What It Means To Be An Audiophile

Discussion in 'Musical Goodness' started by admin, Oct 4, 2013.

  1. admin Audioholics Robot Staff Member

    admin
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    As a life-long music lover who often looks for ways to combine my avocation as a drummer/percussionist with my vocation as an electrical engineer, I'm often asked “What does it mean to be an audiophile?â€. The fact is, music is so ingrained in my life that it means EVERYTHING; I think about it morning, noon, and night! Let me take you on a tour of my audio evolution, listening habits, and equipment tweaks I've made throughout the years as well upgrades I plan in the future. An audiophiles work is never done!
    [​IMG]

    Discuss "What It Means To Be An Audiophile" here. Read the article.
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  2. ratso Full Audioholic

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    i would never call myself (or be) a racist. or a homophobe. or an audiophile.
  3. Ponzio Audioholic General

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    Then pray tell, what are you doing here? :confused:
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  4. ImcLoud Audioholic Ninja

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    very nice article...
    I don't consider myself a true "audiophile" since I don't get crazy about the measurements and room corrections (while they are obviously an important part of the experience), I put much more stock in what I hear..
    I play guitar and also live with music as a huge part of my life. If I do the math I spend more time listening to music than any other non essential function of my life... I find just as much satisfaction in choosing and setting up the equipment as I do listening to it, I enjoy all aspects of it from tube and turntable to solid state and i-pods. After a long time listening I have found the sound I look for, bass heavy, strong mids, and a warm, laid back overall projection. You give me a decent speaker with a ribbon or soft tweeter, a pair of fast sealed subs, with about 110% too much power on standby and I can listen until I can't keep my eyes open anymore. I love all types of music {not super crazy about the new "hip hop / country" stuff}, love live concerts, and recorded live tracks are some of my favorites (something pure about an artist on stage performing for an audience vs. in an egg crate covered glass box singing into a filtered mic...}

    So like I said, not really an audiophile, but definitely addicted to music and its components, I listen all day at work, when ever I am driving, and for at least 3 hours a night at hime, we play music while we eat dinner, shower, and sometimes I will leave a playlist on repeat while I am sleeping...
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2013
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  5. Stanton Audioholics Contributing Writer

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    Thanks! I had no idea what the response would be when Gene asked me to write about it...Stanton
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  6. Lulimet Full Audioholic

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    Slight correction, DVD stands for Digital Versatile Disc ;)
  7. ImcLoud Audioholic Ninja

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    We all got here some how and its nice to hear someone else's story, I personally think some people get too caught up in what a computer program an microphone tell them sounds good while a lot of other people get caught up in what popular opinions dictates, we can all learn a lot from out own ears sometimes, get out there and listen, go to audio shoppes {they love talking about this stuff, and normally have time to spend with you, buy a cd on your way out if you feel guilty about demoing with no intention to buy rite then} and spend some time listening to "your" music on different speakers... Funny story, when I built my front parlors 2.2 system she wanted small speakers and invisible would have been even better, but now she comes with me to demo speakers and her favorites are the maggie 3.7's which are monstrous, lol..... But anyway that is why I wont buy an omni mic, I almost talked my self into it a bunch of times, but I think it will ruin it for me...
  8. cpp Audioholic Field Marshall

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    I place myself as a music lover and a person that enjoys the music regardless of the cost of the equipment.
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    cpp,
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  9. Irvrobinson Audioholic Ninja

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    I can understand Ratso's sentiment. To many people an audiophile is someone who believes in the snake oil aspects of the hobby. I admit that when someone asks me about my hobby I tell them I'm into "high performance audio".
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  10. fuzz092888 Audioholic Warlord

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    I enjoyed the article. It's always interesting to hear how someone got started and their journey through life with the hobby.

