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mjalazard
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How Old Were You When You Became An Audiophile?

This is a response to Stephen's "Banning Youth" thread. We've corresponded in the past about our first "Hi-Fi" syetems. I believe that most of us will admit to having their initial audiophile revelation (remember your first time?) at a young age. Albeit, for many of us, this happened during the pre-MTV early FM radio era, or even the transistor radio era. OK, even the Victorola era, eh, Clifton? I think the bug bites us a a critical time in our youth...whether it was finally being mesmerized at the Christmas choir pagent you were reluctanlty dragged to every year, Aunty Em on the family piano, your older bro's friend with the Blaupunkt care stereo or watching the Beatles on Ed Sullivan. Not to be elitist, but I think that we, as an audiophiles for some reason respond to this experience differntly than others. Is it genetic, is it social, I don't know. Just like some people spend their hours and $$ restoring hot rods, growing orchids, making art out of discarded matchsticks, me thinks we have a passion/obsession for this stuff from an early age. Lucky for us, it's not illegal...just cumbersome (how may times have you moved your record collection?) and somewhat expensive.
Mine...listening to my parents 60's soft music on their Fisher console stereo...thank you Andy Williams!

Buddha
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Re: How Old Were You When You Became An Audiophile?

Well, I was just a pre-teen,
When I saw her dad

Rdrcr
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Re: How Old Were You When You Became An Audiophile?

I've enjoyed listening to music on radio, tapes, and some records at the age of ten when my parents first bought me a Magnavox "all-in-one" setup sometime in the 80's.

However, I did not know how good music could sound until my father brought me to a business associates house to listen to his stereo, again sometime in the 80's. I'm not too sure of the components and source other than he was using a record player, tube amps and very beautiful Quad electrostatic speakers that were very thin, sitting on what appeared to me cheap metal stands. I was mesmerized at how good these speakers sound and I could not understand how they worked, even though it was explained to me at least a dozen times. That experience has forever been burned into my memory.

Thankfully, I understand the technology now and have vowed that I will own a set of new Quads when I have the space and a dedicated room in my home.

In the 90's, A friend invited me to listen to his recently purchased home stereo system which consisted of all Krell components, sources, and speakers (at least, I think the speakers were Krell). And again, I was blown away with the detail and clarity. In some cases, I preferred to listen to his system than going to a live event. In fact, after some concerts a group of us would return to his home to listen to the same recording that we had just heard and were amazed at how well they sounded through his system.

During early the 90's I had began to work and earn money. I was slowly piecing together the best home stereo I could afford while still, concerned with transportation (another current hobby), girls (always an obsession) and living at the parent

Yiangos
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Re: How Old Were You When You Became An Audiophile?

Believe-it-or-not,i remember listening to music to my uncle's "stereo",a cheap turntable/amp/speaker portable system at the age of 2 ! At the age of 8 my dad let me use his system,one of those hugh all-in-one systems of the mid sixties which actually looked more like a mini bar than a hi-fi system.At the age of 11 i got my first own hi-fi setup
An Akai cassette/tuner/amp combination a pair of Akai two way loudspeaker and a Goldring Lenco GL72 or 75 (can't remember for sure) turntable/arm/cartridge combination.I was
still in high school when i got a Thorens td-125/sme 3009 series ii improved/shure m-75edii (which i still own).

ohfourohnine
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Re: How Old Were You When You Became An Audiophile?

When I read the title of the thread I supposed it might turn out to be a long and interesting one. When I read your post, I knew it was over - at least for me. My congratulations to those with the temerity (or whatever) to post their responses, but there's no way I'm going to try to follow yours. Great post, Buddha!

Buddha
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Re: How Old Were You When You Became An Audiophile?

Cheapskate!

If it will help get things back on track...

"Andy Williams?!?"

Folks, NFS may be the only former altar boy to have molested a priest.

Jim Tavegia
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Re: How Old Were You When You Became An Audiophile?

Andy Williams is the Rodney Dangerfield of singers. He did a great, classy job of hosting the Grammys when they are mostly about great music.

