Yo-Chipster;you sound like the lonesome Maytag Repairman.I have known a number of guys over the years with what I would call "different"types of involvement patterns,that are very"different" from mine.Recently,I went to a friend's house to listen.(New acquaintance) Anyway,he has this stack of say 2/3 hundred lps.He doesn't know anything about any of them.I have a thousand or more,with a story of some involvment with each of them.(memories)I actually think he bought the collection; whole;All mint,but opened. A few months latter,he tells me he sold all his equiptment.I guess what I'm saying is music has been a life long love "affair" for me. I am thankful I have pretty good stuff,but I'd be in prison without it.I have a friend who doesn't have ANY favorite singers or groups;he just listens for the "highs" or say just some of the percussion;and the conversation goes around these things.They don't have favorites because their involvement is with the equipment;hey we're not all the same;that's ok.I don't pretend to be capable of WRITING the definition for what qualifies us as Audiophiles. Or, --before I went to school, I didn't know what the word ENGANEER ment;now I are one. To close,I'll borrow from your first sentence,and from Mel Torme,and it comes out: "I know it has been said many times,many ways; Merry Christmas---" to all!!
Hey Avguygeorge I thought Nat King Cole was better known for that one. Same to you.
Nat sang it...but Mel wrote it. And us "Audiophiles" do listen. Just because a person works and works at their garden...does not mean they enjoy the fruit and veggies any less...in fact I would guess more..than the gardener that has a messy garden. Why all the recent threads trying to make it seem as if there is something wrong with this hobby? Don't worry, be happy!
Some do. Many all too often don't listen nearly in depth enough. Don't misunderstand, listening to music does not have to be hard work, but it is sometimes very challenging as well as fun. For related comments please read my posts under the thread "Why do digital cables sound different?". Happy listening.
My problem is I have become a critical listener.I dont know how to break this terrible habit,any ideas?
Cure for critical listening disease, 3 to 6 beers should work fine.
I second the notion on the beer, though 2-3 is more my range. In addition, I'd buy a decent CD changer, make CDRs (or not) of 300 of your favorite CDs, put it on random play and enjoy - guaranteed to bring a smile to your face every 5 minutes or so, and there's something about the spontaneous nature of what you hear that makes it easier to enjoy and forget about the analysis.
I tend to fiddle with gear til it sounds right, then leave it alone. I may add stuff like isolation babes and the like, but beyond that, it's all about the music. I haven't changed the set up of my main rig in over a year, the others get altered as required. If ain't broke, enjoy the music!
Isolation babes? Damn, wishful thinking
I think my favorite symptom of audiophilia nervosa is 'warming up the amp for _____ hours'. I mean, really, does your high-end system sound that bad when only lukewarm? So here's the cure: go to your unfavorite mega-consumer electronics mega-store and listen to any system there for, say, 15 seconds. If your system doesn't blow it away in an immediate and unquestionably gratifying way, you didn't spend your money well. Second cure idea: take a long trip to somewhere where you don't have access to a decent music system (third world, backpacking...). You don't know what you've got till it's gone... (Joni Mitchell)
I like the critical listening response. Somtimes a few drinks can calm the obsession! Three beers is fine for me. I also think that the type of music we listen to makes a huge difference in whether we accept what we have for a system or we have to tweak it make it perfect.Rock music(when I listened to it more)was just plain easier to listen to from front to back. I used to put albums and CD's on and let it roll. Today I prefer Diana Krall,Eva Cassidy and acoustic music. This music allows you to hear the details of a bass or acoustic guitar. This music will tend to make you want to get things right. Hey, but it's fun and we all have a good time trying to perfect our so called hobby.
How many audiophiles does it take to change a lightbulb? Better be just one;otherwise you got too many opinions on the squeaking sound; as the bulb is being removed.Happy Holidays,everybody.
I use groove glide when I change a light bulb.Sounds real smooth!
Try ProGold on those bulbs, David99. I find it eases the brightness of the light a bit.
I,m with jeffloistarc once you get it right don't mess with it. Throw away the mags the reviews and listen to the music. then get on audiogon and read how troubled and confused everyone else is
I always have the music playing while I am at my computer like right now. Does hangin out at AudiogoN take away from listening time for the rest of you?
Hear hear to Snook2 and jeffloistarc.I have got my system right after 2.5 years of try this and that. Now I just listen-don't wanna try nothing. Now I concentrate my explorative energy for my bedroom dream system and my car stereo.I like beer or two but I personally have found that,after a cold one,little 'highness' is detrimental to my listening ability. Any one else feel this way?
Great thread and question. Another question is: what came first the audiophile or the music lover? Well, unless your father was already an audiophile when you were a kid, you probably were glued to the radio listening to your favorite tunes on a minuscule full-range driver. I was. But after years of pursuing audio, I tend to be more selective about the music I pay to hear. Not to make anyone envious, but I was lucky enough to hear P Barber for the first time at a small club in SF last month. Her performance was entralling. She played much of what's on her new "Nightclub" album, but the album pales in comparison to the intensity and virtuosity of the band performing live. Had I not been an audiophile, I'd probably have passed on that one entirely.
Good thread Chipster; I now just listen to test tones and the XLO Burn-in CD, track # 9-- ya know that screechy track that also kills insects and spiders. ;>). Cheers. Craig.
