Audiophiles going to Extremes!

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by Reid Smith, Dec 31, 2017.

  1. Wired4Fun

    Wired4Fun Forum Resident

    Plumstead, PA
    This brings up something I always wonder about, and yet it seems offensive to discuss, LOL. Our hearing as we age. Can "Rock Grandpa" appreciate the sonic differences as his hearing is not that of a 15 year old? Does it matter? I always think about, as I age, if the spend for better equipment is FAR more emotional than actual with respect to improvement. One could argue there is value in that, too. And that upgrades are always for some degree of emotional ROI. But my thoughts are more scientific in nature; If your hearing degrades as you age, can you actually appreciate the expensive upgrades of your system? And is it just a "waste". Or perhaps a better way to ask it is, is the upgrade simply LOST on the person?

    It's not the same as a 75 year old buying a fast car. You can ALWAYS appreciate going fast :) That is my two pennies.

    Anyway, I also believe that if it makes YOU happy, and you can afford it, then so be it :)
  2. Wasatch

    Wasatch Music Lover!

    That's crazy.
  3. nola27

    nola27 Active Member

    Long Live The Audiophile!!
  4. MacGyver

    MacGyver Forum Resident

    the Japanese, in general, tend to get slavishly devoted to a great many often rather amazing things
    that the average, proper, "God-Fearing" American would instantly balk at, just saying...
    TheIncredibleHoke likes this.
  5. WestGrooving

    WestGrooving Forum Resident

    California, U.S.A
    Like with anything done right, it's all about the details... :D
  6. no.nine

    no.nine (not his real name)

    I just need the $100,000 part. :D
    4011021, BrokenByAudio and bruce2 like this.
  7. DRM

    DRM Forum Resident

    Last edited: Jan 1, 2018
  8. Helom

    Helom Forum Resident

    The couple of audio shows I've attended felt like an AARP convention. My girlfriend kept being referred to as "young lady." The AV Showrooms videos lead me to believe that's the norm. It seems the reviewing industry consists mostly of men over 50. So I can't help but wonder if my age (early 30s), largely accounts for the baffling opinions I often encounter when reading of other's experiences. For example, I dislike the sound of Golden Ear speakers, yet they receive many great reviews from mags and owners.

    I'm curious how much physiological changes affect our auditory palate as we age. I also wonder if any speaker manufacturers attemept to voice their speakers to appeal to a specific age demographic.
    basie-fan, trd and nola27 like this.
  9. Wired4Fun

    Wired4Fun Forum Resident

    Plumstead, PA
    @Helom I hear you. No pun intended LOL!

    I am 41. My hearing is (thankfully) very, very good. But at my age, that can change rather quickly, just like vision. And so I am always wondering if (without trying to insult anyone) the opinion of a 50,60,70 year old audiophile is valid for anyone other than themselves...

    And other than getting an auditory test, how will I really know when my hearing has degraded?

    It’s not something I have ever had much luck discussing, as it tends to upset folks. And I don’t mean to do that, at all.

    But I’ll be darned if the logic of my opinion isn’t at the very least, sound. Again, no pun intended.

    A person who is 70 most likely has lesser hearing than they did at 20, and yet there they are telling folks what sounds better...
    Brother_Rael and Helom like this.
  10. Helom

    Helom Forum Resident

    My thoughts as well. One of the local dealers is in his 50s and we have similar taste in gear. I did spend a few years in the military so I probably don't hear as well as I'd like to believe.
  11. bruce2

    bruce2 Forum Resident

    Connecticut, USA
    I am 38 and I know my hearing is not up to par for my age. In my teens and 20s I liked my music loud all the time and went to a lot of concerts. Also worked as a landscaper for a few years operating loud equipment. I can't tolerate loud music at all now and even listening at moderate volumes gives me fatigue and discomfort after a short while. I actually find it pretty depressing and I regret that not taking care of my ears when younger has diminished my ability to enjoy music as much as I would like now.
    4011021 and Helom like this.
  12. dkurtis

    dkurtis sonofthefather

    Your $100,000 speakers are sleeping in bunk beds down the hall.
  13. dkurtis

    dkurtis sonofthefather

    ...... neither do we question Jimmy Page remastering the 'definitive' Zeppelin albums in 2015. I'm sure he has no hearing loss.
    kBear, Wired4Fun and trd like this.
  14. Helom

    Helom Forum Resident

    Have only one of those :righton:
  15. Older audiophiles can still hear the benefits of their gear and get audiophile about their listening and in their evaluation of gear. Being able to hear the things audiophiles listen for isn't all about being able to hear extended frequency ranges or in having hearing that is flat. You don't need to be able to hear to 15 kHz, or even 12 or 10 to be able to hear the rolloff or differences in digital filters. You don't need to have perfect flat hearing to be able to tell that the frequency response of something is uneven. Audiophile hearing is also about being able to hear phase and have the brain be trained to be able to hear 2 channel audio as having imaging and depth and height and soundstage. Audiophiles can still hear if gear or a recording is smooth or harsh even if they don't have the hearing they had when they were younger. Older audiophiles can still hear the benefits of tube gear and what tubes do. Older audiophiles can still hear what is special about vinyl. Older audiophiles can still hear that high-res is better than CD. So don't fear getting older. You will still be able to enjoy and appreciate good audio gear and good recordings.

