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Am I an Audiophile or Not?


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To me, listening to music is no more a hobby than eating, or breathing, are hobbies.

Fiddling with audio gear, tweaking software - now they're hobbies.

Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.

- Einstein

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That would make a musicphile.........I believe an audio-phile is the love of the gear.

The term audio is defined as "Noun

Sound, esp. when recorded, transmitted, or reproduced: "audio equipment".

 

So it would be someone who has a love of (recorded) sound if we take the dictionary definition...

Eloise

---

...in my opinion / experience...

While I agree "Everything may matter" working out what actually affects the sound is a trickier thing.

And I agree "Trust your ears" but equally don't allow them to fool you - trust them with a bit of skepticism.

keep your mind open... But mind your brain doesn't fall out.

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Where were all you people? It seems we know one more characteristic of the Audiophile: it comes out on Monday. :)

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That would make a musicphile.........I believe an audio-phile is the love of the gear.

Couldn't agree more :-)

 

I'm fully aligned with Snowmonkey, music is more than a hobby, it's a passion. That you get to play around with gear is a nice side benefit.

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My personal definition of "audiophile" whether technically accurate or not, is a person who has an interest in audio reproduction equipment. To me, this is a completely separate from being a music lover. The vast majority of music lovers are definitely NOT audiophiles, but a few of us are.

 

Yes, for me, music is absolutely a passion. Audio gear, that's my hobby and it does not rise to the level of passion. But the two interests are not mutually-exclusive, and to be clear, I was not speaking of music lovers in my original post. I was referencing people who are interested in audio reproduction equipment, and my point is, if you are interested in audio gear, why be embarrassed about it?

 

 

Apologies as I have posted this interview before, but just in case there are some who have not read it, one of my musical heroes from my era and early musical interests, Henry Rollins pretty much sums up my feelings on the matter. This is a great, short, read:

 

 

I Am an Audiophile | Stereophile.com

 

 

Talk about being passionate. Back in the day, being passionate about punk or hardcore music meant you had to be willing to literally get into fist fights with cowboys, jocks, and other close-minded fools. You would be minding your own business, and suddenly you are surrounded by a these idiots. They literally tried to beat you up just for liking this music. You had to stand your ground. I know this sounds crazy, but it was true.

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It seems we are describing both sides of the same thing: the equipment and the music, the types of which are purely subjective. I love fiddling with the equipment and the software but there comes a point where I have to sort of take a breath and just listen. Honestly one is a means to another.

 

Additionally, its more than a hobby to me. The term hobby somehow doesnt seem to do it justice. A hobby is building model airplanes or restoring a 68 Camaro. Its one dimensional. This thing we suffer from is more than that - its deeper. Its about the physical equipment, but its also about the emotional passion that is the music, for music is really about memories and the stirring of your soul. I know that sounds overly esoteric, but to me, that's what the equipment and the fiddling really is about. Its tremendously personal.

 

What I object to (and what prompted me to start this thread) is the tendency to be exclusionary about it. You know what I mean - the comments of those that feel that being a "audiophile" is somehow superior. That they can somehow hear things no one else can. I personally think that's bullshit. People see and think differently. We hear differently and we work differently. But none of those differences are superior, one person to another.

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That they can somehow hear things no one else can. I personally think that's bullshit

 

You are conveniently ruling out training and experience. Others can be taught to hear the same things.

IIRC, David L. (Audiophile Neuroscience) previously mentioned in another thread, about medicos learning to recognise differences in heart beats, and learning to recognise other signs and possible defects , after experience and training.

Apparently,sometimes it takes quite a while to become expert in those areas.

 

People see and think differently. We hear differently and we work differently. But none of those differences are superior, one person to another.

 

Agreed !

 

Regards

Alex

How a Digital Audio file sounds, or a Digital Video file looks, is governed to a large extent by the Power Supply area. All that Identical Checksums gives is the possibility of REGENERATING the file to close to that of the original file.

PROFILE UPDATED 28-06-2020

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You are conveniently ruling out training and experience. Others can be taught to hear the same things.

IIRC, David L. (Audiophile Neuroscience) previously mentioned in another thread, about medicos learning to recognise differences in heart beats, and learning to recognise other signs and possible defects , after experience and training.

Apparently,sometimes it takes quite a while to become expert in those areas.

 

 

 

Agreed !

 

Regards

Alex

 

Alex, good points. I offer this as a counter: I have over 4 decades of experience. Does that give me the right to think and say that I hear "better" or "more" than someone else?

 

I dont have training per se but its my understanding that "training" provides ways of focusing differently on sounds and music. If I had that training, would I hear "better" than, say you?

