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To what extent is this a ‘hobby’?

Mart68

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I like looking at (what I think is) good-looking equipment. In the shop window, in someone's house, at meets. Or failing that looking at pictures of equipment. I like the old Sony/JVC/Marantz brochures from the 70s and 80s. That sort of thing.

I liked it when i was a teenager and I still do now. The actual performance of the equipment isn't relevant to this interest. It's just for its own sake.

Not so much a hobby - in truth its probably slightly fetishistic. I blame it on watching far too much science fiction on TV when I was very young. But really who knows?
 

ZolaIII

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@solderdude key word is tinkering and it's a shame that more people don't see it as intellectual chelang and learning which it represents for me as a hobby. Sure thing I listened to music for as long as I know for my self and who doesn't like a nice gear but both on their self or even together aren't enough to keep you occupied on the long run. At least that's my case. Of course like everything else in life it has its ups and downs, some things change with technological progress and some things don't. Sometimes you lose interest and switch to something else and after a while come back or don't.
 

solderdude

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Sometimes you lose interest and switch to something else and after a while come back or don't.
Yep... I lost interest in the 'hobby' part after many years as a professional.
Went into photography and a bit of classic camera repair/collecting and wedding photography.
Lost interest when digital became all the rage and everyone could take 'pictures'.
Went back to audio but into the headphone niche as that is where there still is a lot to do in.
 

Barrelhouse Solly

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Hobby is short for hobby horse. I learned that one from "Tristram Shandy." Some people think of audio equipment as an appliance. They may research it carefully but when they buy some they use it till it wears out or their needs change. Others devote a lot of time to studying it and buy devices for the fun of it. That's riding the hobby horse. Either is OK as far as I can see.
 

ZolaIII

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Yep... I lost interest in the 'hobby' part after many years as a professional.
Went into photography and a bit of classic camera repair/collecting and wedding photography.
Lost interest when digital became all the rage and everyone could take 'pictures'.
Went back to audio but into the headphone niche as that is where there still is a lot to do in.
Well I mostly oscillate between IT and A/V trough time. Nothing killes joy and happiness and with it intresst then when you have to live from it and there for follow someone and something else. It's better to do professionally something you never really liked all that much if you ask me.
 

Focus SE

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bloke and he found and bought his ‘end game’ amp and speakers, and he’s sold them; not through dissatisfaction, but pretty much because his hobby entails constantly wanting to try out new gear, and that trying out means living with it for a couple of
Haha, I saw that same video and thought this is nuts. Are we hobbyists or fans of music. IMO too many fans turn fanatical. If you love measuring gear that’s great. For me I don't make measurements my only standard for quality. It absolutely has a good purpose. For me the only reason to separate me from my money is if I enjoy what I’m hearing. My personal subjective opinion is that too many people buy the wrong way, not necessarily the wrong equipment. I was lucky to hear in a home exactly what I wanted and knew it. I refused to walk into a store and plunk down good money knowing everything I wanted wasn’t available there and if it was I couldn’t afford it. I knew without a doubt the sound I wanted came out of a specific speaker. That told me that’s where I needed to start. I would strongly suggest seeking out people with really good sounding systems. And when you find one start your research there. For me it paid off, I had to go to the secondary market to get what I wanted and severely stretched my wallet to afford it. Is there a set up cheaper with better specs I would imagine so but I don’t want to go through all the exchanging of equipment. I was lucky to find it and have what I want. At this point any changes will be few an minor.
I don’t love my equipment I love what comes out of them!!!
Happy listening
 
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Yorkshire Mouth

Yorkshire Mouth

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For me, it's a means to an end: listening to music.

My other hobbies are the same, e.g. cooking. I cook because I like to eat, but I hate paying money for food that isn't as good as what I can cook.

Somewhere out there there’ll be forums for people who argue about which pans are best, frequented by many people who rarely cook.

Or who cook to test the pans, not to make a meal.
 

restorer-john

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Our lives are an interwoven tapestry of causes and effects. Ultimately, it is our burden to understand ourselves, and how we fit into that tapestry.

No one can relieve us of that burden. We can, however, make our burden much more difficult to bear.

