Average age of audiophiles

Hi everyone,
I'm curious about the average age of audiophiles. One of the owner of an audio store told me that he has a lot of customers in their mid 20s that buy really high end gear. Personnally, I would think the average age is above 40. I really can't confirm since I'm the I don't know anyody else crazy enough (or passionnate) to get a sound system as expensive as a car...

Also, how old were you when you started this hobby.

As far as I'm concerned, I'm 26 years old. I got interested in this hobby when I was around 17...

Thanks everyone...
I discovered high end audio at 50, two years ago.
I got into it about four years ago when I was 22. I started off with a $1K system and thought it was great. Now I have one that's over $15K (2 channel only) and that's with being frugal.
I got into Audio at age 18, however currently I'm a young 48 :-)!
I started when I was 10. I took the speakers out of an old tape recorder & installed them in a wood enclosure. I used an amp that I found in an old Record Player. Yes you guessed it! It was all mono. My first stereo system was when I was in High School. I took the electronics & speakers out two abandoned juke boxes. Sounded Great for that time. I have been doing this hobby for about 45 years. Guess that puts me about 55 as of this May. I have met many nice people & made lots of friends along the way.

Good Thread,

Good Listening
The peak of the bell curve on spending more than you probably should for most hobbies seems to be in the mid-30's through 40's age range - I'd guess that's the range for audiophiles as well. I'm sure there are lots of 20-somethings at any given shop, but I have to believe that the majority of people who value high-end sound enough to spend major $$$ are in their 30's and 40's. I've always loved a good system, but it wasn't until a few years ago when age of the kids and income came together in a form that I could pursue a true high-end system, interestingly enough about the time I was getting into my late 30's. -Kirk
I got the bug at 18, got my first bank loan and spent it all in an hour long spree at the local stereo shop. Got more enjoyment out of that first system...
I'm now 41, and fortunately for my bank, the bug never left....
I got into high-fi when I was 15 and am now 20 and have an impressive rig(for someone my age), music collection is growing(what good is a system with no software?), by the time I am in my mid 30's and on I am sure I will have a very impressive system period. Yea but I noticed as well, most everyone here is a lot older, and they don't take me too seriously, but the experience I will have by the time I am 40 will be unimaginable.
Yup, I picked up this addiction at the ripe old age of 12 at a local Department store that had a dedicated room for stereo gear. I saved every penny from a paper route (I don't think they even have them anymore) and, at 13, bought a Dual turntable, Ortofon cartridge, Marantz receiver and Ohm speakers. That was 34 years ago. I went on to Mac gear and then some other separates in my late teens and mid twenties.

Now, as twisted as I am, one pair of my interconnects costs more than my entire system did years ago - but I LOVE it as much or more today as I did back then. I was a professional musician along the way so I never lost my love of the music OR my love/appreciation of the gear producing it.
Mental or physical?
Yeah, Jvia has it right. Chronologically I'm 58 years young, but emotionally I'd say about 15. I've been into music since early teenage years when I started playing guitar(s). But I only got into the "nose in the air high end" about 10 years ago. I love it, and my big rig costs over twice what my 4X4 truck cost;>)

Tim; you have a terrific attitude for a 20 year old-- actually for any age! And I'm really glad to see that young people can know the wonder and value of this sport. Cheers. Craig
I'm in my mid-thirties...I discovered high-end audio, TAS and Living Stereos/Mercs/Deccas, etc. when I was around 19 and had a $30k rig by the time i was 23 :) My current system is worth a third of the old one and I now spend far more on concerts, travel, etc. I do know this for sure, if you're in your mid-twenties and have the time and inclination to mess with serious high-end audio, then you're most likely not getting laid enough!
I will hit the big 5-0 later this year. Send CD's in lieu of flowers.

Dixie High Fidelity Wholesalers sold me my first component system. Anybody remember them? I still have the December 1970 mailorder invoice: Dual 1219 tt with base and dustcover; Shure M91e cartridge; Dynaco PAT4 and Stereo 120 kits; and one pair of Dynaco A25 speakers...$440 new in boxes plus $9.15 UPS.

