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Do you have the money that it takes to be an audiophile?

AV Cables

bhanja_trinanjan

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Jun 27, 2009
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Kolkata
Hi,
I am in a weird situation. I am all of 27 years old with a job in the IT industry. I am an absolute audiophile, determined to hear music in the way it was recorded. My ears are relatively fresh in comparison to those of 45+ CEO's.... But, I just don't have the cash reserves to buy reference grade audio setups... my current setup (see signature) is very good, but I still haven't hit the point of diminishing returns... Do you find yourselves in a similar scenario where you just don't have the $$ to buy high-end equipment without having to sacrifice on the other priorities of life? Very relevant question for us Indians, especially considering our relatively meagre earnings and ridiculous custom duties!
 

biyer

Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2009
Messages
147
Points
18
Location
Pune
Hi,
I am in a weird situation. I am all of 27 years old with a job in the IT industry. I am an absolute audiophile, determined to hear music in the way it was recorded. My ears are relatively fresh in comparison to those of 45+ CEO's.... But, I just don't have the cash reserves to buy reference grade audio setups... my current setup (see signature) is very good, but I still haven't hit the point of diminishing returns... Do you find yourselves in a similar scenario where you just don't have the $$ to buy high-end equipment without having to sacrifice on the other priorities of life? Very relevant question for us Indians, especially considering our relatively meagre earnings and ridiculous custom duties!

Mine is a similar case as yours am just 26 with hardly 2 years of work experience.
 

mnhegde

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Joined
Jun 15, 2009
Messages
377
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Location
Bangalore
Same here. Would love to own one of the finest one day. I previously had planned for a decent setup within a budget of 40k (amp and speakers) . But ended up buying something else and had to divert some $$ to stocks .
 

murali

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Joined
Oct 5, 2008
Messages
501
Points
63
Location
India
It is nice to see youngsters with passion for music and the urge to listen through real music-reproductive systems. I am > 50, and having spent the last 10 years (when I reached a stage where I could afford to spend money) building my system, here we go...
(1) Make sure you have the passion to listen to music, be it Indian, Western or anything. If it is just background noise you are looking for while doing something else, or just a show-piece to impress visitors, don't proceed further.
(2) Don't get carried away by several "experts" in various websites. Read a lot from articles, reviews, books etc, understand the basic principles of physics related to sound. Learn to listen too. Remember, in the end, science and technology make products and not listening skills.
(3) Don't start spending money right away on mediocre components. Plan for a few years and fix your long term budget. Start choosing equipment to buy (speakers, amplifiers, source, accessories in that order) over a period of time. Always remember, good products don't come cheap.
(4) Do not let patriotic feelings block your judgment. India has never been a power house when it comes to hifi equipment. If there are good ones available, go for it, otherwise, keep your options open. It is a global world now and is not difficult to source equipment from outside. Always remember, we have to get out of the hero-worship we are used to individual performances (cricket and Tendulkar are classic examples) rather than developing team spirit. A system of hifi equipment has to work in tandem and when you choose one in the chain, the rest have to match that. So choose wisely. The weakest link in your chain will destroy the entire purpose.

Trust this helps.

murali
 

hifipal4all

Active Member
Joined
Mar 23, 2007
Messages
392
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43
Location
Bangalore
(1) Make sure you have the passion to listen to music, be it Indian, Western or anything. If it is just background noise you are looking for while doing something else, or just a show-piece to impress visitors, don't proceed further.
(2) Don't get carried away by several "experts" in various websites. Read a lot from articles, reviews, books etc, understand the basic principles of physics related to sound. Learn to listen too. Remember, in the end, science and technology make products and not listening skills.

murali

Very true & practical :)

Cheers,
Ramesh @ Bangalore
 

mahiruha

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Joined
Mar 5, 2009
Messages
1,134
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63
Location
kolkata
Well Trinanjan,
what I believe is the term audiophile is bit vague. The way I look at it is if I am enjoying what I am listening and if it is making me happy. Happyness is a state of mind and money doesn't have very direct connection to it. The quest for that pefect system is a never ending process and is bit subjective. In my opinion that some money is needed but that's not the only thing needed to enjoy good music from a system. To me the enjoyment factor is more important as compared to whether everything sounds audiophile grade or not.
Thanks.
 

srikarkav

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Joined
Feb 8, 2009
Messages
1,080
Points
63
Location
chennai
Hi youngmen here,

Yes i know the upgrade bug is always buzzing around our heads:) I have posted
a link on the forum about 14 simple tips to improve your presence system.Check it out. The 14 th tip is a gem.Here it goes.....