He made the mistake on the show as they were having trouble with a video/audio feed of Stevie Wonder out of the country and Andy made the mistake of asking Stevie if he was able to SEE the LA end of the feed. The truth is Andy never thought of Stevie as blind, just a great musician. I don't think there is a rude bone in his body.

In his 80's and still doing shows in Branson. I should be so lucky. I know it's the Geritol and Serutan crowd, but...

absolutepitch
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Re: How Old Were You When You Became An Audiophile?

Apparently, quite a few of forum members are in the "middle age" years. I would offer that many started out in very similar ways of becoming an audiophile.

As I am fortunate to have good musical hearing and participate in playing music, I could hear differences between music reproduction systems very early in age. However, the differences wasn't important to me at that time (childhood). I just thought that it's a different brand of recordplayer or a different speaker, or whatever simple explanation a kid's mind assumes.

As a teenager, I visited the house of a colleague of my folks. There, I first heard a HiFi receiver and KLH 17 speakers. They sounded good compared to my Sears Silvertone monophonic record player. That's when I asked why the difference and what causes that difference?

As I entered college, I had matured enough in "thinking", that I began to pursue HiFi as a hobby, growing out of my interest in electronics and my music background. I attended a HiFi show, visited many exhibits, and set sights on buying something good. Within the limited budget of a student, I went for kit-built electronics (Dynaco) and self-design and -built speakers, until I get more $$$. After that, I heard many systems in just as many stores. Since speakers determine a great portion of the sound, the ones that stuck out in my mind are the large JBLs, the Quads, the Dahlquist DQ-10, the Beveridge 2, Wilson Audio (forgot which model), Ohm Acoustics models A/F/5, Infinity ServoStatik, and a few others.

Come full circle to the so-called middle-aged forum members - we have earned $$$ in our years to afford much better gear. I listen to stuff that's so many times better that I had in my childhood. Along the way, I had doubted that cables, capacitors, etc., made any difference. Yet when I try the tweaks, some really do make a musical difference, but some I think are better left with the snake oil.

For me, becoming an audiophile is between 15 to 19 years of age, probably closer to the older age as I got more capable in understanding the tech stuff.

absolutepitch
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Re: How Old Were You When You Became An Audiophile?

Not to go off-topic, but I just read the closed thread about 'apologizing for being...' (my paraphrase), so I could no longer respond to anyone there. Just adding my two-cents to welcome Clifton back too.

cyclebrain
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Re: How Old Were You When You Became An Audiophile?

Depends on ones definition. In grade school I removed all of the speakers from my walkie talkies and transistor radios and installed them in homemade enclosures installed all around my room connected to my clock radio. Does this count?
In high school I spent my wages earned working at a local diner on stereo gear. Not old enough to drive yet so the money built up pretty quick.
In college I bought a box of parts to a Crown D150. The owner couldn't get them to work (bad ground loops). Still have it and it's still working.
My english paper was about TIM based on info from Stereo Review and your beloved Julian. Mostly I was just using tech B.S. to cover the fact that I couldn't write.
Then maybe I didn't become an audiophile untill I got rid of my First two pairs of speakers, Bose 501s and 901s.
Or was it when I started reading Stereophile?

absolutepitch
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Re: How Old Were You When You Became An Audiophile?

Yes, I hear you. It is interesting to hear the various paths we took to get here. I think for me, it was getting serious about looking and upgrading the sound so that the music comes through better than before, each time. That started in my Fresman year in college, with several incidents that steered me in that direction.

Congrats on the Crowm amp. I was considering the DC300 some time ago, but never got enough money. Then later it was no longer available - perhaps today on e-bay?

mjalazard
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Re: How Old Were You When You Became An Audiophile?

Buddha!?! I said Andy Williams...not Jim Nabors or Liberace!
There's great music and musicians of all genres. Maybe we should all chip in and buy DUP a ticket to a Snoop-Dogg concert...just hope he can mingle with the crowd.

RGibran
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Re: How Old Were You When You Became An Audiophile?

I also grew up listening to the parents console. Sunday mornings my dad would prepare breakfast for the family of NINE (Dad is a great cook) and would blast the console and sing along from the kitchen. The fare was Andy Williams, Johnny Mathis, Perry Como, Dean Martin, Tony Bennett and the like. Of course as teenagers we were rollin' our eyes, but in hindsight it taught us the Great American Songbook for which I am thankful.

