Because I’ve loved music since I was a little kid, and I want to get as close to the actual performance as possible.
Have always spent a good amount of time listening to music so I want the best system/s that I can afford. Most things I buy quality and hang on to it, I still own my first real speakers (Koss CM1030) that I purchased when 17. They now reside in the bedroom.
I guess that I have had better luck on the automotive front then OP though. I enjoy working on / modding my vehicles and have one 31 years old and another 22 years old (I am the original owner).
The SoundStage! This sounds bad I know unless you're understanding where I'm coming from but trophy audio sounds horrible to me. A system that is tunable though is hard to pull me away from. Lock me away and through away the key.
There is nothing like listening to a well developed soundstage.
I think a better question, and one that I ask from time to time (not around here, and often rhetorically...still), is why AREN’T you into high end audio? Answers I get are generally things like, "what's that?"...or "it's so complicated"...or "it's a pack of snobs"...or "my receiver from college still works great"...etc.
There are "enthusiasts" in every area of human activity; why should music and it’s reproduction be an exception? I find the lack of a deep interest in music of more concern than that of hi-fi. Most of the musicians I know listen to music on their computer’s speakers; Evan Johns’ system was a boom box!
The average person (what an insulting thing to call anyone ;-) does not sit and listen to music as a "destination" activity, the focus of one’s consciousness. It is THAT fact, not that HEA audio components have become too high in mass (what an odd contention; my EAR-Yoshino 868L provides better sound than did my ARC L16, and weighs about twice as much. Same with my Herron VTPH-1 vs. my ARC PH3.), that is largely responsible for the decline in sales of high performance music systems.
I started fooling round with "Hi-Fi" in the mid '50's with a Heathkit mono and homemade speakers. Why? I heard a commercial Hi-Fi at a friends house and was hooked. Since then my inherent love of music and sound got me hooked. In college bought a good system and realized I have to become acquainted with classical music. I was really hooked then. I continued in the physical sciences to advanced degrees but always kept a very good system. I'm older now, and maybe foolishly, now setting up my best system. I could have bought and Audi A6 for this, but my total love of music, well presented, will drive me better than the Audi. With the help of a very good friend in the Audio world I continue for the music! Music first, equipment second.
"I find the lack of a deep interest in music of more concern than that of hi-fi."
Same here. I spent 40 years in a career in residential real estate sales. Over the years, I was inside of thousands of homes, looking into every room. It was always astounding to me how many homes, the vast majority of which, had no music and no books. Big screen TV’s, yes ... but no music and no books. Go figure.
These are some really interesting answers and stories. ...keep em coming. ...l will tell you mine as short as possible. .......
When l was a teenager back in the late 70's early 80's my best friends father was making the framework for Apogee speakers out of his machine shop . .His father had a pair of 7ft.tall Apogee ribbon speakers in his living room along with twin JBL 18 in. subwoofers......Krell amplification. ..and vinal as a source. ..this was our weekend party system as high school teenagers. .....l was hooked for life after that......
I have always been attracted to live music. Anything that vaguely sounds like music and rhythm, attracts me. There could be a guy doing a solo act with plastic drums and singing - I stop and listen. Fascination for "music in general" and trying to get it as close as "alive" is what got me into hi-fi.
I’ve been a music fanatic for as long as I can remember but I also have long had in interest in sound, recorded, reproduced sound, sound quality. When I was young one of my favourite things was to use my tape reorder to just record walks in my nieghbourhood or goofy skits with me and pals, then listen at night in bed and enjoy “reliving” the event listening to the tape recording.
So the combination of fascination with both music and how it is reproduced is a natural fit I guess. (Plus my dad introduced high end audio in to our home which also grave me the bug).
Oh, also the car thing- I love exotic cars, Bentley's, too, you know what I'm talking about. But honestly, they (IMHO) look best in the showroom at the dealership, buffed and new, with all the latest options, etc. Behind the wheel driving along, you're looking out the windshield at the back of someone's "jalopy". There are no winding mountain roads where I live either, so no beautiful views of nature, just another strip mall, another gas station, etc. The "car thing" was different back in the 50's when the romance with driving was so powerful. I long for high speed rail like I see in other countries where I live now. As for audio, at the end of the day I can listen to a cassette tape if I like what's playing...
I am a car guy also...l love the classics..vintage hot rods..all of them as long as l dont take a astronomical loss after owning them. ...l guess the point im trying to make is l would rather have a set of B&W speakers in my bathroom than loose 20K driving a F150 Limited off the lot....but l'l take a 1960 Corvette anytime. ....
I discovered “decent” audio while in the service in the late 60s. It changed music in my home forever.
My journey has also been in paralell with cars as well. It’s been a long way from Sansui and an Austin Healey Sprite to McIntosh, Magnepan and a Mercedes E400 coupe.
Yet over all that time, the music from the early days still resonates. Been a helluva ride!