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Ignorance Masquerading as Knowledge

Steven Stone takes on a troll…



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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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