I keep hearing about local audio gurus – what are your thoughts?

This somewhat depends on your definition of the word guru, but if anyone implies possession of any magic or special powers, I advise you to steer well clear!

Gurus are generally associated with pseudoscience and nonsense but there’s already enough bullsh%t in this world. What we all need is sound, reliable, fact and experience-based help and that’s certainly what we provide here at Liquid Audio.

A customer very kindly told me that he reckons I “Work magic on turntables.” This is awesome feedback (thanks Rod), but as I told him, nothing I do is even remotely magical. The results I achieve come from a scientific foundation and an understanding of what to do and how to do it. There’s no magic, snake oil, white beard (yet) or strange cables. You might consider me competent or even an expert on certain topics, but I have no special powers, just competence. There’s a big difference!

There are self-proclaimed audio gurus here in Perth and everywhere. They generally propagate snake oil, nonsense and badly made hi-fi gear. If you want to buy a homemade valve amp or guru-made cables, that’s OK, but don’t expect any of the better repairers you should be using to work on them when they don’t sound very good, don’t work properly, break or break something else in your system!

Here are some typical audio guru/audio numpty utterings that should ring alarm bells:

  • Precision instruments, tools, soldering equipment etc are “unnecessary”
  • Technical documentation is unnecessary
  • Cables either don’t matter or must be made by a guru
  • Neatness and precision are over-rated
  • It doesn’t matter how it’s built if it works
  • Engineering, science, measurement etc are overrated (seeing a pattern here..?)
  • Properly engineered, name-brand products are no good or part of a conspiracy
  • The best cables are directional and need special supports
  • Guru-made tube amps and full-range speakers are the only way to go

Ask anyone with real expertise if quality parts, tools and neat work are overrated..!