WHAT IS SBAF (MUST READ VERSION 2)

Discussion in 'Tales from the Bully Pulpit' started by purr1n, Dec 18, 2017.

  1. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    Superbestaudiofriends.org (SBAF) is a private club comprising like-minded audio enthusiasts (mostly in the personal audio space, with a few branching out to two-channel) who splintered off mostly from Head-Fi.org. New memberships are currently restricted to open registration periods or by invitation. We do this to keep the noise level down, quality of content high, and to promote a strong community aspect where everybody knows everybody else to some extent. All content however is open for the public to digest.

    The downside to closed like-minded community is that we will be less open to a large variety of opinions were all audio gear is rated four point five or five stars (out of five). SBAF is not 1000 reviews by 500 random people (250 of them probably shills or socketpuppets), all of which are given garish 1200 x 800 pixel home page treatment. This approach is self-serving to someone who just wants to enrich himself with money from sponsors. SBAF is not about that. SBAF is about promoting good sound.

    SBAF is willing to draw a line in the sand of what constitutes good gear and good sound. That being said, SBAF opinions of gear are not monolithic. Senior members actually have different tastes. For example, the most respected reviewers and members actually use different sources (no, not everyone uses Yggy, and some such as myself are vinylheads). Our style of reviews and impressions is usually comparative, comparing one piece of gear with other similar gears. Our observations are nuanced and qualified, discussing various aspects of sound reproduction (as opposed to a simplistic "better" or "worse"). Readers should make an attempt to understand the personal preferences and associated gear of the reviewers and the vocabulary used here. This takes time and effort. "Lurk moar" as as we say. There is no way around this.

    One crucial aspect of SBAF is measurements. We like measurements, but we are not measurement extremists. We understand that most measurements of DACs (99% of DACs measure extremely well) won't tell us much. Unlike John Atkinson or nwavguy, we don't freak about about spurae 128db down from the fundamental signal. But we also understand that measurements of headphones and transducers, where errors are gross, will tell us quite a bit - especially if we look past just frequency response to consider CSDs and harmonic distortion. What we are primarily interested in is how measurements correlate to observed sound phenomenon. Measurements often serve as a useful tool for members to request to be added (or not added) to a gear loaner. Measurements can serve as a good screening tool and augment subjective impressions.

    Finally SBAF purchases its own gear for its gear loaner program, which is only available to senior members. Gear in the loaner program is often measured by several members, all using slightly differently methodologies, and passed around to senior members who will offer their subjective opinions.

    As far as rules of conduct for new members, there are no (no longer as of December 25, 2017) written rules of conduct other than When in Rome, do as Romans do, and to also introduce yourself in this read: http://www.superbestaudiofriends.org/index.php?threads/new-members-introduce-yourself.17/

    Think of SBAF as your local neighbor dive bar where conversations are between people who know each other. If you have a strong opinion, don't immediately barge in without expecting a regular patron to swing a barstool over your head. Get a lay of the land. Understand the local customs. Get to know the people. You don't want to be the guy walking into a Barca pub arguing Ronaldo is way better than Messi.

    ADD 4/21/2018:

    SBAF is an extension of the personalities who run this site. I have no idea why people keep expecting SBAF to be a serious audio site. It's not. And by "extension of the personalities", I mean with the all the good, and all the bad, the flaws of being human; and also the fact that it is impossible to exist as a human being and not have at least someone or some sentient being thinking you are an asshole. For example, lots of people think the Dalai Lama is an asshole. Same goes with Pope Francis. I'm sure a lot of people thought Gandhi or MLK were assholes. I mean, I personally think most nazi-vegans are assholes because they are nicer to animals than to human beings. Lots of cows think that I am an asshole. So do a lot of people.

    Another thing to understand about SBAF is that it's not afraid to change at moment's notice. There will always be change and course correction. Count on it. You will not have a tidy set of policies, procedures, and rules like HF. If you like structure and rules, then HF is a better place. The dislikes were reactivated because we allowed an extended open registration period. Since SBAF is a club, we need to weed out people that we do not like, or at least show new people what behaviors are frowned upon. A secondary reason for reactivating dislikes is because a few members started to complain that they were afraid to post because they felt their opinions were in the minority. To one member, I pointed that his perceived minority opinion was actually helpful to me and another senior member. The reactivation of dislikes was intended to help people grow some balls. If you are afraid to being an asshole to another sentient being, much less to a piece of gear, then it's pointless to be a member here.

    Please be aware that on occasion, I will drink a lot. This typically happens in the evenings, usually a day before or after a good hike, or when I am on a 16 hour flight. When I am in this state, I will whimsically ban people for showing lack of deference. I know that deference is hard to understand for 27 year olds who like to blow their money on expensive tube amps or audio gear instead of saving up for a house or investing in a business, but that is not my problem. Many of the admins and I like to act like 10 year olds. We do this because it's fun. @brencho loves to give people a hard time for shits-and-giggles. @zerodeefex will call you out and explain precisely why you are a dumbass, if you are a dumbass. I will pee on gear owned by people who I do not like. Finally, please note that 99% of people never have a problem. If you are that 1%, then some self reflection is suggested.



