Types of Audiophiles

The Purist

A good stereo should be a transparent window into the recording session with no opinion or distortion of it’s own


The Dynamics Fanatics

A good stereo is like a thrill ride at a carnival. If I’m not jumping it isn’t worth listening to.


Live and Let Live

It’s all good man, put your money where your heart lies.


The Bean Counter

Buys gear like he’s stocking a used stereo store. Purchase price and retail value determine what comes and goes out.


The Canners

I bought my balanced headphones specifically so you wouldn’t ask me questions while I’m listening to dub step.


The Scientist

You can’t prove you have a soul so all your opinions are meaningless.


The Blind Follower

Can’t hear a difference between amp A and B so he wants to know if he should spend 5x more on B and will wait to be told which to get.


The Brand Loyalist

Falls in love with the idea of a brand or designer and changes his job to accommodate the demands of his audio jewelry


I’m a combo Bean Counter, Live & Let Live, and Nostalgic.  My favorite era is the 80’s for audio gear, for that is when I started this journey and that is when I had so many hi end audio magazines and read so many reviews of gear.  I sold audio for a few years in the early 90’s too.

I also love trying out different gear as well, like trying different flavors of ice cream.  I’m more content to keep what I have whenever I own tube gear though.  I enjoy the idea of finding that rare piece that just exceeds my expectations, and that happens quite often.  Rarely do I ever regret a purchase & used gear rules.

I really think there are only two types of audiophiles.  Those who use music to enjoy their equipment, and those who use equipment to enjoy their music.  I don’t think either is wrong, just different.  Wholly different.   That’s the nice thing about any hobby.  The source and path to said enjoyment belongs solely to the individual. 

The Dynamics Fanatics

A good stereo is like a thrill ride at a carnival. If I’m not jumping it isn’t worth listening to.

The sad part is that to many an audiophile being presented to a dynamically capable setup (just by the mere look of it or otherwise knowing about the components used) is that they assume it's all there is to it. Dynamics as a "thrill ride" (at a carnival, no less, just to leave out any doubt); something funny, easy to impress, calorie light, entertainment for the masses, etc. Myself I value great dynamics as a vital part of a more authentic presentation (oh wait, there is no attaining "authenticity" in audiophilia and all that jazz, I just forgot - my bad), just as a relatively unrestricted size of presentation, full-range ability, ease, tonality, resolution, coherency and so on. Dynamics have more or less become the word and trait verboten in hi-fi, because coming down to it most hi-fi systems aren't capable of delivering anywhere near realistic dynamics, in fact lack of dynamics has become a habitual mode in domestic sound reproduction, so much so that when being presented to very good dynamics (or the prospect of it is being implied) it's really subtly ridiculed into something being an effect or exaggeration, and one that doesn't sit welcomed in hi-fi "sophisticato." What a shame. Labeling and reductive takeaway is easy and even defensive, but so much is left by its wayside.