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PostPosted: Sun Aug 20, 2017 7:00 am 
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I have asked many questions over the time I have been involved in this site and others like VE, however it would appear that some advice given may not be correct. How do you weed out the true experts from the "not so true" experts. Do you judge their advice based on feedback? volume of sales? Tone and wording of emails? Dollar value of sales?

Recently I have had some interactions with a member that openly tell me they are an expert, and the advice given seems to back up the claims, however through various emails I question their ability to point one in the right direction.

Don't get me wrong, I'm truly thankful for most of the advice given, but perhaps a method to weed out the "bad apples" should be discuss. I would be interested to know if others have had similar experiences and what methods did you use to sort out the "bad" from the "good" advice?

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 20, 2017 7:12 am 
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...do your research...use your noggin :D

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 20, 2017 7:35 am 
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So much of this hobby is subjective. Many people will tell you they are experts or believe they are; doesn't mean their opinion has value to you. Trust your own judgment and look for statements that are reinforced by many people, not just one or two so called experts.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 20, 2017 8:13 am 
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There are known knowns, and there are known unknowns. Then there are unknown unknowns. Experts are aware and cognizant of all 3 areas in any given discipline.

Ask questions. If the answers don't make any sense you're probably not dealing with an expert.

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 20, 2017 8:32 am 
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Sometimes tricky to do, but it is a personal life skill worth developing.

I try to listen carefully for clues that they may be trying to sell an idea/product rather than really trying to help out. Ask yourself, does this sound like a glowing sales pitch ?

I'm not sure who said this originally, but the saying goes: "Watch what a man does, not what he says".

The toughest ones to sort out are those that are totally lost but never the less will go online and spout nonsense they themselves believe.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 20, 2017 8:42 am 
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ripblade wrote:
There are known knowns, and there are known unknowns. Then there are unknown unknowns. Experts are aware and cognizant of all 3 areas in any given discipline.

Ask questions. If the answers don't make any sense you're probably not dealing with an expert.


...ahhhh...the old Rumsfeldian trifecta... :)

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 20, 2017 8:46 am 
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FWIW, I find the vast majority of active CAMers in the threads have great insight into even some of the most arcane audio challenges. I have learned a tremendous amount in the time that I've been here. I honestly wouldn't worry too much about this. Also, maybe stick to the public threads rather than PMs. This keeps everyone in check.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 20, 2017 8:52 am 
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In audio, we still don't correlate how we measure signal ----- with how humans actually hear.

The two are miles apart.

This is why measurements only vestigially correlate with what people hear.

Since the engineering of audio is electrical, mechanical, and inordinately complex -in multiple layers..we have a problem. The problem is that those who engineer insist that we work with those measurements as the point of validification or reflection of what is going on. They are of the engineering mindset so...if all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail. And thus they hammer with electrical measurements as being the force and the crown of audio design.

The bulk of such people and that of the average dude who observes such vociferous force and the associated hand-waving...combine as a force in audio that creates a overall direction. At least with regard to looking like a well trodden path.

One that is not of the correct nature. Not that measurements are wrong but they are pretty far from being the sole method which reflects back our efforts in design. We've got that schism between how we hear and how we measure. The fundamental is not just broken, but the connection is so minor and tenuous, that functionally... it does not even exist.

The bulk of humanity is like a herd on a plain. They move as group (fishlike), and are interested only in their envisioned worlds and the relative motion of those who swim in that group with them, ie adjacent to them in journey and motion. My tagline at diyaudio used to be "Never forget that only dead fish swim with the stream." - Malcolm Muggeridge"

The point is, that the middle of the herd is the dead part, so expertise of the bulk/middle is for those who remain in the bulk and swim - nowhere. If one is not looking to move ahead then such simple moves in the realm of what they know presents no challenge and are accepted as motion within those confined limits of view and reach of view.

"If you are one step ahead, you're a genius, if you are two steps ahead, you're a crackpot". Ie, the middle of the herd can't reach the given thing, so it must be crazy, right? Probably only to the middle of the herd and those who float in it, without reach or range to even do a minimal two step in logical deduction...

One of the end points (as the descriptive and issue only get more esoteric in language) is that the brain power and desire to move through the thick middle ground of non-changing mud and out of it...must come from the one who seeks to reach the new or 'better'. the ole' you must go to the mountain, the mountain cannot come to you. One must intellectually meet the challenge, it cannot be dumbed down for the given seeker. One has to think different, listen different, and use brainpower to discern. To shed some of what one knows and thinks they know in order for the new to arrive.

All addition, subtraction, change, action, motion, and anything else you can think of in the realm of motion and going forward, can, by definition, happen only at the edge of the herd and it's interactions with what is beyond...and out of the range of understanding and thought of the middle of the herd/school. Reflexively, the middle of the herd will respond positively in a change, with what they already know, which is by definition, not change. So many people find themselves at the same dissatisfying spot they started at - having gone in a circle, in audio. The gear flipper going through 40-50 amplifiers in a 5 year period tries many flavors but it is still all the same company and ice cream that he's tasting.

