I love music. I love electronics.
I dislike the mysticism that has surrounded much of the audiophile community since at least the mid to late 1970's.
I believe in blind a/b testing to verify results. If a manufacturer really has a better cable or way of reproducing music, convince me of the science behind it.
At one time I owned four vacum tube amplifiers and one vacum tube preamp. The looked really sexy when you powered everything up. I also had a poor man's version of the infamous HQD system that sounded awesome and would shake the walls (or at least the windows) of our first home. My male audio ****** friends thought this was all amazing. The females in my life, including my future and still wife (after 35 years) thought my "Stereo" was too big, took up too much space and was too loud.
I currently do my somewhat critical listening from a soundbar. Officially stereo, but in reality, two channel mono. Probably not as much joy there, but still enjoyable. Over the holidays we spent quite a number of hours enjoying and immersed in Beethoven sonatas and symphonies and especially Handel's Messiah. Once tuned in, the joy of the music was real.
My break with most of my audiophile friends were when they started to believe that $ 300 per foot cables made an audible difference, that $ 100 power cords would make their electronics sound better, when CD's sounded better when you drew around the outer edge with a green magic marker (other colors wouldn't work) or when they plugged a $ 200 clock into a wall outlet that would get rid of electrical noise. Is it a wonder that many sane people consider the audio community made up of lunatics, fanatics and just down right crazies?
I will still enjoy listening to music. Since I now live in a condo instead of a large home, I won't rattle the windows and will continue to listen to my music via a soundbar or a set of small speakers. I will still wish that I had an Apogee Ribbon speaker with Krell electronics or at least a set of new Magnaplanars. I will still love my wife and understand that she put up with all of my nonsense for big speakers, sub-woofers, ribbon tweeters, etc. for the first 34 years of our marriage and if a cleaner looking condo with acceptable sound keeps harmony, that far outweighs the few hours per week (really per month over the past few years) that I could actually enjoy my hi-fi.
By the way, I am treasurer of our homeowner's association and am attempting to convince our board of directors that a high end sound system would be the perfect addition to our club house. I have even told them I know where they could obtain the same for free. Our main room is 40' x 40' with 20' valuted ceilings. Seems like the perfect resting place for all of my equipment currently wasting away in closets.
Best wishes to all of you for a safe and productive new year.