An Audiophile is Anyone Who Loves Audio Regardless of Monetary Status. Agree?
One group should not be allowed to monopolize the term above another as their own status symbol. you i and anyone else who likes audio can be considered an audiophile regardless of the size of your bank account.
@geoffkait : "A rich man has about as much chance of finding real Audio Nirvana as a camel has of passing through the eye of a needle."
Yes, but the the rest of the verse is: "With man this is impossible, but with Audio-Buddha all things are possible." On a more serious side, no, I don’t think you can be an audiophile without a good deal of disposable income. You might have been one. You might want to be one. You might be one in your own mind but the truth is that it takes money to do this right. Exceptions? Sure. But very few and debatable.
It's dopey, I know, but I think I'll keep calling myself a "soundie." It seems to get to the point without the pretentious baggage that rubs so many of us the wrong way. It's also an easy way to describe our hobby to curious outsiders. Because it's an obvious pastiche on foodie, people get it and we can move on to something else without embarrassing myself.
The point I was trying to make was that we often hear people say you don't have to spend a lot of money to get hi-fi quality sound. But that sentiment is utterly drowned out by discussions about components that cost thousands each, speakers that cost tens of thousands each cables that cost thousands and tweaks that cost thousands.
So the point is, if someone took a top down look at discussions here on Audiogon, or the items for sale for that matter, they would have to assume that it does, in fact, require a lot of money to actually experience high fidelity audio.
So we can all pat ourselves on the backs about how egalitarian we are and how in reality it takes very little money to be an audiophile.......but that sure as heck isn't what it looks like looking from the outside in.
But let's put a dollar amount on it. Buying used, what would be the least amount you think you could spend for a system that would be your primary daily listening system for 5 years? Can anyone honestly get that below $2000?
And even if you can, how do you think $2000 sounds for a used stereo to most people? Hint: It sounds like a ton of money. And probably wouldn't be enough to buy many of our own speaker cables.
@n80 i paid less than 2600 for pair of EV patricians, less than 400 for a Yamaha 2200, JVC 7050, and Hafler combined and add 100$ for luxman c2. I will bet and guarantee all these will smoke anything 30k or even 100k plus and I didnt include my giant killer Sansui tube integrated which would smoke even any ss amp in bass quality and depth. All less than 4k
@vinny55 , so you spent about $4k on a system and you like it. And you present that as a frugal low cost entry into hi-fi. I would agree with that on the scale of what is normally spent and expected here at Audiogon.
But that is still $4,000. I don't even personally know anyone who wouldn't think that that was crazy money to listen to music.
We all say, wow, good sound for $4k, that's great. (Of course there are plenty here saying to themselves that you are deluding yourself and there is no way a system that costs less than their power cables can sound any good at all.) But $4,000 is a lot of money just to get your audiophile card and the secret hand shake.
I couldn’t care less about status a couple of you guys are alluding to. Its love for audio and music not how much you spend on your fav system. If you think 4k is expensive then your living in dreamworld. 4k is pennies compared to the cables and power conditioners you elitists spend. I refuse to call your types audiophiles because you disrespect the real audiophiles. So lets see my other real cheap system Rogers ls35a 7bucks, Luxman 100u couple hundred bucks cambridge cd1 couple hundred bucks will blow away your analytical dry modern unmusical speakers in mids and musicality or i could use my custom made cabs with tannoy 8 inch in them gold tweeter. Best speaker bar none 360 degree 4d sound. I can continue with all kinds of scenarios i have and cheap. All my systems are connected with humble lampchord speaker cables and basic power chords
@n80 so tell us about your useless sonically 20k anaconda cables and powerchords that you have?
There is great sound available at every pricepoint and nowhere is the law of diminishing returns more on display than in high end audio. What I find troubling is the typical class warfare BS spilling into audio but why should it be any different than automobiles, watches, wine, clothing, food, hair care, skin care, cosmetics, hiking gear, camping gear, cycling gear, sports shoes and equipment, etc, etc.
We all like what we like and spend what we choose to spend. Priorities and resources are different for everyone and I don’t resent or pity others for their choices or circumstances. I do, however, have a bit of a problem when someone creates their own imaginary club and then tosses potshots because of their imaginary wisdom. Either they are the sane person in a crazy world or.....otherwise.
When I was selling my JBL 640's I gave my cousin a demonstration. We listened to PF's DSOTM on CD (I forget which version). Listening, I thought that this was the best sound I had heard from that venerable recording! I told my cousin so and said "sell the JBL 100's and buy the 640's." No go! My cousin remained non-plussed and left, content with returning to his venerable L100's! So is my cousin an audioph*le?
