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BLOG #11. “Why Do We Need to Tear Truth’s Protective Layers, and How We Can Do This – In Anticipation Of “Hi-Fi & High End Show -2016””

A year ago we showed our StereoPravda SPearphones and DACCA unit for the first time at the Moscow “Hi-Fi & High End Show-2015” (by the way, in Russian, a word “pravda” stands for “truth”).

Our demo table was stuck in the farthest corner of so called “The Vinyl Show”. As its sight scared off the vast majority of the younger show visitors, so, with an exception of just a few determined portable enthusiasts who came to seek us out, we were reached mostly by the idly wondering “vinyl dinosaurs” who, like all dinosaurs, feeling that they’re on a brink of extinction, didn’t care much about anything, let alone our wares.

The only power to stir their jaded mojos and to start them to salivate was the evolutionary power behind their extinction: like, a power released in a “vinyl junkie” with just a look at a “first press” vinyl copy of a backward Led Zeppelin album for a price of mere five thousand dollars (demonstrating the sweep of sporadic bursts of amplitude of that negative force).

Nevertheless, that experience pushed us further along our learning curve.

Those visitors who tore through “the Vinyl (Show)’s” protective layer and auditioned our demos reacted very positively, including the experienced “head-fiers” who were touting their own expensive stuff before our noses.

Even if they openly acknowledged the sonic superiority of our equipment over their own gear, the most of them left the show without any “future notice”.

My previous Blogs already dealt with the phenomenon of our potential customers’ general lack of interest to some new concepts, which, by the way, is heavily supported by the Consumer Electronics industry to push its existing gear.

But this narrow minded disposition towards pure rational conservatism is, obviously, not just a CE thing.
As Einstein put it: “The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift”.

Considering that even to operate a rational mind a typical customer needs a lot of specialized knowledge, which he, obviously, lacks, the CE companies, instead of educating its customers, struck the path of the least resistance: to manipulate the customer base in their own interests with some superficial charms (like vinyl records), and some meaningless data (like, taken out-of-context “very even frequency response” of a product).
And why to bother? The vast majority of existing customers, in their “innocent” insistence on illiteracy, are completely unaware of it. They, actually, would love to stay permanently “charmed” and wouldn’t see a difference between meaningful and meaningless data anyway.
It seems that they are not even sure about which type of data is the cost of a product.

That’s why we ended up with being even not surprised that at the show not a single visitor asked us any “right questions”: for instance, about our background, or, if there are any new ideas or new approaches behind our products.
All the questions we were confronted with during the show were targeted at getting the answers which would prove one or another visitor’s accumulated set of prejudices.

As a typical example, one guy called me up a few days after the show with an enquiry on the solder we use in our earphone production. He seemed to apply his audio knowledge base to the sound of our earphones and inferred that their sound quality is mostly due to the influence of that solder (which, in reality, can’t be further from the truth).

When a customer can not sort out rationally the available data on his own his only option left is to rely upon his intuition.
But intuition is born out of vast personal experience, so we end up with a “chicken and egg” scenario, right?
And, at first glance, there is no simple solution how to escape this cul-de-sac…

Actually, the situation is not as hopelss as it might seem: there is always a very productive opportunity to resort to so called "connected knowledge".
The vector directed at this type of knowledge still requires an intuition, although of a different kind: the one which mobilizes not a specific set of rational data and skills, but some “gut feelings” regarding a human contact.

Because as an opposite of the “separate”, i.e. the “objective” knowledge, which is based on some 100%- proved explanations, the efficiency of the “connected” knowledge relies on 100% of trust in the direction of that vector.

“Connected” knowledge is what George Gurdjieff meant in his quote: “A man can only attain knowledge with the help of those who possess it. This must be understood from the very beginning. One must learn from him who knows”.

The guy with the “solder” question never came back.
Probably, because the mark of the solder I gave to him is not the same as the one which he thinks “should work”.
So, according to his system of rational believes, I don’t possess the right knowledge, therefore, I don’t have his trust, therefore, despite his positive impressions while actually auditioning our products at the show, nevertheless, by default, our products can not be any good.

And as all the choices in the CE industry are delegated to the customer by definition, he’s not even suggested by anybody that there could be another system of believes that is based on “more solid grounds” than just the rationale at such a low level of a purchasing decision.
The specialized media sings the same mantra: “Go yourself, take an auditioning, and after that make your own decision”.

In the “solder guy” example he, apparently, could have continued to use his rational decision skills with checking all the facts about my background, my past accomplishments, my writing portfolio, etc. And after that he would, possibly, treat my opinion with more respect.
But that would take a lot of efforts, so, no wonder, that only a few are capable of doing that.

Then the questions are: does our company fail with some of the guys like the “solder guy” because we fail to project a convincing impression with our level of expertise so they can appreciate it (constantly adjusting it, so, if necessary, we can decent on the level of supporting their interest in conversing on importance of solder as a defining characteristic of our products), or do we fail due to their denial of their own gut feelings about out intentions and our level of expertize (prompted and cultivated by some outside forces, as there is no easy way to digitize and fit the feelings in some ready made marketing equations)?

Even if we still don’t have the answers to these questions, but what I am absolutely sure about is that the worst consequence of such a slothful customer attitude towards its purchasing decisions creates a feedback loop to the manufacturers’ community that can get away with producing the products with the sonic quality completely relying on such an attitude.

The “complexity distance” from our “miniscule” earphone project to the “Moonlanding” mission is as huge as a distance from the Earth to our closest planet.
Nevertheless, it’s useful to know that, according to Neal Armstrong’s quote, {in a context of what made the Moon mission possible} “There are great ideas to be discovered, breakthroughs available to those who can remove one of Truth Protective layers. There are places to go beyond belief”.

The general lack of even a desire to have aspirations to create new ideas and to positively respond to them (and a general suspicion that anybody can have ones) is my biggest impression from spending four days while demonstrating our gear next to “the vinyl dinosaurs” colony at the last year’s hi-fi show in the “Aquarium” hotel. 


 





Unfortunately, at that show Einstein’s observation about our society's attitude towards intuition happened to be proved again, Gurdjiev’s recommendation on “connected” knowledge still didn’t show up on our customers’ “radar screens”, and Neil Armstrong’s legacy was nowhere to be seen…

So what’s next?..
After the total extinction of Vinylius Tyrannosaurus Rex subspecies we will see the total extinction of the whole Audiophilus homo sapiens specie?..

I deliberately used the above quotes from the outstanding people as if I would bring these common sense ideas to the discussion as my own, as it happened on numerous occasions in the past, they could be easily dismissed as my own personal (and prejudiced) opinions.

Even if these impressions fully correlate with completely blown up state of High End Audio’s degradation, which not only me, but everybody else, could easily see and feel at the last year’s Moscow hi-fi show.

So, if we all really want to prevent complete extinction of high performance audio to happen in the nearest future, then the quotes above, in my opinion, show the only way for the salvation.

13.03.2016 // Author:  (Bigmisha) // Number of views:  725

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