Are you an "audiophile"?

Discussion in 'Music' started by gene c, Jul 9, 2006.

  1. gene c

    gene c Producer

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    I'd like to be. Could I be? Maybe I am? But I don't think so. How about you? Are you an audiophile? If so, stand up and be counted. And what is your definition of an audiophile? Is it the cost of your gear? Your knowledge? A way of life, or just an old fashioned pat on the back?
     
  2. Kevin C Brown

    Kevin C Brown Producer

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    I think "audiophile" can be a neutral term for a person simply interested in quality playback of audio at *any* price point. The goal is to maximize bang for the buck, no matter how many bucks are spent. [​IMG]

    So in that case, I do consider myself an "audiophile".

    However, I definitely do not consider myself part of the High End. Some of the (sometimes) snootier publications even capitalize that! IMO, the "High End" is full of people who only believe that you have to spend tons of moneys on speaker wire and interconnects and Shakti Stones and Vibrapods in addition to the gear itself to get good sound. And if you aren't part of their "club", they won't even acknowledge your existence except to belittle you and your system. [​IMG]
     
  3. gene c

    gene c Producer

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    I do try and get the most for my money but that's because I'm cheap. But the amount of tweaking I do just to get that little extra from what I have is almost enough for me to qualify. However, I don't think I know enough about all of this yet so, for now, I'll still think of myself as an apprentice.
     
  4. Stu Rosen

    Stu Rosen Second Unit

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    I know I'm not. I have a nice enough system, could afford a lot better, and don't care to. I'm a software person, true and true. And if, like me, you're more into old R&B, early rock and pre-rock, there's just so much and nothing more that a system can do to polish those old chestnuts - and you can make an argument that the last thing they need is polishing.

    In other words, I've never fallen for any music that falls into the "show off my system" category. If I did, maybe a better system would mean more to me.
     
  5. cathy_valliere

    cathy_valliere Auditioning

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    I agree with Stu. I'm not one yet. I love my music and how it plays where I want it to play. Right now, it's on my computers. So, I guess I could be sometime soon if I upgraded the sound part of my systems. But, my goal right now is to determine if I only want to gear up on computer. Since not many people "visit" to see my system, it's only for me and my husband, who also wants to gear up the system with a better sound system.

    So, maybe I'm also an apprentice, but not a full-one yet.
     
  6. Phil A

    Phil A Producer

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    I probably fit the category. I set-up my main system for music 1st. When I have free time, I'll usually try something to tweak the system and compare it to what I am currently using. I can listen to music I like as just background but can't stand a bad recording when I critically listen to stuff.
     
  7. Lee Scoggins

    Lee Scoggins Producer

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    "IMO, the "High End" is full of people who only believe that you have to spend tons of moneys on speaker wire and interconnects and Shakti Stones and Vibrapods in addition to the gear itself to get good sound."

    Kevin,

    I don't think this is a fair description of the High End community. I think many of us believe that price can be very irrelevant to where good sound is found. Anyone with experience has seen numerous budget level components create terrific sound. As for the voodoo of Shakti and other stuff, I think most are pretty suspicious of new tweaks unless there is some scientific grounding.

    I consider myself an audiophile since I seek out the best masterings of CDs, LPs, and SACDs. I want to become more involved in the music by getting closer to the master tape.
     
  8. dany

    dany Supporting Actor

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    If your never happy with what you have your an audiophile.
     
  9. Garrett Lundy

    Garrett Lundy Producer

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    I'm on my way. Right now I'm at the "collecting vast sums of music" stage. I'll worry about $7000 CD transports in a few more years.
     
  10. Brian L

    Brian L Cinematographer

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    What KCB said....

    I am always looking to improve the sound of my systems, but that does not extend to all the voodoo that is out there.

    I actually get the biggest kick when I get great sound out of high quality budget gear, carefully chosen and set-up.

