Audiophile Vs. Techfile

I'm not an audiophile.

After the time ive spend on this board over the past month or so, i have realized this. I have always considered myself to be one, but i now believe i am a Techfile, not an Audiophile.

You audiophiles amaze me with the amount of effort you put in the smallest of areas and the perfection that is demanded. While sometimes the things you all do i consider very nutty, i can see your passion. Talk about dedication to a hobby! I applaud each and every one of you.

I myself now understand that i am not an audiophile. I dont care about the airborn vibrations, or room treatments, or any of that. I am a techfile. I care about the gear. I love music, dont get me wrong, but my real passion is for well engineered and crafted technology. I love the way it connects and runs in harmony. And this is not just limited to audio gear im also equally fixed on video gear, gadgets, everything that has been "engineered"

Pulling out a brand new piece of gear and smelling the factory and electronics and seeing and feeling the precision craftmanship probably gives me a feeling compared to TWL finally getting his rig set up to perfection and playing his favorite classical pice.

i almost feel like im tresspassing anymore.

Is there anybody else on here like me? Or am i the only one?

You made a very astute observation that I’ll bet most of us have not thought about. Know that you mention it I’m sure there are many different sub-groups out there just waiting to put a name to their sub-group.
I know there are the music lovers, the DIY’ers, and what else...
Well said. I go through periods where the left side of my brain dominates (techfile) and I pay attention to the gear, upgrades and tweaks. Then I have times when the right side of my brain takes over (audiophile) and I just sit back and listen. Classic rock is my favorite... Santana, Traffic, Doors, ELO, Creedence, etc., and I begin to appreciate how talented these people are.
Slappy, as a techfile, you are just an audiophile in the early stages of development :-)

Besides enjoying technology, the aspect that gets into the blood of engineering types working or hobbying in this area is being fascinated by the relationship of electronics and physics to sound. The ear is so good that it hears noise and distortion at extremely low levels. Sound is very fragile; it is easy to distort it with poor design but a labor of love to preserve it intact. Every manufacturer making those lovely electronics works to control vibration and a/c, and audiophiles are only extending the same process.
Techphiles, Dyi'ers, Tweak masters, Elitists, Audiophiles, music lovers, Bargain hunters, ... Hmm... this might be interesting.

Techphile - You gear is what you love the most. Nothing beats the smell of new electronics, except for the preformance of a well engineered and constructed piece of precision machinery (this is pretty much me)

Tweak Masters - Believe the best sound is done by getting good solid gear and tweaking the hell outta it with room treatments and various other articals of sound modification. Alot of the time they seem to be bargain hunters and DYIers as well.

DYI'ers - Believe that with hard effort and research they can build the WATT Puppys they always wanted

Elitists, Seem to believe that the price of a system is the end all measure of the quality of sound, bargain buck cannot sound good. Thier opinions are the only ones that matter and get offended at different points of views. a $5,000 bargain system makes thier ears bleed. They despise and refuse to acknolwedge any sonic quality in recievers. Dont get along with bargain hunters

Music Lovers - Can enjoy music on any system, but prefer to have it as clean and pure as possible.

Audiophiles, A blend of everything, Believe in the tweaks, expencive gear and might not enjoy music on a simple system as much as on a expencive one, but are still concerned more about music than gear.

Bargain Hunters - Firmly Believe 10,000 is enough for a 2 channel system and believe people who spend much more are crazy and fooling themselves into believing there is an improvement in sound between a 3,000 amp and a 5,000 amp. This is either because this is thier real belief or sometimes because they cannot buy the "Elitist" gear and get envious.

Paper-gurus - The guys who believe something sounds better because test measurements. A white paper for these guys is as good as an audition

Veterans. crusty old guys that have owned almost every brand pf hardware made, know alot about this stuff. can also be elitists, DYIers, music lovers, or audiophiles.


That is all in fun, i mean no offence to anybody by what i wrote above. Dont take it seriously :) :)


Something i always kinda pondered, is that alot of people have certain types of gear they like to stick to. They will claim magnepan beats JBL, or KLIPSCH sounds better than Martin Logan.
I kinda wonder if alot of that stems from the type of music they like. It seems like Rockers are SS all the way, while alot of jazz and blues aficiandos like tubes. classical seems to be a blend of either with an emphasis on planer speakers.