Due to the herd being of the bulk, they will never know the leading edge experts,and the explorer who walks out of the middle of th herd to the edge, will finally meet those few who are experts. Those experts will generally not be enabled by the system as they have not been supported by the bulk of that middle. The reason this is true ...circles back to that problem mentioned, of the measurements not correlating to how and what people hear..and that middle is not using any brainpower to get past the quandary, the complex multi-step multi-layered quandary they do not recognize as existing.

It's so bad that sometimes even that middle will tilt at the windmill of posts like this, and attack.

To give you an idea, one living example, Teo audio introduced this liquid metal cable technology..what..2008 or so? A decade ago. The number of times I've been attacked on this subject - derisive comments and attacks in print, could easily fill a book. Yet, it truly is a new way of looking at electrical signals, down at the fundamental and yes, actual quantum vs bulk response. Dynamically, in every physical and quantum fluid vs solid electrical parameter you can imagine or get a group of scientists to write down. So screwed up and complex we have virtually no experience in this area except bits that occur across many branches of physics, and cannot define as a single whole. At the same time it can be seen as a single functional thing of electrical signal transfer...by that given middle of the herd. It's like they only see one side of a 10 sided box. The adventurous explorers of the edges of the audio herd, they hear something they've never heard before, something exciting and fundamentally more true..and others..seem to think it is a dull and boring wire/cable. And that Ken is a nutbar and charlatan, chock full of snake-oil. Right. Sure thing, dudes. I love ridicule and ostracization and I'm only in it for the money. Sure.

The problem is that this could go on for decades, basically..... at the rate you are willing to learn new things. In essence, there is no short cut or red button of satisfaction to press, you have to do the work of change in and of yourself. And when you do go there, if you do go there, it will never be popularized, seen, recognized, or known by the bulk of that middle of the herd in this tiny little world of high end audio. The far end of it shows that it seems subjective as viewed from the middle... as the complexity cannot be witnessed in enough of a single breath or view... to be able to discern that there is a functional non-subjective path.

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Last edited by Teo Audio on Mon Aug 21, 2017 7:12 am, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 20, 2017 8:55 am 
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...Ken's nailed it...in his typically succinct, concise fashion... :D

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 20, 2017 9:24 am 
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I read a lot of books on medicine and health.
Does that make me a doctor?


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 20, 2017 9:26 am 
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Two ways to identify the experts:

1) They use their real name

2) Their views align with yours

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 20, 2017 9:36 am 
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Stone wrote:
ripblade wrote:
There are known knowns, and there are known unknowns. Then there are unknown unknowns. Experts are aware and cognizant of all 3 areas in any given discipline.

Ask questions. If the answers don't make any sense you're probably not dealing with an expert.


...ahhhh...the old Rumsfeldian trifecta... :)
Hey, just because a politician said it, it doesn't mean it can't be true. :lol:

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 20, 2017 9:36 am 
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It's probably a good idea to avoid self proclaimed experts who are also selling something. No matter how much woo they spew, you know it's your wallet they're after.
Trust your own ears, and try not to let your brain run away with what you hear. There are many myths in audio, and people take up sides to argue about what they think they hear.
We have a very good understanding of what electricity is, how it travels down a wire, how to convert it into a mechanical force, how to characterize the resulting sound pressure waves, how that sound interacts with a room and how it's received by your ears.

But how is sound perceived?

No one can answer that for another. Here is where the argument heats up and has some validity.

We all experience sound differently, and you can't borrow someone else's experience. But you can learn bias, or reinforce bias. You can be taught expectations, and then convince yourself of many things.

Don't be a sheep, just listen for yourself and enjoy real music, real instruments, real voices. Go out there and listen to imperfect music reproduction systems and decide for yourself. Start with headphones, really listen to music and don't ask anyone else to tell you what to expect, or how to listen, or what's good or bad. Try to find something you can enjoy.

It is music after all, it shouldn't be that hard to enjoy it.

Beware the woo.

You are the real expert when it comes down to what you hear, and what you think about it, not someone else.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 20, 2017 9:39 am 
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Rufoosio wrote:
It's probably a good idea to avoid self proclaimed experts who are also selling something. No matter how much woo they spew, you know it's your wallet they're after.
Trust your own ears, and try not to let your brain run away with what you hear. There are many myths in audio, and people take up sides to argue about what they think they hear.
We have a very good understanding of what electricity is, how it travels down a wire, how to convert it into a mechanical force, how to characterize the resulting sound pressure waves, how that sound interacts with a room and how it's received by your ears.

But how is sound perceived?

No one can answer that for another. Here is where the argument heats up and has some validity.

We all experience sound differently, and you can't borrow someone else's experience. But you can learn bias, or reinforce bias. You can be taught expectations, and then convince yourself of many things.

Don't be a sheep, just listen for yourself and enjoy real music, real instruments, real voices. Go out there and listen to imperfect music reproduction systems and decide for yourself. Start with headphones, really listen to music and don't ask anyone else to tell you what to expect, or how to listen, or what's good or bad. Try to find something you can enjoy.

It is music after all, it shouldn't be that hard to enjoy it.

Beware the woo.

You are the real expert when it comes down to what you hear, and what you think about it, not someone else.


Best 1st post from a guy who waited 6 years to do so! :D

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 20, 2017 9:46 am 
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Great post Rufoosio!


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