Should people who can't solder, build or test their speakers be considered audiophiles?



  So, if you bought that Porsche but can only drive it and not fix it do you really understand and appreciate what it is? I say no. The guy who can get in there and make it better, faster or prettier with his own hands has a superior ability to understand the final result and can appreciate what he has from a knowledge base and not just a look at what I bought base. I mean sure you can appreciate that car when you drive it but if all you do is take it back to the dealership for maintenance and repairs you just like the shape with no real understanding of what makes it the mechanical marvel it is.
  I find that is true with the audio world too. There are those who spend a ton of money on things and then spend a lot of time seeking peer approval and assurance their purchase was the right one and that people are suitably impressed. Of course those who are most impressed are those who also do not design, build, test or experiment.

  I propose that an audiophile must have more than a superficial knowledge about what he listens to and must technically understand what he is listening to. He knows why things work and what his end goal is and often makes his own components to achieve this. He knows how to use design software to make speakers that you can't buy and analyze the room they are in and set up the amplification with digital crossovers and DSP. He can take a plain jane system and tweak it and balance it to best suit the room it is in. He can make it sound far better than the guy who constantly buys new components based on his superficial knowledge who does not understand why what he keeps buying in vain never quite gets there.

  A true audiophile can define his goal and with hands on ability achieve what a mere buyer of shiny parts never will. So out comes the Diana Krall music and the buyer says see how good my system is? The audiophile says I have taken a great voice and played it through a system where all was matched and tweaked or even purposely built and sits right down next to Diana as she sings. The buyer wants prestigious signature sound and the audiophile will work to achieve an end result that is faithful true to life audio as though you were in the room with Diana as she sings. The true audiophile wants true to life and not tonally pure according to someones artificial standard.

 So are you a buyer or an audiophile and what do you think should make a person an audiophile?
mahlman
Sarcasm is the last refuge of the anti audiophile. 
Sorry - I just joined this forum yesterday and I don’t own a soldering gun.  Do I need to join another forum first then graduate or work my way up to this one?  Thanks
An audiophile is a lover of music. Yes, I have built headphone amplifiers, many cables and repaired pre-amps and amps; however, IMO that does not make me any more appreciative of listening to music. I took my daughter to the Seattle Symphony when she was 9 years old. When I looked over at her there was tear coming from her eye from the emotion of her connecting with the music, now that is an audiophile.
An audiophile is anyone that declares or considers themselves to be an audiophile.

You don't need any approval or certification from anyone else to be considered an audiophile.

And lastly, an audiophile doesn't care whether you think he is or isn't.
" Sorry - I just joined this forum yesterday and I don’t own a soldering gun.  Do I need to join another forum first then graduate or work my way up to this one?  Thanks "
  No you don't need to worry about graduating somewhere to come here. All you need is a reality filter to not take cable cookers and cryogenic wire treatments as truth. Or many of the overpriced bits of gear as good value for the money spent.  There  are nuggets of goodness here you just have to work a bit harder to find them than you might have to in other places.

  HEY geoffkait where's your tag team partner glupson?
I beg to differ with you and may I present the inspiration for this thread. Sad thing is that many here DO think like this and that is what makes this thread so much fun. The Emperor has no clothes.

https://forum.audiogon.com/discussions/should-people-with-no-turntable-or-reel-to-reel-be-considered...
" As an engineer both MSME MSEE and CME your post is stupid. "


Well gosh I am crushed. Say since you have all those letter thingamajigs  there why don't you explain why it is stupid?
I used to solder but was lousy so I crimp now. I might not be a good audiophile but I can be a pretty good autophile in a crowd.
I suppose I'm just a music lover really.
I have a pretty nice stereo system, I love music, own a couple of turntables and know my way around a soldering iron. And I could not possibly care less about whether I have the qualifications to be labeled as an audiophile. Why would anyone care?