Wang Chung (Mosaic, 1986) said it better in their song, 'the world in which we live':

The world is a mosaic, upon a golden floor,
Moving silently, darkly through space.
And our lives are the fragments, and all that's gone before,
Broken jewels in excrement base.
 

ozzy9832001

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I consider it a hobby for myself. As time permits, I'll change a few things around or buy a few new pieces of treatment looking for that ultimate goal. I think sometimes, I tinker too much and end up with a worse overall result. I need to just sit and enjoy what I have.
 

Chrispy

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Haven't always been comfortable with the hobby description, the diy aspects more speak to that description I think. For me av gear is more to bring those experiences into my home on my terms, to support my own library of music/film, which I find valuable. I've changed gear when there was some justification other than just a whim, and I keep most of it around and put it to use (just don't like dealing with selling it).
 

MattHooper

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I'm comfortable with the hobby description as well.

It waxes and wanes. But like many I've had a fascination with audio gear for decades, owning far more gear/speakers etc than someone "not interested" in such things.
I like to go through periods of playing around with gear - whether it's experimenting with speaker positioning, acoustics in my room, different amps/tubes, cartridge set up and the like. I've experimented with subwoofers..and on and on. And even when I own equipment that I'm quite settled with, I'm still fascinated enough with audio gear to seek out new gear-listening experiences - audio shops, audio shows, at other audiophile's places. And, unlike a "normie" I spend a lot of time seeking out and discussing the subject with other audiophiles.

So, yeah, no problem thinking of it as a hobby.

Most ASR regulars seem to have plenty of experience with different gear too. And even for those who feel they finally (either recently or in the past) settled on a system they aren't looking to change, there is still the aspect of having a much higher than "normal" interest in the gear, to the point of joining audio forums like this dedicated to audio gear, and endlessly going over graphs or discussing it. What might that be called? An "interest?" "pastime?" "hobby?" Doesn't really matter how someone chooses to describe their activities, but those descriptions seem fairly interchangeable and innocuous to my ear.
 
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Yorkshire Mouth

Yorkshire Mouth

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What a great thread everyone has made this.

I suppose we could just throw into the mix, which part of it is the hobby.

It could be the buying (and possibly selling).

It could be the auditioning.

It could be the research and keeping up to date.

I have fun reading and researching stuff, especially here. Debating, too.

That’s the part that’s my ‘hobby’.
 

kemmler3D

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To me, a hobby has to be something you DO, personally. It can't strictly be a consumption-based activity.

Like, I don't think merely watching movies is a hobby. Being a cinephile can be a hobby if you spend a significant amount of time reading about, seeking out, and evaluating movies, maybe. It's a blurry line.

For most people, buying and testing out new gear is too infrequent to be much of a hobby, but that can count, I guess, at a stretch.

However, "audiophilia" can be a proper hobby in broad strokes.

  1. Participating in online forums
  2. Going to trade shows and meetups
  3. Building / restoring audio gear (can be multiple hobbies in one, right here)
  4. Tweaking your DSP or otherwise optimizing your setup (acoustics, taking measurements, etc.)
  5. Reading about gear
I find that the loop of 1. Read / watch review 2. Buy gear 3. Listen to it for a while 4. Return / sell the gear 5. Repeat is very weak tea as hobbies go, if that's all you do. But I don't think I could confidently draw a bright line saying it's "not a hobby".

In general, collecting stuff is generally considered "a hobby" also. That usually entails lots of knowledge / research, but the primary activity is buying stuff. What's better about collecting stamps or coins vs. IEMs, after all?
 

Doodski

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This audio stuff for me is a hobby. I combine the music collecting with the hardware requirements into one hobby that is all inclusive. When I graduated from college times where tight in the mid 80s and so I took a job installing car audio, selling the gear and being the stock-boy for a fairly successful stereo store. That turned into me buying a car audio 700 watt system which in the 80s was considered pretty serious stuff. From there I went to work for a major AV dealer selling home audio and then after ~9 years I was needing something more hands on and crafty so I studied electronics and became a techy where I worked for 15 years while I continued collecting various gear that was available from contacts and friends that I made along the way. All through this the original intention was there; to access gear and music for my listening pleasure. So my hobby became my job and eventually I was not working anymore and the employment became the hobby again.
 

egellings

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For me, the hobby part is putting amplifiers & preamps together from scratch. Then I gits to listen to the music. Next amplifier iteration likely will have parts from previous ones in it. It's a combination of electroniker[sic] and listener.
 
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