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Should I be here, I don't think I'm an audiophile

Pennyless Audiophile

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What you describe is not an audiophile.. that is a music lover. An audiophile cares more about the equipment, the music is just an excuse.
Audio-Phile, derived from ancient Greek, it literally means "Sound Lover".
I describe myself as an audiophile but I am not obsessed with gear and my replacement cycle is years long.
I can easily spend hours on a Sunday afternoon listening to music without thinking too much to the equipment.
I recently acquired some new gear after a 7 years hiatus when I didn't buy anything new, still regularly listening.
 

Chrispy

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If you find and post in a forum like this you're probably an audiophile. Whether you like being called an audiophile can be something else.
 

richard12511

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Okay, taking that to its logical conclusion, why have a pass/fail, or any commentary at all?

I think the other points I raise are equally scientifically valid. If Amir finds that -115dB is the limit for people being able to hear distortion in the most demanding of circumstances, he's absolutely right to point it out, and use that as a pass/fail threshold, I have no criticism.

But if he also knows that people can only hear that distortion at -90 dB (or wherever) in normal listening (sitting and listening to a 4 minute track at normal volume), then isn't that just as valid a pass/fail mark, indeed even more so?

One is not more scientifically valid than the other. Amir regularly cites published scholarly, scientific articles which discuss the differences most people can hear in normal listening.

Personally, I disagree with the way Amir rates electronic equipment, but I also why understand why he does it, and it's what makes his reviews unique.

For me, An -80dB AVR that has 9 pre-outs is a better AVR than a -120dB AVR that has 7-preouts. Unless I specifically train myself for a time, setup an instant switching environment, and listen to 5 second clips over and over, I'm not gonna hear a difference between -80 and -120. On the other hand, I'll easily hear the substantial difference between 9(Auro-3D) speakers and 7 speakers(Auro-2D). Maybe a bit more controversial:))), but IMO a $500 -80dB AVR is a better value than a $600 -120dB AVR, assuming all else is equal.
 
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devopsprodude

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For me, An -80dB AVR that has 9 pre-outs is a better AVR than a -120dB AVR that has 11-preouts. Unless I specifically train myself for a time, setup an instant switching environment, and listen to 5 second clips over and over, I'm not gonna hear a difference between -80 and -120.
Guessing you meant 7 preouts there and not 11?

Also, each review he's ever made of AVRs that test badly specifically states "do not buy this, unless you need the features provided by this unit". He doesn't say nobody should ever buy them. Also those reviews are very useful to push back against industry players and demand that they do better.
 

richard12511

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Guessing you meant 7 preouts there and not 11?
Good catch!

Also, each review he's ever made of AVRs that test badly specifically states "do not buy this, unless you need the features provided by this unit". He doesn't say nobody should ever buy them. Also those reviews are very useful to push back against industry players and demand that they do better.

Indeed, and it's why I ultimately agree with the way Amir reviews electronic equipment in the general sense, despite using a different "metric" personally.
 

beefkabob

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Music is a sweet, sweet pleasure. That pleasure gets intensified when it's producded cleanly, which rarely happens at a venue. Unless <name your musician> is willing to come to your house and perform, you're just not going to get a good audio experience. Then there's a great stereo. You can reproduce some of that closeness of somebody singing right next to you, playing guitar right next to you. It's a lot of fun. It feels good.

So people obsess over this and that, trying to get that feeling of the band being right there. I achieved it with my current setup, at least close enough. I can close my eyes and see Mick Jagger right in front of me, locating the drums, bass, and so on, all sounding like the bad is in the room with me. I can't buy a cheap setup to do that, but with some effort, I can get that in a 2.1 system.
 

MattHooper

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What you describe is not an audiophile.. that is a music lover. An audiophile cares more about the equipment, the music is just an excuse.

I think that's an unfortunate false dichotomy and a not very helpful caricature.

Personally I have no problem calling myself an "audiophile" as I'm certainly enthusiastic about music reproduced with high quality sound.

I'm a life long music fanatic (and part time musician) with a large music collection that I enjoy most on "high end" audio equipment. Because I appreciate not only the music proper, but also the sensuousness of the sound. Sometimes I absolutely use some music to listen to/test my system. Sometimes I'm definitely concentrating on how my hi-fi sounds. Most often I'm engaged in the music. So I can swing between what I attend to depending on the circumstances.

And I love audio gear. Just love listening to different speaker designs, really enjoy some of the other audio gear I own (turntable, tube amps, music server). I read about audio gear. Attend audio shows.

