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Audiophile *or* Music Lover (Read 12691 times)
Lonely Raven
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Audiophile *or* Music Lover
09/09/14 at 13:56:21
 

An interesting article "Do you need to love music to be an Audiophile". I see a lot of our discussion points popping up in this article/discussion.

http://hometheaterreview.com/do-you-need-to-love-music-to-be-a-true-audiophile/

" However, I know many individuals who consider themselves audiophiles who use the music to listen to their components. Any music they play becomes a tool to evaluate their latest purchase in the endless quest for the holy grail of the absolute sound, compared to some idealized image. "
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Palomino
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Re: Audiophile *or* Music Lover
Reply #1 - 09/09/14 at 14:26:46
 
For me, equipment is a means to an end (music).  I would prefer to just sit back, listen and not futz.  To simply chase the technical is like doing math problems for fun.  Not my cup of tea.

That said, I do enjoy the pursuit of a more musical experience and sometimes get too wrapped up in it.  Like I am probably going to spend multiple hours building diffusers.  But that is also a love of building stuff, having a project to keep me focused as well.

So hifi involves a of lot of my interests all in one place.  Music, equipment, building, etc.  But the common goal is a more musical experience.

Sailing is my other engrossing hobby which does the same thing.  It involves planning, strategy, athletics,  equipment, camping, outdoor cooking, competition, etc.  But the love of sailing is at the center.
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Lonely Raven
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Re: Audiophile *or* Music Lover
Reply #2 - 09/09/14 at 14:28:56
 
I think that's why we get along so well. We enjoy the efforts, both mental and physical, needed to reach our goals. The journey is as important as the destination.  :)

Besides, I love learning and building and sharing. Though sometimes I feel like I'm "trying to keep up with the Jonses".  :)
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Lon
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Re: Audiophile *or* Music Lover
Reply #3 - 09/09/14 at 14:33:19
 
I think for me it began as a way to deepen my appreciation of the music, and I confess as I moved deeper and deeper into the hobby it became increasingly about the non-musical aspects as well, but a lot of this is not necessarily "equipment" but also video material, I found that the isolation, cabling and power treatments really created visual improvements in my video reproduction, and the improved sound really aided both tv and dvd/blu-ray enjoyment. As a result I "watched" a lot more, eating into listening time. I could also share more watching time with the wonderful women in my life than listening time, so there's that; the wonderful women also appreciated the improvements more in the video parts of the system, so there's also that. Love is central for me, love of my wonderful partners, love of music and visual arts. And a growing love of the equipment getting me there, the setup and fine tuning, all goes together in the blender of my life.

I think also that playing music, an activity and love that predated my audiophile activity and love, has influenced this blend of the music and the equipment because as a drummer and a pianist and then as a guitarist and bassist I learned how intimately the blend of equipment and creation of music can be and how influential the one is to the other. Believe me, playing a fine piano inspires me more than playing a shitty one. Playing a fine drumkit, likewise, and there's so much you can tinker with on a drumkit to get both the sound and the flow: tuning, placement, hardware and technique. The fascination with guitars for me is as much about how the woods and electronics create and influence the sound as the music itself. So. . . great training ground for an audiophile.

Truly I think it's more about the sound than the equipment for me as though I have so much invested in equipment, I have a lot more invested in music itself (as I don't believe in "music for free," I've paid dearly for my tens of thousands of recordings).

But it's a blend for almost any audiophile, with probably differing percentages of "music" vs. "equipment" following personal preferences and possibly related to how long one has been in the hobby.
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will
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Re: Audiophile *or* Music Lover
Reply #4 - 09/09/14 at 17:13:02
 
Like nice instruments, equipment is a vehicle to the end of beautiful music for me. But I love instruments! I am in the "sound" school too, as to me the quality of the sound is a huge part of the music. Like Lon and the piano, if the instrument was good, the music I was able to play was very much influenced for the better by the sound and feel of the instrument. It was the interaction between myself, the instrument, and the room that made the music...and neither was more important than another to the music.

And it did not necessarily have to be a costly instrument to love it...though it had to sound and feel seductive. I used to love adjusting instruments to suit me, just like I love adjusting the system/room. I was never a great player, but I loved to play, very much of this being the seduction from sound of the instrument.

With audio it is the same for me. The equipment is like the instruments, and in this case, needs to make the sound of instruments in rooms for me. And playing with adjusting the system/room to get there is very much like making and setting a sound post and bridge "just so" for that specific violin, or tuning the braces of a guitar, and adjusting the neck and bridge. The music is so much about the sound and feel of the instruments, and the gear is so much about the sound and presentation of music the combined system/room can make.
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RJR
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Re: Audiophile *or* Music Loverand
Reply #5 - 09/09/14 at 23:18:28
 
I would ask this question.  Do you listen to your equipment or do you listen to the music?  I am not a musician, but I really enjoy music and I want good equipment.