14. Forget about the sound and enjoy the music
Dont fall into the trap of constantly judging your systems sound quality. After your system is tweaked, turn off the critical listening and immerse yourself in the music. Cost: Free

cheers,
sri
 

bhanja_trinanjan

New Member
Joined
Jun 27, 2009
Messages
173
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0
Location
Kolkata
The weak link

It is nice to see youngsters with passion for music and the urge to listen through real music-reproductive systems. I am > 50, and having spent the last 10 years (when I reached a stage where I could afford to spend money) building my system, here we go...
(1) Make sure you have the passion to listen to music, be it Indian, Western or anything. If it is just background noise you are looking for while doing something else, or just a show-piece to impress visitors, don't proceed further.
(2) Don't get carried away by several "experts" in various websites. Read a lot from articles, reviews, books etc, understand the basic principles of physics related to sound. Learn to listen too. Remember, in the end, science and technology make products and not listening skills.
(3) Don't start spending money right away on mediocre components. Plan for a few years and fix your long term budget. Start choosing equipment to buy (speakers, amplifiers, source, accessories in that order) over a period of time. Always remember, good products don't come cheap.
(4) Do not let patriotic feelings block your judgment. India has never been a power house when it comes to hifi equipment. If there are good ones available, go for it, otherwise, keep your options open. It is a global world now and is not difficult to source equipment from outside. Always remember, we have to get out of the hero-worship we are used to individual performances (cricket and Tendulkar are classic examples) rather than developing team spirit. A system of hifi equipment has to work in tandem and when you choose one in the chain, the rest have to match that. So choose wisely. The weakest link in your chain will destroy the entire purpose.

Trust this helps.

murali

You nailed it!

Last year, I had an 80GB 5.5Generation iPod, driving a Shure E4C.

When I thought of getting the AKG K701, I decided to buy a Headroom amplifier along with it.

However, when I connected my iPod to the headroom amp and the K701, I felt like crying....

When you change something in a chain, ensure that it is not too revealing.

The AKG and the headroom combo just raped my poor little iPod, showing the demerits of its noisy, puny headphone socket.

The result was unlistenable and disturbing.

I spent almost a month's salary without batting an eyelid and got the Cambridge CD player.
 

unleash_me

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Joined
Oct 1, 2007
Messages
2,247
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113
Location
Nostalgia
"Upgraditis - A terminal condition, the main symptom of which presents as the insatiable desire to upgrade. A word originally coined by Isaac Sibson" Urban Dictionary.

Amidst all the philosophical overtures, you gotta have what you want! Its actually that simple. If listening to music was just that, everyone here will be happy with that diminutive speakers concealed in their televisions or the forgettable free buds you get with any portable out there. We want more, if possible create the entire band or orchestra right in front of you performing just for you if this need for sonic perfection is what the so called derogatory term Audiophile means, so be it Im one. And I want more!

Passion, Priority, Patience. If you can work out the equation with realistic ambitions, you can achieve anything! On practical terms, I don't believe age dictates where one wants to be at any point in life. If only you had listened to your mom and studied well, may be....:)
 

suri

New Member
Joined
Mar 15, 2009
Messages
2,259
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Location
kannur
"Upgraditis - A terminal condition, the main symptom of which presents as the insatiable desire to upgrade. A word originally coined by Isaac Sibson" Urban Dictionary.

Amidst all the philosophical overtures, you gotta have what you want! Its actually that simple. If listening to music was just that, everyone here will be happy with that diminutive speakers concealed in their televisions or the forgettable free buds you get with any portable out there. We want more, if possible create the entire band or orchestra right in front of you performing just for you if this need for sonic perfection is what the so called derogatory term Audiophile means, so be it Im one. And I want more!

