"Audiophile Debate"

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  • 01-10-2008, 03:05 PM
    O'Shag
    "So, in this thread I venture that we perhaps should try to articulate a collective definition of the word ‘Audiophile’.

    Can we agree so far that an audiophile should include:

    1. A person.
    2. Hi-Fi sound reproduction.
    3. interested in achieving some goal.
    4. includes some level of devotion by the person. "

    5. A Couch Potatoe?
  • 01-10-2008, 05:53 PM
    Luvin Da Blues
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by O'Shag
    "So, in this thread I venture that we perhaps should try to articulate a collective definition of the word ‘Audiophile’.

    Can we agree so far that an audiophile should include:

    1. A person.
    2. Hi-Fi sound reproduction.
    3. interested in achieving some goal.
    4. includes some level of devotion by the person. "

    5. A Couch Potatoe?


    Sure, but my cat always comes around when tunes are spinning especially when its analogue (maybe just my imagination), that's my story and I'm stickin to it. Is the cat an audiophile also??? hmmmm
  • 01-10-2008, 08:20 PM
    Mr Peabody
    Yeah, #1 needs more discussion. As a teen living at home we had a Peekonese who no matter where he was came running into my room when the stereo was turned on. He was either a real music lover or just hung out in hopes of getting high.
  • 01-10-2008, 08:21 PM
    Scott W
    Just My Opinion
    In the broadest sense of the term whenever "phile" is attached to a word it means "love of".
    I would tend to agree with those who spoke of passion/love of the hobby of audio and all that entails when using the term.

    The biggest problem with the term "audiophile" among many who use it, is that they do so in order to establish their rank or status within the hobby. Using their own standards often based on knowledge or the cost of their equipment they define themselves as "audiophiles" and others who don't meet that standard as something less

    The above paragraphs are quoted from anothers post because I am not quite as articulate(big word for me and probably mispelled)as many of the posters, but it pretty much sums up my thoughts.It is the love of the music/audio gear that leads me to claim the title of audio/music enthusiest rather than audiophile.I've come a long way from that 8 track player in the 70s and have experienced many goosebumps along the way and that my fellow enthusiests is what it's all about for me.:ciappa:
  • 01-10-2008, 09:23 PM
    O'Shag
    I chose audiophile, because it is the last in the list of choices. So I figured that it was directly relevant to the level of insanity one has for this hobby, and I believe at this point, my fiancee believes me to be insane :ihih: , and I must agree at least with respect for audio and music. I love to set up and tinker with electronics. If audio enthusiast followed audiophile, I probably would have chosen that. Both the same thing really.

    In fact I believe that I need to cool my jets a little. I've resolved to stay away from audiogon until absolutely necessary (you see, I can't even say stay away forever - Its just too painful to think about :nonod: :sad: . That place is like a candy store, just begging for you to buy more, more, more, which is a very bad thing when your not rich. I'm sure most of you are far more in control than I am..nudge nudge, wink wink, say no more. :wink5:
  • 01-10-2008, 09:36 PM
    O'Shag
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Luvin Da Blues
    Sure, but my cat always comes around when tunes are spinning especially when its analogue (maybe just my imagination), that's my story and I'm stickin to it. Is the cat an audiophile also??? hmmmm

    I definitely think the cats that like music are 'cool cats'. The phenomena is not just with cats though. I used to have a giant Irish Wolfhound, who when he wasn't chasing something, would love to sit and listen to music with me. strange..:confused5:
  • 01-11-2008, 08:18 AM
    hermanv
    A couple of questions;

    One: Is being an audiophile a hobby? I think so, after all it's hardly a requirement to have good sound or even to have a sound system at all. Most of us that do, do it because originally we liked music and then discovered that there is far more than one way to skin that cat.

    Two: If you happen to be financially well off and you rush out and spend $150,000 for the best gear are you an audiophile.? In my opinion, no. Some effort besides simply spending money is needed to be an audiophile. Most car nuts would love to own a Ferrari, conversely buying a Ferrari doesn't automatically make you a car nut (Automophile:) :)?).
  • 01-11-2008, 08:08 PM
    IBSTORMIN
    Just ramblings of a newbie.
    I always thought "Audiophile" was on the other end of the scale that "tone deaf" starts.
    Who knew it was so complicated!!!???

