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Do you refer to yourself as an 'audiophile'?

Do you refer to yourself as an 'audiophile'?

  • Yes

    Votes: 25 24.8%
  • No

    Votes: 76 75.2%

  • Total voters
    101
OP
Ze Frog

Ze Frog

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Semantics. The worst type of arguments...
Was more curiousity than an argument by intention. The comments are helping me understand why people still feel the name is valid and really I totally get it. Kind of opens ones eyes a bit to see that people may consider themselves 'audiophile', yet still be grounded in the realm of reality.

I was reading through a thread yesterday regarding different OP amp's, and one guy was resorting to profanity and slating the site and could clearly see he was very triggered by some factual evidence kindly provided. See that to me before this forum and creating this post is what I considered an 'audiophile'. The die hard measurements mean nothing, and if something they own doesn't appeal to somebody else the same way then that person must have really poor hearing or taste, bit like how 'audiophiles' believe that you have to listen to a rather rigid selection of music to evaluate a piece of gear, preferably jazz or classical usually.

This is the problem with the internet age though, influencers become almost God like to people and their words and thoughts become the holy grail. It's why I joined here and only trust Erin's videos. Subjectivity is fine, but the massive majority hold the cultist type view just like the guy who threw a hissy fit in the above mentioned thread because Amir stated the Sparkos amp was technically no different to the regular chip used measurements wise at least. The influencers are all in cahoots as well, the WIIM Amp is very interesting as you can tell that deep down they are actually hurting a little promoting it and every single one likes to avidly point out it can't compete with a £1000 amplifier. They have a vested interest in keeping the bigger players happy, these guys are the marketing arm of the industry in disguise, a poor disguise. Thing is though, people who watch these people get completely suckered into the cult, just look at stuff from PS Audio and Danny Richie reviewed here, it's absolutely shocking. Yet the 'audiophile' crowd, the type I hold in the stereotype of my initial impressions will refuse to believe anything beyond what they have been brainwashed to believe. I get not all are like this, I think it bothers me more not regarding audio but the human affliction of being easily manipulated and fooled, especially when a lot of the people who can afford this gear are obviously highly intelligent just to be able to purchase such gear anyway. This thread though has made me realise, not everyone who considers themselves as 'audiophile' is a mindless drone, which is nice as it restores a little bit of confidence that some of humankind is still free of their own thoughts and views and not having succumbed to my initial impressions of the label.
 

Multicore

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Semantics. The worst type of arguments...
Na. What things mean is interesting. And often important to communication.

Was more curiousity than an argument by intention. The comments are helping me understand why people still feel the name is valid and really I totally get it. Kind of opens ones eyes a bit to see that people may consider themselves 'audiophile', yet still be grounded in the realm of reality.

I was reading through a thread yesterday regarding different OP amp's, and one guy was resorting to profanity and slating the site and could clearly see he was very triggered by some factual evidence kindly provided. See that to me before this forum and creating this post is what I considered an 'audiophile'.
That's not audiophile. That's being insecure and sensitive on top of having bought into a certain cult's dogma.

Like my friend Gav said in our most recent podcast episode, all cults work the same: they ask you to believe three impossible things, if you commit to them, you're in. Then you have the privileges of membership including knowing your better than nonmembers.

When you discuss the audibility of op amps (in a proper FB net) or silver USB cables, you're effectively engaging in theology. Do you think that's likely to be productive? Or do you think it might be entertaining? Educational?

The die hard measurements mean nothing, and if something they own doesn't appeal to somebody else the same way then that person must have really poor hearing or taste, bit like how 'audiophiles' believe that you have to listen to a rather rigid selection of music to evaluate a piece of gear, preferably jazz or classical usually.