Passion, Priority, Patience. If you can work out the equation with realistic ambitions, you can achieve anything! On practical terms, I don't believe age dictates where one wants to be at any point in life. If only you had listened to your mom and studied well, may be....:)

absolutely!

you like what you have and you have what you like!

in my younger days i truly enjoyed music using a mono hearing aid earpiece connected to a radio!

yeah!:)
 

murali

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Joined
Oct 5, 2008
Messages
501
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63
Location
India
Encouraging debate. I believe more will follow.
Yes, this is like listening to the gentleman who spent through his nose to get the coveted Bose and started yelling this is it. I agree that money is not the real issue here. From my experience, I firmly believe that with a budget of around Rs 5L, to be created over a few years by saving, one can easily assemble a great sounding (not only to the ears but scientifically making sense too) hifi system (note: only hifi - source, amplification, speakers, good accessories) with which one can live a long time happily. One thing I can mention with certainty, if someone believes he or she is attaining audio nirvana with a run-of-the-mill system, please don't believe.

Happy listening from a far-away place.

P.S. By the way, I have managed to create an album with images of my system components. Anyone interested, please take a look. Later, I will try to post a real photo of my system as it is.

murali
 

svenkateshsmart

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Joined
Sep 24, 2009
Messages
1,120
Points
63
Location
Chennai, TN
Hi,

Let me join your club. I am 26 as well, working in a BPO. So far, I have invested around 2.5 L over the span of 5.5 years, still nowhere near a sophisticated HT setup.

In the past, I had asked many dealers silly questions about speakers, especially the center channel and AVR a few years ago.

I asked a dealer four years ago, "40K for something which can play FM, CDs, or produce sound on its own?" He said, "Dear, it will convert all analog signals into digital surround." I replied, "Oh 40k, just for the DTS and dolby digital."

In fact, some of my friends who got inspired by me have state-of-art high-end HT systems! I feel sometimes very low when I just don't have to bucks to get what you want, especially in a family when there are other important things like fees, savings, investments, etc., let alone pressure from family members!:sad:

But I always say to myself that "getting good music from top notch gears is no big deal, but tweaking your gears and calibrating them and adding small items to get the best out of them, especially DIYs is something commendable." Also, I am glad that i have time to romance with my gears!

So, it is always just music and our passion towards it, we can always earn and get high-end gears.
 

spirovious

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Joined
Apr 10, 2008
Messages
12,619
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Location
Mumbai
Well with money,same situation here.
But patience is my power.:D

I started journey with DVDP,philips 2in1 & DIY stereo sytem(pls.dont ask)
Then I got into HT world & got 1st proper system, ONK HTS580 .

Then I realised,I m missing something & went for bookshelfs.I saved money & then went for mission m30i for 8k.Then I disliked with ONK,exchanged to Tannoy F1 (15k). I got replacement after 4 months(see patience)
The reason was no Tannoy distributor in Mumbai.Thanks to Alliance4 that they dealed with Delhi distri & exchande mission with minimum ex cost.
I got 4 months to save & cld get F1.

After 4 months I got Tany Centre.

Recently I added Xonar D2X SC in my HTPC.This season Phil LCD.

Now still to own stereo amp for music & will be my next target.

Well Its since 3 yr to get my current setup.

So saving money is to raise money.also Dont forget PATIENCE :eek:hyeah:

So dont worry,you will get whatever you want.
All D Best...:thumbsup:
 

kaushik

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Joined
Mar 3, 2008
Messages
2,550
Points
113
Location
Bangalore
The thought that spending huge money is only way to be a audiophile .. that i would say is due to marketing and ignorance .

People tend to grab stuff that are recommended by others ,
the fancy magazines.. exploring too much equipments /setup all the time confuses the music lover and he becomes a equipment collector..

there should be a balance between spending on audio gear and normal life..

