What artist/album/song made you an “audiophile”? - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 35 Old 01-22-2020, 11:00 AM - Thread Starter
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What artist/album/song made you an “audiophile”?

So I have taken in my aging parents as their ongoing health issues have made it so they need more dedicated supervision/care.
I am putting in a somewhat dedicated home theater/listening room in the guest house that I am hoping with help improve my parents quality of life.

They both really enjoy movies and music, my mom especially. She loves musicals.
Unfortunately, her hearing has been in gradual decline the last couple years along with her having to struggle with tinnitus.
It seems her only relief is when she is surrounded by noise.
I am hoping that a high quality sound system will provide both her and my father (and me) a retreat from their mundane day to day routine.

So that’s the reason for the question.
As I continue my research for the right LCR speakers for my space, I want to know what artist/song/album is your “Go To” when you really want to enjoy your sound system.
And what song or album hooked you? What is your essential album for auditioning speakers?

Thanks to all for your input!
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post #2 of 35 Old 01-22-2020, 11:09 AM
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The Eagles -Hell Freezes Over, Hotel California track.

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post #3 of 35 Old 01-22-2020, 11:11 AM
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What artist/album/song made you an “audiophile”?
None. More than anything else, the term "audiophile" - particularly when self-proclaimed - seems to be about how much money is spent on audio gear.

Quote:
What is your essential album for auditioning speakers?
I don't have an essential album but three songs I like to use are:
- "I Can See Clearly Now" - Holly Cole Trio
- "Spanish Harlem" - Rebecca Pidgeon
- "Hell's Bells" - AC/DC
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post #4 of 35 Old 01-22-2020, 11:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eljaycanuck View Post
None. More than anything else, the term "audiophile" - particularly when self-proclaimed - seems to be about how much money is spent on audio gear.


I don't have an essential album but three songs I like to use are:
- "I Can See Clearly Now" - Holly Cole Trio
- "Spanish Harlem" - Rebecca Pidgeon
- "Hell's Bells" - AC/DC
I disagree about the term audiophile. I was attracted to high quality audio reproduction at an early age because I was a muscian (started playing guitar when I was 12). I listened to a lot of records (shows my age, lol), when I wandered into a high end audio store and heard good products, I was hooked. It's not about the cost, finding the best bang for the buck is the goal of many folks who appreciate high quality music playback.

As far as material goes, what matters is finding music you enjoy, not how well recorded it is. A good playback system will reveal the recording quality, EQ can be used to help if necessary. I doubt your folks want to deal with that. Just get a good system starting with speakers that have neutral on and off axis response.

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post #5 of 35 Old 01-22-2020, 12:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rex Anderson
… I disagree about the term audiophile. … It's not about the cost, finding the best bang for the buck is the goal of many folks who appreciate high quality music playback. …
I don't doubt that "bang for buck" is foremost on the minds of many audio aficionados. But in my experience the term "audiophile" - especially when it's a self-identification - almost invariably involves high-priced / overpriced / exotic audio equipment.

Quote:
… As far as material goes, what matters is finding music you enjoy …
I agree.
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post #6 of 35 Old 01-24-2020, 07:47 AM - Thread Starter
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Bump.

I was hoping people wouldn't get too caught up on the term "audiophile". I guess a better question to ask would have been, was there a specific genre, artist, album, song that MADE you want to upgrade your sound system to something on the edge of affordability. Whatever that may be.

One for me was also the Eagles Hell Freezes Over when I bought it and also saw them in concert. But it seems most of those songs sound good on any system. But that album’s release also coincided with me actually having money to spend.

Also,
Growing up as an aspiring metal/neo-classical guitar player I also started learning piano when I was in high school to expand my abilities as a musician and I really got into classical pianists.
Early Metallica started me on my quest for pure volume and tight bass.
But I'm always looking for new things to listen to that stand out when played on a good sound system so that's why I'm asking.
I just came across some speaker demos on youtube. Yao Si Ting - Speak Softly, Love really sounded good on almost every speaker they played it on.

