Honestly, I think life is like this in general. I've been on friends' boats and had a blast. I've watched a baseball game from a club level suite and enjoyed the hell out of it. Some of the greatest times of my life have occured in some of the most expensive cities in the world.
But when push comes to shove, would I own a 30-foot speedboat? Would I spend $200 to see a ballgame? Would I live in the heart of midtown Manhattan for $3,500 per month?
Not really. I think audiophilia is just another area of life that possesses this element for a lot of people.
Very well said, Thedautch. Another way of approaching this would be to let folks hear the many "secondary" systems in audiophile bedrooms or offices which can be really fun for much less money.
Audiogon has helped me assemble quite a few systems for myself, and my family, and each system has provided that exquisite feeling to someone, despite being affordable.
I have also had the more rare experience of playing some really fine recordings which failed to connect with the intended recipient, since there's no accounting for some people's taste in sound, or music.
__________"So I guess most people
__________ are just not aware of
__________ what a good system should
__________ sound like and are deprived
__________ of some good music."
Your statement above also applies to most audiophiles.
what astounds me is how good the cheap equipment now is
people don't know that for about 1700$ you can have something that will bring far more satistaction than the 1500 computor, 400 dollar ipod, and hundreds for compressed to hell downloaded mp3 mp4 crap. i have the dared vp-16 (359$), the mmf-5 tt (600), the heart cd player (i payed 750) and a wright preamp (900) driving ciare ch 250 open baffles. to do it over i would use a onix cd (300) and a hagerman bugle (200) saving 1150.
also a shame that the houses are not built with acoustics in mind. the dumbass magazines do a disservice to themselves picturing midfi equipment in hard modern ultraclean rooms glass,hardwood floors, and vast expanses of wallboard. the american livingrooms could be so much better for sound than the small european parlours but nobody has clue one.
Beauty is in the in eye of the beholder. One system may sound horrible to you but, be the next person's perfect system. If there was such a thing as a perfect system, wouldn't every audiophile have one?
Every audiophile does have one! It is just composed of different manufacturers, different models and years in different combinations. With the option to change as perfection changes! SIMPLE?!
I agree with Mor2bz that nowaday a good system can be had for a relatively cheap price. And if you want to purchase used, the cost can be as much as half as new. It's hard to imagine money is a factor since you know ther sort of things people are buying nowaday. I think we are more or less done with the SUV buying craze (thanks to the rising gas price) so I can only imagine what's going to be next.
I personally don't know anyone who doesn't like music (whatever music they may prefer) and it's only logical (assuming that people are logical) that people would want a cool system to make music listening more enjoyable. Those who say they don't care either are lying or too ignorant/insecure to admit so since I do know people who is afraid (for lack of a better word) of classical music much like sunlight to vampires.
Since I'm stuck with one of those modern rooms with wallboard, windows, hardwood floor, etc, what is it that you are suggesting be done? It's our living room, so it is NOT going to be stuffed full of bass traps. A rug covers about half the floor, there's a chair and a couch. A few Eighth Nerve products in the corners knocked down the "tizziness." I've tried a couple of Real Traps MondoTraps; they're large and not conducive to domestic harmony.
Practical suggestions are welcome.
Thanks for reinforcing the thoughts of my post. If you look at firstname.lastname@example.org's post you will see what I was talking about. Thanks again.
My response, people don't care. I've had countless guests, relatives, friends and the like and they all had their jaws drop to the ground when they hear my system. They're all amazed with the clarity, soundstaging, presence and they all asked where I hid the center channel. I am gratified when they ask me to spin more albums and they sit there grinning in disbelief (I have a turntable). But I'm thoroughly disappointed when nobody asks where, what and how they can assemble a system like mine. Mind you, most of these people can afford a 10K-30K system. But, like I said, they just don't care. Recently one of my Uncles, after hearing my system, bought a Bose Acoustic Wave the very next day. He said he just couldn't get enough "good sound" after hearing my system. At last, I touched someone's audiophile side. I just need to pretend that I am not disappointed that he spent $1500 on a Bose Acoustic Wave.
there are so many hobbies to pursue that people select whatever suits their fancy.
For all we know, right now, there could be somebody lamenting, like you, on a wood-working hobby forum saying that hobbist wood-workers are a dying breed & that people just don't care about "good" looking furniture & are just as happy buying Ikea RTA furniture!
Guess what? in their "world" they'd be correct!
So, where do you start "fixing" such issues (given that one even needs to)?
