You are so right on. I fear that we can get lost in all of it and listen to the gear and NOT the music.
I learned that lesson and have really found the joy in listening this year - to the music and I am most pleased. It is like meditation to me and I just came out of a 6 hour trance this evening. I am listening to music that I never would have before. But I think that it is because I have my system in a place that I REALLY like and now only focus on music and not the next upgrade. Like anything, there's a balance to be found.
Thanks for the thread,and hey, your girlfriend is very observant :)
The name is Audiogon.
Compared to audio, music is risk free, easy and prevalent. I am sure people have their own music outlet outside of this site that already caters to their taste. An example is the audiophile-taste music discussed here (e.g. P. Barber, Cowboy Junkies). I talk to my friends about music. But they are not in to audio, so I talk here about that. I like gear and good sound, so I talk at audio sites for that. The level of music talk here is appropriate. If you back-seat the gear and good sound, it wouldn't be audiogon. Go find a musicgon.
I've seen people ask why people who love music don't get more excited about equipment! Here are my thoughts on why I don't post about music on this board:
1. I've always thought of this forum as one for audio gear more than music and treated it as such. Maybe that's just a self-fullfiling prophecy. I guess I think about it like this (and I'm exaggerating my point): I care deeply about my family, and I'm sure everyone else here cares about theirs too, but we're here to talk gear.
2. If I want to talk about music, I can always call up a friend. None of those guys care about audio equipment or even "remastered" versions of an album, and I've learned better than to preach the church of audio gear to them. I check in here to find others who care about these things.
3. A bulletin board can be a good resource for information about gear. It's not as a good resource for information about music. People can communicate about what cables are better in a way that they can't do about music. Think about how much more stock you take in a stranger advising you that cable X will sound better than what you currently have or that the DCC version of a recording sounds better than the regular CD version, versus that stranger advising you that if you like Billie Holiday, you'll love Diana Krall.
4. People discuss music on a bulletin boards in a different way than they do on the outside. With friends: hey check this new band I found ... wow, that's good stuff. On a board: who are the top five most influential female acts of the '60s? It's just a different type of exchange about music; personally, I'm not intersted in the latter style.
5. I just saw some live music tonight. Great fun and great band, but I don't feel a need to get other's opinions on it. If I hear a new tube amp at the store tomorrow, I'm more likely to want to hear other people's opinions on it and would post here.
We're both. Audiogon principally provides a place to buy and sell hardware and some software. It also provides (luckily for us) a forum where we can exchange information that may be useful in creating our own collections of hardware and software. On the 'new today' list today there were 261 classifieds for gear and 32 for music. Obviously the members of the Audiogon communitiy principally use this site for gear and discussion of gear. Personnally, I turn to Amazon for software since I can navigate their extensive database of classical music (all that I buy and always CDs) and read both editors' and buyers' reviews of specific CDs as well as listen to excerpts. And you can buy either new or used software on Amazon. The combination works for me.
Music is the excuse to upgrade you gear. Audio is an ends vs means reversal of cosmic proportions. My credo, often repeated, is : set yourslef a budget, buy the best gear you can within that budget, only upgrade when you believe (after careful evaluation) that an upgrade provides an appreciable benefit and not just relief from the itch to change something, spend your money on records and sit down to some tunes. Many think that I just don't get it when it comes to "high-end". I, on the other hand, like you seem to have observed, think that audiophiles are looking into the wrong end of the telescope. Good day.
FYI, AA has a music forum. Check it out here:
It seems to me that the love of music for most people is assumed. It is the means of arriving at the music which is debated. I would guess most of the AudiogoNers were happily listening to music before they knew anything about HiFi. I still have albums I listened to on my integrated Readers Digest (yes, readers digest) system back in the 70's. I had no idea the music could sound so much better. As with all hobbies there are people who have the money to spend on what ever they want but most of us are working stiffs who skimp and save to buy the best they can afford or justify. They do it because it adds to the enjoyment of the music, but there are also the times when we temporarily lose focus. Then we come back to reality and back to the music.
