What kind of audiophile are you?

What kind of audiophile are you?
7% (20 votes)
11% (32 votes)
48% (135 votes)
18% (50 votes)
9% (26 votes)
3% (7 votes)
1% (2 votes)
0% (1 vote)
3% (7 votes)
Total votes: 280

Like most pastimes, interest in the audio world can run from hot to cold to contempt. How would you describe your audiophile state?

J-10's picture

It is, literally, EVERYTHING to me. Life is NOT a box of chocolates. It's a baggie full'a NOS tubes. Ya never know . . .

Nick Kumis's picture

The only thing is, as I have written to this week's soapbox writer, Pat Tyner, I am in cyberspace writing this when the kids and the wife are out of the house and I could have the system cranked up!

Health Nut's picture

Multichannel music will rekindle my interest, although I am a bit annoyed with the SACD/DVD-A war. The truth is, both formats exceed human hearing and we need to focus on high-quality multi-channel recordings. Further, I'm having a blast with my five Nautilus 802 speakers and Bryston 7BST monoblocks. Home theater now has my heart. Only good multi-channel music will bring my intense interest back to music-only at this point.

Frank T.'s picture

Recently updated most of my system. VTL amps, Cabasse speaker system and Arcam digital front end. Of course. . . the turntable always sounds "top-notch", so only upgrade here was Grado 'The Reference" cartridge. So, I'm always serious about the hobby. . and always looking for new ideas and tweeks

Mr.  Relaxed's picture

I'm putting my first high end system together at age 49. Why now? Paxil! I never was interested in hi end, never thought I would be. Anti-depressants for an anxiety disorder changed all that. A lowered libido changed a great deal. Can't really say I miss my old focus: women. It was great, but a bit narrow. Seems like the world has opened up. This influx of component education/increased music appreciation has been one among many blasts.

Mark Brockway's picture

I'd say I alternate between extreme and serious, so fanatic seems like the appropriate level for me.

Levi's picture

With a Levinson/Nautilus sytem I would have to call myself extremely serious. But after forty years of working to get here, I am fanatically contemptuous of cheapskates who want to believe the real high-end isn't worth it, and troglodytes who want to believe that junk science can make bad systems sound good, not to mention juveniles of all ages who want to believe that rock has anything to do with music.

JBK's picture

I don't think I will ever afford/own a system that can produce music from a piece of plastic that is close to the real thing. I don't think the technology exists at this point. And, I've listened/auditioned some very expensive systems.

dayojtl333@hotmail.com's picture

I am a RTF student at UT Austin, so studying and classes always seem to get in the way of really getting to setup my hifhi.

Rob Cornelson's picture

After seven years and more money spent than I care to remember, I'm still here. I also still enjoy live music be it at a concert or the local coffee house. My stereo reproduces music pretty well. I've heard better systems but those cost substantially more. I still like tweaking and fiddling with cables and could probably use some more room treatment but I'm not in as much of a hurry now to reach the best sound. The best part is showing the newbies what's possible.

Chris's picture

Normal. But then again...

ashok viswanathan's picture

Living in India, there is little opportunity to see and hear top end systems, so Stereophile is my guide to the high-end world of audio. I use overseas travel opportunities to hear equipment of interest and make buying decisions based on reviews. However, I believe that Stereophile should also include more mid range equipment, since many readers cannot afford some of the equipment reviewed. We still like to read about and see everything that's available, cost no object. If I had the money and the means I would upgrade from my hi-fi to a top end system like the Mark Livingston or Bryston with electrostatic speakers by MartinLogan and cable to match.

John M Crossett III's picture

Rabid, but fading fast. I'm getting back to what got me into this "hobby" (or should I say religion)in the first place: music! I've been fortunate enough to put together a system that far exceeds anything I'd hoped for, so now, I'd rather spend my time and money on new music. It's not that equipment doesn't interest me at times, it's just that I can surpress the lust by hitting any of my local music stores. I'm still an audiophile. And when I bottom out, I'll let you know. (To quote that great humanitarian, Jose Jimanez, right now "I'm passing through fuchia.")