I remember we would sneak into the living room and play our Beatles and Rolling Stones on the "Big Rig" when the parents were away. Those twin fifteens could blow some wooly bass. Downside was Mom always knew when one of us had been jackin' with her system!

Two memorable moments after this...when I first heard and probably more important...SAW those McIntosh's. Those glass fronts and glowing power meters...all amps should have em!

The other was at a CES show when we passed an exhibit space completly enclosed by drapes. There was a live small jazz combo playing inside to which I suggested to my friend we stop and take in the performance. No jazz combo...Apogee speakers. To my ear, I've never heard anything closer to live with that type of music.

In summary, I would seem it was a love of music during the formative years, a lust for the gear in my upper teens, to the never ending persuit of "Live" in my living space from my 30's till da day I die.

RG

Ergonaut
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Re: How Old Were You When You Became An Audiophile?

Puberty I think

Monty
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Re: How Old Were You When You Became An Audiophile?

My experience was much like yours except in addition to Martin, Como, Bennet and the like, it was also Haggard, Jones, Ray Price and my mom's favorite, Mancini.

I had two separate seminal moments with audio. The first was when I was about 12 or 13. I heard my first high powered amplifier and speakers that could handle the watts. It just so happened to be in a car stereo. The second was upon strolling into a real hi-fi boutique by chance. The only brand I recognized in the entire store was Mac and those big ol, honking blue meters.

They may as well have been giving away crack because I was immediately addicted.

Lamont Sanford
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Re: How Old Were You When You Became An Audiophile?

cew65w
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Re: How Old Were You When You Became An Audiophile?

Maybe 9 or 10. My brother had an all Pioneer system(receiver, 4 speakers, quad 8-track and turntable). It was great until his friend showed off his system of Phase Linear separates, Nak cassette deck and Bose 901 speakers.

Colnmary
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Re: How Old Were You When You Became An Audiophile?

I was caught up in the magic of musical replay as a child, playing old 78's on a gramaphone. But became an audiophile at 17 when I bought, (and modified) my own system.

Sansui Au101 amp (Used as a pre)
Quad 405.2 Power Amp (Built by a friend)
Sony CD player
Akai TT(many mods.) with Magnesium Headshell and Grado Catridge.
Modified Richard Allen 12" Full Range Floor Stand Speakers, I added a 6" mid range driver and a 1" plastic dome tweeter and designed a three way crossover using Butterworth tables.

How did it all sound, ablsolutely mind blowing!!!

Perhaps it helped that it was the early 70's and copious quanties of weed were consumed during listening sessions.

However, it had detail, bass and was musical, even without added substances to fool the mind.

DLWyattjr
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Re: How Old Were You When You Became An Audiophile?

When I was a wee lad dad had a mono system with an EV 20 watt tube amp, a home-built speaker with JBL and Altec components, a Fisher tuner etc. I didn't hear it much. Mom liked quiet so he listened through headphones to wind down after work.

After they split up he built a system of his own. Dynakit PAS-3X and a Stereo 120 with an AR turntable and a set of Bozak B somethings. It sounded like nothing I'd ever heard before, and he'd let me bring my King Crimson albums after which he'd counter with Count Basie. One christmas he got my brother and I a little Lafayette Amp and 2 way speakers with a Garrard 40B with a pickering magnetic cartridge. And a manual parastat. It kicked but on all my friend's parents stereos, and to be honest that little Lafayette was ro

showflash
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Re: How Old Were You When You Became An Audiophile?

I was 9 years old and it was the summer of 1969. My father owned a Knight Stereo with a Thorens turntable. That summer I bought my first album. I bought the album with pennies at the local 5&10. When I went in I asked for the Englebert Humperdink album but the girl behind the counter said she had just the ticket for me and handed me the album. Led Zeplin. I remember when I played the album the first time. I thought there was something wrong with the turntable and asked my mother about it but she said no and laughed. I still have the original plans for making the Knight receiver.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/0/05/LedZeppelinLedZeppelinalbumcover.jpg

On my first foray into high end I bought Boston Acoustics speakers, a 100 watt Acurus amp and a Rotel preamp. I gave that system to my mother a decade ago.

