votes)
I don't have any . . . yet
8% (12 votes)
Total votes: 149

Nick's picture

Don't listen to what reviewers say, see past the hype and judge for yourself.

mike eschman's picture

Listen closely, and remember what you hear.

Dave Bennett's picture

Trust your own ears. It doesn't matter how well-reviewed something is, or how much it is recommended by the dealer. If it sounds like garbage to you, you will never be happy with it.

SamTellig's picture

The best equipment for you is the stuff you already own.

mp's picture

Trust your own ears. Do not be swayed by what the dealer or other people are tell you that you are hearing. It's your money, buy what sounds best to you.

Jim Tavegia's picture

Find out what their expectations and needs are for music delivery and help them find a cost effective way to get there. Work hard to do it right the first time to keep them off the upgrade merry-go-round—a very costly experience.

Al Marcy's picture

If you are not in the mood to listen, don't. Our pathetic excuses for personalities can ruin enough stuff, do not throw your ears, nor your system, to, nor at, the beast.

Ken's picture

Go listen to lots of live un-amplified music. Then trust your ears. Some of the most expensive gear sounds nothing like real music.

Johnny B.  Good's picture

Forget everything you think you know. Stay away from big speakers.

Hal's picture

Keep the receipts.

Pradeep's picture

Learn to accept with awareness!

Stephen Mejias's picture

Please don't confuse hi-fi with live music. It's easy to say that a certain component or system can't compare to "the real thing," but doing so would be unfair to that component or system. It would be similarly easy to compare a live musician to a loudspeaker and say that that live musician sucks in terms of creating a soundstage or throwing an image. But do we compare live musicians to loudspeakers? No, because that would be silly. Why is the opposite so difficult to understand? Live music is live music and hi-fi is hi-fi. Enjoy them each on their own terms. Oh: And have fun. If listening to music isn't fun for you, then stop doing it. Okay, so that's two pearls of wisdom. Sorry.

Ola Petersson's picture

Trust your ears.

Leon, Rancho Mirage California's picture

Avoid pricey interconnects and power cords. Purchase horsepower, adding sparkplug wires for your car instead.

Bob Gibbons's picture

If you are getting started in stereo and are serious about it, do not settle for low-priced just for the sake of getting in on the act. You will not be satisfied, especially if you know someone with a really good set-up. Get the highest quality component you can afford, even if means doing without something else for a while.

DG's picture

Value what you hear over what you are told.

Rob S.'s picture

If you get a system that's better than the vast majority of recordings—and the vast majority aren't that great—you're in for a world of frustration. The percentage of high-quality recordings that I'd want to listen to on musical grounds is ridiculously small.

Jim G.'s picture

Buy paintings for the way they look. Buy audio equipment for the way it sounds.

Jimmy's picture

Research—through the Internet, friends, relatives, and brick & mortar stores.

Al Earz's picture

More of an oyster than a pearl, but my advice is simple. Buy what pleases your ears. Don't buy what reviewers recommend—they have their own two ears that they listen with. Don't buy what your friends tell you—they too are motivated by their own ears or egos. And never buy what the dealer tells you you want. Listen and decide on what brings out the music to your ears. Unless you're married, then buy what your wife tells you looks best with the carpet. But most importantly, buy what you can afford or be patient until you can afford exactly what you want.

Brian D.'s picture

Reviews are meant to inform you, not determine what you buy. Use them as guidance to discover the best path to your gear and your ear.

Moebius's picture

Trust your ears, nothing else.

HH's picture

It's the music!

Will W's picture

Don't forget to voice the system for the room acoustics. Far more important than tweeks and much less expensive.

Pete K.'s picture

You get much more bang for your buck from properly setting up your system and doing common-sense room treatments than from "tweaks" with no scientific basis.

jason's picture

It's all a matter of personal taste. There is no absolute sound.

df's picture

After you do all your research on specs and prices and reliability—and before you purchase anything—use your ears. If you don't like what you hear, nothing else matters.

KRB's picture

Delay gratification, never buy on impulse. Listen carefully and really evaluate your needs. Then buy the best you can afford, to avoid upgradeitis.

Brian's picture

Listen to the music—not the gear.

rwp's picture

Simple, use music you are very familiar with to evaluate what you like in a component/system. Trust yourself.