In 30+ years I've upgraded everything about four times except ol' reliable, the 1219:

Dyna PAT4->SAE MkXXX->SAE P102->Forte F44->Threshold FET ten

Dyna 120->Hafler DH200->Threshold S/300II->Threshold S/350e

Dyna A25->BigAdvent->a/d/s L710->KEF Q90->ProAc Tab2000sig
I got SERIOUSLY bit by the bug a little over two years ago, at age 26. A good friend of mine invited me to the CEDIA convention in Indy, that was all she wrote. My friend introduced me to the owner of a speaker company called Roman Audio. I sat down and listened, really listened, for the first time. Since that time and about $15k later, I find myself always thinking about what to upgrade next or what new little tweak will put me over the top. I love it, but I think my wife is ready to kill me over it. Since I still consider myself new to high-end hifi, I don't know if I can quite consider myself a true audiophile yet.
Craig-Thank you for your kind words, I see what others do here and try to apply the same successful theories to my system usually with good results-what I am trying to say is I blame all of you regulars out there for my system sounding the way it does today. Thanks all!!
Average is tough to pinpoint. When I got into audio at the ripe age of 13 I brought the average down a fair bit, now that I'm 40 I guess I'm dragging the average up? I'm thrilled to see 20 year olds involved in the hobby, we need new blood to allow the relatively small high end audio industry to thrive. Fortunately I remain an emotional 15 year old, allowing me to go see/hear Ozzy on March 11th. Allllll Aboooarrrddddddddd HA HA HA HA!!!!!
I'm 23 now, but I wouldn't say I walk into shops and buy their most expensive gear. I started with high end probably about the age of 18. In just a few months, I'm out of college and in the real world where I can hopefully make real buy and better equipment than I have now. You 40 year olds that started not too long ago have an advantage in that most of you could usually afford to drop $3-4K on a system to begin with and build from there. I never had that chance, but I guess that's part of the fun, right?
I'm 42 now, but have been an audiophile since age 17. Lesson to retailers: the teenager who's "just looking" today becomes the customer of tomorrow.
thought i was there, for many years with a marantz receiver and speakers. when i moved the marantz didnt relocate until i did, it stayed where i was.
only been infected and upgraded about three years.tipping the scales at 52 yrs old.
as with most posts still 18 at heart...attended a sevendust concert last week. what? cant hear ya, might take another week or so. kurt
I have been into listening all my life. I decided to get serious and dove into this sport about 6 years ago. Still learning to swim. Currently 32 and rising.
My dad had a Zenith hi-fi in the '50s. I bought a Pioneer system with a Teac tape deck in the late '60s and gave it all away in the '80s. With the help of my son, Brian, I have begun putting together a better system - Ikemi, Plinus, B&W - and I am 52. Now I am acquiring CDs. Some vinyl in storage but no turntable. Joel
Well... I'm not sure when I've started but I've started to collect "software" since I was 5 without(back then) paying attention on reproduction quality. I wasn't realy interested with children tales on vinyl neither with children songs. I mostly had a huge 78rpm collection of Folk adn Classical music that I've played on tube radiola(a combined box with turntable tuner amp and speakers). At the age of 10 I've got my first reel-to-reel recorder(that was a nice machine assembled in Russia with parts from Japan) and burned vinyls onto tapes to preserve them from scratching with the cheap cartridge.

I've always cared for my records and my first tweak to clean the records was a regular water applied in small quantities after a thorough sweeping of dust before the playback.

Paying attention to the sound quality I've started at the age of 16 when on my first earned money I've got a rig...

With more advanced hi-end technology I've got known a-bit later when I was translating manuals from English and setting up rigs for a rich guys that could afford something like McIntoch or even more costly components in Russia.

