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  1. #1
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    How did we get to being audiophiles?

    Guys,

    I am new to this site, I have been reading a lot of posts/comments. What I would like to know is how did some of you begin your quest for home sonic nervana?

    I know mine came out of having a pro system installed in my car, then started messing about on Dj'ing at home as hobby that led to me frying my very old trusted pioneer amp trying to power a friends JBL loudspeakers.

    Care to share your story? Love to hear as it will provide some justification to the money I have spent audio products in the last five years.


    Cheers
    Brad

  2. #2
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    My journey started about 1989. I bought a CD player for my then girlfriend, now my wife. After that, I bought some equipment for my self. One thing lead to another, and here I am today with a completely satisfying system!
    Remember, different isn't always better, but it is different.
    Keep things as simple as possible, but not too simple.
    Let your ears decide for you!

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by bturk667
    here I am today with a completely satisfying system!
    This statement would appear to contradict the apparent definition of an "audiophile". :-P

    -Chris

    P.S. - J/K. :-)

  4. #4
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    Good question, actually...

    ...and I'm not sure I can define the exact moment I was into audio, but...

    My dad, circa 1971, had a Realistic/KLH combo. Nothing fantastic, but I remember his love of taping (cassettes... remember these?) certain radio shows.

    My earliest memories of GOOD audio was in 1979ish... a store called "Designatrons" in Setauket, N.Y. Honestly, I can't remember HOW I found that store... but, I walked away (in 1981ish) with a pair of old Bostons that were vey satisfying. I wansn't the "biggest" or "baddest"stereo on the block, but my rig sounded very natural.

    I still have that 'ole receiver (STA-65C)... :^)

  5. #5
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    I guess that depends on YOUR definition of an audiophile. As an audiophile I'll give you mine, the easy version.

    A person who assembles a system in hopes that it can reproduce recorded music in as high a fidelity as possible. What is high fidelity? Well, that varies from person to person.


    Now, why don't you give me your definition. This way I can better understand why you think my statement is a contradiction. Because I am not contradicting my definition of what I believe an audiophile is. Yes, my system is completely musically satisfying to me!!!
    Remember, different isn't always better, but it is different.
    Keep things as simple as possible, but not too simple.
    Let your ears decide for you!

  6. #6
    M.P.S.E /AES/SMPTE member Sir Terrence the Terrible's Avatar
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    What is a audiophile? What criteria do audiophiles follow to be considered one? Do they always buy the most expensive, latest and greatest equipment? Are they tweak freaks?

    It has been too many years since I started in audio. I have never understood the label of audiophile, because that could mean too many things. Record collectors, equipment collectors, great performance collectors??? I would like to see someone explain this.
    Sir Terrence

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  7. #7
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    Read my reply to WmAx for my own definition of an Audiophile. Yes, I consider my self to be one.
    Remember, different isn't always better, but it is different.
    Keep things as simple as possible, but not too simple.
    Let your ears decide for you!

  8. #8
    M.P.S.E /AES/SMPTE member Sir Terrence the Terrible's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bturk667
    Read my reply to WmAx for my own definition of an Audiophile. Yes, I consider my self to be one.
    Your reply just gives me more questions. Since what is considered high fidelity varies from person to person, what makes you an audiophile and the next person not one? Their goal can be the same as yours, but they don't consider themselves audiophiles. Is this just a self important title one gives himself as a status symbol?

    I like excellent quality sound, and do not mind spending my money on it, but the idea of calling myself an audiophile smacks of self important arrogance, as that title is used to seperate yourself from the mass market crowd. Just my opinion and am looking for others to offer their own defination.
    Sir Terrence

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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sir Terrence the Terrible
    Your reply just gives me more questions. Since what is considered high fidelity varies from person to person, what makes you an audiophile and the next person not one? Their goal can be the same as yours, but they don't consider themselves audiophiles. Is this just a self important title one gives himself as a status symbol?

