Hey there, hifiDJ here! I don’t know who’d want to read a bio page from me but here it is anyway!
At the time of this writing, in the year 2022, I’ve been in this hobby for about 6 years more or less. Two years ago was when I really started digging deep into this hobby, so I’m relatively new to the hi-end side of things. Other than audio, the other main hobby I have is badminton… You know, that sport that’s obviously superior to tennis (fight me!!). I’m still fairly young in my 20’s, and prior to that, I was in the military full-time (straight from high school). I’ll keep this introduction short. Not much to say here, I don’t have any fascinating stories or interesting experiences in the hobby to share. So, that’s enough about me and more about how I generally share my experiences in this hobby. But before that, I think it’s important for the readers to know that I do this mainly for fun and to share general impressions with anyone genuinely interested.
So for impressions I usually like to keep things direct, simple, and surface-level. I don’t add much creative writing nor do I add a lot of my life story into it, I just personally like getting into the meat of the bone. In addition, I won’t elaborate on things with too much detail unless I’m directly comparing it to something else, in which case, I attempt to get into it a bit more but still try to keep things shallow. Some of the reasons include copious amounts of effort (ie. laziness), general inexperience, lack of comparisons, how I usually listen, and how we all experience things differently. Generally from my observations most of us hear very similar things, yet can have very different experiences. It makes sense, there is a myriad of factors that contribute to this like differences in gear/synergy, environment, perception, hearing ability, experience, etc… I still do appreciate and respect those people who go way way into it (cough cough M0N) though. And I’m almost always left impressed by the amount of dedication and elaboration put into it. That being said, I think that shouldn’t hinder anyone from sharing their experiences since it’s also a good way to gain even more experience and growth. I wasn’t very good at articulating sonic differences in gear (still not), but as I kept sharing more and more impressions it naturally became more and more comfortable (and “easier”). Not perfect, of course, but better.
For “listening rituals,” I exclusively listen at night so I don’t do any hi-end listening during the day (but sometimes in the early early morning if I end up falling asleep at night) by choice. To put it simply, I hear better at night when noise pollution (both electrically and environmentally) is at its lowest and my mood is consistent, so its influence is much less than during the day (I also just enjoy listening at night). I make sure to spend an appropriate amount of time with whatever gear is on hand until it ingrains itself as muscle memory (kind of like in sports) which allows me to identify any sonic differences fairly quickly. I still take my time with it but most of my initial impressions rarely change unless the specific gear requires ample warm-up time and/or burn-in (which is often the case). What does change is the degree of difference I hear in those changes (usually less but still noticeable) compared to the initial listen. So, I think it’s very essential to acclimate and give proper time to anything as thoughts can always change down the line, in which case, I’ll update accordingly.
I’ve been finding out recently that maybe I’m not all too picky with my sonic preferences either because (1) I don’t have enough experience to determine exactly what I want or (2) I just like anything that sounds good (ie. has good synergy). Although, I do follow some general guidelines since the audio budget isn’t unlimited. So, I tend to go for a more neutral and balanced approach in general. If it deviates from that then that’s fine but I like to stick to that for the most part and base my purchase decisions on that. Also, it’s gotta have enough (or more) resolving power for the price otherwise, I’d feel like I’m not getting the most out of my gear. But I know some people that don’t mind sacrificing straight performance for a more specific profile. I also tend to avoid things that are on the lethargic side like if it’s too laid-back, coloured, or slow in transient response. Basically, as long as it engages me in my music then it’s all good to me.
Music tastes can be wildly different, so I avoid giving specific examples (ie. timestamps) whenever I share anything (unless it really calls my attention). I get how it can be useful but I’m not one to care all that much. Maybe it’s just me. There are just so many factors to consider but if there’s anything blatantly wrong that I hear I’ll mention it. I mainly listen to j-pop, j-rock, OSTs, classical, rap (sometimes), and anything vocal-heavy (usually female). I don’t mind listening to anything really but I’m too lazy to actively seek out various artists across different genres that I stick to the ones I already know, follow, and already like. I tend to avoid anything country or heavy heavy metal though.
Ending on some kind of note, I like to write about anything I’ve learned, acquired, or observed in the hobby. It may be useful, it may not (basically I’m just rambling here) but here it is anyway! (1) I like to think that there is no one-size-fits-all otherwise, this hobby simply wouldn’t exist. There are products that will work on certain chains and some that will not. I think getting out of the mindset that there is this absolute “best” for any one system closes yourself off from a lot of things. There’s too much to take into account, too much variety, and a plethora of different use cases. (2) I think a lot of common sense is lacking in this hobby. While I do think “snake oil” is much much less common than some people think, there’s a whole lot of nonsense in this hobby. I’d encourage anyone to just try it and find out for themselves if it works or not – simple. (3) I try my best to have a holistic view on things. In other words, I find that focusing on the system as a whole to prioritize synergy is more important (and rewarding) than focusing on one specific thing. Everything works together as a whole, so why wouldn’t you want to treat it as so? It just makes sense to me.
Well… I think that’s all I wanted to say… uh, yeah I hope there was something useful in there. I’m out!
Just another random person on the internet into this very niche hobby…