I wish I could do it for hours, but about 1 hour between 10 - 11 PM is my own time just to enjoy the music with a sniffer of XO or Blue label in one hand and OpusX in the other
I guess if your thinking goes along the lines of "audiophile" is a pretentious term ... then I would also guess that not sitting in the sweet spot concentrating solely on the music would somehow be a "pride" thing. Curious choice of words.
Speaking for myself, I have never purchased stereo equipment with the idea that I would be glued to a sweet spot while I was listening to it. I have lived in apartments most of my 46 years ... so, I have not now and have never had a dedicated Iistening room. The audiophile considerations (sweet spots, optimal room placement, proper speaker height, etc) are brokered with my real world considerations (the furniture I own, my wife's feelings, my cats' athleticism, the partial hearing loss in my left ear, etc).
I buy very good equipment, because it will sound very good even outside the sweet spot ... maybe not perfect, but still very good. Very good equipment will sound better than mediocre equipment both inside and outside the sweet spot. An old trick for testing speakers (circa 1973), was to put on some piano music and walk back and forth alongside the front of the speakers to see if the pitch changed. If the pitch changed ... you didn't buy the speakers. You also knew that they would sound good outside the sweet spot. Now, there are those moments when I kick back, sit in the sweet spot, put on a "must listen to" CD, and then, fall promptly asleep for the next 45 minutes!
Putting all my rationalizations aside ... the issue you raise is not an audio ONLY issue anyway. It is a consumerism topic. Do you really need a Viking professional stove to cook macaroni and cheese or a Sub-Zero refrigerator to keep the OJ cold or figured-shaped Fritos, for that matter? Audiophiles may stand out because of the "male, small number of participants" nature of our hobby. If you are not going to live in that sweet spot ... you may not need those $20K mono blocks ... but, the Brand X $179 surround system isn't the answer either.
Curious to see your comments.
For me it's a weird thing. Because of my work schedule, sometimes I go days or weeks without being able to park my ass in my listening chair. And then there are times I listen to music and read while sitting there from 8am until evening with a few breaks. I almost never listen my system unless I'm sitting in the "sweet spot".
I work long hours in the warm months and am lucky to hear my system on the weekend. In the winter I am home much of January-April. During these cold months I am warmed by music almost nonstop during awake hours. As I type this Dire Straits Love Over Gold is playing in the background. I usually sit in the sweet spot when one of my favorites cues up or in the evening enjoying a beer or 2. As far as money wasted when not concentrating, who cares. It's a hobby so waste some money and enjoy however you want!
I read reviews and posts for the same reason I read anything, Interest.
I post to share some experiences and advice that often cost me significant dollars to gain.
But I am never on a computer on Friday and Saturday evenings. I have a dedicated listening room and I go down into it, let the tubes warm up, wait I am not finished, get the turntable ready, clean the records, wait, pick out some SACDs, open the wine, hit the sweet spot, and let the Logans sing.
Then on Monday morning at work, awww, time to hit the Gon
I have plenty of toys, so I'm not being critical of people for spending money. As Holzhauer said, "It's a hobby... enjoy...!"
It was just an observation. Over the holidays I did a lot of internet reading with regard to audio equipment. Granted the topics are generally equipment related, I just thought there was a scarcity of discussion regarding listening habits.
As I said, it's just a perception, but I think there is a whole lot of energy exerted on the non-listening aspects of this hobby. It's similar in photography as well. More buying/selling the latest and greatest lenses than wondering on the trail shooting and creating.
Back to audio, although I do believe there are differences between the sounds that come through amps and processors and even IC's (although I also think there is a lot of snake-oil and pride-of-ownership issues there too), I think they can be subtle and definitely less discernable depending on room make up, listening position, etc. When you really have to concentrate to hear minute differences that cost significant dollars to achieve, it seems... like overkill. Hey, I don't begrudge someone for liking expensive things.
BTW, I try and steal 30-45 minutes 2 to 3 times a week in my "media" room. (A single malt may not be too far away, either.) My dogs aren't allowed in the room and my wife doesn't like jazz all that much, or the high volume, for that matter, so I feel a bit guilty not spending time with the family.
Being in the heavy construction business, my work takes-up an average of 12 hours a day, 6 days a week. Sunday is laundry, grocery shopping, and clean the house day, but I usually manage to spend 2 to 4 hours of enjoyment that evening (Bombay & tonic), and a couple more during the week.