    ADD 7/3/2018 Vendor / MOT rules:
    1. Vendors or MOTs (manufacturers of the trade) may initiate posts concerning their products only in the vendor announcements or dedicated vendor sub-forums, and not in any of the main or gear sub-forum areas. This rule is intended to prevent 1372 random vendors flooding the main forum sections with their XMOS / ESS Sabre DACs.
    2. Please do not "game" the above rule by having shills or sockpuppets post on your behalf. We will know. Just be happy that at least you have a place to post on SBAF without someone asking you for money.
    3. MOTs may answer forum members' questions on their gear in any area of the site. In fact, this is encouraged.
    4. MOTs should refrain from making negative comments or constructive criticism of other MOTs' gear. MOTs should also refrain from making statements that put themselves or their gear in a better light relative to other MOTs. MOTs should avoid posting measurements of other MOTs products. These actions are just bad form. And I also do not want MOTs at each other necks like what happens on Computer Audiophile on occasion.
    5. Please be aware that SBAF admins and moderators have the right to make the final call, however capricious it may seem to you. Ultimately, just use good judgment.
     
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2018
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  2. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    bump
     
  3. Deep Funk

    Deep Funk Deep thoughts - Friend

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    We are dorks. Beware!
     
  4. Dotard

    Dotard Acquaintance

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    If I may ask a question in this thread, as someone new here, I was wondering what are the thoughts on when is the right time to start adding my own impressions of various equipment. From my time lurking, I get a little bit of the sense that newcomers listening impressions are treated a bit like hazing, in that they tend to be torn apart, especially if they end up disagreeing with established members.

    Of course there is also the occasional overly positive impressions of questionable equipment from new comers that comes across as shilling, which any audio community needs to be cognisant of.

    Just curious if this aspect could be expanded upon, as a new comer I am a bit hesitant to jump in with equipment impressions.
     
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  5. Deep Funk

    Deep Funk Deep thoughts - Friend

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    If you disagree with someone okay. We do not mind. Agree to disagree and/or learn to understand the preferences of the other person. After a while you understand.

    When you think an audio component sounds like ... then please clarify the system (source + ... + ... + headphone/speakers) and things are easier for us to understand. You are an acquaintance now by lurking and careful posting. "Lurking and careful" posting already answer part of your question.
     
  6. Mystic

    Mystic Mystique's Spiritual Advisor

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    I think once someone gets several posts under their belt and spend some time here absorbing information you could definitely post some impressions IMO. Just be aware that nobody here knows who you are (regardless of your standing on other websites) or what your preferences/gear is.

    -Make sure to preface impressions with your preferences and gear. Let us know what you like and dislike. It can give us a frame of reference on where your coming from. Comparisons to common gear is great.
    -Keep impressions short and to the point. Don't post a 10 paragraph essay on why you think these $10 iems you bought from AliExpress sound like $500 iems.
    -Just be respectful and don't demand other members bow to your wisdom. Be humble.

    I've seen randos post really good impressions on here. I've also seen randos post terrible or just entitled impressions and get torn apart and fed to the wolves in sometimes entertaining ways, but ultimately it just contributes to more noise.
     
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2017
  7. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    Newcomers only get torn apart under these circumstances:
    1. First few posts are to disagree with somebody
    2. Attempt to establish authority, as opposed to establishing authenticity (e.g. this is what I hear, this is what I like). Appeals to authority / citing of lame credentials: I was trained by Yoda of IEMs, I know what neutral sounds like when you don't, my grandmother toured with Van Halen, Harry Wesfeld at VPI is my personal friend, Chewbacca owes me a life debt, etc.
    3. Just plain wrong / misinformation (e.g. HD800 is perfectly neutral and sound exactly like my pro monitors, more expensive gear always sounds better, Jude loves the hobby more than money, etc.)
    4. Measurement extremists / misinformation: Olive-Welti target was made by God (it's a consumer research curve), not understanding that different HATs may not be comparable with each other, making a big deal about shit -137db down, etc.
    5. Extreme subjectivists or people too lazy to study up on measurements, i.e. "measurements are useless"
    6. Fluffy nonsense: claims that a product sounds the most "natural", "realistic", "Carnegie Hall", etc.
    7. Lame reviews where the review still reads logically when a find / replace is used on the manufacturer and product name in the review
    8. White person saying we are racist for using the term Chi-Fi
     
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2017
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  8. Kunlun

    Kunlun cat-alyzes cat-aclysmic cat-erwauling - Friend

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    THE TIME TO POST IMPRESSIONS IS NOW

    THIS IS HOW

    re-posted from here: http://www.superbestaudiofriends.or...s-need-your-two-cents.4563/page-2#post-148222

    KUNLUN'S "I'M STUCK ON A TRAIN AND BORED" GUIDE TO WRITING IMPRESSIONS

    1. Listen. No, seriously, take time to listen to your favorite music that you know really well. Now listen to a few things that are more treble focused, some bassy things, stuff that has female and male vocals, etc. If you have heard something live and have a recording, hey great. Listen carefully to a lot of stuff. Close your eyes and pay attention. How does it sound? Not easy, but do your best.