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Re: How Old Were You When You Became An Audiophile?


Quote:
I was caught up in the magic of musical replay as a child, playing old 78's on a gramaphone. But became an audiophile at 17 when I bought, (and modified) my own system.

Sansui Au101 amp (Used as a pre)
Quad 405.2 Power Amp (Built by a friend)
Sony CD player
Akai TT(many mods.) with Magnesium Headshell and Grado Catridge.
Modified Richard Allen 12" Full Range Floor Stand Speakers, I added a 6" mid range driver and a 1" plastic dome tweeter and designed a three way crossover using Butterworth tables.

How did it all sound, ablsolutely mind blowing!!!

Perhaps it helped that it was the early 70's and copious quanties of weed were consumed during listening sessions.

However, it had detail, bass and was musical, even without added substances to fool the mind.

Hi Colin,

That must have been some very serious "wacky weed" (as the real good stuff was called) for you have had a Sony CD player way back in the early 1970's because the first Sony CD player didn't come on the market until the mid 1980's. WOW! I'm impressed.

As for my own audiophile history, although I had always had a halfway decent stereo throughout my college days my first real audiophile purchase was a pair of DCM Time Windows. I sold my Pioneer speakers with their 5 driver array featuring massive 15" woofers for this tall skinny pair of odd shaped speakers with only a pair of 6" woofers in each speaker. I soon learned that being an audiophile meant swimming against the current of popular trends. I spent a good deal of time in those days having to explain that bigger did not always mean better. Please no jokes about my love life

I reached the point of no return when I replaced my Sherwood receiver with a set of NAD separates: tuner, preamp and amp, complete with Monster cable interconnects. So here I was with these odd ball speakers and NAD components try to tell people that Bose speakers and Japanese receivers really weren't all that good. Things only got worse once those complete rack systems hit the mass market. "It has to be good, look the speakers are the exact same height as the component rack!"


A fine example of a superior sounding component stereo system.

Is it any wonder that I listen to free jazz since going against the grain seems to be my fate in life.

Jim Tavegia
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Re: How Old Were You When You Became An Audiophile?

I kept the receipt for my first CD player, a Technics SLP7 my wife bought me at Christmas time December 1984 for all of $299.00 . I lasted all of 3 months, craspped out, and they had no one to fix it so I received a replacement.

As we all remember the discs then were mostly reissues of stuff most of us had on LP or cassette. Most of us, at least me anyway, were so enamored with the new technology we looked past the hard, edgy sound.

Hey, after all the promose of "Perfect sound forever"was resting in a nice shinny disc.

Much has changed for the better. Who would have thought we be where were are with quality FLAC downloads and moving onto DSD. Almost perfect sound forever afterall.

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Re: How Old Were You When You Became An Audiophile?


Quote:
Things only got worse once those complete rack systems hit the mass market. "It has to be good, look the speakers are the exact same height as the component rack!"

That's the kind of system my parents had. First it was an Emerson, later a Kenwood. Both had speakers that were the same exact height as the component rack. They were nothing, if not neat.

I never listened much to that Kenwood. And neither did my parents. When I was ten or so, I received a very small, black GPX boombox for Christmas. I would close my bedroom door and tune in to top 40 radio stations - Z100, Hot 97 or whatever it was called back then - and make mix tapes for myself.

Colnmary
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Re: How Old Were You When You Became An Audiophile?

I should have written Sony Cassette Player. I never got a CDP until the 2000's.

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Re: How Old Were You When You Became An Audiophile?


Quote:
I should have written Sony Cassette Player. I never got a CDP until the 2000's.

Drugs will do that to you. Ah, the great concerts I could remember if only the drug induced haze would lift. The memories would make Wolfgang's Vault completely superfluous.

absolutepitch
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Re: How Old Were You When You Became An Audiophile?

I also heard 78 records, when I was in 1st grade. It sounded good. Not yet audiophile, not until college. Still have a Dual 1218 TT with 33, 45 and 78 speeds, but needs lube job so I can play more 78s and transfer to CD.