    Which brings up food for thought: If two guys are sat in a room and listen first to a $4,000 system and then to a $20,000 system, which is the Audiophile? Is it A) the guy who can tell the difference in sound or B) the guy who can afford the $20,000 system?
  • 01-11-2008, 10:34 PM
    Mr Peabody
    Could be neither, could be both, it would be the one who appreciated the difference. Appreciation would be the one who could afford it would buy it and the other would recognize the quality and get as close as he could afford to.
  • 01-12-2008, 07:10 AM
    IBSTORMIN
    MR. P. So if a person has perfect pitch, can hear all the subtle differences in music including differences in speaker cables on a $20,000 system, appreciates any chance they have to hear great sound but doesn't have the money to buy high end equipment, they are not an audiophile?
  • 01-12-2008, 09:50 AM
    Mr Peabody
    That is not what I said at all, you should read the post again. One may be able to hear the difference and afford it, or not, and not care. Another may hear the difference, afford it or not, and appreciate the difference. If you hear the difference and appreciate it enough you will buy it if you can afford it. If you appreciate the difference and can't afford $20k, you will strive to put the best system you can together and enjoy it. Take opportunities to improve where and when you can. The root or drive behind any audiophile is the passion for the equipment and music.
  • 01-12-2008, 10:15 AM
    Luvin Da Blues
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Mr Peabody
    If you appreciate the difference and can't afford $20k, you will strive to put the best system you can together and enjoy it. Take opportunities to improve where and when you can. The root or drive behind any audiophile is the passion for the equipment and music.

    You have me nailed done Mr.P, as well as most around here I figure. :thumbsup:
  • 01-12-2008, 10:26 AM
    Feanor
    The name of the game
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Mr Peabody
    That is not what I said at all, you should read the post again. One may be able to hear the difference and afford it, or not, and not care. Another may hear the difference, afford it or not, and appreciate the difference. If you hear the difference and appreciate it enough you will buy it if you can afford it. If you appreciate the difference and can't afford $20k, you will strive to put the best system you can together and enjoy it. Take opportunities to improve where and when you can. The root or drive behind any audiophile is the passion for the equipment and music.

    The name of the game for a down-at-the-heel audiophile hobbiest such as myself is value -- the most bang for the least buck. I belief I've got myself a very high value system indeed: check the reference below.

    But I can definitely appreciate the higher price equipment that others have and would spend more if I could. I envy these folks a little but not obsessively. I can take satisfaction knowing the my modest system is very close to many costing 3x-4x as much or even more. And beyond that, I know I'm often appreciating the music even more than they do.
  • 01-12-2008, 11:20 AM
    Luvin Da Blues
    Just a thought.
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Mr Peabody
    Could be neither, could be both, it would be the one who appreciated the difference. Appreciation would be the one who could afford it would buy it and the other would recognize the quality and get as close as he could afford to.

    So, I'm cleaning the bathroom and had my head stuck in the toilet, thinking about this post (coincidence?? naw, probably not :prrr: ). Anywho, I was thinking who's opinion I would value more? Wannabes like me and a lotta people around here are fairly knowledgeable but, I admit I have never heard a lot of High End equipment mentioned around here. We have modest systems but do very much appreciate high end stuff.

    So, who's opionion is more valuable the guy who reads, hears and understands about the "good stuff" or someone who actually owns some. Even tho the latter may not appreciate it as much, they do have real world experience with it.
  • 01-12-2008, 12:34 PM
    IBSTORMIN
    I have seen and talked to people who own a Corvette Z06 with a manual transmission just for bragging writes and they think they know everything because they own one and have read everything about it. Then they kill the motor on take off twice and make excuses. They can't drive the darned thing any better than my grandma could and she doesn't have a license. You wouldn't want their opinion and I try to get away when they start talking.

    Having more money does not necessarily make your opinion more valuable.
  • 01-12-2008, 12:44 PM
    Luvin Da Blues
    Still, wouldn't it carry more weight than someone that has NEVER drove one?
  • 01-12-2008, 01:20 PM
    Mr Peabody
    Luvindablues, first thanks, in your question the first guy who reads about the equipment at least has heard higher end equipment. In some instances that person may have more knowledge because he was exposed to more. If the owner of the high end gear has only one system his knowledge may be limited. There are too many variables that could be to make a definite decision one way or the other.

    IBS has a point, some one who is rich could go in and buy a high end system based on sales rep recommendations and really not have a handle on what he has or any differences there of. One big clue are those who have gear and don't know how to hook it up. It's funny sometimes I'll talk to some one about their system, just seeing what they have, I'll ask them the brand or if they use a digital connection and you can just see my sentences flying right over their head.
  • 01-12-2008, 01:25 PM
    Luvin Da Blues
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Mr Peabody
    Luvindablues, first thanks, in your question the first guy who reads about the equipment at least has heard higher end equipment. In some instances that person may have more knowledge because he was exposed to more. If the owner of the high end gear has only one system his knowledge may be limited. There are too many variables that could be to make a definite decision one way or the other.

    IBS has a point, some one who is rich could go in and buy a high end system based on sales rep recommendations and really not have a handle on what he has or any differences there of. One big clue are those who have gear and don't know how to hook it up. It's funny sometimes I'll talk to some one about their system, just seeing what they have, I'll ask them the brand or if they use a digital connection and you can just see my sentences flying right over their head.

    I couldn't agree with you and IBS more...just opening that side up for debate.
  • 01-12-2008, 02:02 PM
    emaidel
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Feanor
    The name of the game for a down-at-the-heel audiophile hobbiest such as myself is value -- the most bang for the least buck. .