    I like excellent quality sound, and do not mind spending my money on it, but the idea of calling myself an audiophile smacks of self important arrogance, as that title is used to seperate yourself from the mass market crowd. Just my opinion and am looking for others to offer their own defination.
    Well, Terrence, the way I saw it was that audiophiles were those who saw money as no object to buy the gear for this hobby----and those who scrutinize every aspect of the gear, the DVD viewing experience, or whatever it may be....the ones who spend hundreds upon hundreds of dollars on cables and interconnects alone....those who will not, under any circumstances, purchase products from brands like Onkyo, Panasonic, Sony, Pionner, JVC, Kenwood or, fill in your favorite mass market brand here.

    The audio ENTHUSIAST, as I see it, is a different animal....I have always felt I fell into this category. These are the folks who are by no means anything like the average consumer, buying home theater in a box systems and the like, but also not getting as "involved" in the hobby as an audiophile....I LOVE music and home theater, and it has always been a hobby, and over the years, I have learned to stay away from certain retailers, brands and types of gear, thus enabling me to be labled as an ENTHUSIAST.....I will never buy another piece of equipment with the Kenwood label on it, or anything (save for perhaps a car stereo CD changer) from JVC....and now, I shop at audio outlets that offer the likes of Marantz and Sony ES. BUT, I had no problem shopping good deals and settling on an ONKYO receiver for my home theater system, not a multi-thousand dollar separates setup from NAD or Rotel or something....I believe an AUDIO ENTHUSIAST has not yet matched the level of passion an AUDIOPHILE has in the way that an enthusiast will not necessarily purchase gear from less-known high end brands...yet, an enthusiast WILL know more than the average consumer and make much more high-end decisions on system purchasing than an average consumer would.

  10. #10
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    So you do not want to be considered an audiophile. Great, no big deal.

    As for is being a status symbol. Now you make me laugh!!! Maybe you care about such trivial things, but I sure as hell do not. I'm middle class all the way; no status in that! None of my friends understand why I listen to so much music. None of them would never understand how I could spend as much as I did on my system. That fine with me. I could care less how much anybody spends on anything; it is their monet after all. I do not have a lot of money, and it has taken years to save and assemble my system.

    Believe me whern I say: I COULD CARE LESS WHAT PEOPLE THINK OF MY SYSTEM OR MY LOVE FOR LISTENING TO MUSIC!!! Status symbol? I think not!

    Everyone has their own definition of what an audiophile is. The problem is that there are many who act like audiophile is a four letter word! Be one or not, who cares! Just enjoy your system, status symbol or not, and keep on listening to music. Because in the end that is what is really important, well at least to me. A day without music is an incomplete one.

    Have a great day!!!
    Remember, different isn't always better, but it is different.
    Keep things as simple as possible, but not too simple.
    Let your ears decide for you!

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by bturk667
    So you do not want to be considered an audiophile. Great, no big deal.

    As for is being a status symbol. Now you make me laugh!!! Maybe you care about such trivial things, but I sure as hell do not. I'm middle class all the way; no status in that! None of my friends understand why I listen to so much music. None of them would never understand how I could spend as much as I did on my system. That fine with me. I could care less how much anybody spends on anything; it is their monet after all. I do not have a lot of money, and it has taken years to save and assemble my system.

    Believe me whern I say: I COULD CARE LESS WHAT PEOPLE THINK OF MY SYSTEM OR MY LOVE FOR LISTENING TO MUSIC!!! Status symbol? I think not!

    Everyone has their own definition of what an audiophile is. The problem is that there are many who act like audiophile is a four letter word! Be one or not, who cares! Just enjoy your system, status symbol or not, and keep on listening to music. Because in the end that is what is really important, well at least to me. A day without music is an incomplete one.

    Have a great day!!!
    Are you referring to my post? If so, where did I say it was a status symbol?