Ak Marcy's picture


Michael J.'s picture

I'm still very interested in music; it's just that I'm feeling increasingly alienated from the industry and the audio hobby. It's come to be all about consumerism and conspicuous consumption. I suppose that's natural since it's definitely a generational pursuit and we're mostly graying now -- and have more cash -- but I still find it odd that the Baby Boom generation, for whom the "new music" of their youthful years was so galvanizing, can simultaneously fixate on the "classic" music of the bygone hippie era and also forget the values of that era when it comes to materialism. Status-seeking, the ostentatious display of wealth, and the profligate waste of resources in audiophilia is analogous to using Hendrix and Beatles anthems for car and shoe commercials. I'd like to see more hobby put back into this hobby, and at least an occasional show of resistance to the blatant bourgeoise piggishness that infects the "High End" (dreadful, classist term!) these days.

Chris Ingersoll's picture

I'm not sure an audiophile can actually be described as Normal.

Mike H.'s picture

Serious, in the severe, analytical stare sense of the word. The equipment should strive to achieve the same art that is captured in the peformer's recordings. How could I accept anything less for recordings of Gieseking, Cortot, Argerich, Screamin' Jay, or Renee Fleming?

Tim Bishop's picture

I think I go between fanatic and serious. I have to remind myself it is just a hobby!

HK.  Mendenhall's picture

Would it be prudent to say this passion is extreme if the aim is to have dead black men playing in the basement?

AKA Herb's picture

I am completely 100% normal/average. If you averaged everyone in Canada you would get me.

Joe Hartmann's picture

Serious because the investment level has gone to the next step(or in my wife's opinion beyond). Once the cost of entry of a compontent went beyond $5000.oo we went into the serious stage. But the music has also gone to a level I never expected at home.

Bill S.'s picture

Is there such a thing as a "normal" audiophile? I would consider myself serious because, although I'm in it for the music, I believe in the easily discernable difference that quality equipment makes in my level of enjoyment (and I obsess over loudspeaker placement).

Todd Friedman's picture

I love this stuff, but I won't take out a second mortgage for a new amp and speakers. You gotta be reasonable.

Jesse Furqueron's picture

Last count, per my wife, I have 26 different hobbies. Of them all, music (stereos) is the one interest in which I do not experience cycles of waning interest.

Ed Strnad's picture

Anyone who is reading this site who does not vote "fanatic" or "extreme" is in denial! (PS: The only thing this site lacks is audio, which is kind of ironic, no??)

tabaca's picture

i just want to buy everything new even though the olds is working fine...that normal isn't it?

Jon Andresen's picture

Even though I have an expensinve system and love music I am very down on expensive auido gear and the pursuit of said gear. I am only interested in good sound for a reasonable price and listening to the music.

Jim Tavegia's picture

I consider myself serious in that $$$ mean much to me and I will not throw money at audio qualities not measureable, or at least easily discernable. I would never consider $1K interconnects or speaker cable when $100 would get me pretty close. The law of dimishing return applies for me. I would spend $1K or more on a CD Player/DAC combo or Turntable/cartridge set up. Yes to $1K to $2.5K on amps or speakers! My objectives have always been budgetary; 70% on speakers, 3-% pm CD player with S/PDIF out and upgrade the DAC later. Spend more money on the turntable and less on the cartridge initially, and upgrade that later. I would even go so far as to spend $800 on speakers at a Hi End shop and buy a $150 receiver and a $50 portable CD Player at Hi Fi buys to stay within a $1K budget. There are some remarkable $800 speakers that I could likve with for quite a long time. The electronics are easily replaceable.

Joe E.'s picture

What's with the "normal" Category. A normal audiophile is oxymoronic.

Anonymous's picture

Music Music Music Obsess more about music than equipment (well, I do have a pretty good setup!).