This is the problem with the internet age though, influencers become almost God like to people and their words and thoughts become the holy grail. It's why I joined here and only trust Erin's videos. Subjectivity is fine, but the massive majority hold the cultist type view just like the guy who threw a hissy fit in the above mentioned thread because Amir stated the Sparkos amp was technically no different to the regular chip used measurements wise at least. The influencers are all in cahoots as well, the WIIM Amp is very interesting as you can tell that deep down they are actually hurting a little promoting it and every single one likes to avidly point out it can't compete with a £1000 amplifier. They have a vested interest in keeping the bigger players happy, these guys are the marketing arm of the industry in disguise, a poor disguise. Thing is though, people who watch these people get completely suckered into the cult, just look at stuff from PS Audio and Danny Richie reviewed here, it's absolutely shocking. Yet the 'audiophile' crowd, the type I hold in the stereotype of my initial impressions will refuse to believe anything beyond what they have been brainwashed to believe. I get not all are like this, I think it bothers me more not regarding audio but the human affliction of being easily manipulated and fooled, especially when a lot of the people who can afford this gear are obviously highly intelligent just to be able to purchase such gear anyway. This thread though has made me realise, not everyone who considers themselves as 'audiophile' is a mindless drone, which is nice as it restores a little bit of confidence that some of humankind is still free of their own thoughts and views and not having succumbed to my initial impressions of the label.
I'm glad you put your cards on the table, @Ze Frog . Thanks.

The influencer game is a space of competitive attention seeking. As in legacy media, the most outsized egos tend to get the most attention. Remember when reality TV was big? We learned then how attention grabbing ill-adjusted people can be. The most riveting reality stars give you the feeling they could go really psycho before the episode is over. This is what I call the Charisma Over Content Problem. Doesn't matter how many howling falsehoods Rick Beato utters, people are attracted to his blowhard boomer dad energy.

My advice: don't let nonsense arguments that appear to be the subject matter distract you from what's really going on: mind control.
 

Keith_W

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From the Cambridge Dictionary:

1710338302184.png


And for you Americans who don't speak English ;), here is Mirriam-Webster's definition:

1710338371046.png


So ... of course I am an audiophile. Audio Science Review is a discussion about the science and engineering of hi-fi equipment, so anybody who is here is at least interested in that. About the only contested word in the definition is "enthusiastic", but then I can't imagine that people who are lukewarm about audio would join an audio forum and make 1000 posts or more.

If you were really honest with yourselves, you would quit ASR and go join a music forum if that's what you claim to be interested in. Otherwise, if you think "audiophile" is a pejorative, we need to reclaim the word "audiophile".
 

rdenney

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Yes, I do. But it should be understood that "audiophile" really means lover of sound. So, the true meaning is not just attached to electronic means of enjoyment but includes the love of sounds made without electronic intervention. Playing music with others is an audiophile passion, so is going to concerts. As long as one remembers that, there's nothing potentially pejorative about the term.
The problem with etymology is that it explains the history of a word or the parts of a neologism without actually defining what it means in normal communication. And that is all that counts if we are to communicate efficiently. If the modern hearer thinks it is pejorative, then asking them to remember that it isn't supposed to be pejorative isn't going to go well.

Audiophile used to mean the same thing as "hi-fi enthusiast", but the word has become freighted with baggage in the last several decades to mean "snobbish collector of expensive equipment of dubious functionality that any rational viewer can't or wouldn't pay for".

Well, at least in my mind. :)

So, I go back to "audio enthusiast" because "music lover" simply isn't enough. I am a musician and I know lots of music lovers who are content with their iphones or perhaps a battery-powered bluetooth speaker. None of them think my being a music lover, which they acknowledge without complaint, explains the stack of Tokyo-by-night electronics in my living room. And if I offered that stack of stuff as evidence of being a music lover, they would begin to have doubts. What establishes "music lover" in their minds, if what they see is their only secondary evidence, are: 1.) tubas, 2.) piano, 3.) music stands with music on them, and 4.) large number of physical recordings seen everywhere.

(The first three of those features don't prove "music lover," either. I do know musicians for whom playing music is more of a sport than an artistic expression.)

But what really separates the music lover from the audio enthusiast is the conversation.

It's the same in any artistic pursuit that requires interesting and expensive apparatus. Even truly gifted photographers can still while away the hours talking about camera junk, for example. But they only do that with other photographers who have the same predilections. They are careful not to do so with outsiders, particularly those who are patrons of their art. The same is true with musicians.