 

The answers to both of these in my mind is no. Hell no. It just means that I might pick up something someone else doesn't but it doesnt make my hearing superior.

 

***********************************************

And here's another angle on this topic: who says a given piece of equipment is "reference." I read this all the time. And I get the concept if the piece of equipment is in a reviewer's rack for an extended time and he had prolonged experience with how it sounds.

 

But the term "reference" is oftentimes used to connote a piece of equipment that is somehow superior. Who says so? What qualifies it as such? Did the Audiophile Board of Directors meet under cover of dark and establish parameters for different classes of equipment? Or different price ranges?

 

And, more absurdly, is it possible for an Audiophile, since he or she is a self-proclaimed (cuz they are always proclaiming there are, right?) Audiophile to have "Reference Hearing." Can I coin the term, "Reference Accoustical Perception (RAP)?"

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I'm not sure where I stand on this most recent point.

 

First, I do think that people can "say" they hear a difference and there not be. So are they liars doing it for personal status? Are they imagining they heard a "real" difference as a placebo affect yet telling the truth? Perhaps a little of both...

 

Second, there are people who say that the level of perception should be the same for everyone. It simply isn't so. We don't believe it for our eyes...we all accept that some eyes see better than other eyes. Why is it so hard to accept that some ears hear better than other ears? Does it invalidate what is being seen/heard or indicate different levels of comprehension or understanding or enjoyment? Clearly not.

 

Third, the idea that if one has done the same thing over and over for many years doesn't mean they will be better at it than someone who has done something for less time. Nor does such practice, if focused on the "wrong" things mean anything more that being really good at the wrong things.

 

Please don't be offended by the third point. My frame of reference is two sports, soccer and tracking sports cars. I played soccer for 30 years, played at the college level, and yet I hit a prime peak that was what I could do. And some kid could always step in and do more with less practice. Did it make me say he wasn't any good because I've practiced more? No, it meant he had more natural talent. That didn't keep me off the team and in fact we always loved to have that kid with natural talent along with the rest of us work horses...everyone benefitted. Also, I instructed in sports cars at the track for a little while. I was amazed at the "students" who were very successful in their lives and used to being "the best" who really didn't think they could learn something. Yet after a weekend, they were faster. The most interesting thing was the more experience they had, the less it was about technique and more about what to look at. Literally, it would be me saying "I'm looking here, I'm looking there, see that thing, look past that other thing and imagine what you know to be there, etc". Once they learned to "see" new things, they were always faster. They were just needing to be shown what others were looking at. They might have "practiced" for years and never learned what they learned in a simple weekend sharing someone else's insight. Funny thing, I always learned something from them, too. It wasn't that I was better, it was that I was willing to share and once they were doing the same thing, we both were having fun, learning, seeing the track in new ways that benefited both of us.

 

What really frustrates me is the idea that we don't trust someone else can know this beautifully complex world in a different way than we know it. This is so limiting to those without the ability to open up their views and try someone else's perspective. They may not agree but the joy is in the experience, not "being right" in some kind of zero sum game.

 

Sorry for the rant, but there are several threads going right now that are, at times, painful to read the entrenched stance people are taking. I do believe that the best contributors are the ones who believe their position strongly but are open to other's perspectives. They are the real winners in the game of audio (and life).

 

Best,

John

Positive emotions enhance our musical experiences.

 

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I dont have training per se but its my understanding that "training" provides ways of focusing differently on sounds and music. If I had that training, would I hear "better" than, say you?

 

I would sure hope so, as I am 74 years old !!! You would almost certainly hear way better than I do already, but perhaps not pick up on some of the things that I have managed to home in on, due to the need to keep my own gear as revealing as possible as my hearing further deteriorates. It's small details that can prolong enjoyment of recorded music as your hearing further deteriorates due to age.

 

Regards

Alex

How a Digital Audio file sounds, or a Digital Video file looks, is governed to a large extent by the Power Supply area. All that Identical Checksums gives is the possibility of REGENERATING the file to close to that of the original file.

PROFILE UPDATED 28-06-2020

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I would sure hope so, as I am 74 years old !!! You would almost certainly hear way better than I do already, but perhaps not pick up on some of the things that I have managed to home in on, due to the need to keep my own gear as revealing as possible as my hearing further deteriorates. It's small details that can prolong enjoyment of recorded music as your hearing further deteriorates due to age.

 

Regards

Alex

 

Even though I'm 102, this is a great point we never read about or probably have never considered! Thank you Alex.

(Just kidding about part of this)

 

Scott

MacBook Pro, 16gb RAM, 500gb storage, McIntosh MA-6900, Paradigm Reference Signature 6 Towers, Cambridge Audio Magic Streamer 6, Mountain Lion, iTunes 11.0.X.

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