I believe that my Torii MK3, with certain tubes, along with my other components allows me to be engrossed in the music.  The other day I was listening to one of my dad's jazz albums and the speakers just literally disappeared and the experience was truly fascinating and awesome.  

One thing about this hobby and the pursuit of different or maybe better sound is the $$$ spent.  You can buy an amp for $4000+, preamp for $3000+, speakers for $4500+, turntable for $3000+ cabling for $2000+ and possibly have two systems, yet when it is all said-and-done, you may have spent $15,000+ in equipment playing a $5 album or cd.

Also, I really enjoy these forums.  Thanks
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Re: Audiophile *or* Music Lover
Reply #6 - 09/10/14 at 10:49:18
 
The term `audiophile` was always enigmatic to me for years and years. It conjured up rich people padding around in  smoking jackets,
picking out a rare jazz/classical album from a vast library, setting it down on a TT with a record clamp, carefully lifting the spaceage arm on to it  and settling a Koetsu cart on to the record. There would be no surface noise. Their amp stages would consist of beautifully crafted pieces with names that would leave me thinking " I`ve seen a review of that, oh, that`s Italian, oh, look at those valves...monobocks" Speakers would need casters. The gentleman would then retire to his wingback armchair next to which was a small round coffee table with a charged brandy glass. I would poo-poo him, and at the same time wish I could have an audiophile system.
Yes it was a distant shore. Earmarking some of the hard earned for hifi meant average stuff and all  mix`n`match seperates. Synergy was that pot luck thing that you hoped your mojo was in control of.
I`d always buy some mags and developed reading between the lines of reviewers, or thought I did. "...a slice of hi-fi heaven at an affordable price" ok thats me  :) " Foot tapping...good timing...pace, tight bass... lets you enjoy the music...good imaging, you`d need to spend x amounts..." These were the `lets say something nice` for average to good gear. My gear does that.(then)
The reviews that had me squirming were the " You`d swear they were in the room...the architecture of music...really connected with the emotion...the bass was effortless, deep, tunefull, extended, textured not one note....spotlight on instruments, pinpoints, space between players, mids to die for...highs were grain free, piano decay was real..cymbals had real metalic quality...(and of course) fatigue free listening...I was up all night ( of course you were  :) )
The funny thing is, now I can read these reviews and think " you must be bonkers to spend all that dough" but hey `twas ever thus. They push their gear at you in the media. Thats what they`re in business for.
So after going round the houses the music is the main pusuit and always will be. The Decware amps have given me the appetite for thinking seriously about vibration control and room tuning. I just get this inherrent feeling that it`s worth it.
It`s not easy, I could and do dissmiss anymore tweaking to just appreciate what I`m hearing like never before. It`s good really because I could leave anymore expenditure for years.
`Spose I`m the old boy in the wingback armchair now, less the chair, jacket, brandy, sacks of cash. :)
Now for those jazz albums....who needs lyrics I want to hear musicians blowing...... that would be contentious I think.


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Lonely Raven
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Re: Audiophile *or* Music Lover
Reply #7 - 09/10/14 at 12:38:05
 
Marky, that's some good writing right there! Thanks!
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Lon
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Re: Audiophile *or* Music Lover
Reply #8 - 09/10/14 at 14:51:13
 
will, wow, that's pretty much how I feel about it all.

R, marky, thanks for great posts!

On another board they really try to build "consensus" about things, which is pretty futile in their case, but here I would say the consensus is that we're music lovers AND audiophiles!
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stone_of_tone
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Re: Audiophile *or* Music Lover
Reply #9 - 09/10/14 at 15:58:28
 
"It`s not easy, I could and do dissmiss anymore tweaking to just appreciate what I`m hearing like never before. It`s good really because I could leave anymore expenditure for years".
......So true for me too, marky.

However, I'm waiting on my new IC to burn in downstairs for 600 hours (already bought an paid for, thankfully).
Also, I hope this time next year...Steve releases his new SET creation. With all due respect to Dennis Had creating his one at a time 10 to 16 watt/channel SETS with KT88's an KT150's... . I want to hear Steve's creation...if he decides to release it.   I hope he does. It won't replace my SE84CS or CSP3/ZMA. I bet, it will make my rotation.
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Lonely Raven
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Re: Audiophile *or* Music Lover
Reply #10 - 09/13/14 at 14:27:01
 

I got my answer for myself last night....

I got a chance to get my hands on a copy of the new ALT-J album - and I had this nervious anticipation of will it suck...how could they possibly keep up with such a wonderful first album...I wonder if it's going to have harmonies and 3D depth like the first album...I wonder, I wonder.

