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You're Crazy


Gary.D.Olson
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I just posted this as a response on another thread, but have been thinking this for a very long time:

A colleague once unexpectedly put me on the phone with her husband who had recently become an audiophile convert. She's American but he's very Russian with a heavy accent. Still, I understood the very first words he said to me: "How deep are you into this illness?"

 

One of the first things I learned in 45 years of this pursuit is there are no sane audiophiles. Some (in MY book) come close enough, but too many don't. Another thing I've learned, and this took much longer, is that it isn't just audiophiles; NOBODY is entirely sane. The few who seem to come the closest are either a. boring, b. secretly crazier than the rest of us, c. pathological liars, or d. a combination of all three. Thankfully, there's one more group: e. those who accept their imperfections and have taken enough steps toward improvement that they are comfortable with it.

 

I submit this last group represents the sanest people of our world, so much so that their mental illnesses are rarely problematic to the those around them. These people tend to be very forgiving and empathetic and are almost always deceptively smart. Several are right here at computeraudiophile. What I'm trying to say is this:

 

1. We're all crazy; it's only a matter of degree, and by "all", I mean all humans, not just audiophiles

2. Just because we're all crazy doesn't automatically mean nobody needs help

 

When our joy of listening to music begins to lose out to the obsession of finding sonic nirvana, this is no longer garden variety crazy; it's a sign we may need help. Not necessarily professional help, but we should at least take a step back and reevaluate what it is we're "really" looking for and what we feel is missing in our lives (love, respect, success, religion, whatever).

 

It's just my opinion, and maybe the only crazy one around here is me. Heh, that actually wouldn't come as a total surprise.

Win10 Sweetwater recording studio PC running JRMC > Soundcraft Ui24r 24-track digital mixer > JBL LSR308 via Magomi Balanced XLR cable pair

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I have always asked myself if and in what way I was crazy. I know there are areas where I can be obsessed or stupidly repeating the same behaviour in some situations even if I am aware that it never resolved anything.

 

I suppose that you mean habits or tendencies we develop with life experience and how we deal with that :)

 

Audiophilia can be a way to concentrate some of our obsessions.

 

So yes, I admit that some decisions I made were "crazy" for others (like spending lots of money into this hobby), but I still know my limits - I think :)

 

... And I have put a minefield around my sound system ;)

Alain

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It's really two hobbies for me:

 

One is listening to and enjoying music, which I have been able to do whether it be listening on phones plugged straight into my smart phone, or my factory car stereo, or a BT speaker or on my hifi rig.

 

The second is tinkering and tweaking, which generally only involves my hifi rig (as it relates to music).

 

If (or more accurately when) the first becomes solely dependent upon the second, then yeah, it's time to step away from the crazy and take some time off :)

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One of the times I was in Japan I asked my (Japanese) colleague how everyone puts up with the constant crowding in a city like Tokyo. His response was; "Nobody does anything stupid because the guy next to you just might be crazier than you are." Audiophiles don't seem to follow that rule!

 

They also use the phrase "the three faces of the Japanese"; the one you show in public, the one you show your family, and the one you only show yourself.

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They also use the phrase "the three faces of the Japanese"; the one you show in public, the one you show your family, and the one you only show yourself.

 

For humans everywhere, there is a fourth face: the one you show to nobody, not even yourself.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Music is love, made audible.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++

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Japan... Tokyo.

 

Recalling this recent vignette :

[video=youtube;Wn-F7guQ_is]

« This city of 13 million nurtures a balance of hi-tech efficiency and traditional neighbourhood values – and it’s a combination that wins the Japanese capital the top spot for a second year running. Our film focuses on its nocturnal delights, from sunset sports to the public-transport system, restaurants to late-night shopping. To discover more about Monocle magazine... »

 

«

an accurate picture

Sono pessimista con l'intelligenza,

 

ma ottimista per la volontà.

severe loudspeaker alignment »

 

 

 

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Thank you for that! Very well produced and accurately descriptive.

 

I've enjoyed both business and vacation time in Tokyo and Japan. My colleagues there are earnest and gracious, as are most all of the people that I have met.

 

Except the night a restaurant tried to slip us a previously opened bottle of sake after we had already finished 3 full bottles. We noticed it didn't taste right. They checked the bottle and the sake didn't look right. Then my friends got a little angry and railed the maitre de loudly and properly!

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When our joy of listening to music begins to lose out to the obsession of finding sonic nirvana, this is no longer garden variety crazy; it's a sign we may need help. Not necessarily professional help, but we should at least take a step back and reevaluate what it is we're "really" looking for and what we feel is missing in our lives (love, respect, success, religion, whatever).

 

It's just my opinion, and maybe the only crazy one around here is me. Heh, that actually wouldn't come as a total surprise.

 

Gary: I posted this response on the other thread, but I'll repeat it here because this is better as its own thread:

 

I think this is a really important perspective and a valuable one here on CA. So let me try to explain the "sonic nirvana" thing a bit more. I, like most of us, lead an extremely busy, highly fractured - pulling me in many directions simultaneously, very little "down time" business-driven life. I also don't do well just listening to music as background noise. On those few occasions where I find the time to go to a live concert, I can quickly get pulled in, immersed in that experience and have the rest of my busy world fade away. But concerts happen on a schedule; usually not mine.

 

So what I have tried to achieve, and the contributors here have moved me a long way forward on, is the ability to recreate that "escape" in my own listening environment -- the ability to have the music transport me away into its world. I have found that the better my system gets, the easier it is for me to be transported in that way.

 

The music is still the end, the technology is an interesting, but also often frustrating, part of the journey. The "nirvana" part is entirely focused on the ability to suspend dis-belief and let your mind think you are actually there, fully experiencing the experience that was the performance you are listening to (obviously works best with live rather than studio recordings).

 

If that's a craze, I'm happy joining the asylum...

Synology NAS>i7-6700/32GB/NVIDIA QUADRO P4000 Win10>Qobuz+Tidal>Roon>HQPlayer>DSD512> Fiber Switch>Ultrarendu (NAA)>SMSL M500 DAC> Bryston SP3 pre>Levinson No. 432 amps>Magnepan (MG20.1x2, CCR and MMC2x6)

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