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freejazz2020

How Many of Us Consider Ourselves to Be "Audiophiles?"

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I am probably a wannabe audiophille. For years I have had some level of interest and have on occassion even subscribed to the high end magazines such as The Absolute Sound and Stereophille. My budget, however, has never allowed me to pursue it and now with three children under the age of ten I doubt I will be able to really check it out any time soon. In any event, I have never really been disappointed in my NAD 314 ntegrated amp and NAD 522 CD Player, Kenwood KD-500 turntable with a Profile II arm and Grado cartridge and KEF bookshelf speakers. The speakers are not actually connected to the system right now because of space reasons in our living room, but the truth is that over the past few years I have rarely had the opprtunity to have the ideal listening experience on my system as I have to be considerate of all the other people that seem to always be in my home - another reason not to get into high end audio at this time. No sense in spending all that money on equipment that I will hardly get to hear. For now, when I do listen to my system it is pretty much done with my Grado SR-60 headphones.

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I have an Marantz I bought new when I was a kid and still have. 4 big Sansui speakers my dad bought when he was in Viet Nam and a Pioneer tuntable. When I really want to enjoy one of my favorite sessions I'll put on this setup...sit back and let the sound bounce around my wooden floor and enjoy the hell out of it. It's a big difference than what comes out of my computer speaker or the sound of my car stereo or ipod with earphones.... :) . I would what you call a wanna be audiophile...If I had the bread I probably would be! I dig great sound!

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the first word i ever spoke was car, have driven maybe 100 miles since i got a license 8 years ago, the last time maybe 6 years ago.. when i was four i broke the antenna of my dad's fancy radio; when i was 15 i asked him if i could have it... my equipment is a cd player plugged into said radio... when i occasionally listen to my cds on my girlfriend's clock-radio-CD player i am amazed at the sound... still i rather spend the money on new cds

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I'm a little surprised, pleasantly so in one sense, at the lack of interest in high quality gear here.

On the one hand, it's refreshing to see that folks don't require a lot of sophisticated equipment to enjoy great music. But on the other hand, there is a certain level of sound quality that, once achieved, allows the listener to "hear" things in the music that they may miss on a lesser system. I know this was definitely the case with my listening. And it may partly be a function of just getting older and, frankly, the fact that my hearing may not be as sharp as it once was. But I'm playing CDs that I haven't listened to in a while on my new system and I'm thinking: "No shit ... hadn't heard it quite like THAT before."

My 2 pesos.

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I appreciate good sound, but I longed ago realized that there is a point of severely diminishing returns on your investment. When you actually spend time in recording studios and realize what they do and use to record the music, it all becomes even more silly.

:tup :tup :tup :tup :tup

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p.s.: I, too, spend way more money (too much) on CDs than playback equipment. My low-budget equipment (listed here) is good enough for me. The music is more important to me than top-notch high end machinery. Especially as it only reveals recording more flaws the better it gets, and many high end recordings are only second rate, musically.

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I bought Magneplanar (IIB?) speakers in 1980 and still have them. Loved them for years but became weary of them in Florida where they were positioned in front of sliding glass doors. As a result they sounded "bright". In Ohio I have a partially finished basement where the drywall deadens everything. Now, with the same 28 year old speakers, I'm rediscovering much of the music all over again because the room sounds better.

I became obsessed comparing electronics and which brought out the "grains" of acoustic bass, the low tones of cellos, sound of high hats, etc. Thankfully Mark Levinson (in the 90's) came out with a more economical version of their amps and pre amps so I could (barely) afford them.

I rue the day when I have to replace anything because it is so much nicer listening to music and not thinking about equipment. Attempting to be an audiophile can drive you bananas.

Even though I love live music I have the most trouble adjusting to it since, in most venues, it is played through microphones and speakers anyway. Places like Severance Hall being the exception of course.

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I guess I consider myself to be a rational audiophile, meaning that I am willing to spend more to get better sound, but I am not willing to spend 100 times more for a 10% improvement, and I have no patience for debating claims about equipment that defy the laws of physics or that ignore biological realities about the limits of human audio perception. I'm also not an "upgrader." I plan to get a lot more use out of my B&W/Rotel/NAD set up. That said, someday I might get a consumer turntable to use in place of my Technics 1200.

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I own this

061101114141-430-C525BEE.jpg060619152507-300-C325BEE_3_4.jpg

with a pair of Totem speakers.

Does it make me part of the audiophile club ?

Quite happy with it, if i had the dough i'd buy another one for another piece of the house. But i way prefer music than hardware, my home theater system is in a bigger need for improvment than my audio system.

Edited by Van Basten II

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I used to do sound restoration for a living so it was essential to get good stuff, though I didn't kill myself - it paid off, as. honestly, I consider myself better at sound restoration than anyone else I've heard; it's because I have a good, sold audio chain, good converters, and the world's best speakers, no kidding, a pair of Brysyton's Lab's that cost me more than I have ever spent on any other piece of equipment - not to mention ears that I trust more than anyone else's - I know it sounds arrogant, but in the days when I did a lot of custom sound work (putting LPs and tapes onto CDRs) I was called the best in the business - also helps, in your system, to have a good (and preferably digital) eq - essentially I like analog sources that are well re-mastered with digital techniques -

but I repeat - most important thing: YOUR SPEAKERS! Crappy speakers make crappy sound which is why there is so much crappy sound in the world -

also: Learn how to EQ and you will be able to listen to a lot of stuff as it should have been mastered (a few well-chosen frequency boost makes ALL the difference - it wasn't for nothing that Al Haig named one of his songs "Earless Engineering.")