“ had a stupid writer ask me once, what are you man ? .... I am just a whiskey rock n roller man, that’s what I am... “
Serious? It takes a special kind to be so obnoxious. Wanna put up your own Audiophile Autonomous Zone? 
A true audiophile must possess at least a Ph.D. in high-energy or mathematical physics and, moreover, understand fully the condensation of electrons out of the primordial superheated soup of the Big Bang. This is why Roger Penrose is the greatest living audiophile.
Mahlman seems to be upset with people who can afford more than he can, that seems to be where the source of his frustration comes from. I suppose the best of anything dosnt cost more than the average, or less than average? I’ve seen people who don’t really make much, save for years to buy an expensive component, not because they are rich. And people who have money and can afford more expensive equipment, must be excluded and because they can afford it, makes them snobs? Seems the OP is displaying a snobbery of a different type. The type that is jealous of what they cannot have. I cannot afford the very highest end of equipment, but why should it bother me that there are those who can. I’m sure some people do purchase expensive equipment just to show off. So what. It’s their money, and that person isn’t really an audiophile in that respect. But that sort of person probably isn’t on forums like this, as we arnt the ones they’re trying to impress. Why can’t the guy who has a 2k system and the one who has a 200k system both enjoy what they have and pleasure they derive from what they hear. That would be like saying if I make 2 million a year, that I should live in a 100k home. Why should I? To make the guy that can only afford the 100k home happy and give him something for him to be jealous about? Or I should t own a Bentley if I could afford it for the same reason? Anyone knows if you own a Ferrari, Aston Martin, etc, that you can really appreciate cars, right? I’m sure that anyone with even a small amount of common sense realizes this whole idea is ridiculous. Stop trying to define what other can and cannot be, based on what you can or cannot be. 
SMD fluent? wave Solder ? cold welded crimp with silver paste ?..... curved traces on the board? Multiple sided boards ( but not too many ), forming caps with external voltage sources cause the boutique caps y’all randomly substitute in don't form....

chord theory

make your own humbucker or cut down a tree so you can build a Les Paul neck thru body ?

or do none of that....

bring everything, except ego.....
Anybody catch the dude extolling the virtues of becoming a better listener is sky high on a speaker..... he has never heard...,, ?????
Maybe we should adopt a variation of Twitter blue checkmark where we only recommend components we have owned or heard ?????, after we pass a class on confirmation bias.


Why would you ask a question like that?  
If you could only see the worlds I’ve seen.  Music and cool gear isn’t about any one lust or talent.
derekcole,

"...I don’t own a soldering gun. Do I need to join another forum first then graduate or work my way up to this one?"

There is hope for you!

https://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/showthread.php?443214-Soldering-Station-Never-too-old-to-learn!
*S* Well 'stated', MC....+1

Jack of all trades, master of some....but no all-encompassing knowledge that allowed me to have intials follow my name.  Been up to my elbows in many things (except PG testing a cow....one has to have limits...)....

Am I an audiophile?  I work at it.  An audio enthusiast?  Better...*S*

I enjoy the many forms I listen to.  I enjoy 'tweaking' (in my own fashion) what I listen to it with.  I challenge myself with my DIY Walsh project.

Between that and the 'day2day' and half of a FT business....

I've enough ongoing.

Oh, I solder too.  Heat clips, desoldering, long-nose pliers, shrink tubes...
Do helluva 'tribal burn scars' if anyone's interested....;)
Why does the term need to be defined, anyway?
i hereby declare myself an “audio liker.” No requirements to join my club. Who’s with me?
Fortunately I started young, planting the Redwood tree that would grow to provide the Rosewood veneer for my DBA. While that was growing I was busy digging the ore I would refine down into voice coils and speaker cables. Fortunately tubes are not that hard, mostly silica for the glass although it took years building my lungs up to where I could get enough vacuum. Speakers actually not that hard, paper pulp cones only take a year or so to make, not bad at all. I did cheat and use melted down plastic bottles for the platter. All was on track and I was close to my goal of being a genuine Real McCoy Audiophile, one who built everything from scratch and trial and error, until I heard wire is directional. That's it. I am done with audio. 