Why not become your own judge..
If you can ,to a certain extent,be the creator of the setup ..
 

suri

New Member
Joined
Mar 15, 2009
Messages
2,259
Points
0
Location
kannur
Encouraging debate. I believe more will follow.
Yes, this is like listening to the gentleman who spent through his nose to get the coveted Bose and started yelling this is it. I agree that money is not the real issue here. From my experience, I firmly believe that with a budget of around Rs 5L, to be created over a few years by saving, one can easily assemble a great sounding (not only to the ears but scientifically making sense too) hifi system (note: only hifi - source, amplification, speakers, good accessories) with which one can live a long time happily. One thing I can mention with certainty, if someone believes he or she is attaining audio nirvana with a run-of-the-mill system, please don't believe.

Happy listening from a far-away place.

P.S. By the way, I have managed to create an album with images of my system components. Anyone interested, please take a look. Later, I will try to post a real photo of my system as it is.

murali

hi Murali,

i have noted the points in your post.

but i would venture to say - when you get you 5 lac system, and you have lived with it for a few months (all the time admiring it's coherency, accuracy and timing), you will get used to it, and take it for granted.

And then, you will desire the 10 lac system - and then, it is only where you stop, that defines your sphere (and your aspirations).

Music is music after all - if you are like asit, you may be able to catch nuances of the music on a cheap pair of headphones and enjoy it for the creativity of the composer - else, be the exact opposite (like me) and analyse if the system can be accurate (and not enjoy the music!).

depends!:)
 

murali

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Oct 5, 2008
Messages
501
Points
63
Location
India
Well said, but remember life is always dynamic, never static. Some investment is definitely involved when you want to enter that regime of real enjoyment of listening to music. As someone who loves driving (not a rear seat passenger), when you move from a Maruti 800 to a Honda or Toyota, you start feeling the real pleasure of driving (does not mean the other cars don't give you the pleasure, nor are the new ones going to carry 5 times more passengers than the older ones). Okay, a BMW or Mercedes may lead to higher planes but as intelligent human beings, we all are supposed to be mature enough to realise where the buck stops. We are not going to mortgage our houses to keep spending like that for ever.
All I am trying to say is that there is a threshold investment needed to assemble a base system to enjoy listening and that does not come cheap. Once you are there, the rest is subjective depending on other criteria.

Happy listening.
murali
 

moktan

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Joined
Jan 24, 2008
Messages
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Location
Kalimpong
i think being a member of a forum such as hifivision is a double edged sword...when i first joined this forum i was just on the look out for some advice to buy a compact music system that would be slightly better than say a SONY ...but then i was introduced by Particleman and Unleash_me to the concept of separates...and that too from different manufacturers (you know advice such as buy a NAD amp and Monitor Audio Speakers etc)
i remember the first query that i shot off... why not buy all the components from the same stable ....the answers that i was given was a revelation and slowly all the jargon began to sink in...'treble happy', 'warm'...etc...
anyway the education began and i acquired my 'first' set up...
now as the years have passed i see that the blessings haven't really come without a price....
i sit to listen to music ..and i cannot help wondering if it wouldn't sound better if this or that in my chain was replaced by so and so....
another soul searching that i have to do is with regard to the ultimately selfish nature of this quest...
family members would be perfectly satisfied with something far less expensive....but then like a guardian of some esoteric truth i have to sometimes preach from the house tops...'listen to separation, the soundstage'..as if those would mean anything..
 

bhanja_trinanjan

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Jun 27, 2009
Messages
173
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Location
Kolkata
Hi,
It is wise to stop at the point of diminishing returns. But that bar is very, very high.

It is also equally important to buy a speaker/headphone that does nothing wrong.

You might have a pair of budget standmounts, like say the Wharfedale Diamond 9.1.

A good budget speaker for sure and I have a pair. (I bought them for my dad, who used to swear by his 1000 W PMPO mini-compo :lol: )

Now, the Diamond 9.1 does not have an extraordinary soundstage/resolution/timing/dynamics.....

It has a tonally correct mid-range and sweet treble.... but although it does nothing special in other areas, it DOES NOTHING OFFENSIVE.

Quite often you have speakers /headphones that have tremendous timing/dynamics/soundstage, but have a peak/dip/colouration somewhere in the tonality.

Or a beautiful tonal balance with flawed timing....

Keeping the above in mind, it is wise to keep on upgrading till one has a reference system that DOES NOT GET EVERYTHING RIGHT, but DOES NOTHING WRONG.

That's what I keep looking for...
 
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