Now in US I can't say that I own 3rd of a house spent on components rather than saying that my rig during my 15-year sound addiction is still modest but great enough for nice small dedicated room where I do enjoy the music(mostly alone).
I started building my first good system at about 15 and continued to upgrade the system and my guitar collection until grad school captured my attention. Got out of grad school and motorcycle drag racing captured my wallet (you want to talk about a money pit!!) along with my continued obsession with guitars. Quit racing, and completely revamped my dated system. Now at 41 the digital is pretty much there and it's time to upgrade the vinyl again. One thing hasn't changed after all these years is the magic of a good album.
I'm 47 (would be 48 but I was sick a year:-). Started seriously when I was around 16.
Early 40s. Been at it -- s/ware & hardware -- since I was 12.
I'm 47 and have been trying to be an audiophile since age 20. However, raising two kids and paying mortgages, etc. has prevented me from being the text book "audiophile".
I would imagine most of the audiophiles emerged from the "golden age of stereo" from the 1950's, 60, and 70s (or something along those lines). I'm guessing here: But I'm assuming _those_ age groups grew up hot-rodding muscle cars and building 2channel stereos (or, again, something along those lines). Now it seems the recent generations are busy spending their time and money with computers (big money pit), mp3s, and playing video games. I know that's how *I* spent my teenage years (except we didn't have mp3s).

It's only in my 20s, have I begun to get into cars, motorcycles, and hi-end stereos. I'm kind of a rarity among my friends. I'm the only one NOT into the latest cellphone gadget, or HT-in-a-box rig.

Before I got my "rig," I used to either listen on my "boombox" or the big "rigs" at school. Middle School, High School, and College all had decent rigs available within the Music Department. And being a musician, in my spare time I would listen to live performances of band and orchestral music. Often my own recordings or recordings of pieces I was studying or wanted to study. Although I preferred to listen on the "big rigs," I got just as much musical satisfaction out of my boombox. Most musicians are like that, from my experience.
I will respond with a question--normal human years, or audiophile years? Sort of like dog years, but the opposite, such as when your significant other asks you "why are you selling that piece of equipment, you just bought it six months ago" (which is true) and you respond "no, I've had it for at least three years". By that measure, I'm 306 years old.
I'm apparently one of the resident "geezers" at age 59. I became seriously interested in the audio hobby in 1962. I'm not sure that this thread will really provide an accurate picture of the average age of audiophiles, since many of the old-timers in the hobby may not spend much time on the Internet. Many of the guys I know who are older than me really don't use the Internet, and thus won't get captured in this survey.
I purchased my first "stereo" at 17, but probablly didn't get into audiophile equipment until I was 23-25. I'm now 51 and have put about $1000 or so each year into my system. Buying mostly used, but some new, my system is now:
Krell KRC-HR pre
Krell KPE Refference phono
Krell KSP20i CD player
Krell FPB300 amp (just got it)
Oracle mk V / Graham 2.2 / Benz Ruby 2
JM Lab 920 speakers
Nakamichi LX5 cassette (which I still use for the car)
Quad FM4 tuner
Krell and Transparent cabling
Arcici and Bright Star stands and platforms
Transparent line conditioner and dedicated lines
ASC tube traps

I hate to think about how much I've spent, but when I listen, it is worth every penny.
Let me make one thing clear. I look under 30 (you just have to trust me!), think like 20(Crazy spending-600+ ties, 20 some Armani/Versace suits,60+ pair of good sunglasses,any many more goodies, house full of expensive furniture-, love cars- a boxter S, next on my list/girls-my wife and daughters silly), actually am 43. Audiophile since 18, but got the real rig 4-5 years ago. Somtimes I wish i had not spent that much in cloths and stuff an got 'better' rig.
Actually, Tim, I got a lot of respect for you. A 20 year old with some dough has lot of other priorities. And you like techno!
I am 17 and started to build a serious system 2 years ago. this hobby quickly eats up a teenage budget and i only have modest system.
I am 25 years old today and I got started in this insanity when I was 16-17 and had no idea what I was getting myself into at the time.