"I have tried to listen to music in the past, but found that it just got in the way of the equipment." Can't imagine that this is really true of anyone. Some people probably do only listen to a limited amount of music that is well recorded/engineered on high resolution systems, but I do not see anything wrong with doing so. I have a tendancy to select better recordings to play on my system when other people are present as I want them to hear it at its best (and show off). Though I have not been doing this (hifi as a hobby) for too long, this time round (took a long vacation from the whole scene, I still find myself going through cycles of attention spent to either the gear or the music. I always did this "cycle thing" in the past as well when the hobby was a larger part of my life. Guess that I havn't changed much in this aspect in the last 25 years. I am tired of our current main system right now (problem with the new speakers that I am trying to resolve with the distributer) and just purchased every Cowboy Junkies CD that we do not own while on line last night as a kind of retaliation to the whole situation. I have also been listening to our little mini system, since it pisses me off every time I listen to my new "defective" speakers. So in this case/cycle the gear stopped and the music continued.
After I rewired my house with Cardas Golden CrossSection Interdomicile wire, the noise floor was lowered, but I could distinctly hear an annoying 60hz hum coming from my 60W GE 'soft white' bulbs, and even more so from the smaller, more delicate fridge bulbs. After discussing this with my local audio gallery, I purchased 48 High Current Cardas Golden Orb Reference Illuminators! Transformation! The new Illuminators produced a pleasing, warm toned hum, punctuated by this wonderful authoritative 'static bite' when the heating system kicks in. Never have I felt so 'Close to the Electricity'. I now leave all the house windows open, have moved my listening chair next to the thermistat, and have sold all the 'useless' audio junk that was cluttering the room. The Orb series is soon to be complemented by a new Cardas Golden-Rod fluorescent model. I can't wait !
John_1.......I now understand all the "Dear John" letters.. ...best of luck during your recovery.
The most remarkably invective habit I had developed over the several years of critical listening was assessing the quality of sound during live performances. Sitting in a symphony hall or enjoying a festival band, processing the depth of bass. Even challenging the tonal truth. Frickin nuts. As of the last several months, this has much changed. I actually lay back, read, enjoy games with the kids with little corrective interference. There remains moments, though, when the vocals could be just a tad bit crisper and the violins a little less strident.
In answer to the question - I listen to music (this is as opposed to evaluating the system) on my system for between one hour and three hours every day - this is me sitting in the listening seat, sometimes reading.
We all "just listen to the music", when the sound is good. With a little work, the sound is great.
I've become so obsessed with equipment that I now divide my listening time exclusively between frequency sweeps and pink noise. I grew tired of white noise years ago. Seriously, I have suggested that if you're still able to get into a piece of music when listening to it on a portable mono radio, there remains some hope for you. If the focus of critical listening is predominately the hardware rather than the music, then perhaps not. However, the subject usually at hand here is audiophilia (with occasional tangents into politics, one-upsmanship and insults) and not philharmonia.
Great post Waldhorner. Is it any surprise that the majority of audiophiles are men? Audio as a hobby is oftentimes turned into some sort of macho pursuit. Which is why the technical aspects of all this become some sort of standard that some will use to dictate what we can hear and cannot. Does anyone else see the similarity and the humor in the way that we sometimes use all of the technical jargon very much the same way that say, a serious baseball fan rattles off oftentimes very obscure and arguably irrelevant stats about a player. I guess it's in our nature. You should hear a conversation among musucians, yes musicians, about mouthpieces, reeds, instruments etc. The similarities are many. You have those that focus on the brand of reed or mouthpiece or instrument and most obsessively on having their instruments adjusted just so to the extent that they very much believe that if all of those things are not optimized, their performance will be ruined. Then there are those that acknowledge the importance of these things and put a reasonable amount of energy into it but never lose sight af the fact that the power of music will (if the artist has any to convey) transcend the technical issues. Happy listening.
Frogman - My roomate plays guitar and boy do I feel what you're saying. We have a deal, I can't use the word 'soundstage' when music is playing and he can't talk about the merits of different wood cuts for guitar bodies. We're still not in agreement about room treatments, though.
Thanks Frogman. As you might glean from my nom de e-mail, I know well of the obsessions of musicians. Objectivity is sometimes difficult to come by in that profession. Many musicians I have known have extensive collections of (whichever is appropriate) mouthpieces, mutes, bows and whatever paraphernalia, and especially instruments, they have suspected might improve, in some way, their sound and/or playing. Much of it has been put aside after failing to produce the desired results. However, as with virtually all things inter-related ,there are definate cause/effect relationships which, when understood, become useful contributors to the end-result. I know of these things because I have experienced them myself.
Whatjda say that for? I get dear john letters every day! Eccentric I am. A genericized homogenized McDonaldland patronizing suburban-hell GAP worshipping drone I am not !
Chipster, thanks for one of the most creative and funniest threads yet. Some of this is way better than you could read in any audio mag. I'm sorry some of these ol' boys don't recognize tongue-in-cheek. By the way, in the spirit of true confession, I should admit that I seem to listen to the MUSIC better in my truck, with those aftermarket kick-butt Polk speakers, or during surgery where I have some PSB 400's aimed down from about 8' using a 1980's Sansui G7700 receiver and a Marantz cc-65 changer, all the while with a heart monitor's constant (hopefully) beeping in the background. Can I join the club? Charlie
I listen to the music. Unfortunatly I buy music that only will sound good on my system.I am a musician [rock] but cant listen to rock on my system since rock recording engineers insist on compressing the shit out of every track, and then once again on final mix-down for good measure. I only listen to acoustic jazz on my system.Wish it were different,but untill rock recording techniques change,thats the way it's going to have to be.
I spent four years working two full time jobs to pay for my dream system. At $65,000 it sounds so damn good that I cant help but to listen. I dissapear into a world of unbeleivable sound. I agree with the couple of beers but even better is smoking a big fat joint. As good as my equipment sounds it cant compete with five dollars worth of weed. Its a great way to realax and the two together are a haven from the world.