Worth every penny, just like the divorce.
If I lived alone I'd listen more, but I try to get 3 nights of 1-2 hours of listening in with some Cabo Wabo n' Kahlua (or Sailor Jerry). My girlfriend is getting more and more involved with this stuff and is always a good source of unbiased opinions.
I would definitely call it a sanctuary as I can feel the tension of a workweek more if I don't get my music time in. Lights are generally off, and sometimes the TV is on; some shows I just enjoy more without hearing them (NASA TV is a good channel to watch with music).
I only wish I could have a variety of gear at once to test and decide what I want and kick the upgrade habit. Of course when that day comes, I probably wont be sifting through Audiogon daily.
Retired two years ago this March, every day is the weekend and no shortage of spare time. On top of that, I always put off till tomorrow anything I don't want to do..this leaves me with plenty of time for listening and the WWW.
PS, I do find time to take my wife out to dinner once a week and that seems to keep her very happy...plus, I do try to find time for the sweet spot.
I spend many hours listening to the system every week ... but I'm only in the sweet spot for a few. That's fine by me. First, it's nice to know that I can immerse myself whenever I'm in the mood. Second, a fine system should, IMO, sound very good outside the sweetspot. That's one of my primary decision factors when choosing components. I want to groove to the tunes even when I'm chopping carrots in the kitchen or on the PC gon'ing it with y'all. Happy Listening!
I have a listening room that took years to complete,well almost.Spent huge amounts of time researching,amps,cdp,dacs...ect.Its the comments,reviews and knowledge of others that has been the most help."I SPENT 8HRS IN MY SWEET SPOT LAST NIGHT JUST LISTENING TO MY TUNES.ANYBODY ELSE?"Does nothing for me,but im sure others would benefit greatly...happy listening!
I think most of us, except those fortunate ones like sogood51 who have put in their time and are retired, have plenty of competition for our time and attention. If I'm not working late then I usually steal away an hour or two through the week while the kids are doing their homework and the wife is doing her thing to sit and enjoy the music. I don't have a computer in my listening room on purpose. If I'm distracted, it's usually by a periodical of some sort that I haven't gotten around to reading yet, but I try not to do that too much while listening. Whenever I do listen, it is pure relaxation and is very theraputic for the daily stresses of life.
On the weekends I find many competitors for my attention from other entertainment sources, like sporting events, movies, motorcycling, church activities,etc.
One thing about our hobby that is very positive, as my wife points out, is that it keeps us at home. I'm not out with the guys bowling, carousing, playing poker, etc. because I'd much rather listen to music. Although when a freind comes over to listen with me we can crank it up pretty good sometimes Ü.
Rarl makes a good point about the materialistic nature of man. But most people have something that they spend way too much time, energy, or money on. Some are obsessed with the stock market, woodworking, home, boat, car (okay, I fall into that category too), etc. So we are fortunate to have a hobby that gives us years of limitless enjoyment!
I travel a fair amount, but every night I'm home I listen for between 30 mins and 3 hours. My room is a dedicated room for music and HT, so I am always in the sweet spot. I am rarely "just listening" - I almost always have my laptop going, or have NBA LeaguePass on with no sound. I work hard, and I'm tired at that time of day - while I may want to just listen, it's pretty much a guarantee that I'll fall asleep if I do. Plus, life just isn't constructed for dedicated listening right now, for me. I wish it were sometimes, but it's not. It will be again someday. I didn't buy the system or the gear focused on one activity or another - I just like the way it sounds and the music it plays. And, I suppose if I found myself with different listening habits (ie, more dedicated listening) that might change what I have and want, the point being that I have what I have found best suits my current needs and that as needs change, what I want may change, not the other way around. -Kirk
For most of my adult life, listening to music was a main priority. Indeed, I never owned a TV until I was 32 and never got around to cable or satalite until I was 44 even though I lived way out in the woods.
Most visitors to my home were welcomed with careful listening sessions to my newest favorite recordings. Some close friends spent "music" vacations at my home where we just spent time listening and discussing music. Often, I would spend 2 to 4 hours daily alone with my music.
Now I listen to 2 or 3 disks a week and I'm trying to figure out how to get back to the music.
What happened was so distructive to my enjoyment of music...
We had a direct lightning strike that "cooked" my system. Wires were melted, connections blown out of the back of compontents...