So am I an audiophile in your book? Or a music lover? Both?

I know there is the audiophile cliche/myth about the guy with the $100,000 system and 10 records he uses to listen to his system. But frankly, having been in the audiophile hobby for decades and met countless other audiophiles, virtually all of them have struck me as VERY intensely in to music, more than the average person I meet.
 

Jim Taylor

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One point: there are two "audiophiles". One is the person that other people call an audiophile, sometimes pejoratively, sometimes not. The other is the person who calls themself an audiophile. Easy to mix up.
 

KeithPhantom

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I want to buy the best that I can afford, in the hope that it'll last years, and only upgrade when the world has moved on enough that I can replace what I have without breaking the bank, and get a significant upgrade.
I’m the same as you in this aspect. I’m still waiting in a ruler-flat HD 600 with measurable flat bass and < 1% THD across the whole frequency range. That would be the only upgrade it is worth to justify, objectively better transducers for your use case.

But if he also knows that people can only hear that distortion at -90 dB (or wherever) in normal listening (sitting and listening to a 4 minute track at normal volume), then isn't that just as valid a pass/fail mark, indeed even more so?
Even -115 dBFS is too strict of a definition for real-world use cases. For me, everything -100 down the fundamental is going to be indistinguishable from a theoretical pure signal.
 

ROOSKIE

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Personally, I disagree with the way Amir rates electronic equipment, but I also why understand why he does it, and it's what makes his reviews unique.

For me, An -80dB AVR that has 9 pre-outs is a better AVR than a -120dB AVR that has 7-preouts. Unless I specifically train myself for a time, setup an instant switching environment, and listen to 5 second clips over and over, I'm not gonna hear a difference between -80 and -120. On the other hand, I'll easily hear the substantial difference between 9(Auro-3D) speakers and 7 speakers(Auro-2D). Maybe a bit more controversial:))), but IMO a $500 -80dB AVR is a better value than a $600 -120dB AVR, assuming all else is equal.
Paying for measurements that are beyond hearing such a -120db is not that far (actually right next to)from paying for expensive speaker wires.
That said I always appreciate the data and it is nice to see many budget products excelling beyond the threshold of any possible hearing.
So, what's an audiophile?

Amir briefly touched in this in one of his videos, he distinguished audiophiles from music lovers.

Well, I'm a music lover, but one who wants his music to sound as good as possible (within certain parameters, like cash), so is that audiophile?

I see people refer to being an audiophile as a hobby. I believe the same people are those who constantly spend money changing one piece of kit for another. Well, that's definitely not me. I want to buy the best that I can afford, in the hope that it'll last years, and only upgrade when the world has moved on enough that I can replace what I have without breaking the bank, and get a significant upgrade.

In (I think) the same video Amir talked about using his skill, knowledge and experience to identify any possible weaknesses, even if most people wouldn't hear it themselves, on the grounds that he wouldn't want to hear something, not point it out as most others wouldn't, recommend the product, and then have complaints from those who've followed his recommendation and who do hear the issue. I think that's fair enough. Elsewhere, Amir has talked about identifying differences (I think between 16 & 24 bit) by playing a small 1 or 2 second section over and over.

Is that what being an audiophile is? Or just an audiophile reviewer?

I'm not dissing anyone. People get pleasure, sometimes in very expensive ways, from some crazy hobbies. It's not my job to tell you what to do with your money!

I am a music lover and I am a gear lover.
That is what is great about this, my engineering mind and my heart get to play.

No doubt folks forget (or some don't care) that the music is treasure, however I have no interest in missing out on at least the bulk of what is on my tracks. It is unfortunate IMHO that the industry has had to turn into such a monster in order to sell products.
The great news is that within that sphere, many many excellent gear exists that is very affordable and truly excellent.

I have a lot of gear, mainly budget these days. Been testing/listening to a set of Infinity R152, often on sale for $130 a pair, (regular $350) with a couple DIY "subs" as speaker stands & using some ultra cheap pro amps and a MiniDSP HD. Really good fidelity and dare I say it here,"soul". $700 all in all NEW, not used product. Easily HiFi and easily all that 99.5% of folks will need to never look back as far as stereo sound goes. (of course I do have some "better" gear & for that 0.5% it does get better than this rig --- but not by that much.)
 