To wit:
Audience member: "Rick, that tuba is impressive--so big and silver and pretty!" Me: "Thank you. I'm fortunate to own it."

Fellow tuba player: "Rick, what is that beast you are playing?" Me: "It's a Hirsbrunner HBS-193, one of two or three in North America and one of maybe 20 that Herr Hirsbrunner built. I bought it from Dave Fedderly and knew I wanted it after hearing one low Bb bounce back to me from the ceiling at the Army workshop. I traded him my Miraphone for it, plus a lot of cash. I was going to trade my York Master as well, but he didn't want it, and I ended up trading that to Matt Walters for an Eastman 534..."

Rick "has made the obvious mistake of demonstrating an audio system using music that shows it off, rather than music the visitor will love--a classic audiophile error" Denney
 

rdenney

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...

Defining yourself through the perception of others to avoid others moral judgement is wrong to me.

A cat is a cat!
An op-amp is an op-amp!
It is not defined by people's views.

Audiophile has a clear definition.

...
Well, no. There are lots of words you would not use to describe yourself out in the wide world because their meaning has change with modern usage. Or, perhaps, you would use them specifically because of or in spite of that current meaning, about which you would be fully aware, and for an effect unrelated to the actual point you are making. You can think of many examples, I'm sure.

Using words in ways that defy the understanding of the people we are talking to is doomed to cause confusion rather than clarity. We can discuss those modern distortions among ourselves while still avoiding them when being clear is actually important.

As it usually is not when talking about audio.

Rick "sees his filter slipping away but it's not quite gone yet" Denney
 

Philbo King

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From the Cambridge Dictionary:

View attachment 356122

And for you Americans who don't speak English ;), here is Mirriam-Webster's definition:

View attachment 356123

So ... of course I am an audiophile. Audio Science Review is a discussion about the science and engineering of hi-fi equipment, so anybody who is here is at least interested in that. About the only contested word in the definition is "enthusiastic", but then I can't imagine that people who are lukewarm about audio would join an audio forum and make 1000 posts or more.

If you were really honest with yourselves, you would quit ASR and go join a music forum if that's what you claim to be interested in. Otherwise, if you think "audiophile" is a pejorative, we need to reclaim the word "audiophile".
I am a member of 8 or 9 music forums. But only 1 audio gear forum...
 

DLS79

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Otherwise, if you think "audiophile" is a pejorative, we need to reclaim the word "audiophile".

A lot of people I know who started out as an average consumer (including myself), all associate negative connotations with the phrase. Everyone I know wanted something better than what they could find in the local big box, or they wanted some form of proof that a potential $$$ purchase was actually worth it. Thus as you would expect in the 21st century they started searching online, and asking questions via a forum or some form of social media. Sadly almost all of them ran into an unpleasant "audiophile" at some point.

One junior developer I used to work with said he was basically berated and told he didn't belong on the forum (not sure what one), because he didn't want to spend eight or nine hundred dollars on a set of headphones!
 

LeShog

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From the Cambridge Dictionary:

View attachment 356122

And for you Americans who don't speak English ;), here is Mirriam-Webster's definition:

View attachment 356123

So ... of course I am an audiophile. Audio Science Review is a discussion about the science and engineering of hi-fi equipment, so anybody who is here is at least interested in that. About the only contested word in the definition is "enthusiastic", but then I can't imagine that people who are lukewarm about audio would join an audio forum and make 1000 posts or more.

