You are here

Log in or register to post comments
mmole
mmole's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 months 2 hours ago
Joined: Aug 31 2005 - 7:29pm
NY Times: Snarky and Wrong

Today's NY Times (12/16) has a sarcastic capsule review of the Parasound Halo JC3 phonostage. Normally I would ignore this sort of thing from "the newspaper of record" but the reviewer, Stephen Williams, concludes with this:

"It is also, of course, part of a never-ending chase that defines audiophilia. After all, if you were ever to attain the perfect sound, your hobby would be over."

No sir, you are wrong. The hobby is listening to music not collecting components. The closer we get to the (unobtainable) "perfect sound," the more rewarding the hobby becomes.

Major fail.

Elk
Elk's picture
Offline
Last seen: 4 months 1 week ago
Joined: Dec 26 2006 - 6:32am
`

He does have a point however. A lot of the hobby is about the equipment.

Consider, e.g., how much of this forum's activity is based in equipment in comparison to music.

tom collins
tom collins's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 11 months ago
Joined: Apr 3 2007 - 11:54am
ny times

i agree with elk that there are a lot of gearheads in this hobby as well as a large number of music lovers and some hybrids (me). that is perfectly fine with me. i agree with the OP though that this guy must have flunked out of tact school and maybe jounalism school for that matter because he made such a broad statement without doing his research or he would have qualified his words with "some" audiophiles.

Elk
Elk's picture
Offline
Last seen: 4 months 1 week ago
Joined: Dec 26 2006 - 6:32am
`

I think most of us are hybrids.

If it were only the music I believe most would be satisfied with much less equipment than we buy- consider for example the people with an iPod and a huge music collection with no interest in upgrading.

Stephen Mejias
Stephen Mejias's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 weeks 6 days ago
Joined: Nov 7 2010 - 3:35pm
Also in Gadgetwise
The same writer, Stephen Williams, also posted some thoughts in the Gadgetwise blog.

So, he obviously has some interest in hi-fi.

But he does sound bitter, as if he had a bad experience at a hi-fi show, or something.

Stephen Mejias
Stephen Mejias's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 weeks 6 days ago
Joined: Nov 7 2010 - 3:35pm
The Exit Level
Quote:
"It is also, of course, part of a never-ending chase that defines audiophilia. After all, if you were ever to attain the perfect sound, your hobby would be over."
So, let's discuss this. Are audiophiles striving to attain perfection? Is it possible to be an audiophile and not strive for better sound?

Sam Tellig talks about reaching "The Exit Level," that point where you decide you are completely satisfied with your gear and you can finally just listen to music.

Is it possible to reach "The Exit Level"? If so, once we are there, are we still audiophiles?

Silly questions, I know. But sorta interesting.

I disagree with Williams' argument. First of all, I'm not really interested in perfection. The component I think is best is the one that most fuels my desire to explore music. If I found the so-called "perfect" system, my hobby wouldn't be over. I imagine I would only want to explore more and more and more music.

Stephen Mejias
Stephen Mejias's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 weeks 6 days ago
Joined: Nov 7 2010 - 3:35pm
Awareness
Elk wrote:
I think most of us are hybrids. If it were only the music I believe most would be satisfied with much less equipment than we buy- consider for example the people with an iPod and a huge music collection with no interest in upgrading.
I agree that most of us are "hybrids." We are interested in both music and gear. However, I think that a great percentage of those who own iPods and have huge music collections simply aren't aware that other options exist. That is, the average person with an iPod and iTunes isn't really aware of "audiophilia" or hi-fi. Plus: There are no upgrades for the iPod. As a consumer, you only have to ask How much?, not How good? You buy one iPod and then it dies and you buy the next generation iPod.

But headphones have become very popular. Headphones have become popular because an enormous number of companies saw an opportunity to make money by latching onto the iPod, and therefore tried very hard to make people believe they need new headphones. People are interested in headphones because they've become aware of headphones. Brands like Monster and Bose have made it so.

If brands like Bose and Monster decided to start making turntables and phono preamps, would people become interested in those products, too? I wonder. And if they did, would it even matter? Would people become aware of those specific turntables only and still not realize there were other options?

JIMV
JIMV's picture
Offline
Last seen: 9 months 5 days ago
Joined: Jan 31 2008 - 1:46pm
Needless subject comment
Elk wrote:

He does have a point however. A lot of the hobby is about the equipment.

Consider, e.g., how much of this forum's activity is based in equipment in comparison to music.

That is because you get to the music through the gear. If the gear is less than wonderful, the music produced is less than it could be..like the difference between Sinatra singing Sinatra and Yoko at the karaoke joint singing Sinatra.

greenelec
greenelec's picture
Offline
Last seen: 4 months 1 hour ago
Joined: Feb 10 2006 - 12:37am
Better

When you hear your favorite music (that is, music that really moves you), sounding better on a system than it does on your system, you want that system. Then you think, If my music sounded better on that system, I wonder if there is another system that could make it sound even better this?

You are off to the races trying to make the music you love sound as good as your limited finances can accomplish. That is what this hobby is about. Any moron can go out and spend any amount of money on a system, but, an informed and experienced consumer (Like Me!)can achieve a much better sound quality for any given price point than that afore mentioned moron.

That is what this is all about, trying to outsucceed that moron, because the MUSIC matters so much more to us. Or so we like to think. It all becomes worth it when afore mentioned moron hears OUR system and says, "I didn't know music could sound like that!" Ah yes, heaven on earth for sure.

The biggest FEAR we have is when one of our fellow audiophiles says to us,"I've heard that piece of equipment you have and I didn't think it sounded any good at all, compared to what I have." Oh, hell on earth, the self-realization that you have become one of the afore mentioned morons yourself.

So now we must search high and low, read and listen, save and scrimp, until we can purchase a new piece that sounds better than what that last moron had.

Catch22
Catch22's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 hours 21 min ago
Joined: Nov 21 2010 - 1:58pm
We're more normal than most people think

It's a perfectly natural endeavor to constatnly strive for better everything. It's our nature as humans. However, we're really just trying to make our gear disappear...so we may be just a bit unrealistic. :)

  • X
    Enter your Stereophile.com username.
    Enter the password that accompanies your username.
    Loading