  12. #12
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    Not unless you and Sir Terrence the Terrible are the same person. On the top right of this page you will see "Thread Tools" and "Display Mode," click on either of these, then click on "Hybrid Mode." This might help you in the future.
    Remember, different isn't always better, but it is different.
    Keep things as simple as possible, but not too simple.
    Let your ears decide for you!

  13. #13
    Forum Regular gonefishin's Avatar
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    my definition of Audiophile is

    Main Entry: au·dio·phile
    Pronunciation: 'o-dE-O-"fIl
    Function: noun
    : a person who is enthusiastic about high-fidelity sound reproduction



    That's it You don't even need to own a system to be an audiophile. Further, far as I'm concerned, every single person who visits audio boards like this are also considered to be an audiophile no matter if they want to admit it or not :P

    now, there are people who seem to be audio snobs, but this is not uncommon to anything in life.


    How did I get into this hobby? Well, It was when I was a little kid (maybe seven or so). I could remember asking my mom to drive me to the only audio store I knew of. I'd just sit there and listen to the beautiful music coming from the stereo systems. Then I look around at all the models...to find a couple I was interested in I go home with a stack of brochures and dream about owning my own hifi system some day as the Beatles - live at Hollywood Bowl was playing in the background oh sunny days
    ok...I'm back anyway...I decided which receiver I wanted to buy and cut grass...shoveled snow...cleaned garages...anything I could do to save up some money to buy my Vector Research 35Watt SS receiver.


    that was the start of it...


    take care>>>>>>>
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    enjoy the music!

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by bturk667
    Not unless you and Sir Terrence the Terrible are the same person. On the top right of this page you will see "Thread Tools" and "Display Mode," click on either of these, then click on "Hybrid Mode." This might help you in the future.
    Sorry for my reply to you, then BTurk.

  15. #15
    M.P.S.E /AES/SMPTE member Sir Terrence the Terrible's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gonefishin
    my definition of Audiophile is

    Main Entry: au·dio·phile
    Pronunciation: 'o-dE-O-"fIl
    Function: noun
    : a person who is enthusiastic about high-fidelity sound reproduction



    That's it You don't even need to own a system to be an audiophile. Further, far as I'm concerned, every single person who visits audio boards like this are also considered to be an audiophile no matter if they want to admit it or not :P

    now, there are people who seem to be audio snobs, but this is not uncommon to anything in life.


    How did I get into this hobby? Well, It was when I was a little kid (maybe seven or so). I could remember asking my mom to drive me to the only audio store I knew of. I'd just sit there and listen to the beautiful music coming from the stereo systems. Then I look around at all the models...to find a couple I was interested in I go home with a stack of brochures and dream about owning my own hifi system some day as the Beatles - live at Hollywood Bowl was playing in the background oh sunny days
    ok...I'm back anyway...I decided which receiver I wanted to buy and cut grass...shoveled snow...cleaned garages...anything I could do to save up some money to buy my Vector Research 35Watt SS receiver.


    that was the start of it...


    take care>>>>>>>
    This was the best explaination of audiophile that I have heard yet. Totally lacking in the smug factor and sounds down to earth. Bravo gonefishin
    Sir Terrence

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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by bturk667
    I guess that depends on YOUR definition of an audiophile. As an audiophile I'll give you mine, the easy version.

    A person who assembles a system in hopes that it can reproduce recorded music in as high a fidelity as possible. What is high fidelity? Well, that varies from person to person.


    Now, why don't you give me your definition. This way I can better understand why you think my statement is a contradiction. Because I am not contradicting my definition of what I believe an audiophile is. Yes, my system is completely musically satisfying to me!!!
    I think it's a good definition. Mine is a little different and my own journey to audiophilia is a bit of a contradiction. I strive to reproduce the experience of live music as closely as possible. I don't use fidelity specifically for the reason you mentioned - that it varies, and also because I have no real way of knowing if my system or software is high fidelity. Measurements are a good start but if I used equipment that simply measured well, I'd have a less than satisfactory musical experience. I've tried it and it sucks!

