Since when is a musician also an audiophile? Every musician I have ever known has had no interest in "reproducing" music because they can "create" music. Please do not be offended by my statement, it is just what I have seen to be so fron 30+ years in HI FI. I wish more musicians cared about the sound because I consider it a crime to let engineers butcher a recording. Lets face it, it is the MUSIC INDUSTRY... Selling a bad recording is like making a car that handles poorly --- on purpose! Unfortunately the mediocre sounding recordings far outweigh the good ones.
yes i play. i started teaching myself the guitar close to 30 years ago. shortly thereafter i replaced my portable record player with my first real stereo, a dual turntable with shure cart, dynaco separates and A-25 speakers. the more i practiced and played the more easy it got to 'hear' and pick out the guitar parts whenever i heard music played anywhere, both live and reproduced. i never became a professional musician and over the years my stereo evolved in its expressiveness. i agree with hifiharv though. most of the working musicians i've met have not been very keen on having a high-end stereo...or on having a deeply involving day job, haha. but they all had some kinda playback thing that i think thrilled them as much as mine did me. nowadays i listen more than i play but i sure still enjoy doing both.
I don't think think there are less audiophiles among musicians. How many folks do you run into at work that don't think you are nuts comparing ac power cords and cables? There may be a few less just because of the money factor, y'know the phrase starving musician? There is a reason it was created. I used to play guitar in a rock band and refer back to the knowledge of how rock guitar sounds straight from the amp as well as in the studio as a reference for how my system reproduces that same "rock guitar" sound. I am sure folks who play other instruments do the same.
I play the piano. I've been playing for nearly 30 years and still do. Not only am I an audiophile, I'm also equally as picky about the instrument and the way it sounds. While I agree Hifiharv to some extent, not all of us can play like Glen Gould (I certainly can't). I also can't play the trumpet at all (never even tried), but love listening to Miles Davis. I need a really good system to hear how he is playing--how much air, how much pressure--how does he make the trumpet do that?? I also love vocals--but I can't sing to save my life. A great system that really recreates the human voice accurately is really a pleasure to listen to. Mark Levinson actually considers himself a musician first and an audiophile and equipment designer second. So for some musicians listening to the notes without the nuances that a high end system can provide is very satisifying. For me, it isn't. I want to hear everything. Not just the note that Glen Gould played, but all the harmonics right down to the lifting and setting of the dampers to his unusual humming in the background--to me that is the whole performance--far more satisfying on a high end rig.
I sing in a professional choir. I rarely go as a listener to a choral music concert. I usually only listen to recordings of choral music as a way to familiarize myself with the music. I also attend a lot of live concerts other than choral. This does not stop me from wanting great audio equipment. Where I feel I differ from most audiophiles, is I care almost entirely and exclusively how good the performance is. I could care less how good a recording sounds, if the performance is not as good as some other recording. I have good equipment because I want the recordings I do love to sound the best possible.
After working for about 20 years as a semi-professional drummer (mostly rock/pop), and "retired" about ten years ago, I still love music and have assembled a system which gets me as close as possible to recreating the emotion of a live event. My musical tastes have eveloved quite a bit from my playing days, I listen to jazz and classical mostly, rarely to rock - although rock/pop is the only thing I will listen to in my car. I still value the performance over sound, but, find that when listening at home, a poorly recorded piece gets too much in the way for me to really enjoy the music. Perhaps that is why I have gravitated away from listening to rock at home since great-sounding recordings are too rare. This same music on a less resolving system, however, (like in the car) can be very enjoyable. BTW - I feel that you can't generalize on the musician/audiophile issue. I know other musicians who are avid audiophiles and others who are perfectly happy listening via any means possible. I also know a number of audiophiles who are so much into the equipment that they would listen to anything (junk included) as long as it made their system sound good. Just my thoughts.
I got my college degree in music composition, and I do quite a bit of composing. I play a little bit of violin, piano and guitar--all quite poorly. I really got into hi-fi because of my schooling. I find that when one is listening to music for enjoyment AND to learn about composition and orchestration, there's so much more to learn and enjoy from a true hi-fi system. The audiophiles that I know tend to be both musicians and technophiles. I think that there's a dual obsession with both music and state-of-the-art technology in these folks. I know that I've always been that way.
I consider some friends who are heavy into Home Theater to be Videophiles.
I played the string bass until I was 16 and I made 4th chair in the Georgia all-state orchestra. I had to fake it much of the time. All timber and no speed. Had to retire, early. But the hair did stand up on the back of my neck playing with that level of musicians and conductor, and hey, we cut an albumn!
I play the guitar, bass, a little violin and piano. I'm getting in to doing some experimental music which is and will be influenced by my hifi hobby. The two hobblies will really be mingled when I finally get recording/editing system for my computer, using my hifi rig as a monitor.
Yes, 30 years of guitar. My experiences with music is what drives my frame of reference for play back. A better question is not, "why aren't more musician audiophiles", but rather, "why aren't more audiophiles musicians?" When this last question is resloved, then the first question will be resolved