    Spend enough time that you get used to the sound of the gear. Initial takes are as much about what you were used to as the new gear. That's okay, but move beyond that so the gear is the new "norm" for your ears. After that, you can switch to something else and see how your ears handle that.

    2. "I like it" or "I don't like it" is the least important thing about impressions. Don't get into flights of fancy, we want to know how the earphones sound, not watch you masturbate. Remember: Not everyone likes what you like. It takes Different Strokes to row the world, yes it does...

    3. What did I hear, how does the gear sound, is the most important thing about impressions. You do not need audio jargon! You just need to think carefully about how to describe what you hear. Do your best. People can ask follow up questions if they have any. It's cool.
    The more practice you have, the easier it is.

    See? It's not so bad!

    P.S. Don't worry if people disagree or make fun of you. This isn't medieval Japan, you don't lose face and have to kill yourself. Instead, you learn something and have a good time.
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2018
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  9. Kunlun

    Kunlun cat-alyzes cat-aclysmic cat-erwauling - Friend

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    Here is an example of me walking a non-audiophile friend through a brief set of impressions.
    http://www.superbestaudiofriends.or...he-sennheiser-website.5250/page-4#post-177576

    Note how when a vague term like "live" as in "it sounds more like live music" comes up, we follow up to try to understand what about the sound gives it that feel. That's pretty much the process anyone can follow. E.G. It sounds "moist". Okay, what gives it that sound? What part of the music is the most moist? The mids? The vocals? Okay, it's the vocals, great. Now, what about the vocals is moist? Right, they seem more forward and there is longer decay (or whatever it is), etc. etc. etc.
     
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  10. Thad E Ginathom

    Thad E Ginathom Friend

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    I have occasionally heard speaker systems that give me a real "being-there" feeling. As I read your words, it occurs to me that maybe, just maybe, they sound more like venue PA systems!

    Anyway, I don't attempt to review sound any longer. My hearing is such that I no longer have any idea of what flat sounds like, and my balanced would probably be your shriek.

    I think that a purely personal impression is quite valid. For me, HD800s are the best thing in my audio life since sliced bread (I gave that up, it really rolls off the highs when you stuff it in your ears) but what I would not do, here, is start an HD800 Best Thing Since Sliced Bread thread on that basis. I might mention it on another thread or, as I did, put it as a profile post.

    "ProfilePosts." It's our equivalent of a chat room, but much less messy. Took me a while to discover it, and many people may not yet know about it. People can say all kinds of stuff there. Might still get laughed at, but hey, anyone who minds being laughed at should not be here.
     
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  11. zerodeefex

    zerodeefex Grumpiest admin

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    Give a point of reference. Talk about your system. Talk about what you consider normal sounding. Talk about the music you used to compare gear and why. Honesty, impressions with a point of reference are useful. Two points are even better. Provide data so people reading your impressions can calibrate. Context is worth 100000x more than impressions with no frame of reference.
     
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  12. mark47

    mark47 Rando

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    hi
    I am a new user
     
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  13. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    Hi, and because of you, new user registrations are now closed.
     
  14. mark47

    mark47 Rando

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    Today, new user registrations opened temporally. And so I signed
     
  15. philipmorgan

    philipmorgan Member of the month

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    Is this what you hoped to achieve when you signed up? Shitting on the exact thread that warns new members to avoid doing exactly what you're doing in your post?
     
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  16. Thad E Ginathom

    Thad E Ginathom Friend

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    @mark47, we have this thing called profile posts, also confusingly known as "Update your status" when you want to start a profile-posts discussion. You can post stuff like that there. Or, even better, find the introductions thread and actually introduce yourself properly. Otherwise... culture shock
     
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  17. insidious meme

    insidious meme Ambivalent Kumquat

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    Can't SBAF just keep registrations at invite only for a while (like a year or more)? At least you won't get those "English as a fourth language" types who can't fully grasp what's on the original post here, and pull what @mark47 did here.
     
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  18. Kattefjaes

    Kattefjaes Mostly Harmless

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    His legend grows, eh? Seems to be shaking his wizened little peener around here too:

    http://www.superbestaudiofriends.org/index.php?threads/the-mjolnir-2-thread.208/page-25#post-183313

    Also, there's nothing wrong with "English as a fourth language". Pretty sure it's my wife's fourth, or maybe sixth and I have to say, she's far more coherent and grammatically rigorous than you fuckers :D

    (Those Nordic types sometimes embarrass us anglophones with their fierce language-fu.)

    Matey above is probably just as insufferable in his native language, unless Mama is actually in the same room.
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2017
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  19. Ringingears

    Ringingears Honorary BFF

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    Wow! Is that a record? 4.5 hours before being banned?
     
  20. Vansen

    Vansen Gear Master 2.0

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    Much to my amusement, I think @cizx.6 (lost count of numbers) holds that record.
     
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