    Brian
     
  11. JediFonger

    JediFonger Producer

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    as long as you don't have a bose "system" or a HT in a box, you're an "audiophile" & i worship you! i grovel at your...

    okay, seriously though =). i think there's really a fine line between people who care enough to buy speakers that cover the midranges vs. people that buy speakers to "fit the decor".
     
  12. Kevin C Brown

    Kevin C Brown Producer

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    Lee- I'm not actually sure where you're disagreeing with me. [​IMG] But ...


    I read Stereophile religiously, but it is rare to have a piece of equipment that is reviewed outside of its relationship to price. Just go through Stereophile's list of recommended gear. And the Absolute Sound (which I got a free subscription to) is even worse in this regard. Stereophile at least publishes test results where a lot of times the reader can come to their own conclusions in relation to the review text itself.
     
  13. MarkHastings

    MarkHastings Executive Producer

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    I would think that at least the low end of 'audiofile' would be those of us who:

    -Buy components (i.e. speakers and recievers) separately.
    -Are concerned with speaker placement
    -Are concerned about (and purchase) quality cables and connections (i.e. Digital connections)
    -Adjust levels and EQ's to obtain the best sound from the systems we have
    -etc

    As far as purchasing expensive equipment, according to the definition of an Audiophile, you only need the DESIRE and PASSION to want the best, it doesn't necessarily mean you have to OWN the best.
     
  14. andrew markworthy

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    I think that there are two basic meanings of the word 'audiophile':

    (1) In the most sensible use of the word, it's someone who is concerned to get the optimum sound for the money available. Such a person isn't snobbish.

    (2) In the derogatory sense of the word, it's a synonym for a snob. This is a guy who just has to let everyone know how much he spent on his equipment, and how much better it is than everyone else's. Most of his free time is spent in the sort of hi-fi store where they look at you as if you've crawled out from under a rock unless you're prepared to pay the price of a decent car for a bespoke power lead.
     
  15. JediFonger

    JediFonger Producer

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  16. Lee Scoggins

    Lee Scoggins Producer

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    "I read Stereophile religiously, but it is rare to have a piece of equipment that is reviewed outside of its relationship to price. Just go through Stereophile's list of recommended gear. And the Absolute Sound (which I got a free subscription to) is even worse in this regard."

    I'm not sure Kevin if you read the same magazines I do. Both TAS and Stereophile have reviewed expensive products and slammed them and praised budget products. It's all about the sound quality. TAS in particular has done a great job recently of reviewing high value budget gear.
     
  17. JeremyErwin

    JeremyErwin Producer

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    An audiophile, in the purest sense of the word, is someone who listens to live music often, and wants to have a system that can recreate the auditory experience of being at a live concert. In a broader sense, it's someone who likes to just listen-- not "listens while he reads" or "listens while he checks his email"-- but just sitting down, and listening.

    If you don't aspire to have a system that can recreate live sound faithfully, and play it without causing "listening fatigue", you're not an audiophile.
     
  18. andrew markworthy

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    I think a more accurate statement is 'if you have a system that recreates what you think is a live performance'.

    As for listener fatigue, I think this is a nebulous concept. Booming bass and shrieking treble don't make for long-term listening, but any music played for long enough, no matter how sweet the acoustic, induces fatigue - including live performances.
     
  19. JeremyErwin

    JeremyErwin Producer

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    Thus the oft-posited requirement that the audiphile occasionally get out of his comfy chair, turn off the amplifier, and attend a live, unamplified concert.
     
  20. Phil A

    Phil A Producer

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    I don't think many audiophiles would want to re-create the PA system at a large arena. Some of those are awful and there's very few of those I even go to any longer. The sound is usually not great and getting in and out is a hassle. If I want that type of experience - Heart's "Live in Seattle" or The Walter Trout Band "Relentless" SACDs are good for that. Here in Northern Virginia there are some nice small venues to see stuff.
     

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