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Why do you think a few members have an 'alcoholic anonymous' vibe towards the audiophile community? It seems a harmless hobby as far as things go?

BobbyTimmons

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I'm not much of an old hand in the audiophile community. Audio Science Review was my starting off point. I've noticed some of the more experienced members have an 'alcoholic anonymous' vibe towards the audiophile community they were formerly a part of. They talk about their former life as an audiophile in a bitter way like they escaped from a dangerous hobby. It set me thinking in light of the recent hitpiece on Ken Fritz that tried to blame complaints about lack of vacations from his ex-wife thirty years prior on his audiophile hobby in retirement.

Just I wonder if audiophilia is not almost the definition of a harmless hobby? Its greatest danger is encouraging physical inactivity like most indoor activities. You could also damage your hearing. That's unlikely with home speakers. Most people listen at safe levels here excepting the headphone users. You could burn your house down just that applies more to the DIY crowd. Other than that you could buy some overpriced cables. Even then you would have resale value for your crazy decisions unlike someone addicted to gambling. Hobbies related to alcohol or outdoor activities where people have accidents and injure themselves are more risky physically. Gourmets and oenophiles are fattening their livers. Financially being an audiophile shouldn't be more costly than anyone who buys a computer or consumer electronics. Psychologically listening to music has been shown to be good for you. Socially being an audiophile isn't isolating in the way of being a gamer. Environmentally the main risk is the use of electricity and the shipping costs when you buy speakers. I don't think audiophiles contribute more of a negative environmental impact than anyone who buys any kind of electronics.
 
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amirm

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Just I wonder if audiophilia is not almost the definition of a harmless hobby?
Would you say the same about gambling? In both high-end audio and gambling you lose money that you didn't need to.
 

Dunring

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Look at car enthusiasts putting money into their cars in the tens of thousands of dollars they'll never get back at resale. Boats are the only worse money pits. I think you can obsess over anything. Just go to Audiogon on the message boards and it'll take your breath away the conversations about what they pay for things (i.e. $5,300 AC power cords). Imagine spending hundreds of thousands for built ins and a listening room you have to sell with a house to move. People who say they "escaped" this hobby jumped in and went overboard spending, falling for marketing hype and false claims.
 
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BobbyTimmons

BobbyTimmons

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Would you say the same about gambling? In both high-end audio and gambling you lose money that you didn't need to.
If you buy a penny stock you usually get nothing back. Gamblers also 'tilt' and lose fortunes in a few hours. If you buy an overpriced audiophile system you have a thirty day returns period when you can return the products. There's also a significant period when you'd be able to recoup part of your costs with a resale. Someone buys a Mark Levinson amplifier. They don't return it within 30 days, it means they were happy with it. They use it for a few years. They're getting some unquantifiable pleasure from it which could be more about its status than its sound, they might still have some resale value at the end of it. It seems like more of a financial safety net compared to booking a Caribbean cruise which you can't cancel.
 
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Newman

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Look at car enthusiasts putting money into their cars in the tens of thousands of dollars they'll never get back at resale. Boats are the only worse money pits.
My sailing friends equate the pastime to standing in a cold shower tearing up $100 notes.
 
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BobbyTimmons

BobbyTimmons

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Look at car enthusiasts putting money into their cars in the tens of thousands of dollars they'll never get back at resale. Boats are the only worse money pits. I think you can obsess over anything. Just go to Audiogon on the message boards and it'll take your breath away the conversations about what they pay for things (i.e. $5,300 AC power cords). Imagine spending hundreds of thousands for built ins and a listening room you have to sell with a house to move. People who say they "escaped" this hobby jumped in and went overboard spending, falling for marketing hype and false claims.
My thinking is all that is still low risk compared to physically dangerous hobbies. If you buy a motorbike the main danger isn't the cost. It's that you get into an accident. People spend a lot of motorbikes just the worst part of it are the fatal traffic accidents not their bank balance. Maybe the real danger of audiophilia is physical inactivity in that it takes time away from physical activities like exercise.
 

pablolie

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Would you say the same about gambling? In both high-end audio and gambling you lose money that you didn't need to.
I agree overall, but my reply was about to also state that, hey, if you have the money and it doesn't hurt you, it is pretty harmless overall. After all, we lose money with a lot of things... drive a new car out of the dealership and there goes 20% of the money you spent. Etc. :)
At my age, the bigger concern is wasting time and energy on things that are unrewarding. And "audio upgradeitis" is most definitely one of those things. Reading the measurements here shows me that I am probably missing on a few Sinad dB here and there to be able to brag about my system being SOTA stuff, but combined with my past experiences also shows me I'm probably missing very little when it comes to music enjoyment - at least as far as my preferences go.
 