"Audio", by definition(ie: sound, especially when recorded, transmitted, or reproduced), can include everything/anything, from the first time a soundwave hit an eardrum. As long as you, "love"(phile=suffix), WHATEVER your might be listening to, or hearing, feel free to call yourself an, "audiophile".
Agree. I certainly admire the folks who build and second-hand good sound together the most - the ’value’’ audiophiles. Or the people who find a particular quality in their system they really like and just groove.
For some reason I was reminded of this clip from Boogie Nights:
For most of the people out there, almost $4000 is a lots of money to spend on music reproduction. n80 is correct on all accounts. You need to spend a lots of money to have an "audiophile" system. Your $4000 (or a bit less) is actually bordering on outrageous.
I honestly think that being an Audiophile is enjoying the magic of reproduced sounds in ones own private listening space.
I am not even certain music needs to be a part of the equation.
I have a feeling there are people people out there that like listening to spoken word, great orations, poetry, even just recordings of nature or jet planes taking off. I don’t think music needs to be a part of it.
@vinny55 : You’ve kind of got all tangled up in my comments and seem to have misunderstood them all. I’m playing devils advocate here. I’m an audiophile by pure kismet. I have a decent older system that I was given.
At my cabin I routinely enjoy a nearly 40 year old 25w Toshiba receiver with a 15 year old Toshiba DVD player spinning the CDs all through a pair of Polk Audio Monitor 70s that I picked up on Craig’s list for $180....for the pair. And I enjoy listening to the music through it.
But here is the deal:
I personally would never have spent anywhere close to $4000 for a system if I was starting out fresh and chances are, even now that I’ve kind of gotten into this stuff with the system that was given to me...if it was all gone tomorrow...I’d still have to think long and hard about spending $4000 to try and replace it. And probably wouldn’t.
So all charges of elitism are misplaced. I’m just pointing out that in this and similar threads there is always this element of "oh sure, you can get great sound for a few hundred bucks"..............but in light of the majority of the conversations and recommendations that’s not what you’re going to hear in practice.
Sure, my old Panasonic record changer with round speakers is good enough.......as long as I’m enthusiastic about audio.
Vinny- sorry, but your system probably sounds what a $2-$4k system should sound like. Your system does not or will not compete with a $10k or higher system, let alone a $100k system. Instead of trying to convince us of the impossible, you should stick to what you initially asked. I know people that love music and they love their cheaper system and I also people that spent $100k that aren’t happy. In his hobby, just like others, you can start off small and then upgrade over time.
At one time I had Rogers LS35As, DQ10s, and LaScalas in my living room powered by 300B/2A3 switchable amp, custom EL84 SE amp and a pair of modded Dyna70s. Mix and match. Maybe considered an "audiophile" then. Don't know- don't care. All bought used for little over $2k. Just enjoyed playing with the stuff.
I’ve walked the shows and heard all the $100,000+ gear. If you are proud of that kind of excess you probably don’t really care about ‘the music’ or ‘the sound’ anymore, you are trying to accomplish something else (in your mansion built around your ‘sound system’ [as I’m sure you call it when referring to it from your yacht]).
If your system costs more than the studio gear that originally recorded it back in the day, you might be going overboard. If your system costs more than a contemporary studio, you should put that space to good use and let people record music in it!
I’d say an excellent level of quality and indisputable full-on ‘audiophile experience’ can be had for around 6k to 10k. Part of being an audiophile is the search for how best to spend the money you do want to spend and realizing you don’t have to make all the right choices the first time. Just enjoy the journey!
And honest, with a little bit of study, lots of patience, some super smart choices and solid room treatment, you can have an audiophile system for much, much less than what I’ve stated above. But a certain subset of audiophiles won’t even talk to you. But all of them will offer at least one or two little, smallish suggestions.
So dont listen to the million dollar babies... They have spent so much at this point that they could never question their own love, doubt their aural acuity or practically understand the absurd amounts of money they have spent for an experience that will ultimately not get them closer to the truth.
Aaah don’t worry about it...most of them probably rely wholly on suggestions from others for their gear purchase or don’t realize they are being upsold by dealers who stroke their buttocks to get at their wallets.
...and really at what point aren’t they just paying for more gold bricks be placed in their speaker cabinets as the most inert ‘sound dampening’ material.
...and remember, every guy with a sports car thinks he’s a racer. I mean really we all know the guy with the best car, or just really proud of his car and how that all goes. And just because your car is the fastest or the best it doesn’t mean you are the best driver. Some people I guess might need million dollar systems because they really need the help to hear into the mix, but probably more for the boasting.
For me, part of it is loving the music and really hearing into the sounds. Part of it is trying to find what enhances your experience. Part of it is gaining greater context on both the music and sound reproduction by carefully moving music making machines in and out of your system. Part of it is realizing what is of real value to you in your life and making choices.