Serious Addiction to Gear

I would like to know if gear addiction is like shopping addiction, or any other form of clinically defined addiction. A friend of mine seems to have this problem, not being able to control his urges to just buy the first thing that he feels he needs. It is starting to affect his personal relationships. Should I approach this problem like a drug addiction? I want to help him help himself. Has anyone experienced this either firsthand or by association?
Unless his relationship(s)are with Women, it shouldn't be a problem. If he's buying junk after you've steered towards the right path, it may bug you, but there's nothing you can do.
I have a friend who makes six figures+. He's single, has a large home and can do whatever, whenever with no consequences. He has top-flight IC's, but the speaker cables are the bottleneck(I've told him so and can do no more than that). He say's he doesn't have the money...puhleeze!
There are obsessive, compulsive behavioural disorders of varying degrees. Your friend could have this. I'm afraid it can't be diagnosed from an Audiogon post though. If you think he has a problem to the point you feel you need to ask about it, it should be investigated further.

I think there could be an entire psychological conference based on what I read in Audiogon.
I think it's an addiction. In fact, I just had a paranoid rush that my wife had posted this. Seriously tho, it really feels like an addiction when I allow myself to be self-aware about it. A few tricks that have helped me:

1. Buying a house, resulting in absolutely no extra cash.
2. Getting out and seeing live music more often.
3. Visiting a friend who has a crap system but an awesome collection and feeling humbled by his priorities.
4. I haven't tried this, but I've heard that having babies will help you kick.
I think there could be an entire psychological conference based on what I read in Audiogon.

You think? That is quite an understatement Mark.
There may be something to it. Someone I know once called me an "AudiogoN addict".

Hi, My name is Fpeel. I was clean for 22 days. Then I saw this power cord posted for sale...
It always starts with power cords,then pretty soon its cryoed cones,then its sand or tubes.Then the nightmare really begins to pick up watts and ohms and......
Does your friend think he has a problem or is it just everyone else?
Saw your thread, we've been talking about such things. We've concluded, when it's no longer about the music it's a very sad thing. Hope you can talk some sense into your friend.
Us Audiophile bunch by definition is of addictive nature. The better the system gets more music you want to buy. And buy. And buy. You are constantly looking for you next 'fix'.
Gentlemen please be calm. For one, if you like gear and find it fascinating it's ok. It is not pathological to enjoy the equipment aspect of the hobby.
I love sonics and I love music unfortunately I like to hear it on the best system I can. The gear matters as well or this site would not thrive. This is particularily true of my sub interest old tubes. They are time capsule that capture a time long lost in reality that it carries in its circuits. They have a hard time decaying in a strong vacuum. It is very cool indeed.
I have thought many times, why not settle on a bunch of favorite tubes and sell the rest. I tried to bring myself to do it, but each tube has a story to tell of its coming to me. Each was either a lucky hit or a sad bummer. The bad actors that I would not pass on to bum out another collector.
I know what I really like now and yet I think of tweaks and such to keep me reading the ads. Now that times are lean in my Casa the tube collecting has virtually stopped or is at a very slow trickle. It doesn't stop me from following the market and figuring out when a few dealers all at once Stock a tube thought to been extinct those are probably bogus.
Only if the guy is going broke and still buying. That is a problem, but he is under the usual delusion that things like a better power cord can make him truly happy. When it inevitably fails to do that he tries again like a rat in a Skinner box with intermitant reinforcement. Much like playing black jack.
Let me ask you though, is collecting an addiction or harmful? see above for yes otherwise go on.
I can think of people who simply display spoons and never use them and have completely missed the point that spoons are used to eat. Any old spoon will do it's the food that matters.
How about old toys, you wouldn't dream of humoring a child with a NIB toy from the 50s 40s and ealier but that is why they exist.
How many of you own a car that simply has more horsepower and torque than you can ever really use. Theres no point in it but we like the cars . While if thinking correctly we could have a very low HP gas/electric high milage no emmisions "green" vehicle that gets you to and from where you are going and that is the reason d' etre' for a car isn't it.
finally How many will admit they have checked the sonics of their system with a special recording that demonstrates what sonics you may have or are missing ... Audio gear is always intended to play music. You can use a clock radio to hear in minds ear a great symphopny> For some reason my time and money have been spent on expensive electronics and tweaks and speakers to hear that symphony in all it's pottential glory. Until the times improve and I hear something that is so much better that I put it on my when I can afford to buy it list,I will.
So stop lets stop the holier than thou stuff will music is all it is about nonesense in this hobby forget it's reproduction dismiss the whole meaning of audiophile silliness and get a good clock radio a Bose with a cd player in it, perhaps and join the musical appreciation and sleeping site.
I suggest you view the A&E show "Intervention".It broadcasts on Monday nights in most areas.It deals with many forms of addiction and destructive behavior and the effects it has on the people around them.Then the issue is dealt with by a professional and treatment is offered,usually as a last resort.Compared to some of the extreme cases i have seen it sounds like your"friend" might be a ways from hitting bottom,so it may be something he has to work out on his own.One day he might turnaround and say "what am i doing with all this crap?" And his behavior has run it's cycle.
Quite often people will ask questions like you have and refer to a "friend" in distress,while it is actually they that are seeking help.If that is the case you are not going to find the help you need on this website.I do know that there are many generous,well meaning people here that will offer support.Good luck and your friend is lucky to have someone who cares.
Can it make you blind?
Is he experiencing hallucinations, uncontrollable tremors or is he losing weight? If not, I wouldn't be alarmed.
Of course buying used audio gear can be an addiction.

It helps to move onto something healthier and less potentially addictive, like heroin and/or classy prostitutes. In fact, both at once ends up being much cheaper and less disruptive to your life than the audio thing.

Best of luck with your friend.
wait is this really for "your friend" or is this a cry for help lol?
You should see guys on Audiokarma that collect anything found at a thrift or found in a dumpster, if its cheap or free they take it no matter what!
Great post Mechans.
Yes Jazzcourier, that show is what got me thinking about it.
I think all that matters is if you can afford it without putting everything else in your life on the line, then buy it. It's the same as an expencive car, wine or any other hobby for that matter. If you pay all your bills on time, pay into your retirement and buy the wife, husband or significant other things to keep them happy within reason. You can do whatever you want with the rest, it is your money ya know. This is IMHO.