Ignorance Masquerading as Knowledge

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A couple of week's back an anonymous poster on a particularly noxious audio website called a review I wrote "a joke." His reasons were that I reviewed the ProAc 30thAnniversary Tablettes primarily as nearfield monitors. He stated, oh so authoritatively, that the ProACs were designed and voiced for room-placement on stands, and not for nearfield listening. He also went on to state that the classic BBC monitor, the LS35A, was also not designed for nearfield listening. On both counts he was wrong. But that didn't stop him, even after being corrected by another inmate, from insisting that no one in their right mind would listen to $2200 per pair speakers as nearfield monitors, once more revealing his limited scope.

My first response was going to be a post on that site explaining why the poster was a wrong, but then I remembered rule #1 on the Internet - "Do Not Feed Trolls." Engaging morons on their own sites is a bad idea because you can't win - trolls will post responses to a post forever and turn any thread into a unending "tar-baby" (those unfamiliar with the term should immediately read "Uncle Remus' Tales of Brer Rabbit." They figure, wrongly, that the last poster wins. And they will always be the last poster because they have nothing better to do with their lives.

I talked with ProAc US importer, Richard Gerberg, several times during the course of my time with the ProAcs Tablettes. One of the more interesting facts he told me was that more small two-way ProAcs were sold through "professional" channels than through high-end consumer shops. He also told me that most pro users were, indeed, using ProAc speakers as nearfield monitors for their DAWs.

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I used the ProAc Tablettes as nearfield monitors because that is how I do a lot of my critical listening. Professional mastering engineers also do much of their work in a similar set-up. As I've written many times in the past, the advantages of nearfield critical listening are multifold. First nearfield listening vastly reduces a room's contributions to harmonic and dynamic non-linearity that can alter a listener's aural perception of the final mix. Also nearfield listening allows a small two-way speaker, such as the ProAc, to operate in its optimal SPL range so there is less strain and distortion due to extreme driver excursions and the sonic limitations as a result of those extreme excursions.

There are some audiophiles who think they know more than anyone else. You can find them on certain audiophile sites, lauding over the electronic field like a troll hiding under their favorite bridge, ready to smite anyone who dares to affront them with an opinion that differs from their own myopic view of the audio world. They are also one of the reasons that audiophiles are a vanishing breed - because no one in their right mind would want to be associated with this kind of negative crap. 

Thankfully there are some sites that are friendly and offer a wide range of opinions without the hostility. Both Head-Fi and Audio Circle offer spirited debate without a high troll count. Let the crazies gouge each other's eyes out - life is too short to deal with bitter old trolls.

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