    My definition is a contradiction because I got into higher performance gear as a means of presenting my huge and ever growing collection of software in its best possible light. I've been a collector of LP's since 1971 and CD's since 1989. It's an obsessive pleasure and I've always gotten a much bigger rush out of scoring a mass of original Blue Note LP's or a couple of CD's that replaced out of print LP's I couldn't find than the rush I got from even my speakers, the piece of gear that I cherish most. But my system does serve the music and I'm closer to the live experience than I ever dreamed possible - and closer than many people would believe at all! Anyway, music software is recorded music, not live, so I have to reconcile the two by attempting to make my music software sound live. Confusing?

    All apologies to the original poster who is trying to justify the expense he's made on new gear but I have to say this: Yes, the music sounds better now than it did on my cheapo gear that I replaced in the mid-1980's. But do I enjoy it more? Overall, I don't think so. Maybe at certain times but I've always enjoyed music more than anything in the world. OTOH, I wonder how I'd feel if I had to go back to that Sony rack system....

  17. #17
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    Not a problem!
    Remember, different isn't always better, but it is different.
    Keep things as simple as possible, but not too simple.
    Let your ears decide for you!

  18. #18
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    Well, Terrence, what is yours?
    Remember, different isn't always better, but it is different.
    Keep things as simple as possible, but not too simple.
    Let your ears decide for you!

  19. #19
    M.P.S.E /AES/SMPTE member Sir Terrence the Terrible's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bturk667
    Well, Terrence, what is yours?
    Since I find this whole elitist label thing kinda boring, I have no definition. I am just a audio engineer trying to make artists sound good, recordings worth listening to, while having fun and making money. I am just a person who spends alot of money on equipment and software for my enjoyment. I don't think you need a label to describe that.

    If you read my posts, I take this hobby awful seriously. I however do not take myself that serious that it requires a label(and a certain attitude) to convey my love for my hobby.
    Sir Terrence

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  20. #20
    Forum Regular gonefishin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sir Terrence the Terrible
    Since I find this whole elitist label thing kinda boring, I have no definition. I am just a audio engineer trying to make artists sound good, recordings worth listening to, while having fun and making money. I am just a person who spends alot of money on equipment and software for my enjoyment. I don't think you need a label to describe that.

    If you read my posts, I take this hobby awful seriously. I however do not take myself that serious that it requires a label(and a certain attitude) to convey my love for my hobby.
    Hi Terrence,

    If you (and others) don't mind me going off on a slight tangent here...it looks as tho your a recording engineer...is that correct?

    thanks,
    dan
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    enjoy the music!

  21. #21
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    Good answer?
    Remember, different isn't always better, but it is different.
    Keep things as simple as possible, but not too simple.
    Let your ears decide for you!

  22. #22
    M.P.S.E /AES/SMPTE member Sir Terrence the Terrible's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gonefishin
    Hi Terrence,

    If you (and others) don't mind me going off on a slight tangent here...it looks as tho your a recording engineer...is that correct?

    thanks,
    dan
    Dan,
    That is correct.
    Sir Terrence

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  23. #23
    M.P.S.E /AES/SMPTE member Sir Terrence the Terrible's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bturk667
    Good answer?
    Thank you!
    Sir Terrence

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  24. #24
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    Wink

    We become audiophiles when we buy a bad system. We stop listening to the music, start listening to our equipment and become audiophiles.

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    Honestly, my question/comment was only meant as a friendly jab. :-)

    -Chris


    Quote Originally Posted by bturk667
    I guess that depends on YOUR definition of an audiophile. As an audiophile I'll give you mine, the easy version.

    A person who assembles a system in hopes that it can reproduce recorded music in as high a fidelity as possible. What is high fidelity? Well, that varies from person to person.


    Now, why don't you give me your definition. This way I can better understand why you think my statement is a contradiction. Because I am not contradicting my definition of what I believe an audiophile is. Yes, my system is completely musically satisfying to me!!!

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