    I'd trust a 65 year old experienced audiophile about the sound of gear and audiophile things before I'd trust an 18 year old noob with perfect hearing who has learned everything he needs to know about audiophile listening by voraciously reading reddit. Good hearing is wasted on the youth. All that perfect hearing ability and yet they don't know how to listen. Then you get older, loose your hearing, but are able to be a better listener. Life is a cruel joke. Enjoy it while you've got it.
    4011021, Fitero, kBear and 4 others like this.
  16. jjhunsecker

    jjhunsecker Forum Resident

    New York city
    It's weird getting that effect from speakers, though
  17. jjhunsecker

    jjhunsecker Forum Resident

    New York city
    If I recall, most of the selections were from Tidal or Spotify... They played a Stevie Ray Vaughn track and it sounded like he came out of the grave and plugged his Strat in 10 feet away from you. It was a hyper-realistic experience, for sure .
    Scroller likes this.
  18. jjhunsecker

    jjhunsecker Forum Resident

    New York city
    At the NYC show I went to in November, many were older and obviously well heeled...but a surprising amount were younger guys. In one speaker room, a bunch of late 20s white dudes were asking the guy to play some hip-hop through the high end speakers, and were reveling in the sound
    Helom likes this.
  19. John Moschella

    John Moschella Forum Resident

    Christiansburg, VA
    That is what I was thinking, plus it would be the ultimate as far as purity goes.
    Hamhead likes this.
  20. Leonthepro

    Leonthepro Skeptically Optimistic Autodidact Debater

    Uppsala Sweden
    I like to call those guys "Audiofools"
  21. Uri Cohen

    Uri Cohen Forum Resident

    Jacksonville, FL
    At 1:37 mark of the video I believe, you can see the second guys' CD collections. Semi-stereotypical audiophile stuff: Tons of Three Blind-Mice, Philips Releases, Sony Masterworks, Jazz At the Pawnshop, some Mercury Living Presence releases. Good stuff, but stereotypical.
    Hamhead likes this.
  22. Audiophiles here have much more varied collections with real music. I'm listening to Mogwai's "Atomic" right now in high-res (24/96) and enjoying the sound and the music. Tonight seemed like a topical time to play "Atomic" for some odd reason. I'm playing it loud.

    Atomic in 24/96 and CD is actually an album that I use to demo gear with. If I can hear the difference between the high-res version and CD version then things are good. If I cannot hear that difference then the gear is not good. Atomic isn't an audiophile album by any stretch (it has a DR7) but it does have what it takes to allow the high-res version to sound better than the CD version and I'm audiophile enough to know what to listen for to hear it, and music geek enough to actually really enjoy this music.
  23. dkurtis

    dkurtis sonofthefather

    I have come to the conclusion that you can call me any nasty name you want, but I'm not sure I want to be called an audiophile. This video and the 2018 Music Direct catalog have convinced me I can't play at their level. It reminds me of my aspirations in 1982 to build a record collection in the top 10% nationally. As I became less naive over the years, I lowered my goal to build a record collection in the top 10% in the city of 100,000 where I live. I may even lower it down to the top 10% on my street.
    superstar19, Dave and fluffskul like this.
  24. fluffskul

    fluffskul Forum Resident

    albany, ny
    Some of the old-school hip-hop CDs sound amazing. But you need the original masterings, the "digitally remastered" trend was even more cruel to hip-hop than rock. IIRC, the original Ready to Die CD has a DR of 11. And the original Chronic CD is valued by collectors and sounds incredible, I believe it was mastered by Bernie Grundman. These discs both sound amazing. They would be nice demo discs for a hi-fi enthusiast who was going to mostly play hip-hop. I'd like to think that's what you walked in on. But its more likely that it was 20-something guys in financial industry with extra cash who want flashy things to impress ladies.
  25. harby

    harby Forum Resident

    Portland, OR, USA
    Don't be disillusioned; they'll market the heck out of $50k-$100k components that have $30,000 dealer profit. An independent dealer selling one of those every few months to a whale is better than having a real job.

    #1 sellers are still cheap Crosleys.

    Music is more accessible than ever though; you have a device in your pocket that can play almost any song within 15 seconds of Googling. A record collection is only a testament to your consumption of mass-manufactured product.

    I'd wager that 80%+ of the developed world's population doesn't own a single LP. Interesting, the higher percentage of record buyers are in their 20s, a survey (still targeted at music consumers, not average Joes) found 7% of people had recently bought an LP, but that was closer to 20% for 18-24 year olds (really the only demographic who aren't fatigued of record company manufactured pop music, and for whom music consumption is "style" or "hipness"). Many vinyl buyers don't even own a turntable though...

    In Things We Already Knew, People Who Buy Vinyl Don't Actually Listen to It

    Survey: One-Third Of All Vinyl Buyers Don't Own Turntables, YouTube Major Gateway To Sales

    If you have an LP and can play it right now, you are probably well into the top 10%.

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