Maybe there's something else out there I haven't heard that I need to so seems like a good place to ask the question.
I'll be auditioning new speakers for the next several weeks.
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post #7 of 35 Old 01-24-2020, 08:16 AM
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In my opinion, Future Sound of London (FSOL) is a great band to hear stuff, with soundscape-like combined with hypnotic patterns and what I would call intellectual percussion.
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post #8 of 35 Old 01-24-2020, 09:09 AM
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i am more a "music-phile" rather than an audiophile .. i think the band that changed me the most is Rush , but Yes , Jethro Tull, Clapton, Hendrix, Asia, and some southern rock have all influenced my choices.. honestly , anything from the late 60's thru the 80's that fit the above category had influence on me .. not to mention more recent bands like 3 doors down...

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post #9 of 35 Old 01-24-2020, 02:34 PM
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I heard this on a nice system and it immediately made me want to upgrade mine...
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post #10 of 35 Old 01-24-2020, 04:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by howletus View Post
Bump.

I was hoping people wouldn't get too caught up on the term "audiophile". I guess a better question to ask would have been, was there a specific genre, artist, album, song that MADE you want to upgrade your sound system to something on the edge of affordability. Whatever that may be.
Back at the beginning of the journey:
Thomas Dolby - She Blinded Me With Science
Lipps Inc - Funkytown
Doobie Bros - Steamer Lane Breakdown



I'm not looking to upgrade, but my audition and/or showoff songs are now:
Cualli - Tiger Prowl (from album The Monk of Chunk)
Doobie Bros - Steamer Lane Breakdown
Virgin Black - Requiem Pianissimo
Oceans of Slumber - The Banished Heart (from album The Banished Heart)
And a couple of metal songs most people aren't going to be able to handle to test a speaker's handling of drums and congestion
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post #11 of 35 Old 01-24-2020, 05:07 PM
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I'm not entirely sure what direction this topic is supposed to take, but I basically have few "reference tracks", which help me determining the quality of a sound system.

These are 3 very diverse tracks I absolutely love and know what they're supposed to sound like.




First off, we have my all time favourite symphony. Dvořák's 9th in probably the best performance I've ever heard of it. If you know what Orchestras are supposed to sound like in person, you'll know what's wrong with a certain sound system.






Then we have a great electronic track by "The Algorithm" which is my go-to track when evaluating bass-response. Subs need great transient response to play back the fast kick drums (especially around 1:08) accurately and the section right after that is not easy on subs (at high volume) which don't have much long-term power.







And lastly there is Shadow Of Intent. Pretty much my favourite album since 2017, I know "Reclaimer" inside-out. There is so much going on all over the frequency spectrum that it's hard to miss any imperfections of a playback system. This album is always the first thing I play on any system or headphones because it's just so easy for me to pinpoint flaws in the spectrum. I tried it out with a few headphones (most recently my Sennheiser HD650 and IE-60) and managed to EQ the response to ± 1db flat when comparing my impressions with actual measurements.







My "reference" list also contains certain other tracks with "almost offending" frequencies (such as a record with little to no de-essing used on the vocals), which make it immediately obvious if the system is boosting those problem frequencies more than it should. The entire list maybe contains 50 tracks.
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post #12 of 35 Old 01-24-2020, 05:24 PM
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Originally Posted by howletus View Post
Maybe there's something else out there I haven't heard that I need to so seems like a good place to ask the question.
I'll be auditioning new speakers for the next several weeks.
I applaud your quest to help your folks, that is commendable.

Have you asked your parents what they like/do not like about what you are playing for them now? Maybe they have favorites that they would like to hear?

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post #13 of 35 Old 01-24-2020, 05:46 PM
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I, also, was greatly inspired by the sound and audio quality of Eagles - Hell Freezes Over. Specifically, the DVD in DTS surround sound - it was the first time that I'd ever heard a recording like that, and it blew my mind. The 'audio only' tracks "Seven Bridges Road" is also stunning in surround sound.

But for 2-channel music, I was mesmerized by the quality of first-generation CD's. No tape hiss! Specifically, Dire Straits - Brothers in Arms; Toto - IV; and AC/DC - Back in Black. That's where my audiophile passion all started for me!
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post #14 of 35 Old 01-24-2020, 05:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peniku8 View Post
I'm not entirely sure what direction this topic is supposed to take, but I basically have few "reference tracks", which help me determining the quality of a sound system.

These are 3 very diverse tracks I absolutely love and know what they're supposed to sound like.