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Paying for measurements that are beyond hearing such a -120db is not that far (actually right next to)from paying for expensive speaker wires.
That said I always appreciate the data and it is nice to see many budget products excelling beyond the threshold of any possible hearing.
Absolutely. And yet I still want one of those RME DACs! Why? I don't for one second imagine I'll hear a scrap of difference!
 

kristiansen

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In my experience audiophile ranges from music lovers all the way to the left on a line and to pure tech / data nerds on the right on the same line (ASR Where music/hifi has become equal to SINAD), most are probably in the middle of that line.
I Believes even in principle that hi-fi has nothing to do with music, hi-fi is an exercise in reproducing sounds true to nature, it could be anything but music.

Audiophiles problem is that they only know there is music on the recording no one knows exactly what is on the recording never those who have recorded the event. However, they have the advantage that they know what should be on the recording of sound and imaging.

Playing the music file 100% accurately through speakers down to more than -70db is completely unrealistic today.
Which can be seen in the diversity of equipment ther offered.
A range of equipment which at the same time is an expression of the line I placed audiophile on at the beginning of my post.

The individual audiophile must make a choice, They do, some choose to say there is music on the recording and it should sound like that
The opposite is "measuring nerds" who believe in that data / measurement can ensure 100% accurate reproduction of the recording.

Both are on a level right in my opinion hi-fi consists of precision which is easily measurable and tone/timbre which is difficult to measure with anything but ear and brain.

In my experience, Hifi does not consist of one of the mentioned parts but both, precision plus tone/timbre/soundstage/imaging..... And there is of course a intersection between them.

How much hifi can actually be reshaped, is the Bob Carver The challenge an example of.
We all stand with our unique version of a recording, depending on the choices we have made and the attitude we have about hi-fi playback. And no one can say with certainty what is correct, or they stand with a perfect rendering
 
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Wombat

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I have always believed that an audiophile is a person who is enthusiastic about high fidelity sound(music) reproduction.

Audiophools make a mockery of this with their overreaching attitudes, opinions and indulgences.
 

norcalscott

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For me it comes down to:
1. I love music, from the time I used to spin 45's as a kid -- I inherited a bucket of them from a relative in the late 1960s and played them for hours and hours on my little portable record player with absolute crap quality
2. I love technology - I am an engineer by training, and I greatly enjoy reading about how different products rate here on ASR
3. I am a cheapskate, so if Amir measures something that is relatively low price but high performance, I pay attention, and may purchase it. I just got the Topping E30 after reading his post about that. It's great, and just the type of thing I come here for.

I don't like labels, so I don't need to think of my self as anything other than someone who wants the absolute best bang for the buck when it comes to furthering my enjoyment of music.

I'm also not opposed to spending money when justified - After a lot of research, I recently purchased a set of Wharfedale Lintons and stands (~$1600) and I absolutely love them and feel that they are a good value for what I got.
 

mononoaware

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Well, I'm a music lover, but one who wants his music to sound as good as possible (within certain parameters, like cash), so is that audiophile?

Same here. And the answer to the question is. No.

Audiophile is a heavy word. Love is also a heavy word.

Before joining ASR I read a few posts by someone who had a system of 2x JBL M2 with corresponding DSP Power amplifiers + 2x JBL SUB18 I think from memory, and listened to ultra high-quality recordings of rainforests and locomotives, and was applauding how true to life the dynamics were.

I thought that is what would be considered audiophile.

This forum is called AudioScienceReview not AudiophileReview.

You and I may think then we are Musicphiles? But then you would really have to be a musician. I have picked and and learned many instruments and have a basic ability to read music notation but I have never achieved being a musician.

When listening to a lot of music on speakers, a passive-enthusiast of music sounds more accurate.
 

Easternlethal

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So am I an audiophile in your book? Or a music lover? Both?
I'm a musician too who spends far too much time listening and thinking about gear instead of making music. Sometimes I think it's all just a massive exercise in procrastination (for me) over more constructive things one should be doing (and how many times have i suddenly developed a deep interest in dac filters when there's also washing up to be done).

Funnily my own experience of meeting other audiophiles is the opposite in that most don't seem to me to understand music in the same way I do
 
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Larry B. Larabee

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The difference between an audiophile (critical listener) and everyone else who enjoys music for the sake of it is like the difference between night and day. The audiophile has gotten himself into a position where the endgame is never there, so close, though that little bit extra (that never pans out) should do it. I listened for the last ten years and was happy as a clam. Then, I got new speakers a few months ago that are substantially better than what I had. It was like an Absolute Sound review, nitpicking depth, soundstage, image stability, snap in the bass, silky highs bullshit session whenever I sat down. It's taken months to ignore this expectation of audio nirvana and get back to songs, and bands, and genres. Anyway it's easy, audiophile:uncomfortable, music lover:comfortable.

L
 
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