What are your thoughts about audio gurus?

This depends on your definition of gurus, but for those implying they possess magical powers concerning designing or repairing audio gear, I advise you to slowly back away and then run when safe to do so!


Audio gurus are generally associated with pseudoscience and nonsense, often claiming magical powers through ‘secret’ wiring skills, ‘special’ ultra-bad construction techniques and dollops of mystical horse-$hit. Goodness knows there’s enough bogus nonsense in this world. What’s needed is sound, reliable, fact/experience/science-based sources of information.

A heavily criticised lifestyle rather than audio guru, but you get the idea.

A customer very kindly told me that he thought I “work magic on turntables.” This is lovely feedback (thanks Rod), but nothing I do is even remotely magical. I’m anti-guru, anti-BS and pro-science and pro-expertise.

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, or white beard (yet). You might consider me knowledgable or skilled, but I have no special powers, I’m not a guru, and I don’t claim to be better than anyone else. I’m competent in my sphere of operation and learning all the time. There’s a big difference.

Audio Guru BS

There are self-proclaimed audio gurus 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 a good technician to look at them when they don’t work properly, break or break something else in your system! Been there, never again, I refuse all such garbage as a blanket rule.

Let me help you identify these people so you can save yourself time and money. These audio guru – ie audio numpty – utterings should ring alarm bells:

  • Precision instruments, tools, soldering equipment etc are “unnecessary”
  • Technical documentation is unnecessary
  • Cables either don’t matter or matter more than life itself and must be made by gurus
  • Neatness and precision are “over-rated”
  • Build quality is also over-rated
  • Build quality does matter, but our gear looks so bad because it has been “modified by someone else”
  • Engineering, science, measurement etc are overrated
  • The more terribly wired something is the more skillfully wired it is
  • Properly engineered, name-brand products are no good or part of a “conspiracy”
  • Calling out poorly made equipment or terrible repairers is somehow “bad”
  • The best cables are directional and need special magic supports
  • Guru-made gear is essential to reach audio nirvana, etc, etc

You’ll note the pattern of ‘guru thinking’ here: all the critically important things like care, effort, neatness, knowledge and skill, don’t seem to matter to these guys, and yes, they are always guys. This thinking is beyond stupid, it’s idiocy. I won’t share details of the conversations my colleagues and I have about such things, but you can guess the gist.

Ask anyone with real expertise and skill if quality parts, tools and neat work are overrated. Ask someone working in the aerospace industry if wiring neatness and tool quality “matter”. I don’t know how those pedalling BS like this survive, but people are gullible and these gurus prey on folks like this.

Scroll to Top