    That says it all in a nutshell. I always preferred the term audio "enthusiast" due to the many nasty connotations pertaining to the term "audiophile," and my system consists of relatively not-too-expensive components, each and every one of which has been reviewed enthusiastically, and praised for the performance it offers at the respective price points.

    My Dahlquist DQ-10's are all but legendary, and are highly respected by most in this field. The Regnar-rebuilt woofers helped tremendously, and were a vast improvement over the botch refoam job by Simply Speakers in Florida. The Definitive Technology SP-15F, at $600 (discounted from the $1,000 "List" price) is a far better sub than the Dahlquist DQ-1W, and blends in perfectly with the 10's.

    My Parasound PLD-1100 "Line Drive" preamp is a John Curl design, and my Adcom GFA-5800 is a highly reviewed amp designed by Nelson Pass - two very respected names in this industry.

    My Adcom GCD-600 CD Player and GDA-600 D/A converter do a splendid job of playing CD's and making them sound musical, much in the same fashion as far costlier CDP/D/A Converter combos.

    While the total cost of my system exceeds $10K, that's a far cry from the price of one ClearAudio turntable!
  • 01-12-2008, 07:54 PM
    hermanv
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by emaidel
    <snip>While the total cost of my system exceeds $10K, that's a far cry from the price of one ClearAudio turntable!

    You weren't clear if that was the new or used cost, not that it matters. Many would feel that's an excessive amount to invest in music reproduction. I don't agree, my system costs more than that, but I acquired the pieces (used) over a long time interval.

    The thing that makes you an audiophile has nothing to do with the price of the equipment, it has to do with you knowing about Dahlquist, John Curl and Nelson Pass. It's this effort to learn and try to acquire, copy or build equipment at that performance level that's at the core of my definition of an audiophile. Happy listening.
  • 01-12-2008, 08:33 PM
    IBSTORMIN
    Guilty as charged
    Thanks to all, especially MR P. I have a new understanding of what an audiophile is, have never considered myself one and didn't want to be because of the snob factor!! I realise I can learn alot from you guys and that I am an audiophile, in your definition. My wife just says I have too many "BLACK BOXES" all over the house. Just see my list and you will see I am crazed just like you all are. Maybe I haven't spent as much on as high end stuff as you guys, but....... I'm hooked. I would love to hear comments on what I have and suggestions for improvement. (GOD, I REALLY AM THAT "A" WORD!!!!) (I wasn't referring to the word my wife calls me.) Please, all of you, look at my comments in "Do you really get what you pay for" in the cables forum on the DB-25 cable and give me feedback on that.
  • 01-12-2008, 09:27 PM
    Mr Peabody
    ISB your system looks balanced to me. I'm not familiar with the Overture series. Is Integra and Integra Research the same? I can't remember the name but there used to be a high end shop some where in KC that handled Wilson and Mark Levinson, have you ever been there?
  • 01-13-2008, 07:33 AM
    IBSTORMIN
    MR P Integra is high line Onkyo and Integra Research is their Audiophile line made in conjunction with Apogee, THX & Balanced Audio Technology. I had wondered, looking at all the names you mention, if you had ever heard of it. If you are interested: http://www.integraresearch.com/
    Well, that also answers my next question: how does my equipment compare to what you guys are referring to? I guess if you have never heard of it that would be hard to answer.
    No I haven't looked at Wilson or Mark Levinson because I know I can't afford it. I bought all of my equipment used. The Integra Research was something I didn't think I could afford but found a deal. The Onkyo Integra M-588F, from what I understand sold for $2400 back in the 80's and it is ssssooooo sweet. It became my main amp over the M-504 once I heard it. I am wondering if you are familiar with either of these?
    To quote you: If you appreciate the difference and can't afford $20k, you will strive to put the best system you can together and enjoy it. Take opportunities to improve where and when you can. The root or drive behind any audiophile is the passion for the equipment and music. I started with H/K and found they have reliability problems, switched to Onkyo and just worked my way up to their best.
  • 01-13-2008, 08:07 AM
    hermanv
    IBSTORMING, IMHO you are an audiophile.

    The proof is in asking the question: "What can I do to make my system better?"
  • 01-13-2008, 12:21 PM
    Mr Peabody
    I have heard of Onkyo and Integra but not the Research. Onkyo makes a good receiver. Their amp sections are noticeably better than most other mass market brands. Although I've heard of Integra I've never heard any. I know they must be good amps though, a guy ran some Infinity Kappa 9's with Integra. Kappa 9's were notorious for the impedance dropping crazy low and sending many brands of amps to the service bench. Levinson is out of my price as well but I go check out that type of gear that's how you'd know how your system stacks up. My Conrad Johnson is tube gear and would have a different presentation than integra. Based on Integra's rep I'm sure you get a very good bass response with good control and punch.