Nilthepill-It is hard, I have too many interests and a shortage of monetary units!! If it wasn't for cloths, cars, watchs, guns, audio and the true evil women! I would be able to retire tomorrow, as it stands I could retire tomorrow but I would have to die by sunday :) That being said I enjoy audio and damn well should for having a little over 50k(msrp) into my system. Fortunatly I am able to afford new gear(finally) and am really going to step up to the plate!!!
Loved music since the 60's, purchased a "better than average" system in the 70's. Got into the killer gear in the 80's, kept buying and selling all my components in the 90's looking for the "Holy Grail of Audio" (I don't think it exists...we don't stay satisfied for too long do we!) Into mega power cords and interconnects now. All that being said...I started with music in my early teens and at 47, I enjoy this hobby more and more every day. Many thanks to all of you who contribute your ideas and opinions to this forum. I've bought alot of gear and been well satisfied because of everyone's input. Well...almost everyone's!
I discovered the hi-end in 1964 when I was in grade school. My older brothers' friends' father was an electrical engineer and built his high-school son a radio station and equipped it with Logen & Thorens Turntables, Mac Reference tuners etc. The dad had all Mac and Marantz tube equipment that he kept in perfect condition. What a time to get introduced to the wonderful world of hi-end listening when everything was handwired by passionate folks in New York and California. Hi-end audio consumers were really more like conservationists that really REALLY took pride in their electronics. I have several 1960's McIntosh Tube Tuners that look almost like they came off the factory floor. The original owner kept everything right down to warranty cards sealed in plastic.

All this is quite a change to today's Home Theatre Processors worth next to rotten dog food a few years after they are introduced. Now that is what you can really call consuming.

By the way, that kid (mentioned above) has been a professional radio announcer since 1969.

i've been tryin' to lower my average age every year. so far, it hasn't worked. the beginnings of my audio days were in 1957, when i was precocious 13 year-old high schooler. if you've done the math, you know i am a fellow travelling geezer with sdcampbell and garfish, among others. where is albert? and detlof? yep, in my 45th year of "serious listening," i count myself as a happy and lucky man of 58 years, still upgrading, still having fun and still trying to teach youngsters like tireguy that you needn't worry about the price of your rig in comparison to your car. just keep buyin' more expensive cars. 'course, as tireguy knows, you do hafta keep 'em wheel-sides down. :o) -cfb

ps- nanderson taught me this neat trick with colored text.
I am retired and was hooked in 1965 upon hearing a Fisher receiver over speakers on the market at the time, probably AR or KLH. Those were the days of low to mid-fi, but it was still a startling difference from other choices. My progression started a few years later with a Sony 6065 receiver (I always wondered why I would get tired of having it turned on :)) and AR 5 speakers; not bad for the time. Though I can now afford a variety of choices, some of them and the price/value calculations seem irrational to me - but I certainly understand "giving them a try>." To answer your question directly, I am past age 65.
"As far as I am concerned, I'm 26..." Monsieur Gregoir, I love it!
Likewise, as far as I'm concerned, I'm 18. But most people say I look pretty close to my 49 1/2 years....
I got bitten by the audio bug after a few preteen years as a SWL. Started fixing old 5-tubers...installing tone controls, then built a coaxial speaker out of Jensen and Utah drivers mounted in 90 lb 3 ft clay sewer pipe sections covered with water-buffalo Naugahyde slip-covers.
A coincident stint as a roving church organist coexisted with my covering the Bands' tunes on my parlor Hammond.
Regained interest in the 70s when I bought a truckload of Kirksaeter gear. Then a LONG hiatus until I revisited speaker design in the mid-90s, followed by the inevitable pull of the high-end in the past few years.
Now my musiclife is shared among the Steinway B and Parsifal Encores that grace my livingroom, and FM in the various Subies during their massaging. Tsokay!
young pup here..only 28. been in on the hobby @ 3yrs now, all started when i wanted to start making CD to CD copies w/ a stand alone (non PC) based cd burner...upgraded my cdplayer to one that had a digital output, which sounded better than my old cd player...hmm, all cdplayers don't sound alike???

what REALLY did me in was hearing watt puppy 6s w/ some AR tube gear up front...not good by my standards these days, but i'll never forget that feeling.