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p.s.: I, too, spend way more money (too much) on CDs than playback equipment. My low-budget equipment (listed here) is good enough for me. The music is more important to me than top-notch high end machinery. Especially as it only reveals recording more flaws the better it gets, and many high end recordings are only second rate, musically.

Mike what you are using many might consider audiophile!

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But on the other hand, there is a certain level of sound quality that, once achieved, allows the listener to "hear" things in the music that they may miss on a lesser system.

The worst thing I ever did to myself (okay, actually one of many, if I'm honest...) was listen to a really nice system back around '77, letting my ears know that such things existed, and insuring many years of musical unhappiness. Well, not unhappiness, but a kind of vague dissatisfaction if you will.

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...and I have no patience for debating claims about equipment that defy the laws of physics or that ignore biological realities about the limits of human audio perception.

So you don't spend much time at the Hoffman forum either? :lol:

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personally I can hear up to 79,000 KHZ -

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According to my ex girlfriends i don't hear much and i don't listen much either

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p.s.: I, too, spend way more money (too much) on CDs than playback equipment. My low-budget equipment (listed here) is good enough for me. The music is more important to me than top-notch high end machinery. Especially as it only reveals recording more flaws the better it gets, and many high end recordings are only second rate, musically.

Mike what you are using many might consider audiophile!

Thanks for the kind words - but I have the impression that it starts with equipment costing at least five times as much!

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In a lot of real and cyber places I frequent, you're an audiophile if you use stuff that doesn't come from a department store or chain store.

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Am I an audiophile? With Polk speakers and Cambridge Audio gear, I'm not sure.

Those wo aren't audiophiles might say "yes," but those who are would likely say "no." ;)

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If you've seen my scribbles, burps and backfires in Stereophile, you'll know I'm the audiophile who ain't.

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In a lot of real and cyber places I frequent, you're an audiophile if you use stuff that doesn't come from a department store or chain store.

...or for that matter, if the phrase "seperate components" makes sense to you.

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I'm sort of an audiophile but don't consider myself an audiofool so it all has to add up. I'm not endlessly checking cables and other combinations of equipment but just know what I want and try to go for that.

(dCS Elgar plus and Verdi LaScala dac and drive, B&W N-802, Accuphase E-530 and all Siltech cables).

Edited by Bluerein

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I think being an audiophile isn't just about the price of the equipment, it's as much getting the most out of the equipment you've got. Caring about the acoustics of a listening room, speaker placement etc. are also very important for the results. I definitely think you may be considered an audiophile without having to spend hundreds (or thousands) on cords.

Edit: that should read "cords", not "chords"...

Edited by Daniel A

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I think being an audiophile isn't just about the price of the equipment, it's as much getting the most out of the equipment you've got. Caring about the acoustics of a listening room, speaker placement etc. are also very important for the results. I definitely think you may be considered an audiophile without having to spend hundreds (or thousands) on chords.

Yeah --- I'm borderline psychotic about speaker placement since I was introduced to the general principles. My basement is in the process of being remodeled, and I can't wait to plunk the system back down there in a significantly new and better acoustic environment and then start fiddling. I would add that the best bang for the buck piece of a audio equipment I've bought recently is nice four-level equipment stand for about $350 (can't recall the name, but I could find the receipt on request) that is designed (as all such should be) to reduce vibration. The difference was pretty incredible.

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I am a "moderate" audiophile. A number of people have suggested that it is all about the music, not the equipment. However, the point of having good audio equipment (for me) is to better enjoy the music. If you compare listening to music you know well, and like very much, through different quality levels of speakers this can become obvious.

It is interesting that while many people here seemed to indicate that audio equipment quality is not of much importance, I wonder if they feel the same way about the sound at a live concert or in a club. Personally, I have found many occasions where the way sound was being produced at a live music event either detracted from the music or seemed just right. This same sort of thing is true (for me) with audio equipment at home.

This does not mean one has to spend a huge amount of money on audio equipment. What it indicates to me is that one should take care in purchasing audio equipment. Listen carefully to a number of speakers in the price range you can afford with music familiar to you.

About 25 years ago a very fine pianist came to my home to listen to some jazz LPs. He said to me that with the excellent LP collection I had, he was surprised that my audio equipment was so mediocre. He invited me over to his place to listen to some music on his system. When I heard how much better the music I love sounded on his system, I began the process of gradually upgrading my audio equipment.

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It is interesting that while many people here seemed to indicate that audio equipment quality is not of much importance, I wonder if they feel the same way about the sound at a live concert or in a club. Personally, I have found many occasions where the way sound was being produced at a live music event either detracted from the music or seemed just right. This same sort of thing is true (for me) with audio equipment at home.

I have often been frustrated by the sound quality at some live performances I have attended. Most of the venues in my area that I have attended concerts have less than ideal sound. Most of the time it has to do with the room, but very often the amplification system is poor as well.

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