If you were really honest with yourselves, you would quit ASR and go join a music forum if that's what you claim to be interested in. Otherwise, if you think "audiophile" is a pejorative, we need to reclaim the word "audiophile".
I don’t know man, I am confused. Still.. I love music and listen to a whole lot of it from cheap crappy bluetooth speakers (but they have the LED lights which follow music, how cool!), but I also like to better myself and try and find what is the best in everything I do. I also am a classical guitarist and sooner or later am going onto a trip in central Europe where they sell the best classical guitars in the world.. Does that make me a guitarphile? No, I just love a beautiful, rich, polished, lush sound. Because I take delight from it. The guitar’s only an instrument to me, it doesn’t mean anything if it’s not been played. As said earlier I also go for walks in the woods or close to sea to listen, primarily listen. Yes there are also beautiful things to see, but I principally go there because there are beautiful things to hear. Because it pleases me so much. Does an audiophile do this? Does an audiophile listen to crappy bluetooth speakers and simply enjoy the music? I do. But I also enjoy listening to a refined sound. And, contrary to a lot of other technical areas, the audio industry is full of crap and one needs a bachelor in engineering to understand what he/she’s buying. So to get a beautiful sound without breaking the bank I started studying audiophile stuff in my free time, but it’s a heavy burden if you do it only in your free time when you’re already tired from job/university. ASR saved me and I can’t thank these guys enough. Am I an audiophile? Honestly I don’t care, just call me what you want. A fact is that this term nowadays has a really bad rep, but in the end I don’t care how I am perceived, so it’s ok :) I’m just doing my own thing..
 

Doodski

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I don’t know man, I am confused. Still.. I love music and listen to a whole lot of it from cheap crappy bluetooth speakers (but they have the LED lights which follow music, how cool!), but I also like to better myself and try and find what is the best in everything I do. I also am a classical guitarist and sooner or later am going onto a trip in central Europe where they sell the best classical guitars in the world.. Does that make me a guitarphile? No, I just love a beautiful, rich, polished, lush sound. Because I take delight from it. The guitar’s only an instrument to me, it doesn’t mean anything if it’s not been played. As said earlier I also go for walks in the woods or close to sea to listen, primarily listen. Yes there are also beautiful things to see, but I principally go there because there are beautiful things to hear. Because it pleases me so much. Does an audiophile do this? Does an audiophile listen to crappy bluetooth speakers and simply enjoy the music? I do. But I also enjoy listening to a refined sound. And, contrary to a lot of other technical areas, the audio industry is full of crap and one needs a bachelor in engineering to understand what he/she’s buying. So to get a beautiful sound without breaking the bank I started studying audiophile stuff in my free time, but it’s a heavy burden if you do it only in your free time when you’re already tired from job/university. ASR saved me and I can’t thank these guys enough. Am I an audiophile? Honestly I don’t care, just call me what you want. A fact is that this term nowadays has a really bad rep, but in the end I don’t care how I am perceived, so it’s ok :) I’m just doing my own thing..
@LeShog. Keep on keeping on and being yourself... being honest with yourself etc... :D
 

jhaider

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Sure, why not?

That being said, if someone thinks there's too much baggage attached to the term and they don't like it, such is absolutely their prerogative.
While I don’t love the term audiophile (makes me think of a deluded and gullible person “listening” to wires or amps) it does have a reasonable usage. There are two other terms widely used in this hobby that are far worse and don’t really have reasonable use cases.

First, “high end audio” - a smarmy marketing shorthand that’s all about consumption of audio boxes (or lesser accessories) and completely divorced from any notion of music.

Second, “objectivist.” Nobody helps a cause by naming it after an actual cult based on excruciatingly written tomes propagating risible ideas.
 
Last edited:

Robin L

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So, I go back to "audio enthusiast" because "music lover" simply isn't enough. I am a musician and I know lots of music lovers who are content with their iphones or perhaps a battery-powered bluetooth speaker. None of them think my being a music lover, which they acknowledge without complaint, explains the stack of Tokyo-by-night electronics in my living room. And if I offered that stack of stuff as evidence of being a music lover, they would begin to have doubts. What establishes "music lover" in their minds, if what they see is their only secondary evidence, are: 1.) tubas, 2.) piano, 3.) music stands with music on them, and 4.) large number of physical recordings seen everywhere.
Like I said, don't have a problem with "audiophile", the etymology works for me as it points to the root meaning of the word. Not my fault that the term has been co-opted by hucksters. I have had 2, 3, 4 in my life, still have 3 & 4. Lots of 4, it's taking over my living space. I suppose having been a recording engineer is a larger part of being a "lover of sounds", particularly considering the sort of music I recorded, which in large part was both acoustic and sonically exotic. I don't have people coming by to listen to my audio system, but most of the acquaintances and friends in my life are musicians who have no issues around audio gear. My audio gear is relatively simple and cheap, which doesn't prevent it from sounding good. So I've got no problems considering myself an audiophile.
 

rdenney

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A lot of people I know who started out as an average consumer (including myself), all associate negative connotations with the phrase. ...
Like I said, don't have a problem with "audiophile", the etymology works for me as it points to the root meaning of the word. Not my fault that the term has been co-opted by hucksters....
You two should introduce yourselves.

