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Are you an audiophile?

Wharfedale EVO 4.1 4.2 Speakers

unleash_me

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Are you an audiophile? - The Eight Warning Signs of Audiophilism

It seems like a pretty stupid question, doesn't it? Of course you're an audiophile -- otherwise, why would you be at a website called onhifi.com?

The real question is: Do you admit to being an audiophile?

Most people don't, you know. They say they're "music lovers." Or they might have been an audiophile once, a long time ago, but they're all better now. I find this strange. Car lovers make no bones about being gearheads. Motorcycle lovers are happily separated into hawgs and geese and ducks. Even rednecks are proud of being what they are these days.

So why does the "audiophile" label still make people blanche? I think it's shame at all the agony they cause their loved ones.

So how can you tell if you are an audiophile?

You might be an audiophile if you listen alone or in secret.

You might be an audiophile if you keep buying the same demo discs over and over without remembering you already own them with the same label/cover/catalog number.

You might be an audiophile if you have little rituals, such as cleaning each record or demagnetizing each CD before play, and you get upset when these rituals are disturbed or ignored.

You might be an audiophile if you indulge in audio-related activities to such an extent that you no longer partake of the other pastimes that used to bring you pleasure -- if you stay up late to listen when the power grid sounds best rather than going to bed with your wife, or if you wake up at the crack of dawn on Saturday so you can cherry-pick the yardsale records when you used to sleep until the crack of noon.

If you get irritable when your wife makes you socialize during your regular "audition hours," you might be an audiophile.

If you've ever missed work because your system sounded particularly good that day, you are probably an audiophile.

Buying boxed sets, ordering double CD sets of one-hit wonders, or generally amassing more recordings than you could possibly ever listen to are warning signs of audiophilism.

If you are spending "secret" money on your hi-fi -- if you're keeping purchases from your wife or significant other because you know he or she wouldn't approve the expenditure -- you're probably an audiophile.

Few of us can look at this list without finding ourselves at least a time or two, but if you answered "yes" to four or more, you are almost certainly an audiophile.

Don't panic. There's hope.

First, relax. Take a deep breath. Maybe even watch a movie on TV (No, don't even think about how much better it would be with a subwoofer! You're trying to get better, remember?)

Now think about the finest musical experience you've ever had. I have a small collection of them and I can never decide which was the greatest, so I seize on whichever one seems appropriate at the time. One of my favorites is a May evening decades long past, when I was taking a twilight stroll behind Campbell Hall, the University of Virginia's architecture school. The air had that Piedmont softness that precedes central Virginia's swampy summer swelter and the school was brightly lit inside and seemed to hunker on the hill like a giant flying saucer. As I made my way toward the railroad tracks that were the shortest route to my house, I stopped at a concrete courtyard set into the building where two students were playing a game of late night Frisbee with a fluorescent disc. The two players, lit from the windows above them, drifted in the twilight like ghosts connected by the back and forth and rise and fall of the faintly glowing Frisbee.

With his back against the glass wall at the rear of the courtyard, another student was playing tenor sax, manipulating the sound and intensity of his instrument by bouncing his riffs off the three walls, toying with the rapid echoes off the glass and the slow, soft ones off the low hills surrounding us.

The sax player was obviously into 'Trane -- he was practicing circular breathing and initiating sheets of sound that never seemed to diminish in intensity. It was a perfect jazz moment -- and it was one of the most powerful musical experiences of my life.

Thirty years later, I've heard Sonny Rollins on a tear. I've heard the Art Ensemble of Chicago at their peak. I've seen the best minds of my generation...

Sorry, that's a different rap.

My point is, I've heard musicians with technical capacities that put that college saxophonist to shame. I've been to Carnegie Hall. I heard Talking Heads when they were a trio. But that evening was perfect -- and no comparison can dim its luster.

Every musical experience is unique. Eric Dolphy said, shortly before his death, "When you hear music, after it's over -- it's gone, into the air. You can never capture it again." I know he said it because I have it on a record, which also brings to mind what John Cage said, "Let no one imagine that in owning a recording he has the music. The very practice of music is a celebration that we own nothing."