CECE
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Re: How Old Were You When You Became An Audiophile?

Get those 78's onto Cd. Record off of a Continumumumumumumum and your Dual, see if you can tell which is which. Why did they come up with 78, and not 75?

cyclebrain
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Re: How Old Were You When You Became An Audiophile?

Kind of related to this, when I was young and poor I could hear well, but lacked the funds to buy the best stuff.
Now I am old and can't hear so well, but can afford to purchase equipment that outperforms my hearing.
Just goes to show you. It's always something.

absolutepitch
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Re: How Old Were You When You Became An Audiophile?

Good question DUP. I don't know why 78 rpm. I understand that way back then, there was not a standardized, or perhaps better stated, not an accurately controlled speed on the recording machines. Some records say on the label to play back at 80 rpm. Others do not state a speed, but 78 was the "nominal". I also heard that some machines have a speed knob to adjust to the "labeled" speed to effect correct playback.

Anyone here know the answer the DUP's original question?

showflash
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Re: How Old Were You When You Became An Audiophile?

Google is your friend.

From: http://www.btinternet.com/~bill78/beginer.htm

Why 78 rpm speed?

Although the speeds of the earliest discs can vary considerably from 78 rpm they are still called "78s". The recording speed chosen was a compromise between playing time (faster = shorter playing time), groove and needle size, wear on the record and needle, and fidelity of reproduction. At first the speeds were not standardized but ranged between 65 and over 100 rpm, but in the 1900s an average speed was around 78rpm. The first disc recording machines were weight driven with the speed controlled by a governor and different calibrations between machines could lead to speed differences. When electrical recording was first used in 1925, it was used for the soundtrack of films and so a precise speed was needed to keep in sync with the picture. In America using 60Hz mains, the speed of electric motors is either 3600 or 1800 rpm. Using a 3600 rpm motor with a 46 : 1 reduction gives a speed of 78.26. A similar calculation for England using 50 Hz mains gives a speed of 77.92 rpm. These speeds became the standard for the rest of the 78 rpm era. The LP speed of 33.33 rpm and the vinyl single speed of 45rpm comes from a similar calculation of speed reduction from a syncronous motor.

CECE
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Re: How Old Were You When You Became An Audiophile?

Cool.

buelligan
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Re: How Old Were You When You Became An Audiophile?

According to my Mom, when I was 2, I told her I wanted Santa to bring me a stereo. I kept breaking their long suffering (because of me) Motorola console stereo, but that was because I was so transfixed by reproduced music.

When they upgraded to a Fisher (ca. 1968 or so, back when they were truly high end) receiver and two pairs of Fisher speakers (the ones in the living room were the XP-18s which were stunning in their day)along with a Dual/Pickering record player and Sony reel to reel, I was permanently hooked, and my disease has progressed geometrically from there.

cyclebrain
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Re: How Old Were You When You Became An Audiophile?

I remember my mothers description of HiFi. One speaker is the woofer, the other is the tweeter.

absolutepitch
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Thanks for the great information and link. I looked at my stroboscopic disk for turntable speed adjustments. For the 60 Hz AC, it gives 78.26, 33.33, and 45 RPM. At 50 Hz AC, the speeds are 78.92, 33.33, and 45.45 RPM. Your post reminded me that I saw those numbers somewhere before. It was on the disk and in other literature I read at the time.

jkalman
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Re: How Old Were You When You Became An Audiophile?


Quote:
This is a response to Stephen's "Banning Youth" thread. We've corresponded in the past about our first "Hi-Fi" syetems. I believe that most of us will admit to having their initial audiophile revelation (remember your first time?) at a young age. Albeit, for many of us, this happened during the pre-MTV early FM radio era, or even the transistor radio era. OK, even the Victorola era, eh, Clifton? I think the bug bites us a a critical time in our youth...whether it was finally being mesmerized at the Christmas choir pagent you were reluctanlty dragged to every year, Aunty Em on the family piano, your older bro's friend with the Blaupunkt care stereo or watching the Beatles on Ed Sullivan. Not to be elitist, but I think that we, as an audiophiles for some reason respond to this experience differntly than others. Is it genetic, is it social, I don't know. Just like some people spend their hours and $$ restoring hot rods, growing orchids, making art out of discarded matchsticks, me thinks we have a passion/obsession for this stuff from an early age. Lucky for us, it's not illegal...just cumbersome (how may times have you moved your record collection?) and somewhat expensive.
Mine...listening to my parents 60's soft music on their Fisher console stereo...thank you Andy Williams!