Zapper

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Some audiophile communities are very cult like, with a system of beliefs in mystical and unverifiable audio attributes that cannot be challenged. If one has been sucked into that, maybe spent a large sum of money that should have been used for the kids college fund or to fix the hole in the roof, maybe damaging a relationship with a partner, one might be resentful about it after coming to one's senses. As @Dan said, no one likes to admit they got played.

Another element is the aspect of a shopping addiction. Some people buy carefully and moderately, but others can't stop spending, even when deep in debt. This can be ruinous in many ways. The pursuit of audiophile Nirvana has no upper limit.
 

ryanosaur

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Ask about this after you look into buying your own dedicated power line run from the transformer! Of course, this means you have and Audiophile Breaker Panel and Meter, replaced all wiring in your walls with Audiophile Certified Romex, along with Audiophile Outlets and EMF Blocking Faceplates...

But I'm serious. There is at least one guy out there that has had a pole and dedicated line installed for his audiophile condition.

:rolleyes:

As mentioned above: if you feel the need to think a Power Cable is going to change the way the electrons flow through your Rig, in an audible manner, you have a problem.
;) :D :cool:
 

Newman

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But I'm serious. There is at least one guy out there that has had a pole and dedicated line installed for his audiophile condition.
IIRC Fremer did just that.
 

kemmler3D

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Financially being an audiophile shouldn't be more costly than anyone who buys a computer or consumer electronics
I think this is where you're understating the case.

Many "high end" cables could get you 2 or 3 high-end computers each.

The "Audiophile hobby" becomes pernicious when false beliefs about audio cause you to spend lots of money on things that aren't worth it, and then you go and spread those false beliefs to other people, who for a litany of bad reasons also end up spending lots of money on things that aren't worth it.

While "worth it" is subjective, let's just draw a line and say that if you're spending anything primarily because of a false claim, it's not worth it. And that describes - let's face it - a LOT of audiophile hobby spending. Every audiophile network switch sold to date represents the harm of the "hobby".

Still, you could argue it's more or less harmless until people spend money they can't afford to spend. No different than light gambling or maybe palmistry. Unpleasant to to think about but not the end of the world.

But I then remember reading on here about someone that mortgaged their house to buy Wilson speakers. I think that's a great example of how the "hobby" can really hurt people.

My thinking is all that is still low risk compared to physically dangerous hobbies. If you buy a motorbike the main danger isn't the cost. It's that you get into an accident. People spend a lot of motorbikes just the worst part of it are the fatal traffic accidents not their bank balance. Maybe the real danger of audiophilia is physical inactivity in that it takes time away from physical activities like exercise.

There are a lot more harmful hobbies out there... we could all name 10, I am sure. That doesn't mean that the fantastical / anti-science branch of audiophilia is good.
 

Victor Martell

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I'm not much of an old hand in the audiophile community. Audio Science Review was my starting off point. I've noticed some of the more experienced members have an 'alcoholic anonymous' vibe towards the audiophile community they were formerly a part of. They talk about their former life as an audiophile in a bitter way like they escaped from a dangerous hobby. It set me thinking in light of the recent hitpiece on Ken Fritz that tried to blame complaints about lack of vacations from his ex-wife thirty years prior on his audiophile hobby in retirement.

Just I wonder if audiophilia is not almost the definition of a harmless hobby? Its greatest danger is encouraging physical inactivity like most indoor activities. You could also damage your hearing. That's unlikely with home speakers. Most people listen at safe levels here excepting the headphone users. You could burn your house down just that applies more to the DIY crowd. Other than that you could buy some overpriced cables. Even then you would have resale value for your crazy decisions unlike someone addicted to gambling. Hobbies related to alcohol or outdoor activities where people have accidents and injure themselves are more risky physically. Gourmets and oenophiles are fattening their livers. Financially being an audiophile shouldn't be more costly than anyone who buys a computer or consumer electronics. Psychologically listening to music has been shown to be good for you. Socially being an audiophile isn't isolating in the way of being a gamer. Environmentally the main risk is the use of electricity and the shipping costs when you buy speakers. I don't think audiophiles contribute more of a negative environmental impact than anyone who buys any kind of electronics.

You are 100% right. I think it comes down to this hobby just not being a mainstream hobby. Or in other words, people think is is weird to spend $150K on speakers (or a turntable!) but to spend $150K on a sports car and then driving it on 10MPH traffic on the 405 is perfectly reasonable.