    Audiophile

    noun

    1. A hi-fi enthusiast
  11. ImcLoud Audioholic Ninja

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    As far as the "snake oil" I say " to each his own", if someone wants to spend their money on overpriced gadgets and gizmos to make their system sound "better' to them, then so be it, that is their business... I chalk it up to the placebo effect, I have seen it work in medicine so why can't it work with audio video... My brother swears his tv looks better since he separated his Power and signal cables, to me it looks identical. It took him around 3 hours to get it all separate and probably cost him $100 or so in odds and ends, so if it makes him feel better about the system, I say it was worth it, would I do it? No, I run my power and signal cables separate ussually because it works out that way in the rack and makes things easier, but to go way out of my way to make it happen is not going to happen...
  12. ratso Full Audioholic

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    and i would agree with that. except, the trickle down effect kills all of us. it is why we all are spending $2000 for a "reasonably" priced monoblock that cost probably one tenth of that to build. it has become a snobby elitist hobby. try going on any two channel message board and suggesting that you probably can't hear a difference by using a $500 power cord to plug in your amplifier and you will be shouted down by the zealots. i would rather not be associated with such types. and i come here because most people here are not self professed "audiophiles", they are simply people that enjoy good music and have some common sense about it.
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  13. Ponzio Audioholic General

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    I stand corrected after reviewing some of the responses to this thread and my apologies to ratso. I guess I’m not a “true” audiophile either since I will never add a tube amp or own a SPL meter. I’m a music collector, first and foremost, played at the cleanest and most dynamic way possible, all the live long day. I have quite a few friends who are also collectors but are totally oblivious/jaded to the sound quality, which completely baffles me. They acknowledge that even my budget audio gear sounds better than anything they own but they feel no need upgrade their equipment even though they have the money to do so; it’s just not a priority for them. Go figure. It drives me nuts when I go over to socialize, we’re listening to some new tunes, which are well recorded/produced, and it sounds like shite. All the while they are trying to get me to buy a new iPhone 5 or whatever. :eek: Like I said, go figure. :cool:
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  14. BoredSysAdmin Audioholic Warlord

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    I think the term audiophile got way too stained by swarms of faux and insanly overpriced audio products, but I humbly aspire to be an audioholic :)
    Which for me means to get best possible audio experience with the least investment.
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  15. STRONGBADF1 Audioholic Spartan

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    I still need to read the article but my definition of audiophile is: Someone who listens to music they really don't care for because it was recorded better.
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  16. ImcLoud Audioholic Ninja

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    I don't think all audiophiles are hell bent on spending the most possible on items that couldn't matter less, I guess we all have different definitions in mind as to what an "audiophile" really is... To me its someone that enjoys quality sound, I have heard $500 systems that sound awesome and I have also heard $18K systems that sound terrible, I don't think the definition has anything to do with cost of equipment, just that it is well thought out and setup...

    Take me for example, my bedroom system consists of a Red Project turntable, a D1 dac, a 40w tube amplifier, and a pair of Tekton Lores {red}, {also some red speaker cables I made and a couple pairs of red headphones, for good measure...}.... While the system sounds very good {I love it with live music tracks} I could have easily put something together for much less than $3000 that sounds much better, but because it was going in the bedroom and I wanted something "classy" looking with a little attitude, I spent the extra and settled for less performance, but everyone that sees it is most impressed with its looks vs my other systems that sound much cleaner and more accurate... I do spend a good amount of time listening to it and do enjoy it for what it is...

    So not everything has to be aimed towards the absolute "best" sound, enjoy the aesthetics and the attitude of the equipment, after all it is like furniture in our homes... I own 3 cars and 2 motorcycles that where made before my parents were born, not because they drive great, are great on gas, or super fast, its because they are nice to look at and I feel good when I drive/ride them...

    The Audio hobby is for entertainment, if you are entertained by $500 speaker cables and magical filter boxes than so be it, I won't blame you for "driving up" costs, that would be silly, if a company wants to charge 10 times more because someone will pay it, than that is not your fault, its mine for considering paying it.. There will always be a company like emotiva that comes along and sells for a fair price. Blaming the consumer or distributor is not the rite thing to do, that is like blaming the guy that drives a $190K Benz for me not being able to afford one, not too responsible, is it?

    Think about it this way, you buy what you can afford {if you are smart}, you buy the best sounding system in your budget by comparing and using your likes and dislikes to make the decision Sound, aesthetics, customer service, warranty, product history, availability all have an effect on your decision, so you factor them all in, conscious or not... You get the system bought, set up, and play your music, you are happy with it, happy about the speaker cables, happy about the sound, and how it looks on your tv stand. You enjoy it when ever you play it but you are always looking for the next upgrade... You are an audiophile, whether your budget was a dollar or a million dollars, no where in the definition does it say anything about money... Just enjoy the system and the sound, I wouldn't want the guy with $500 cables judging my home made cables, so I won't judge his....
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  17. panteragstk Audioholic Chief

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    Good explanation.
  18. wiyosaya Audioholic

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    I have a friend who purchased the top of the line either new or used in each equipment category about two years ago now. I've wanted to get over to listen to his system, however, due to personal responsibilities that I have had to tend to, I have not been able to get over there yet. He bought his speakers without listening to a pair first. Recently, he told me that his system is no fun anymore.

