The believers, the Non-believers and the dealers

It seems to me, that the audio world is divided into two main groups:

The believers – They have listened to it, they can hear a clear improvement
The Non-believers – Show me some measurements that clearly documents the improvement.

The believers are focused on audiophile improvements that covers:

• Switch
• LAN/Ethernet cables
• Optical isolation
• Power cords
• Power strip

and so forth.

The Non-believers are just wondering why there are so many audiophiles that come up with beliefs that these “things” gives an improvement.

I some forums discussions “The Non-believes” are closing a thread with the remark:

“……… ask on a forum where you’ll get answers that reinforce your need to waste money”.

Sure, many of these beliefs/claims/myths seem to just come out of the blue whether claimed by someone in the industry or some hobbyist with various beliefs and then perpetuated without a shred of evidence nor apparent interest to verify!

But the good thing is, that you can always trust the dealers (irony).

A small test: Did ask 3 dealers – “What would be the best power cable for Linn DSM?”

Here we go:

Dealer 1: “we have tried many power cords for the Linn machines. Linn power cords have always been better”.

Dealer 2: “This is very difficult with Linn. We have already tested many cables here. Most make one part better and another part worse than the standard cable. But one cable sticks out, here really all musical aspects are significantly improved. It’s the Audioplan Ampere L, it’s priced at EUR 1,300”.

Dealer 3: “we have had good experiences with HMS. The expensive ones are even better”.

So, who to trust: The believers, The Non-believers or the dealers?

Live is not easy for audiophiles :blush:


For me I believe what my ears tell me. I do read reviews which will lead me in a certain direction and in many cases where it’s not possible to try before I buy I will try to source good used versions. I find I’m rarely disappointed with my choices even though I’m well into the diminishing returns area with my system. I also tend to stick with industry reviewers whom I’ve been following for a while and I feel I can trust and they are mainly people with a lot of technical knowledge on the subject, whatever that may be. Dealers are a different story with different motivations which are primarily profit driven. Some good, some not so good. In my experience once they understand you have accumulated knowledge on the topic they tend to drop the BS and focus on earning your trust if they want you as a long term customer. The opinions of Roon subscribers are also important but I don’t tend to pay much attention to those that hold fixed or polarised perspectives. All knowledge needs to be approached with an open mind. And even those who hold the view that if someone’s experience can’t be scientifically validated then it’s not true I would say to them “we don’t know what we don’t know”.


My dealer would say: probably no difference, but if you want to you have to try different cables in your environment and make up your own mind.

I also think your classification does not cover all classes. I am essentially a non-believer of wild claims with no scientific basis. Nevertheless I sometimes imagine hearing differences when there should not be any. I don’t categorically rule out that they might be real, but I consider it silly to elevate one’s audiopsychological apparatus to objective status as the literature and experience is full of examples for how easily it is fooled.


Yeah. Kinda agree.

I’m in “bits is bits” but also in “in the analog domain I’m open minded and certainly know a couple people with megabuck setups that have invested in tweaks I’m naturally skeptical of but have incredible reproduction that I can’t dismiss entirely”. So I don’t love preying on anyone, though the wealthy being separated from some cash doesn’t bother me a priori, but I think the majority of claims are likely bogus, and some of them are certainly true. But like Wanamaker sort of said of advertising, “many of my upgrades are wasted, the problem is I don’t know which ones”.

I should say I’m also deeply sympathetic of the human need to believe. I need to believe that bits is bits. Others need to believe that their upgrade did something. I’m not trying to play both-siderism or imply that both can be right (though in the realm of the subjective & psycho-acoustics, there’s more room for this than, say, astrophysics). I am trying to say that it’s very understandable how & why people (including me) get dug in.


If you hear a difference then it’s a real difference, if only for you and even if it only lasts a short time or until you buy the next over-hyped piece of ‘equipment’.

The problem that I think people object to is when others are inveigled to drink the Kool-Aid.


They seem to be coming from the analog world, which of course does not apply anymore.

Why would we leave out engineers, who designed and built the systems we’re talking about? They are the ones who know best - and usually believe in science.

True, but with a complication: Some engineers design things based on what they think are measurable but sometimes also “just” audible effects although the habitual skepticists say they shouldn’t make a difference

And belongs to “The Non-believes” :slight_smile: In most of the cases :slight_smile: But if science is right, we all should buy Innuos Statement with Next Generation Power Supply 17.300 EURO - or buy something similar in that range.

Sure, but that means that “the non-believers” are a lot more credible than “the believers”, since their opinions come from expertise and are based on facts. Not all opinions are created equal, and the size of each group is irrelevant.

I’m not following.

If that is the case, than 17.300 EURO is well spend (as an example).

Oh, I get it now. You’re saying that it’s engineers who designed the Innuos. Problem is, we don’t know why they did it. It’s likely it was just for money and they are well aware that “designed to take Digital Audio to a new level of performance” is just marketing fluff. For any given task, you can find someone to do it.

@Marian - The problem is, that there are MANY similar cases in the audio world. It was just an exsample out of many - unfortunately!

The common denominator of those examples is a financial interest. Thus, it’s not science anymore.