I'm not interested in accommodating hucksters, but rather communicating effectively with their victims.

Rick "in all language, words mean what people think they mean" Denney
 

vicenzo_del_paris

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Well, no. There are lots of words you would not use to describe yourself out in the wide world because their meaning has change with modern usage. Or, perhaps, you would use them specifically because of or in spite of that current meaning, about which you would be fully aware, and for an effect unrelated to the actual point you are making. You can think of many examples, I'm sure.

Using words in ways that defy the understanding of the people we are talking to is doomed to cause confusion rather than clarity. We can discuss those modern distortions among ourselves while still avoiding them when being clear is actually important.

As it usually is not when talking about audio.

Rick "sees his filter slipping away but it's not quite gone yet" Denney

I am afraid we will disagree on that point :)
Unless the word "disagree" meaning had evolve in "modern" usages ;)

Words meaning / definition haven't evolve.
What have evolve are stereotypes and judgements.

And again, stereotypes are not universal.
The audiophile stereotype for given population/group can and will be different for a other ones.

So, following your point about clarity and confusion, I shall be aware of what are the (mis) interpretations / stereotypes of John Smith / Pablo Sanchez / Xi for concepts/words I use whenever I talk to them ?
I get you point but I don't adhere to it.
At least not in this context.

Languages and semantic were created for people to use a common ground for communicating. Now we are saying these common ground are not well defined anymore ? That's the opposite of clarity and brings even more confusion.

As you may have noticed, I am not a native English speaker.
I am French and located in France.
How can you be sure that here, in France, the evolving stereotype of an audiophile is the same than yours?
Maybe yes, maybe not...
 

rdenney

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I am afraid we will disagree on that point :)
Unless the word "disagree" meaning had evolve in "modern" usages ;)

Words meaning / definition haven't evolve.
What have evolve are stereotypes and judgements.

And again, stereotypes are not universal.
The audiophile stereotype for given population/group can and will be different for a other ones.

So, following your point about clarity and confusion, I shall be aware of what are the (mis) interpretations / stereotypes of John Smith / Pablo Sanchez / Xi for concepts/words I use whenever I talk to them ?
I get you point but I don't adhere to it.
At least not in this context.

Languages and semantic were created for people to use a common ground for communicating. Now we are saying these common ground are not well defined anymore ? That's the opposite of clarity and brings even more confusion.

As you may have noticed, I am not a native English speaker.
I am French and located in France.
How can you be sure that here, in France, the evolving stereotype of an audiophile is the same than yours?
Maybe yes, maybe not...
With respect...the meanings of words are constantly in flux, and that's been true of the English language since the Danish Angles first mixed with the German Saxons to take over from the Romans. Really, it's true for all languages, even languages subject to central standards (like, say, Spanish)--just compare Spanish spoken in South Texas (or Mexico) with that spoken in Madrid, even separate from the difference in accents. French is probably the most highly regulated language in western European culture, but the people who speak it from southern Louisiana will be ignored and derided in Paris.

Dictionaries are descriptive, not prescriptive.

I've been strict about definitions, and have to be in some cases because I work in a technical field with precisely defined jargon. But I have learned better, to be honest. To be effective, I have to communicate with people who didn't necessarily read the same dictionary I did, or (more likely) never read a dictionary at all. I can force them to my view of language, which makes the discussion about language. Or I can accommodate their understanding of words and keep focused on the topic being explained. That makes it possible to offer a correction to an incorrect understanding a word when it really matters, which it doesn't usually when describing audio enthusiasts.

Rick "owns at least six dictionaries from various periods, including the unabridged Oxford and a reduced version of Samuel Johnson's first dictionary" Denney
 
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