So yeah, while I love the technology and the gear, and I'd love to be able to afford jewelry, it's really about the music for me. I was honestly upsetting myself about if this album would be even half as good as the first album for me.

The answer turns out to be...great album that will take some exploring to take it all in...much like the first!  :)
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alper_yilmaz
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Re: Audiophile *or* Music Lover
Reply #11 - 02/25/16 at 09:31:16
 
Nice topic!

As a musician, one of the questions that I am directed quite often is about the gear I play.  I have a bunch of custom-made basses to my specs and amps/speakers/DI boxes/effects.  My response to any such question is "you should invest in a decent instrument and a set of equipment (which should not mean that you need to break the bank) to be encouraged to play."  In other words, the gear should not get in the way of your playing and does not have to be expensive at all.  A well-adjusted and decent-sounding instrument would facilitate your technique and would make you to practice and play more!

For audiophile gear it is very similar for me.  I never enjoyed listening to music through mediocre gear including Walkman's when they first came out; or through some lame speakers.  As I have relative pitch, I can easily tell notes and pitches (relatively) and was always able to analyze music from a musician's perspective.

The first time I was exposed to audiophile gear was when I was in school at Davis, CA.  I had this money in hand to spend, went to a store in San Francisco, and bought a pair of used B&W speakers and a Rotel amplifier.  Even though this combination is nowhere close to what I listen to now, I believe it was a decent introduction to high-end gear.  I realized I enjoyed listening to music after this acquisition!  Later on, I upgraded my amp to a Classé and tube gear by Decware followed.  Over time, I invested in cables, amps, tubes, DACs, turntables, as well as a few pairs of speakers.  Even though I adamantly believed that the whole discussion around power cables was revolved around snake oil, I have invested in power cleaning gear and cabling.

As a result, my current system simply makes me want to listen to music, as my Fodera bass makes me want to play music!  What I specifically pay attention to, though, is the music though.  So, I have the means to listen to a good representation of music but I forget about what I listen to it through.  It is just like bebop harmony, as Charlie Parker said, "learn the theory, but forget it when you start playing!"

Cheers,

Alper
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Re: Audiophile *or* Music Lover
Reply #12 - 11/10/16 at 07:04:11
 
I do enjoy the pursuit of a more musical experience and sometimes get too wrapped up in it.  Like I am probably going to spend multiple hours building diffusers.  But that is also a love of building stuff, having a project to keep me focused as well.
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Re: Audiophile *or* Music Lover
Reply #13 - 11/21/17 at 09:17:46
 
So cool, a good share.
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Re: Audiophile *or* Music Lover
Reply #14 - 11/21/17 at 16:17:29
 
To Everyone here....Great read!!!
For me music began as a love of listening and in my pre-teens a love of learning to play Uke then Guitar. As soon as I could play 3 chords I began writing lyrics/music. I've played and jammed with anyone and everyone I could and, enjoy continuing to do so with musicians/friends and ex-band mates. Picking up any decent sounding guitar (or other stringed instrument) and playing is all I need to get the creative juices flowing. As I neared retirement (2015) I knew I wanted something I've never pursued....A great stereo system....Decware has filled that spot. There are days when I might spend 5 - 6 hours sitting in the man-cave just absolutely wrapped up in the beautiful sound this equipment makes. As I've adjusted and tweaked and invested to improve it all over the last few years I have not been disappointed. It just keeps getting better!!
Reading and taking note of the experiences, and recommendations, of the many forum members has made my audio journey a breeze. I would not be this far along in my audio journey without your help...THANK YOU!!!
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Lon
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Re: Audiophile *or* Music Lover
Reply #15 - 11/22/17 at 01:09:37
 
I posted a similar story on the Decware Facebook page and would love it if you fine folk would add your experiences there. . . .

https://www.facebook.com/Zenamps/posts/375624906192243

I guess you'll have to get used to me asking you all to comment on the Facebook page. . . I'd really like to see it more active. I'll try to limit my pleas to one a day. Smiley
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Re: Audiophile *or* Music Lover
Reply #16 - 12/03/17 at 16:04:47
 
I guess i am the weird one. I like equipment, but i am not about the equipment, I don't love music, don't know much about it, but i love the way it sounds, i love the way some of it could make me emotional. I love listening to all kinds of music looking for that recording that brings the emotions out. I am not an audiophile and i am not a music lover, But i do listen, in my listening room, at least 3 hours a day. I search for those perfect recordings, that only exist at that moment in my mind. I hate loud concerts, but i like small venues that allow me to listed to music and hold a conversation (the exception is an orchestras). ultimately I love the way some music sounds and i am in constant search of the perfect sounding recording. ultimately i am addicted to finding the best sounding recordings and i admit, i hardly stop to hear the music.
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Reply #17 - 09/19/18 at 01:20:39
 
Musicophile: Listens to music passionately

Audiophile: Listens to their equipment passionately

I became a passionate music listener first on crappy equipment. I have gone through an obsessive stage of listening to my equipment. Now I am more at peace with everything. I do notice anyone who plays music is MUCH more likely to be into equipment and notice the quality of it.
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Reply #18 - 02/03/19 at 18:10:30
 
Great reading folks!!!! We all share a common passion and I love reading everyone's opinions/stories.

