This question was recently raised about a set of consumer hi-fi amp and speakers. While most hi-fi/home audio questions are off topic because most of the field is unrelated to production and is often highly opinion based, this particular question has a clear and solid technical foundation which is largely in common with production amp concerns.

While a non-production question can sometimes be made production oriented in cases where the concepts are exactly the same, in this case, there are likely subtle differences in the way a consumer amp works vs a production amp (notably the muting described.)

This prevents the question from being re-written to avoid talking about consumer gear, however do we still want to allow questions like this that avoid most of the pitfalls of hi-fi and are solidly based in relevant theory for production uses or do we want to keep a strict line of off-topicness for non-production uses for clarity's sake?

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    I'm generally cautiously in favor of adding in stuff like this, since the solutions appeal to the audience if not the question itself, but I do feel like there should be a limit, and I can't put my finger on where I think that should be. I like interesting audio setup questions but I don't want to become the catch-all site for home theater questions. Commented Dec 17, 2014 at 21:54

2 Answers 2


I have no idea what kind of a forum you guys are trying to cultivate here - but if that question is on topic, it sure isn't sound design.


I think it is probably ok to leave it open. While it does add a little bit of grey area, we already deal in a whole lot of grey on this site. I think the key distinction is avoiding being highly opinion based and keeping it relevant to the skills and knowledge a production sound designer or engineer would have.

This would leave things like speaker and amp selection for home theater off topic, but would allow for some level of diagnostics at the level of basic amplifier and speaker function. It would still leave home theater receiver troubleshooting off topic as this is a strictly consumer focused device. It would only extend the on-topicness to areas that are direct conceptual overlaps.

  • I think this specific one works. If others meet the strong criteria you have outlined then i think they can fit. I would imagine they will be of no interest to the sound design sub-community though
    – Rory Alsop Mod
    Commented Dec 16, 2014 at 20:51

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