First off, we have my all time favourite symphony. Dvořák's 9th in probably the best performance I've ever heard of it. If you know what Orchestras are supposed to sound like in person, you'll know what's wrong with a certain sound system.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vHqtJH2f1Yk




Then we have a great electronic track by "The Algorithm" which is my go-to track when evaluating bass-response. Subs need great transient response to play back the fast kick drums (especially around 1:08) accurately and the section right after that is not easy on subs (at high volume) which don't have much long-term power.



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eWSu5gGIJV8




And lastly there is Shadow Of Intent. Pretty much my favourite album since 2017, I know "Reclaimer" inside-out. There is so much going on all over the frequency spectrum that it's hard to miss any imperfections of a playback system. This album is always the first thing I play on any system or headphones because it's just so easy for me to pinpoint flaws in the spectrum. I tried it out with a few headphones (most recently my Sennheiser HD650 and IE-60) and managed to EQ the response to ± 1db flat when comparing my impressions with actual measurements.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hgaUi3f2vrs





My "reference" list also contains certain other tracks with "almost offending" frequencies (such as a record with little to no de-essing used on the vocals), which make it immediately obvious if the system is boosting those problem frequencies more than it should. The entire list maybe contains 50 tracks.
if this thread is supposed to have a direction then it's a waste of time , it's about personal thoughts and direction.. so you "got it right" imo... of course opinions vary

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post #15 of 35 Old 01-24-2020, 06:01 PM
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post #16 of 35 Old 01-24-2020, 06:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Supa Mint View Post
I, also, was greatly inspired by the sound and audio quality of Eagles - Hell Freezes Over. Specifically, the DVD in DTS surround sound - it was the first time that I'd ever heard a recording like that, and it blew my mind. The 'audio only' tracks "Seven Bridges Road" is also stunning in surround sound.

But for 2-channel music, I was mesmerized by the quality of first-generation CD's. No tape hiss! Specifically, Dire Straits - Brothers in Arms; Toto - IV; and AC/DC - Back in Black. That's where my audiophile passion all started for me!
i too was stunned by cd quality in the 80's.. i had a friend even back then that said his $100 conponent system that he played vinyl on was superior cause he heard "audiophiles liked vinyl"...lol, he was kinda tough to reason with...

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post #17 of 35 Old 01-24-2020, 06:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by howletus View Post
...As I continue my research for the right LCR speakers for my space, I want to know what artist/song/album is your “Go To” when you really want to enjoy your sound system.
And what song or album hooked you? What is your essential album for auditioning speakers?
If I just want to be enveloped in the sound I'll blast Peter Gabriel "In Your Eyes" or David Bowie "Heroes". I don't play many albums straight through but I find that U2 "Boy" is is best enjoyed from start to finish.
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post #18 of 35 Old 01-24-2020, 07:04 PM
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I saw Jethro Tull concert. Then Thin Lizzie, followed by Queen, followed by Pink Floyd Animals concert in Tampa. I was amazed at the quality of the sound. Jethro Tull’s deep Bass didn’t crackle and break up like it did on every home/Car system of the time. It was crystal clear. My journey to attempt to reproduce that clean and crisp live concert sound commenced.

I guess in a way I could say the journey has never ended. In many ways that’s a good thing.

Best of luck with your project.

The most memorable moment was at a church sponsored night of Music. I was pretty young. Maybe 1968 ish. I was a Choir member at the Church. I was picked to help the band set up and do a prep show rehearsal. I see all these hippie looking long hair guys in 2 Vans start unloading. On the drums I see the letters CCR. Then they hang a banner that read “Credence Clearwater Revival”. I thought great another Church revival band! I almost didn’t stay for the practice session. The first time I heard this song. Was live with me and 3 other Choir Boys as the only audience. Proud Mary was the first song. My eyes popped out of my head, my jaw hit the floor, and I was forever a Rocker.

When the actual concert started the Church Audience of maybe 500 went totally and completely silent. The Pastor was red faced and looked to be ready to explode. The Band got about 10 notes into the next song and the Pastor launched himself onto the stage and grabbed the mic from the singer. You see it was a mistake. They had hired the band based on their name. Assuming they were indeed a Church Revival Band from Clearwater! Never got to hear another song. But that memory was a dramatic shift in my Music taste that remains today.