I loved music as far back as I can remember. As soon as I could, I was playing records through my parent's tube receiver. I listened to music on everything and anything I could get my hands on, especially if I could carry it around with me (the first Walkmans and portable boomboxes). Music wasn't only about what was popular, it was also about hearing popular things (in my mind) in new ways. It was with this kind of frame of mind that I tried to get a hold of bootleg records and would use my parents system to listen to them (mostly Led Zeppelin).

I became an audiophile when I was introduced to JBL speakers and Carver Electronics at age 14 by a friend whose brother sold gear at a local store. I got the equipment as a present for my 15th birthday, I think with some input from my own savings (with much begging and pleading, my father bought me the cheapest receiver and CD player, and begrudgingly allowed me to go higher than the cheapest speakers on the JBLs). To this day, I have friends who remember the "Sonic Hologram" button on my old receiver, I kid you not, LOL. I played around with those speakers for hours. Moving them around the room, trying them really close together, then further apart, then really far apart. Trying them in completely insane areas of the room to see what sounded the best.

Of all my friends in high school, I was the only one who had a system of any consequence, and many people came over to hang out and listen to music. It wasn't just obvious to me, it was obvious to anyone who heard it that the music sounded better, more dimensional and detailed than what they were used to hearing.

I didn't get back into it again until the last few years. I was more interested in going to concerts. I did Dead tour a little bit as well (Grateful Dead).

To be honest, I couldn't buy the kind of gear I really wanted until recently. I had heard Ayre gear a long time ago locally and was very interested in it (early to mid 90s), but when the guy told me the price, I knew I was screwed. You have to love that about the majority of audio salesmen... He romanced me on the whole idea of owning the stuff for like 30 minutes, and I was ready to buy it until I found out the price. Thousands of dollars in your early twenties for audio equipment usually isn't an option, let alone thousands for one piece. Not that I didn't want it desperately. Hell, the Rotel gear was even out of my price range, and that was the cheap stuff! I still have to find it funny that this guy thought someone of my age was going to be able to buy the gear he was showing me. All I can think is that he was sharing his own enthusiasm for and could somehow sense my own innate enthusiasm for approaching as holographic and holistic a reproduction of the sound as possible.

Now a days I realize there are two kinds or extremes of people as far as music is concerned IMO. No one is completely one or the other and no one is always one or the other, but everyone is for the most part somewhere in-between the two and is capable of being either extreme with some effort, though they naturally fall into place more to one side or the other (sort of like the Jungian Myers-Briggs typology). There are those who are completely enrapt in their interpritation of the music, and those who are enrapt in the sound itself.

Someone like my wife is mostly the first of these two types. She loves music, but it is merely background material for whatever else she is doing at the time, even if it is simply thinking about the music itself. My wife is just as happy listening to the music upstairs on a radio, or in the car, as she would be listening to it in the HT room. In fact, she actually has so little preference that sitting in the HT room just to listen to music bothers her. She needs to be doing other things at the same time. Her appreciation of the music is almost exclusively intellectual in nature. In some ways she is more interested or fascinated in her interpretations of the event, than the actual event of listening. She focuses on the lyrics or rather, her interpretations of and reaction to the lyrics, and instrumentation doesn't interest her much. She moves the music, the music doesn't move her. I think the vast majority of people fall into this side of the spectrum almost to exclusivity, which is why iPods are so popular.

In contrast I am more the second of the two types, music is very meditational for me, I listen often to lose myself in the sound, not to move the music, but to be moved. I can however put myself in the other mode in order to analyze/criticize what I hear as to its authenticity, but not to the extreme where I am lost to the power of the event. For me, listening to a higher end system actually makes the experience more authentic, more powerful and moving. The music is not a means to a memory, the music is a means in and of itself to a present experience. It is not an intellectual event, it is an event. I can be moved intellectually by lyrics as in the first type/category of listener, but I am moved more when it becomes like a real event.

