HARBETH: Alan Shaw in conversation with Howard Popeck

Hello Alan and thank you for finding the time to respond to the following question: Why is there such diversity between audiophile values and the audio engineering establishment's values?

"This can be explained by an almost total lack of appreciation that physics - basic high school physics - governs every single aspect of audio bar none. Once that connection between cause and effect is severed, the void is filled with half truths, total misunderstanding and above all, the very human desire to be guided by emotional 'feelings'. This non-science illogicality is served-up at every turn to the consumer, and the result, whilst doubtless good for the audio business in the short term, has guaranteed the eventual extinction of an industry. Youngsters are not inclined to buy-into the cult of audiophilia with its expensive, bizarre and irrational rituals, any more than they are attracted to spending time and money with Harley Street physicians.

The media, collectively, have acquiesced by holding themselves up as the substitute for science and logic. Anyone serious about quality audio equipment should invest a few evenings on-line learning the basics of how the ear works. So armed, they'd be in a far, far better position to grade and select audio equipment."