When I was around 15 years old and had worked during the summer, I bought my first stereo system. Gerard turntable, ADS Speakers, and a receiver (can't remember the make, but I'm sure I'll wake-up around 3AM thinking about it). I still have the speakers (my wife, for the life of her, can't understand why I won't get rid of them). I began acquiring audiophile gear around three years ago. I was diagnosed with a life-threatening disease and put on heavy medication for a year. The medication made me very sick for the entire year. I didn't feel like doing much of anything. But music has always been my salvation. So I began with the jouney into Home Theater. Music didn't sound right coming from all directions and I wasn't all that impressed with sound effects of guns and explosions all around me either. Back to stereo. The rest is history. Numerous preamps, amps, cables and cords (up the wazoo), NHT's to Dynaudios.

I turned 50 (the "F" word) this past September.

Life is good!

Happy listening,
Started at 16,got a JVC reciever and Olson speakers and aTechnics TT.Only spent 30.00 for the speakers,at that time I was living at Moms and making 50.00 a week P/T and going to high school. now I,m 43,and I had a MAC 4100 reciever for over 15 years,till I ended up going to seperates. started doing that over 14 years ago,gave up drinking and as a result I have loot to buy and trade like mad.Right now I have three setups,one H.T.,one MacIntosh setup and my main 2 channel system,see is being an audiofile insane.. cheers.
Im soon to be 47 on June 17th....please send gifts or cash.
I've noticed Kelly and Albert have avoided this thread!:~)
By the way, my girlfriend threathened me to break up if I was to spend 10K on audio gear... Since I don't like useless fights over goods, I listened to her and spent $28K (canadian $) on a new system... Surprisingly, she still lives with me... :-)

Does anyone have debates about audio gear with the wife (for example, when it's time to upgrade to a more expensive piece of gear or bigger speakers)? Is it a jealousy thing?
david: better get those tired old eyes checked again. i be here long before the upstate new york hill-billy!

-kelly (a/k/a, cornfedboy)
Kelly-yip, ya'all gots me on dat one!
I was 44 until I ran into an old high school friend a month ago who pointed out I was actually 45. If I take the "Dekay" factor (not decay factor) I subtract three years so I end up at 42. I started when I was 15 (working three jobs) with a Marantz and have never looked back.
Sorry the above post is mine Jadem6, not my son Tigger. Oh by the way I have kids who are young budding audiophiles and surpass me in Audio snobbery.

When I was in the 6th Grade, I bought my first stereo with paper route money. Every component was on sale and I spent around $900. I have been enthralled with audio since. I’m turning 25 next Friday, I has started my own Audio company (designing a wholly new kind of audio componentry), and have a $15,000, and have several components that I would like to upgrade. Young men are into expensive things, and impressing others. I’m not excited to put myself in this category, but I do find it to be truth. I have found that if someone is to really become interested in Audio without it becoming an obsession, that person is to do it pretty young.
Around 1972, Eagle's 'takin' it to..', now I'm 47.

The 'Taking it to the streets' was pretty good sound back then.. an engineer, something Templeton, was getting pretty clean sound for pop and rock then. Lots of stuff then was still 'dirty'. I remember taking TWO vinyl Clapton "401 Miami Blvd." because they sounded just like what I had just read in Audio..Record companies taking returned LPs and recycling it, with paper, etc. in the pressings..sounded awful.
Things are better now, sonically!
Well, i am at the age which i see most of you started at. im in high school, and have been addicted to this obsession for the best sound for around.. 1 year and a half, the last 9 months ive been serious about it though. I currenty have invested about everypenny i had into my system. but of course i didnt forget to buy some cd's you can view my system here:


complete with pics and all.

Of course its not easy having a limited budget and liking this hobby but when i turn on some floyd and enjoy the music its all worth it. i dont think anyone will argue on that.

Enjoy the Music!