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post #19 of 35 Old 01-24-2020, 07:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adamg (Ret-Navy)
I saw Jethro Tull concert. Then Thin Lizzie, followed by Queen, followed by Pink Floyd Animals concert in Tampa. I was amazed at the quality of the sound. Jethro Tull’s deep Bass didn’t crackle and break up like it did on every home/Car system of the time. It was crystal clear. My journey to attempt to reproduce that clean and crisp live concert sound commenced. ...
FWIW, I have a somewhat different experience: Perhaps the best-sounding concert I ever attended was Dire Straits (IIRC, it was on their "Brothers in Arms" tour with SRV as the opener). It was big and loud but so incredibly clean that my ears weren't ringing afterwards. I was amazed that, finally, a band performing live could sound as good as (but obviously much louder than) they did on my non-"audiophile" stereo system.
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post #20 of 35 Old 01-24-2020, 07:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Adamg (Ret-Navy) View Post
I saw Jethro Tull concert. Then Thin Lizzie, followed by Queen, followed by Pink Floyd Animals concert in Tampa. I was amazed at the quality of the sound. Jethro Tull’s deep Bass didn’t crackle and break up like it did on every home/Car system of the time. It was crystal clear. My journey to attempt to reproduce that clean and crisp live concert sound commenced.

I guess in a way I could say the journey has never ended. In many ways that’s a good thing.

Best of luck with your project.

The most memorable moment was at a church sponsored night of Music. I was pretty young. Maybe 1968 ish. I was a Choir member at the Church. I was picked to help the band set up and do a prep show rehearsal. I see all these hippie looking long hair guys in 2 Vans start unloading. On the drums I see the letters CCR. Then they hang a banner that read “Credence Clearwater Revival”. I thought great another Church revival band! I almost didn’t stay for the practice session. The first time I heard this song. Was live with me and 3 other Choir Boys as the only audience. Proud Mary was the first song. My eyes popped out of my head, my jaw hit the floor, and I was forever a Rocker.

When the actual concert started the Church Audience of maybe 500 went totally and completely silent. The Pastor was red faced and looked to be ready to explode. The Band got about 10 notes into the next song and the Pastor launched himself onto the stage and grabbed the mic from the singer. You see it was a mistake. They had hired the band based on their name. Assuming they were indeed a Church Revival Band from Clearwater! Never got to hear another song. But that memory was a dramatic shift in my Music taste that remains today.
That's some awesome Americana folklore .. What a great story... Reminds me of the pie eating scene in" stand by me" . ...
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dads classical music. so many systems just cant play classical music.

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post #22 of 35 Old 01-24-2020, 07:35 PM
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post #23 of 35 Old 01-25-2020, 07:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peniku8 View Post
And lastly there is Shadow Of Intent.
Don't you know you're going to give people here a heart attack when they press that Play button?

Well, since you already did it, the metal song I was talking about to test congestion was Hideous Divinity's The Servant's Speech. I don't know of any other song that has so much stuff going on in such a confined space that doesn't sound like a total dissonant mess (probably still does to non-metal-heads).

And on a milder metal note, Metallica's Sad But True to hear a good example of drums. Their Black album probably has the best low end of any metal recording I've ever heard. I read they covered some of the room's absorption with plywood to make it more reflective. Same with the bass.
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post #24 of 35 Old 01-25-2020, 08:05 AM
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I picked up this hobby from my father. He brought home a Magnavox stereo console, similar to this one in the early 70s. Before this all we had was a radio. He would listen to Classical or Mexican music for hours on end. I was completely engrossed by the quality of the sound. My first music album was George Benson's Breezin and it is still one of my "go to" music collections (in High Res Audio). I can still listen to this start to finish. Other songs include:

Micheal Jackson's - Billy Jean, Quincy Jones production on this song was outstanding
Talking Heads - Once in a Lifetime, Brain Eno added a layer of sound to their funky beats and David Byrne's Twilight Zone lyrics and raised it to another level
AC/DC - Back in Black, Thundering Guitars and Screaming vocals, this is Rock and Roll
Harry Styles - Sign of the Times, A recent addition. My 17 year old daughter introduced me to this one.
Peter White - Bueno Funk, From the Glow Album, Smooth Jazz Funk Guitar excellence
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post #25 of 35 Old 01-25-2020, 08:32 AM
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Originally Posted by howletus View Post
What is your essential album for auditioning speakers?
I hope to replace my speakers in about 2 years after we finish the basement and move the "home theater" (using the term loosely) downstairs so I'll be starting the speaker audition exercise as well.