Im starting to believe that what might sound good on say, TWL's system might not sound good on mine, and what sounds good on mine, might not sound good on TWLs

twl- not trying to pick on you here, i just know you like classical and quite clearly hate my music. hehe

I wonder what "System of a Down" would sound like on TWL's system.
As an Audiogon shopper, it's been a long time since I've experienced the instant turn-on from opening the box of a brand new piece of equipment, because all the stuff I buy now is used. 9/10 rating please, heheh.

I started out in this hobby with an HT system similar to yours. And, it' still put together the same as it was five years ago.

But a funny thing happened one day. I realized my system just wasn't cutting it when it came to music reproduction. That was the day I went over to the dark side and started down the path to becoming a Hacidic Audiophile, and started a separate 2 channel system.

Flex is right. Close the book NOW and be happy with what you have, or you'll be tempted into a life of never ending want and audio improvement!

Hey Gunbei, you sound like Darth Vader.

(KoohPAH) Luke... (KoohPAH) Come to he dark side... (KoooooPAH)

or like Yoda.

"Once started you down the audiophile, Forever you destiny will it dominate!"
Hey Slappy, that was my best Mannequin Skywalker impression. But, it's getting so damn hot in this mask I'm beginning to sweat!! Gotta take it off!

I bet Star Wars sounds great on your HT system.
I have the way of taming stress with hot soldering iron in my hand and fininshing different audio projects hands-on.

Flex is probably wrong since it could be one way or another: You can first become an audiophile and than turn-out to be a tech-file or diy-er or hell-else can be thought of.

I tend to lean towards believing that $10k is good enough for high resolution system unless it's not used in extra large rooms although spent for mine near $12k including headphones.
I don't think passion is the word for it, and its nothing to applaud.

"Pulling out a brand new piece of gear and smelling the factory and electronics and seeing and feeling the precision craftmanship probably gives me a feeling compared to TWL finally getting his rig set up to perfection and playing his favorite classical pice."

Scary thought, but with your respective personalities I don't think so.

See you around, Slappy. You're golden.
I tweak. Everyone does to some degree, many won't admit it and are in denial. Everyone should tweak for that matter. Many years ago Ed Meitner called me an audiophile, implying at the time I should aspire to become a tweak. I'm there Ed.

I only care about gear because of the music, and I love attending concerts. I enjoy being a tweak and good gear cuz it makes the music sounds better. I guess I'm a music lover first and foremost.

I'm a bargain hunter cuz my name doesn't start with "Dr." Value is important to me cuz I want the best sound for my hard-earned buck. I consider that somewhat logical.

I'm a veteran because I've had an active interest in audio systems for close to 30 years. I'm 42, I got involved in this hobby when being a "bargain hunter" really meant a having a VERY limited budget.

Getting a thrill out of sniffing equipment? Someone hasn't taken their meds.....

"Music lover" has nothing to do with "audiophile". Music lovers include the great majority who attend concerts, may be musicians, listen to 'their' music, and may even be Joe Sixpack listening to mp3's. Music lovers don't necessarily put great value on the reproduction quality of equipment - they are hearing straight through to the music.

Audiophiles can also be music lovers, but audiophiles are first and foremost people who put value on the reproduction quality of equipment. It's a separate gene.
If audiophilia is a separate gene, I need to learn how to isolate it and turn it off!
Gunbei- You can't turn the audiophile gene off OR prevent passing it to your children.... Case in point: I recently decided to replace my 5 year old daughter's Sony Boombox with a much smaller unit that would look better on her dresser. After trying it out, she informed me that "her music" sounded better on the larger system! To make matters worse, she further announced that the boombox would remain on her dresser, but she would move the new smaller unit to her playroom- that way she could play music while writing and playing with Barbie Dolls.

She's 5 and already has a second system!! Give up and enjoy the hobby. And if you have kids- good luck.
Slappy, I also have a bit of "tech-phile" in me. Nothing wrong with that at all.
Danlib1, wholly cow that's advanced! You're sunk pal.