There is, unfortunately, only one kind of audiophile I believe. It takes a certain disproportionate amount of obsessive and compulsive behavior in order to fit that profile I think. While people are capable of being either type listed above, I think most audiophiles are going to be in the second of the two types, if not all of them. The vast majority of people that fall into the first category are incapable of appreciating music, I think, without great effort. There are actual natural abilities associated with these kinds of aesthetic skills (the kind of natural abilities tested for by the Johnson OConnor Institute, among a myriad of other natural abilities). If putting your speakers in a room badly and having the sound stage off kilter changes the sound in a way that drives you nuts, chances are you have some of those innate aesthetic appreciation abilities. This doesn't mean that someone who places speakers badly doesn't have those abilities. It could mean they have no prior perspective upon which to make contrast, as the ability is innate in people who have it even if unexplored (perhaps this breeds an incessant yearning to keep changing system components and other aspects of a system, especially if the real problem with the setup is never being addressed, or perhaps that person is just easily bored and has no appreciation at all - no one said collecting audio gear can't be an intellectual addiction completely unrelated to music appreciation).

I don't think an audiophile is someone who owns the right equipment, someone who memorized the right history lessons, someone who knows about the right equipment, someone who listens to the right music, someone who knows the right things, or someone who wants to be one. It is simply someone who is effected by the fidelity of the sound, as opposed to my wife, who is not, and someone who derives enough satisfaction from the sound of increased fidelity that investing in it is a necessity.

I constantly look for what is going to make musical events sound more authentic to me. Does this mean that the equipment is making the event a more authentic reproduction of the original event? Nope, but it does mean it sounds more real IMO, like the event is happening in front of me. There are too many factors that collide to make accurate reproduction a misnomer IMO. At a certain degree or peak, the event doesn't get any more real, it just changes character dependent on system components and their construction, of which the speaker is going to give the most character shaping to the event I think. At least at this point in time it won't get any more real past a certain price point, except in scale, which would consequently require a proper size room to accompany anything that can produce the largest of scales true to real life orchestras (or suffer the fate of acoustic coupling)...

It is ironic, I have been at some of the Dead shows I have recordings of, and they sound better on my system than they did in those crowded stadiums or other sorted venues. That is another advantage of a good system IMO, as sometimes the real events are fraught with all kinds of issues you can eliminate when listening to that same event in a controlled environment.

Oh well, I've ranted on long enough to even bore myself. Sorry if I assumed to know too much, or theorized incorrectly or too presumptuously...

jkalman
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Re: How Old Were You When You Became An Audiophile?

BTW, in case anyone is curious about what "fidelity" means to me, it is duplicitous in its meaning as far as I use it. Some people are concerned with fidelity of the signal, which is impossible to even gauge IMO, and which is also being altered in so many different ways due to equipment and the room that believing, at a certain level of equipment quality, that it can even be quantitatively measured and compared for fidelity borders on fantastical. So I concern myself with what seems the most real to my senses. Stereophony is all about illusions. I concern myself with what illusion sounds the most authentic to me. Within my price ranges of course...

Don't get me wrong. Measurements are great things that will tell you if a piece of equipment works at a higher level of quality and standards, but it won't tell you which piece of equipment sounds more real to you, especially concerning speakers where quite a bit of character can be imparted on the original signal.

I think when people get enrapt in signal integrity over what moves them, they are missing the spirit of stereophonics. Signal integrity and lack of distortion are important for sure, but when it is your sole pursuit and obsession, I don't think that is audiophilia, as it isn't about enjoying the music as much as intellectuallizing the experience, which places you in the first type of listener personalities.

I guess it would also be appropriate for me to mention that I have also been playing music since I was around 7. I have been playing more seriously for the last 18 years when I switched from Piano to Guitar. I think that generally, people who are audiophiles tend to appreciate music in more than one way, unless they were stifled at an early age or were never afforded the opportunity to explore their own musicality. I think it is in-line with and consequential of those natural abilities I alluded to in the previous post.

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