And that's the secret to conquering audiophilistinism. No matter how much we love music, we cannot own it -- we can only experience it. When we accept each musical experience for what it is and forget the incessant urge to compare everything to some ideal of perfection, we can start on our way back to the company of normal people. Oh yeah -- those people will probably turn out to be even more interesting than your favorite shaded dog played for the 800th time.

But when you find yourself sitting on the sofa, far from the sweet spot, smiling at your guests, saying, "What would you like to listen to," instead of "Wait 'til you hear this," you'll know you've been cured.

...Wes Phillips for onhifi

Note: This is an excerpt from onhifi.com forums.

I'm infected. My wifi agrees to all of these!

adieu,
unleash_me
 

unleash_me

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Try this.

YouTube - Greek Audiophile

Some excerpts from one of my post elsewhere-

Quotes from the video-

“You hear audiophiles describe the speakers disappearing…what I actually get in a sort of semi-spacey almost hypnotic state is, I disappear. There was only the music.”

This one is my favorite.

“In a way we are eccentric people. Its not normal thing to hear music from a system of one hundred thousand dollars, this not normal…. this is not normal.

But if you sit there and listen to some recordings, especially sixties where this orchestras were playing in the courted garden with that passion after the war with all this… enthusiasm that goes into these recordings and you enjoy them sitting in your sofa, you know, sometimes you think, well…am I crazy or, or am I not?”

Isn’t this what we call passion?!

Enlightened!
 
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unleash_me

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The question however is, how do you validate the so called claims?

One cant experience anything the same way what an other one experiences - now don't go clinical here - my point is, its personal.

Leave it at that.
 

marsilians

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I don't like a word which has a "phile" in it that I am associated with. I think I will be alright to say we are all AV Enthusiasts.

With my systems, I get better returns than s*x, dr**gs & rock n roll can provide for the most part....
 

moserw

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Nobody is born an audiophile or born with golden ears. But everyone who is in pursuit of better sound and always looking for ways to improve the SQ will turn into an audiophile sooner or later. I now know a lot more (and better) than when I started out and I am sure that's true for everyone...
 

Jambumali

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In the never-ending pursuit of "the better experience/upgrade", many times people forget to enjoy the present.

like the system you have/can afford; enjoy the music.
 

moserw

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In the never-ending pursuit of "the better experience/upgrade", many times people forget to enjoy the present.

like the system you have/can afford; enjoy the music.

Totally agree! But the human flesh wants more and more, what to do?
 

gobble

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Gobble,

Not the right place to start a discussion on body, soul and spirit...

That is exactly what I meant. I wasn't starting it merely pointing out the choice of wording earlier ... :p

lets not drag this further. bye

cheers
 

arj

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In the never-ending pursuit of "the better experience/upgrade", many times people forget to enjoy the present.

like the system you have/can afford; enjoy the music.

sometimes the kick you get is in getting an improvement or a tweak to work. For some it is the pursuit of "the sound" which is more fun than getting the sound itself !

as said earlier it is a very personal experience and no one Has to agree to the right way !
 

gobble

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sometimes the kick you get is in getting an improvement or a tweak to work. For some it is the pursuit of "the sound" which is more fun than getting the sound itself !

as said earlier it is a very personal experience and no one Has to agree to the right way !

I agree :D
 

martsmac

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u are a an audiphile if u have constant urge to upgrade upgrade upgrade. i wonder where the final satisfaction is?? :D. burned over 50k in last 3 years and still cant get rid of my addiction.
 

marsilians

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u are a an audiphile if u have constant urge to upgrade upgrade upgrade. i wonder where the final satisfaction is?? :D. burned over 50k in last 3 years and still cant get rid of my addiction.

Not a good analogy. If someone is addicted to drink, the don't become connoiseurs, rather drunkards.
 

square_wave

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A rich hog is known as a Gourmet, a poor one, a Glutton.

Take your pick :D

cheers

The difference is refined taste/passion VS the vice of eating to excess.
I agree that there are gluttons who are gourmets as well as vice versa. But there is a difference :)
 
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