My audiophile/music lover story is below. It is long but hopefully not boring.

My story in the is crazy hobby started when I was about 11 or 12 years old. I had a friend whose older brother had some SAE equipment and Cerwin-Vega speakers. This was back it the late 70's and his older brother was in to the rock music of those days. So one day my friend said to me, "you have to hear my brother's stereo, it is incredible". So him and I and a couple of other friends went to his house and brother proceeded to play Gypsy by Uriah Heep from their live album. It was from that day on I was hooked on music. At that time I had a paper route and my dad told me that if I wanted a stereo, I had to work for it and pay for it myself. So that is what I did. I saved up and my dad took me to a local electronics store we had in the area called SILO. I proceeded to buy a Technics 35W receiver, A Technics turntable and a pair of speakers made by a company called Harvard. I don't remember what this all set me back, bu tit was a lot of newspaper deliveries for sure. I instantly had the audiophile bug. I was positioning speakers and everything else I could of to try and squeeze every ounce of quality sound that was possibly attainable out of that system.

Fast forward to my late teens and I became good friends with one of the salesman at a local med/high end shop here that was called Sassafras Audio. If my memory is correct, I bought some Adcom equipment and Energy speakers as that is what my budget allowed at the time. I had this system for quite some time and ended up selling it to a friend of mine who still has some of this equipment today.

After getting married in my mid 20's and having 2 beautiful daughters, I took a hiatus from the audio world to focus on them. It was about the year 2000 or so that my salesman friend was moving out of the country and asked me if I wanted to buy his current system which consisted of a CJ premier 11 and Thiel speakers. I added a California Audio Labs transport/DAC to this and built a special sound room in my house to listen in. This was to date the best system I had ever had, but it just wasn't where I wanted it. So I played the swap game of buying and selling cables and other tweaks to improve the sound. I eventually ended up with a set of CJ Premier 12 mono's that I really liked and stayed with that combo for a while. It was during this stage that I met a friend of mine who turns out to be an seasoned "audiophile". He was very good at placing acoustic treatments and always had a niche for finding out about good products that were not mainstream. Sometime in the mid to late 2000's I got out of the hobby again.

Fast Fast forward to 2018 and as I say, I finally was one of those people who was in the right place at the right time. My friend, from the paragraph above, was unfortunately going through some personal stuff. He had a pair of Legacy Audio Sig. SE''s that I have always been fond of. So he called me and explained the situation and said that due to situation, the speakers are available and he wanted to give me first crack at them. So I went over to his place and listened to his system which consisted of the Legacy speakers, Esoteric CD player and here is the best part, a Decware ZMA amp. Now at this point I had never heard of Decware, but I have always trusted my friends judgement. I was skeptical as this amp was only 40 watts and how could it drive those Signature SE's? Well let me tell you, once I heard this it was like the second coming of Jesus. I had never heard anything this perfect in my life. He had told me that he was also selling the amp but at that time he was asking more than I wanted to pay for it. So I left with the speakers and the research into Decware began.  The more I read, the more interested I became in Steve's products and his way of thinking. I knew that when the time was right, I was going to have a Decware amp in my house. A few weeks later my buddy texts me and says he is lowering the price of the amp, but it was still a little more than I wanted to pay. Finally he came down a little more and I did not hesitate to scarf that amp up. So now I have a system that consists of the ZMA, Legacy Sig SE's and an Esoteric CD player that I added. The ZMA is nothing short of spectacular and I believe I could be at the end of my audiophile merry go round. This amp performs so well that I have no desire to look for any other piece of audio equipment. When I am listening to my now favorite genre of blues, a tear comes to my eye at the astounding quality of the sound that this amp produces.

In conclusion, I am not sure if I am an audiophile or music lover. I am not sure of the exact definition of audiophile. But, I do know this,, I like various types of music that is reproduced to the closest quality of a live performance and I believe I have achieved that goal. So maybe I am now a retired audiophile who is now a music lover. Smiley

Thanks and I look forward to reading things on this forum everyday.

Dave
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