Gravity doesn't care

July 18, 2022
 by Paul McGowan

Gravity doesn't care if you believe in it or not. You're not going to float free into space.

You can jump up and down and claim it's a conspiracy to limit your personal freedom of movement, but in the end, gravity just doesn't care.

And the same can be said about our own sport. High-end audio produces results that are demonstrably better than any mid-fi stereo system whether you believe that or not.

It really doesn't matter what the Best Buy salesperson tells you about the latest high-technology receiver or the know-it-all self-proclaimed expert that swears it's true that cables do not matter.

The truth just doesn't care.

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34 comments on “Gravity doesn't care”

  1. My living room doesn’t care if the IRSVs are the best line-source loudspeakers in the world. These and other beasts simply don’t fit into my living room! 🙂 Same „problem“ with some giant pick-ups. My garage is too small. And finally what is the use of a „better“ loudspeaker if the room acoustics don’t match? The „better“ sound will not be audible at all - quite in contrast!

  2. For someone who used to have separates, I now have a house full of high-technology receiver systems. 28 of them at the last count, from 3 different manufacturers. Every one of them can operate wirelessly, only one has external speakers. They are all Roon Ready. Most are also voice controlled. It is more a matter of “different”, not “better”, because they can be used for static stereo, home cinema, ambient, immersive stereo, partying and in the garden.

    The problem with gravity as we know it on our planet is that it is 2-dimensional. Up or down. Chez moi, I don’t want anyone to be able to listen to anything, anywhere, at the same time, from any device, using the same system. Call it multi-dimensional, call it escaping gravity.

  3. I do love the way that many things in nature humble humanity.
    People can whinge & bitch & moan about something for as
    long as they like but that 'something' couldn't give a Rat's arse.
    Earthquakes, floods, volcanic eruptions, tornadoes, tsunamis,
    tidal waves, violent ambient temperature fluctuations, rising
    sea levels, global warming, micro-plastics & home-audio
    cables that sound different...oh, I nearly forgot, DEATH.

    How significant do you feel now...little humans?
    Thank you James Webb telescope for showing us
    exactly how tiny & insignificant we really are 😉

    1. I was informed by the BBC that the Carina Nebula is nearby, so I was thinking of a trip as it looks very pretty. I now find out it's as far away as 6 million solar systems side by side. The first Webb image that really was a long way away, even by BBC standards, turns out to be 1.5 million times as far away as Carina. I reckon there must be some really cool hifi systems out there. We are indeed but a grain of sand in a desert, as even that might be overstating our significance.

      1. It would seem that the more we explore to look for
        answers the more questions are thrown up in front of us.
        A large chunk of today's youth would rather spend their
        money on plastic surgery than on great music reproduction
        ...wait 'till gravity catches up with them 😎

      2. Your comment brings to mind what someone wrote several thousand years ago. "When I look at the night sky and see the work of your fingers-the moon and the stars that you set in place-what are mere mortals that you should think about them, human beings that you should care for them?" (Psalm 8:3&4)

  4. It’s like with “differences”. Differences don’t care if one hears them in his setup and with his ears or not. They exist as soon as someone with his ears and setup really hears them. They just don’t play a role for those who don’t (which rarely keeps them from generalizing statements about the non-existence of them 😉 )

  5. Nobody disputes gravity. Just because you say you hear a difference doesn't make it the truth either. You can say you hear all kinds of things, doesn't make it so.

    1. Correct, but lying is something I’d put out of the current argumentation. If we can just talk about things we get notarized or measured, we’d better not start at all.

    2. Would that it were so - I personally am acquainted with (at least) 2 people who dispute the reality of Gravity.
      All tied up with various literal Flat Earth theories.
      I have tried, politely and with the offer of diagrams, to explain why their objections are wrong, to no avail.
      I don't bother any more 🙂

      Mind you these folks (and one or two others) have tried to dispute Evolution with me too...

  6. Strat makes a good point. Gravity doesn't depend on our perceptions, biases and emotions. After we change a component or employ a tweak, the placebo effect will cause us to hear changes that do not objectively exist. Complex processes are at work in the brain, releasing endorphins, changing our perceptions. After a tweak, my system really will sound better to me, but that could be because my brain chemistry has made it so. It's complicated, and hard to know the truth.

    Like taking hallucinogens. You might feel as if gravity has changed, that you're either lighter or heavier, maybe even that you're floating. It's fun. That's one of the reasons we like our hobby -- it makes us feel good even though we might not be accomplishing anything objectively. But we don't get that good feeling all the time. Sometimes it's a bad trip. And yet we keep coming back to try again because intermittent positive reinforcement is a powerful training method.

  7. If someone hears a difference that is true for them. If someone else doesn’t that is their truth. Individually, to themselves they are both correct.
    The experiment begins with those that hear a difference forming one queue and those that don’t another. Those that can’t decide can just mingle around muttering to one another.
    At the end of the experiment the longest queue wins, we have found the truth. (eye roll emoji)
    The conclusion we can draw from this is, at no time during the experiment will one side convince the other that they are wrong.

  8. " know-it-all self-proclaimed expert that swears it’s true that cables do not matter."


    " know-it-all self-proclaimed expert that swears it’s true that cables do matter.

    1. Well we know, nobody can prove the earth is no disc, as pictures from outa space could be manipulated.

      Not only in the US we live in a world where everyone can make his truth and find enough followers 😉

    2. Knowing that cables do actually sound different, the real question lies in the subjective results of "better" and will that $5,000.00 interconnect sound "better" than a cable that costs $1.00 a foot. I think we easily dismiss and overlook that there is a synergy between items being connected, and we replace that interaction with a judgment that places the cost of the item over the actual performance. (i.e. the cost of the cable determines how much "better" it will sound over the lower cost choice)

  9. Thanks Paul, it's true... Truth just doesn't care.

    I've used that line many times as a live recording engineer! My recording of that performance was frozen Truth. What ever you chose to do with it can not change that. My other favorite saying..."Truth is Stranger than Fiction"!

    When I fade to black, that performance is in the air, only a memory and an imperfect recording survive. Still, I'm glad to have it and if it's worth while, I'll listen to it again.

    Some of my favorite "Live Records" are mostly not live!

    David W Hewitt

  10. First, High-end audio is not a sport, it is a hobby.

    Physics can explain a lot of things like gravity, mechanics, electricity and magnetism, how transistors work, how vacuum tubes work, etc. Physics cannot, however, explain why some people prefer the sound of Maggies to Apogees to FR30's to Magico, to Wilson Audio speakers or that some people hear no difference between any of these speakers.

    It is when we confuse factual things with subjective things that we get in trouble.

  11. If the earth were flat, cats would have pushed everything off of it by now.

    I had a conversation with a guy on Facebook a while back who contended that the sun was not a ball of flame, and the moon was not a reflective light source but had a source of its own.
    We discussed a little further and I bowed out of the conversation because it wasn’t worth the time.

  12. Last night I watched another rerun of the Ed Sullivan show on MeTV. Each time I am reminded of how the now-celibrated rock and pop bands visually debued to the Nation in yesteryear on shows like ES and American Bandstand. Such horrible, monophonic audio and fuzzy B&W visual images, and yet the performers and their music still managed to captivate audiences. No one turned away from their televisions because of poor audio mixing, camera techniques or broadcast quality.

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