Fortunately I was saving aluminum cans the whole time and have almost enough to melt down into the case and pistons for a flat six....
This post wouldn’t have been so ridiculous if there wasn’t such a sense of anger behind it. I personally enjoy DIYing stuff, tinkering, etc., but just because someone else doesn’t, does not exclude them from being an audiophile. They still get to keep their “I ❤️ AUDIO” bumper sticker with pride.
@hifihandyman...I suspect not....K would be all over us like stink on....

'nuff said....;)
mahlman

If one were to apply the logic that you use to support the opinion expressed in your initial post, then:

One cannot appreciate a work of art unless you have yourself chiseled marble, mixed pigments to create the desired colors or stretched a canvas over a frame.
One cannot appreciate the skill and creativity of the composer without having composed.
One cannot comprehend that alcoholism and drug addiction are not beneficial to one’s health without having succumbed to such vices.

I, however, am not offended by your argument as I am primarily a lover of music; audiophilia runs a distant second.

Enjoy the music.
Put simply NO! You do not need to be able to use a soldering iron to be an audiophile, just like if I own a a Porsche I don’t need to be a mechanical engineer. That’s why there are people who train for years to work on the complex machinery that makes up a Porsche. It is like saying that in order to be considered a Posrsche owner you have to drive any number of the 911 combos and the Caymen is not a true a Porsche but that would be wrong. 
I know my way around a soldering iron and maybe some day I will build a speaker system from scratch, but thankfully there’s an Italian company that makes some of the finest sounding speakers on the planet and I will buy them soon, but I still consider myself an audiophile...I have been into this hobby since I was a Freshman in high school. To me it’s about the music and listening to the music as the artist intended it to be heard. The equipment is the non musicians way to achieve that goal. We tend never to be satisfied.

In the end it’s about finding that diamond in the rough. I’m looking got a transparent warm and natural sound in my home that grabs you and drags you on to the stage. That’s what an audiophile is, it’s not about building a speaker. That is a great thing for some for others-we rather spend our time searching for the best albums to listen to. 

" Fortunately I started young, planting the Redwood tree that would grow to provide the Rosewood veneer for my DBA. While that was growing I was busy digging the ore I would refine down into voice coils and speaker cables. Fortunately tubes are not that hard, mostly silica for the glass although it took years building my lungs up to where I could get enough vacuum. Speakers actually not that hard, paper pulp cones only take a year or so to make, not bad at all. I did cheat and use melted down plastic bottles for the platter. All was on track and I was close to my goal of being a genuine Real McCoy Audiophile, one who built everything from scratch and trial and error, until I heard wire is directional. That’s it. I am done with audio.

Fortunately I was saving aluminum cans the whole time and have almost enough to melt down into the case and pistons for a flat six.... "

Remarkably similar path to the one I took. My biggest problem with the platter was finding a good Porcupine quill to do the little groove squiggly thing. I figured out how to solve directional wiring too. Lay your wire out double the length you need and cut in half and join them at the ends making sure the direction is marked so the flow is reversed. What one sends the other returns but if you screw up and don’t get the direction right you will only be able to send or receive so be very careful. The direction is not readily evident many times so judicious attention paid to the original wire when you cut is very important. I use beginning or end markers applied as I cut and as long as I put an end with a beginning I know that all will be well.
I'd like to keep a little distance from Diana. 
Lol, mailman = kenjit jr. He’s has a son
It is a good thing I can't solder or build cabinets.  I would be in a different forum, have a basement full of half done projects and have even less money.
That wooshing sound that many hear is their last "clue" flying away. That would explain the clueless responses to obvious sarcasm :-)
Did someone forget to leave the Roach Motels out last night? 
A person who can build speakers doesn't necessarily distinguish the nuances in music.

A mechanic isn't a skilled enough driver to appreciate a finely tuned auto.
I just assumed it was sarcasm and a play on the earlier thread
https://forum.audiogon.com/discussions/should-people-with-no-turntable-or-reel-to-reel-be-considered-audiophil

But you did manage to get a lot of responses.