My plan is to rip a CD/Flash drive of my go-to songs rather than using a single album. My suggestion is that you consider putting together a list of go-to songs that you know intimately across various styles that will test your speakers in different ways. To know which speakers will meet, exceed or under perform your expectations the most important thing is to be familiar with the songs in advance so that you have a reference point for comparison.

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post #26 of 35 Old 01-26-2020, 03:17 AM
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I don't know if one song or album ignited my love of audio. I've just always liked listening to music from listening to am radio as a kid in the early 60s with a cheap transistor radio and single ear bud to now. Back in the 70s is when I started paying more attention to audio quality. Albums like David Bowie, The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars, Spirit 12 Dreams of Dr Sardonicus, Led Zeppelin IV, The Beatles, Sgt Pepper and White Album, and George Harrison All Things Must Pass were my go to albums to name a few.

Edit: More recent history had me going toward hi rez stuff with my first SACD player an Oppo-BDP-83. Diana Krall, Patricia Barber, and the RCA living stereo series of Classical SACDs were my first purchases. I also started other hi-rez format downloads of classical and jazz artists as well, particularly recent recordings. There is a notable difference between a high rez playback of something recorded now vs an older album from the 60-70s and 80s. Joni Mitchell Both Sides Now was recorded in DSD and is fantastic.
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post #27 of 35 Old 01-26-2020, 07:29 AM
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Pink Floyd music was the probably mostly where I started paying attention to every little sound. I searched for more clarity in my playback systems when listening to groups like Chicago and Supertramp, maybe Manfred Mann. But I've always been a bang-for-the-buck tightwad.
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post #28 of 35 Old 02-04-2020, 01:23 PM
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This has been a fun topic to read through.

This hobby has waxed and waned for me over the years and each "wax" that I can recall was the product of some inspirational event, linked to a song. Thinking back on these brings a smile to my face.

In high school (the 80s), it was all about the car audio system for me and many of my friends as that was OUR space where we could do what we wanted without having our parents complain about the volume. Big woofers were all the rage, 15" Cerwin Vegas, Bazooka Bass tubes, etc. It's amazing we didn't rattle our piece of crap cars apart! High quality it was NOT. It was probably in college but also in the car when I heard "Waiting for the Night" on the Violator album by Depeche Mode. I no longer had the rattle box from high school and although it was just a stock stereo and missing the bass that album can really push but it had my first CD player in it and I am pretty sure that was one of my first CDs. The way that song moved around the car, the clarity, depth, etc., it blew me away and I still listen to that song every once in a while when I want to test a new speaker or something.

One of my latest waxes happened unexpectedly when my wife drug me to a chamber music concert in Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center, the Brandenburg Concertos. I was expecting an expensive nap but the acoustics of the room were so amazing and the setting so intimate, I sat there mesmerized the entire time. We were pretty close to the front and you could hear the musician's breaths, the strings slap on the Cellos, etc. It was a pretty moving experience, very different from other live performances I've seen and made me appreciate classical music in a whole new way. Trying to chase the sound of that experience could bankrupt a man if they weren't careful.
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post #29 of 35 Old 02-04-2020, 01:45 PM
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None. More than anything else, the term "audiophile" - particularly when self-proclaimed - seems to be about how much money is spent on audio gear.
You're describing an audiophool, not an audiophile, IMO. The definition of an audiophile contains nothing in it that refers to cost. I have a rather modest setup, cost was not a factor. Good audio quality was my main goal. I'm quite happy with it.



I'm also an amateur star gazer. All my optical gear can be bought for under $1500 new. Some people obsess over their astronomy gear, they are the equivalent of the audiophool IMO. They don't know where most of the cool stuff to look at is under dark skies, but they can tell you to the dollar what one eyepiece cost them.



===============================

An audiophile is a person who is enthusiastic about high-fidelity sound reproduction. An audiophile seeks to reproduce the sound of a live musical performance, typically in a room with good acoustics.Wikipedia
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post #30 of 35 Old 02-05-2020, 06:40 AM
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You're describing an audiophool, not an audiophile, IMO. The definition of an audiophile contains nothing in it that refers to cost.
I don't know. I think we've passed the point of no return on that one. Like many terms, I think "audiophile" has been successfully hijacked. I always shy away from calling myself one because of its connotation (one who seeks expensive status symbols). Heck, I'm building a speaker made from sewer pipes and plumbing parts. Can you imagine what the "audiophile" forums would say about that?
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