Go figure. Even if I had $150K, I am sooo contrarian re: mainstream taste, that I would NEVER spend it on a car but I am likely to blow it on a turntable.
 

kemmler3D

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You are 100% right. I think it comes down to this hobby just not being a mainstream hobby. Or in other words, people think is is weird to spend $150K on speakers (or a turntable!) but to spend $150K on a sports car and then driving it on 10MPH traffic on the 405 is perfectly reasonable.

Go figure. Even if I had $150K, I am sooo contrarian re: mainstream taste, that I would NEVER spend it on a car but I am likely to blow it on a turntable.
I think all high-end luxury purchases seem absurd to the majority of people. Like would I ever buy a gold Rolex? No. Just seems like asking to be robbed, to me. But they remain popular among people that can afford them. Same with a lot of cars.

The interesting thing about ASR is we're nominally part of the "audiophile" hobby but we also think a large amount of spending within our own hobby is absurd. :D
 
D

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I think this is where you're understating the case.

Many "high end" cables could get you 2 or 3 high-end computers each.

The "Audiophile hobby" becomes pernicious when false beliefs about audio cause you to spend lots of money on things that aren't worth it, and then you go and spread those false beliefs to other people, who for a litany of bad reasons also end up spending lots of money on things that aren't worth it.

While "worth it" is subjective, let's just draw a line and say that if you're spending anything primarily because of a false claim, it's not worth it. And that describes - let's face it - a LOT of audiophile hobby spending. Every audiophile network switch sold to date represents the harm of the "hobby".

Still, you could argue it's more or less harmless until people spend money they can't afford to spend. No different than light gambling or maybe palmistry. Unpleasant to to think about but not the end of the world.

But I then remember reading on here about someone that mortgaged their house to buy Wilson speakers. I think that's a great example of how the "hobby" can really hurt people.



There are a lot more harmful hobbies out there... we could all name 10, I am sure. That doesn't mean that the fantastical / anti-science branch of audiophilia is good.

1706060728019.jpeg



Jim
 

MattHooper

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I'm not much of an old hand in the audiophile community. Audio Science Review was my starting off point. I've noticed some of the more experienced members have an 'alcoholic anonymous' vibe towards the audiophile community they were formerly a part of. They talk about their former life as an audiophile in a bitter way like they escaped from a dangerous hobby. It set me thinking in light of the recent hitpiece on Ken Fritz that tried to blame complaints about lack of vacations from his ex-wife thirty years prior on his audiophile hobby in retirement.

Just I wonder if audiophilia is not almost the definition of a harmless hobby? Its greatest danger is encouraging physical inactivity like most indoor activities. You could also damage your hearing. That's unlikely with home speakers. Most people listen at safe levels here excepting the headphone users. You could burn your house down just that applies more to the DIY crowd. Other than that you could buy some overpriced cables. Even then you would have resale value for your crazy decisions unlike someone addicted to gambling. Hobbies related to alcohol or outdoor activities where people have accidents and injure themselves are more risky physically. Gourmets and oenophiles are fattening their livers. Financially being an audiophile shouldn't be more costly than anyone who buys a computer or consumer electronics. Psychologically listening to music has been shown to be good for you. Socially being an audiophile isn't isolating in the way of being a gamer. Environmentally the main risk is the use of electricity and the shipping costs when you buy speakers. I don't think audiophiles contribute more of a negative environmental impact than anyone who buys any kind of electronics.

Yes you've hit on a tenor in this forum that I and others have certainly picked up on.

You get the impression many here view the subjective review industry as choir boys regard catholic priests.

I get it; if you feel like you'd been "had" by some of the b.s. that pervaded your previous engagement with the hobby, one could be bitter or be made quite cynical.
I think it's been said that the forum's inspiration is to essentially act as a backlash, or antidote to the harms promoted by ignorant audiophiles and the audiophile press. The knowledge produced is very welcome, but the anti-high-end-industry feelings are often worn on the sleeves. Even though I'm more open to some aspects of the old school audiophile world, it's still nice to have a place like this to vent sometimes about b.s. in the hobby.
 

OldHvyMec

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The difference between all people is the same. 50% of the people KNOW they have the potential for OCD or have addictive tendencies.
The other 50% are in 100% denial. I suggest if you don't want a haircut don't hang out at a barbershop or at least break even from
you legal compulsions. Gambling, drinking, drugging, or anything that causes a problem in your life or the lives of others. Addiction!

I worked for a guy that was a travelholic he literally owed millions from traveling vs paying the company bills. The worst part he would
just travel to burn up the money. There was seldom a reason, like collecting a debt or visiting a bellyaching client. The only person that
gave directions via where the best restaurant was.

A thief is a thief he was one of the worst I ever met that didn't go to jail. LOL He's not dead yet though Karma!
 
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