Re. the friends that come over to your house - what are their hobbies? Do you have any interest in any 1 or more of them?
if the answer is "no", think/reflect about that!
You chose a hobby that gets your jellies going; they resp chose one that gets their jellies going. In this particular re. hi quality sound is not of high priority. However, you guys are friends 'cuz there are several things that are common to all of you. Walk together on those common items & walk separately on the others.
Is his heart touched at anything less than 70K?
I'd say almost everybody realizes they've been missing a lot when I give them a demo. Some are completely amazed, having had no idea what a "stereo" could sound like.
But maybe only 1 in 10 people take any action after that. Music's just not as important a part of their life as it is mine. No one has rushed out and spent 40k or 50k on a system, but I also tell them they don't have to. I let people know they can get 80 or 90% of the "magic" by spending $3k or less on good used equipment, and 70% for $1.5k (assuming vinyl is not involved), and that I'll help them if they want to. As a last ditch effort, I tell them they can find a pair of used speakers for $750 or less that'll transform their system.
I have a number of friends and acquaintances who have nicer home audio now, and I also put together a restaurant system that completely changed the place's ambience for a friend. It's a good feeling - kind of like being a drug pusher. "Better Living Through Audio" - how much you want?
There are others who may indulge eventually, but right now they're busy with teenage kids or businesses, etc.
to jimlevitt i realize that you may have had a particular vision of what a living room should look like, or perhaps the idea was sprung from the fertile mind of an interior decorator or architect. and your question is certainly legitimate and earnest. but is having an echoey cave for a living room conducive to domestic harmony? I do not have a living room, my shop is my living room, and i have no stereo in my apartment in the back. the building is made of cinderblock and glass, the shop are is 20 x 30 with 10 ceilings. there are some irregular shapes in the room so it has potential. i upgraded my system alot before i tried adding some absorbant material to the walls and ceiling. i have made some hanging panels to go on the walls, and four large cotton print tapestries are suspended from the ceiling. there is expanded polyester (quilt batting) above each print. the sound goes through the print , hits the ceiling, and is then absorbed again on it's way down. the stereo was playing when they were placed, and i could hear a major difference with each one. the little triangular panels that go into the corners can do alot for the sound without being very obtrusive visually. the corners act as amplifiers for the bass boom and alot can be done there with little material. if you cut an opening window into an adjoining room that will absorb alot of sound and may look ok to you. you might make certain that your rug is very absorbant; try wool. bass equalization will reduce the dominant room modes but nothing will substitute for proper damping. my open baffles are mounted from the ceiling and so are angled downward, so the sound is pointed at more absorbant areas. if the speakers are on the floor and are tilted up, the sound my strike off harder surfaces such as glass or sheetrock. do not put a ton of money into your system until you are willing to address the room because your money is thrown away. sealed speakers have less boom than ported. stuff a tennis ball or something in the ports of the subs. get the speakers away from the walls and corners. get a set of headphones so you can hear what your gear is really capable of. good luck - i hope i have helped - i tried.
Being an "Audiophile" requires copious amounts of time, research, energy, experimentation and intensive listening to decipher personal preferences.
We live in a fast food society, so if Bosenova Supra can market and all-in-one solution that doesn't require much THOUGHT and can be purchased at the local Mega Whopper consumer electronics store, then it is little wonder people are taken aback when they hear something truly special.
Most men find it difficult to get beyond the WAF, but we only have ourselves to blame for high audio costs. The rich drive up prices by encorporating the false notion that price has a one-to-one relationship with performance. Prices are further exaserbated when a hot new manufacturer comes to market with cut rate prices in order to gain market share and idiots tell the world this new manufacturer should be charging 3x what they currently are, enevitably leading to multiple price increases as the buzz heightens to a crescendo.
WAF? This is beginning to bug me! In general most of the men I know or have known throughout my life all have had some creative or positive hobbies. Discounting the illegal and immoral fun there is still much left to do and usually this hobby (hunting, fishing, concerts, skiing, boating, various forms of collecting and the like) will be costly. Yes...our female companions will object to some things, but frankly you have EARNED the right to have a decent sound system if there is a room for you to setup besides the den or the living room. So if you are unable to gain appropriate WAF perhaps the issue is in your relationship and not the cost or placement?
Our home purchases have all been made with my wife KNOWING that I will need a big room for my system and my album/CD collection. A basement is sufficient in these parts of the country. I was into music and equipment BEFORE I met her.
It is a part of me. She accepted me and therefore....