Listening to equipment will never satisfy a person, but like Shakespear said: "music tames the savage beast," or as the Bible indicated 'soothes the tormented soul.'
I'll probably repeat a few points already made but strongly disagree with some comment's above....
1.As a music fan who is interested in audio reproduction only as a secondary concern-this site is quite clearly an Audio site and not a music one however it does have a certain duality and as such is open to healthy discussion on both.
Most of the posts are rightly geared towards audio.
2. I have never ever met a serious music fan who is not interested to some extent in the reproduction and recording of music,even the crappiest gear will show differences in recording quality and relate the aesthetics of any recording's production in relation to the music.
In fact it is this very difference that stops some people from spending lots of money on audio equipment not the other way around.
3.I mainly post on music because my music knowledge strongly outweighs my audio knowledge.
4.Lgregoir your girlfriend has asked a question and made an observation that struck me too, however after a little while I realised that passion and happiness wether achieved through listening to music or a quest for perfect reproduction might actually be different strains of the same disease....a healthy balance would be nice but nobody is right or wrong.
5.A lot of audiophiles have pretty conservative tastes in music,a lot of muso's have pretty blinkered views when it comes to audio reproduction and so on,nobody's perfect except Cornfedboy,I learned that here.....:-)
Excellent posts. We are both music lovers and gear heads but Audiogon is the primary place I go for the latter (so that I can better enjoy the former). There are lots of places to go for music opinions and purchases. By the way, CD Now is a pretty good music site that also lets you listen to the music before you buy. I do think it would be worthwhile to find where other audiophiles shop for music, esp. on the internet. There are so many places to go. Which are best? Which are the specialized marvels?
Ohala - there is no such thing as audiophile-taste music, and don't try to put a name on it.
I think that Pbb's credo is a good one and succinctly stated (and very similar to the way I try to operate). At Audiogon, I am always mindful that this is primarily a site devoted to the discussion and selling of audio gear. In discussions here of audio gear and even of music, some people seem to think that the purpose of recorded music is to explore and/or analyze (sometimes deconstuct) audio gear. Their main passion is their equipment. They are audio junkies.
I, and the majority of participants at audiogon, I suspect, are basically music lovers whose fascination with audio gear is driven by a desire to get closer to the music.
I also suspect that many audio junkies used to be music lovers before they got it all turned around.
Lgregoir your query reminds me of a letter sent into Stereophile years ago. The details are a bit sketchy but a purchaser looking to buy some specific used gear encounters an "audiophile" that has closets full of very expensive gear. Apparently he has a difficult time separating himself from gear once he owns it. When the visitor asks to hear some music, the audiophile pulls out a Monkee's album. It seems all he had were a few albums, mostly the Monkees.
This site is primarily dedicated towards gear and gear purchases and the exchange of ideas to put together a musically satisfying system as some of the answers above conclude. But the real answer to this question would have to be answered on an individual basis. How much music do you have relative to your total expenditure on gear? Do you buy music based on how it sounds (i.e. quality of the recording) or do you buy music for its own sake and try to get the best recording as a secondary consideration? I believe there was a thread on this a while back. Most folks on this site are both audiophiles and music lovers. My guess is that there is only a small group that are just gear heads with less interest in music than sound.
I mostly agree with Pbb on this one. Especially the new folks that are just bitten by the bug. Another thing a bit unrelated that I find irritating is the A "blows away" B mentality which feeds this continual gear changing with nary a thought to system synergy. It can be easy to lose sight of why most of us have gotten into this hobby in the first place. The gear should be nothing more a means to serve the music but in some instances it has become the focus for its own sake.
Does a racing driver love his car? Does a hunter love his gun? Is a tennis enthusiast interested in rackets? Does a guitar player love his guitars? They are the means to the desired end. If we didn't have audio gear, would we be questioning each others' love of various orchestras, or concert venues? Is there something anti-music about liking good gear that produces good music? If we didn't like music, we wouldn't turn the stuff on, would we? Would we buy it in the first place?
Thanks for the opinions... I will now be able to face my girlfriend...
I have to admint that I never wrote any posts regarding music...