Regarding the sokogear thread I did not really know if that was trolling or not but it has too many answers to read through now.
Recognizing the sarcastic, sophomoric and trolling nature of your post still doesn't excuse it.

You don't know if that will be the first post a new A'goner may read.
 
Robert, if you’ve read malmans posts, it dosnt seem like he’s kidding. Of course he could just be so bored with real life that he has nothing g better to do than get reactions in forums. Kind of sad either way.
Post removed 
Judging by your presence, the answer is obvious.
geoffkait22,846 posts06-22-2020 8:40amDid someone forget to leave the Roach Motels out last night?

Oh gosh...there's a certification process now?  Will there be annual dues that are owed?
It’s so great when one pseudo skeptic high fives 👋👋 another pseudo skeptic. In this case robberrttddidd and mahlware OP. They go together like peas and carrots. No offense intended.
Beaver felt in the woofer cones... Rudy taught me that...

don’t get confused....
Give me a break. Just another in a long line of troll posts by the OP, to whit from 2 years ago,

mahlman OP

“What is trully important?

So I read about all these expensive bits of gear here and I have some thoughts. In the world of large money bands and their touring where individual seats can cost well north of 5G is there any sort of restriction on equipment they can buy? I don’t think so and they want fidelity. What do recording studios use for session recordings? Is the idea of true to life important and what do you use to get there? Does real life reproduction matter or is some sort of electronic pure tonal thing the most important even though you will never hear that in live venues.
I am fascinated by the amount of money spent that the pros never spend to get results and the pros are a purely result driven group.“

>>>>>>There is also this jewel, cut me some slack, Jack!

https://forum.audiogon.com/discussions/so-what-is-real
Like a lot of boomers, I got into this hobby building Dynakits, Heathkits, even an HK Citation 12 kit (1971?), b/c of poverty, a love of music, a fascination with the technology that could re-create a musical experience in my dorm room!  I have always been a "hobbyist" more than a big A Audiophile b/c in my value system, high bucks gear just never fit...I never made that kind of dough.  Being in the business, I leveraged accomodation pricing, points-for-product, and buying good used gear so I've had some pretty fantastic systems, but nothing truly "high end" as now understood.  I definitely count myself a small a audiophile, though, and I suppose It enhances my self esteem at some level to look down on those with large incomes (and no soldering skills) who buy their way in...but they're also the ones by whom I support myself!  So go figure!
He who lives in a glass house shouldn't cast pebbles: 

https://www.machinadynamica.com/mikro-pebbles.jpg
geoffkait22,850 posts06-22-2020 11:16amGive me a break. Just another in a long line of troll posts by the OP, to whit from 2 years ago,

I think most forums have a continuum of people with various talents and abilities.  We come together to benefit from, to be amused, or just to kill time.  There are people here, like me, who are just starting out in this hobby and have very little knowledge.  If I solder anything, it’s because something bad happened. And the people I know have less knowledge than me and ask my advice — imagine that!  

I have benefitted from the advice here that those who know more than me have provided, and I appreciate that.  Some discussions here are way above anything I have studied or done, and I try to understand something and think about it, though I may never use the info.  Likewise, my systems will likely never total $10,000 in value, but I enjoy looking at other members’ top-drawer systems and image owning and enjoying something like that (need to shore the security system!).  

For those whose knowledge and hands-on experience is great, what is the attraction for them?  Do they hope to still learn something new, to discuss the nuts-and-bolts with others who enjoy experimenting?  Do they get some satisfaction at helping the lost find the path?  I sure hope so!  I find it interesting when someone talks about the prominent engineers and how they started out, and how they collaborated with others to create some ground-breaking technology.

Or, maybe they have made friends here and come not so much to be educated as to catch up with what those buddies have been doing (and especially now that we are distancing from others in our daily life).  I hope and trust that everyone gets a bit of what they want when they visit here.

As for me, whatever you call me, just don’t call me late for supper!