I had great insurance. They settled with my main dealer who made every effort to replace my system. The problems started when lots of things just were no longer made or easliy found in good condition used. I ended up with a system that cost me more than my "replacement" settlemnt and took 3 months to assemble. After several more months breaking in the new super high end speakers, I was getting back into the swing of things and then...
A power supply on an amplifier failed. It cooked the crossovers in my speakers. The amplifier manufacturer took 3 months to fix it (some companies don't stock parts for their stuff). Then the speakers had to be shipped back to Switzerland and then replaced at an expense of 4k...
Now it is 15 months since I've actually enjoyed music on a regular basis. The repaired/new system is finally broken in. I'm just having trouble finding the magic.
I get in around 2 hours a day on average. Some days I get 3-4 hours in. Being retired with a wife that isn't, gives me the freedom to listen often and long. Still, I am afflicted with computeritis to some degree. If I could stay away from the internet, I could probably add another hour or so to my listening. Perhaps soon I will.
I'm surprised by the responses here and thought more folks would have intense listening sessions. I just listen to music when I listen-- there's usually no other activity going on. As a matter of fact, I avoid putting music on when I'm watching tv or surfing the net. I work plenty hard as a lawyer, so I can't have super long sessions, but when I fire the system up, I just turn down the lights and stare into space.
I'm a musician, so I can be a little more entertained by listening alone than most, and I'm single so I don't have anyone in the house distracting me. I only have my shrew of a downstairs neighbor to worry about :P
Funny thing is, my system is pretty mid-fi by most audiogoners' standards.
Just sharing my experience-- interesting question from Quicke
24 hours.Take an average day in many peoples lives.Sleep 8 get ready for work and breakfast 1 hour,commute 1 hour work day w/lunch hour 9,dinner and time with kids or
wife 1 hour,total 20 hours.You can shuffle some of those numbers but just for sake of discussion that leaves about 4 hours a day.Almost everyone I know has no time during weekdays,due to longer drives,kids,and pets.Then throw in helpings of colds/flu season,gassing vehicles,repairs driving the wee ones to school,telemarketers,bill paying time,e-mail,phone talks,shopping,ect.
Weekends doing yard work and next thing you know your not
on the lawn.The lawns on you.Time is so precious.Most of
us use the lion share of it to work,sleep,watch t.v. and
eat.A few sweet hours a week listening to music we love is
a great escape from all the above.I will bet a good many
us read while seated on the john(multi-tasking!).
Most enthusiast reading material always goes deeper into
the product aspect than the"how is it" side.Yep pride does invade the hobby,sport,activity.
I heard a quote that many people who collect books may
feel as though they are purchasing the time to read them
all.Time is a great equalizer we all have so very little
of it here.(I'm using a few precious hours on-line,wheres my wife I wanna hug her).Just my 2 cents.
It IS ultimately about the music. We are all trying to get the most sweet, dynamic, kickass system we can to reproduce the music we all love to listen too. We stretch our budgets to get the best system that we can afford to in our living rooms, dens, etc. Pride, snob appeal, sure. We're mostly guys, fachrissakes, and bragging rights goes w/ the "package". Everyone here, for the most part, wants to feel proud of the job he did building his system. Looks, reputation AND sound have a lot to do with our decisions relating to the equipment we buy.
I turn on my stereo the second I walk thru the door every evening. Just the tuner, for warm ups. If I put on a CD during my cooking sessions, I can barely hear it, because my home is a nut house, with 2 kids, a dog and a wife who can't stand loud music. Only later, after the kids go to bed can I really sit down and enjoy what I've built. But as a budding audiophile, I'm never satisfied w/ my system. I always want more. That's why I do spend so much time here and at audioasylum reading posts and getting opinions regarding this, my most favorite hobby. I suppose one day, I'll be happy, or broke. Then I can really stop worrying about how my system sounds and then really enjoy the music.
Turn it up and enjoy!
After 52 blissfully child-free years I suddenly fell heir to a new girlfriend with three teenage daughters. Not much cuts into listening time like that, especially when the big rig shares a room with "their" TV :-/
My kvetching is pretty "pro forma" though. They don't watch that much TV, and everyone indulges the old guy in his eccentric little passion. I average an hour a day in the sweet spot, and a couple of hours or more per day on the weekends. Call it six to ten hours a week.
Then we have a really nice system in the living room. When it's not playing CBC 1 FM it gives us magical walking-around music. Nobody's hard done by for tunes in this house.