    Somehow, I do not consider that an audiophile.

    I carefully chose my equipment, and only bought my speakers after a careful, in-store comparison with other models from other companies and a comparison between the lower end and mid-range speakers within the same company. My emphasis was on great sound. In my comparison between speakers from the same manufacturer yet in different price ranges, I found some material sounded better on the higher end speakers, while some material sounded better on the lower end speakers. Because of that difference in sound, I picked the lower end speakers as to me, they were a better value.

    I have also shied away from Elite or ES series components when specs were similar to the lower end models. I have never been disappointed with my purchases.

    In addition, I had an ES cassette deck that died on me a few years back. I was referred to a service center. I got into a conversation with the owner of the service center, and he showed me the inside of an of an ES CD player. There was a relatively large block of iron inside the chassis, and I was told that that was the only difference between the ES model and the lower end model. To me, if you have unlimited pockets, it is easy to have someone sell you a block of iron for many orders of magnitude times the cost of the block of iron.

    I think it highly unlikely that I would consider any of the speakers pictured in this article. The bling factor is far too high for me, and I would expect that if I compared them to other manufacture's models of much less cost, I would almost certainly prefer the non-bling models. Perhaps some components that specialize in bling do actually sound better, and if that is the case, then I have no objection to someone purchasing them since they have the superior sound.

    To me, an audiophile is someone who puts together a fantastic sounding system after careful consideration of the components and understands that there are companies out there that specialize in bling in the audio world yet refuses, through critical listening tests, to be sold on bling or the idea that because it costs the most, it has to be the best.
  19. ImcLoud Audioholic Ninja

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    I think you are still getting too caught up on cost, while it has nothing to do with it. Don't get me wrong snake oil is snake oil, I personally never seen a piece of iron in a device {what brand was that?} but if the purchaser preferred the sound of that unit, be it placebo or performance, than so be it...

    You can definitely build a great system on a low budget, a pair of andrew jones bookshelfs and a small tripath amp with an ipod shuffle will sound really good and cost you the same amount as dinner at a fancy restaurant, but even though that system sounds good, you spend double that amount and you can get some ascend 170s that sound better, you spend double that amount and a pair of sierras with a larger amp will sound even better, than a few hundred more and you can add a sub and sound better, and then another sub, and then a pair of phil 3's, and then maybe some sonus bookshelfs and a pair of rythmic sealed subs, ect.. I have listened to a ton of equipment in my home, others homes, tons of store fronts, and more hotel rooms than I care to admit {if you ever been to a tour show or any of the big shows you know what I am talking about, lol}, and I can honestly say the more you spend the more you get.

    NOW to me, there is a point where the money meets the map, I put together a system for a friend {and then others bought the identical setup}, the guts of it was a pair of ascend sierra towers, a pair of hsu uls15 subs, XSP1 preamp, and an XPA2 amplifier that can all be had for under $6000 and I can tell you first hand it is impressive and I would compare it to any system I have ever heard at any price. So to me, to this day, if I was in the market for another 2.2 that is what I would build, now my larger 2.2 with the evo2-40s sounds great and Im not in a hurry to change it, but maybe 5 years down the line I will feel differently.
    My point is, if you listen enough you will differentiate what you don't like and what you do, if you don't like the fancy cables and the fancy finishes {because imo they fall into the same category "Vanity"} than that is what you like, if you like nice finishes, the floor spikes, 100lb amplifiers, and speaker cables thicker than your finger with cloth covers and billet aluminum separators even though it will not effect sound than so be it, either way you in my opinion are an audiophile...
  20. Rich Davis Enthusiast

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    There is a very simple explaination of what an Audiophile is

    The dictionary's definition is someone that's a hi-fi enthusiast. That's all it is. Someone that enjoys a nice system to play back recordings in a manner where it's reproducing a recording to a level that is enjoyed by the listener.
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