I can only imagine what will happen when your daughter is in her teens. If she isn't still enamored with the quality of her music it'll be frightening to think where her discriminating tastes will be focused.

Actually, I'm still trying to figure out if my audio bug was inherited or conditioned into me. When I was around your daughter's age, my father allowed me access to his LP collection and record player. I've had an appreciation for different kinds of music and the gadgets to play them back on since.
Hmmm. This thread reminded me of a quote from an audio component article that I read some time ago. Perhaps some of you will know who/when it was published. To paraphrase, it went something like:

"Audiophiles have more money tied up in their equipment, whereas music lovers have more money tied up in their music collections."

By that definition I am still a music lover, but I hope to cross over sooner or later.
Blueswan makes some good points.

The fact of the matter is a person is neither a technophile nor an audiophile. I think the person has to be both. They are a "Dr Jeckyl and Mr Hyde" symbiotic relationship. The technophile typically precedes the audiophile, but the two have to be present in the person.

Without a bit of audiophile, the technophile would have no need to use the system. They would be happy basking in the presence of it, experiencing the warm glow of it.

The audiophile would amass a system and never change it. Once they reached a certain level where the combination of technology and musical reproduction occured they would be satisfied and discontinue the search for "the newer and better" and simply enjoy the music.

Most of us wander back and forth between technophile and audiophile. The audiophile is currently content with his/her system. The technophile is currently shopping.

It is quite true to say that audiophiles & techfiles are not mutually exclusive. Many audiophiles are techfiles as well as they love well crafted audio gear (the way it looks, the knobs & buttons, whether the power switch is in front or in the back, etc, etc). Likewise, many techfiles are also audiophiles as gear is just means to an end - the music experience of "being there". That's why we are all in this hobby/obsession. If we could jet ourselves to every concert of every artist that we cared to listen to, all of us would rather hear the music live.

What I cannot understand about you is, & I quote you, "I love the way it connects and runs in harmony"??

"runs in harmony" - how about an explanation of this phrase for all our benefits. "Runs in harmony" with what????
I certainly hope that you DO NOT mean - connect the power cord to the wall, attach the interconnects & listen to sound coming out of your speakers!! The gear better do this - it's called quality control which ensures that production worthy gear fires up when powered & produces an output! It's the very least you & I expect of gear that we have to pay money for.

To me "runs in harmony" implies a quality of sound somewhat proportional to the price tag the unit carries. I expect higher priced units to perform better i.e. produce a sound truer to the live event than cheaper gear. Of course, I know that a lot of expensive gear is just plain trash! So, far I have never been able to get audio gear, cheap or expensive, good looking or butt ugly, to sound good in a room if I didn't take care of the acoustics/room treatments. If I don't take care of the "airborn vibrations, or room treatments, or any of that" I cannot tell whether the unit "runs in harmony", I cannot get the unit to output what it is truely capable of. All I can tell is that it powers up & produces an output & I'm really not interested in just that 'cuz I expect that as sure as the sun rises daily. Other audiophiles who have answered this thread know this to be more than true!

I'd agree with you that you are tech-file if you buy equipment just to look at it & NEVER switch it on! Then you can ogle at its structural beauty & its ergonomics.

When TWL gets "his rig set up to perfection and playing his favorite classical pice" - he is actually hearing how his rig "RUNS IN HARMONY"! Try some of the techniques that he has gone thru to get whatever gear you have set up correctly & you will perceive a much better idea of "runs in harmony" - guaranteed!! The "airborn vibrations, or room treatments, or any of that" that you are casting aside as something less is actually essential to hear how gear "runs in harmony". Without this, if you think you are hearing gear that "runs in harmony", I think that you are sadly mistaken!
Uhmn, Bomby, i think you looked a little bit too deep into that buddy.

Runs in harmony. As in how the components come together and work together... I dont take that for granted, because i know how much goes on inside them, im always suprised this stuff works because of the complicated process that happens.....

thats all i was saying...

Sorry that I got carried away!

Reading this whole thread should be a REQUIREMENT for those new to Audiogon. It fully conveys what it means to be an audiophile. Enjoy!