Psychology of the audiophile

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by Fred Hansen, Oct 6, 2018.

  1. bluesky

    bluesky Forum Resident

    My 'psychology of audiophile'.

    I've been listening to LPs since 1954, my dad's Connie Francis & Hawaiian Music LPs on a Zenith tube console stereo system. I loved that console, the sound quality, the smell of the tube amp.

    For me: If the equipment sounds really good... it is really good. Simple. Now just listen to the music!
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2018
  2. Stone Turntable

    Stone Turntable Dedicated Listener

    New Mexico USA
    There’s some conflating of hi-fi tech enthusiasm, on the one hand, and the response to and love of music, on the other hand, slipping into this psychology-oriented discussion. For the latter, you have to reference (and read!) Oliver Sacks’ brilliant book Musicophilia.

    My lifelong passionate devotion to music is one of the reasons I bridle at the frequent use of the word “hobby” to describe a commitment to audiophile sound. It’s one of many ways this avocation’s respect for the integrity of music reproduction can be framed semi-dismissively or reductively — as less than serious and one profound part of being fully human. Another way is to pathologize it by identifying hi-fi with fussy, compulsive neurosis and oenophile-like connoisseur fetishism instead of emphasizing audio as the royal road to engagement with great, transcendent art.
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2018
    nosliw and Blank Frank like this.
  3. libertycaps

    libertycaps Forum Resident

    Portland, OR, USA
    Does amazing synergy between amazing music and amazing gear induce pleasure in the brain of the listener? Heck, yes!
    G B Kuipers and SirMarc like this.
  4. SandAndGlass

    SandAndGlass Twilight Forum Resident

    I keep wanting some of those too!
    ThinWhiteDuke likes this.

    SKATTERBRANE Forum Resident

    Tucson, AZ
    Listening to recorded music is like watching porn, it is no substitute for unamplified music played with real acoustic instruments live. And yet, I try chasing that dragon over and over again endlessly expecting ONE day that recorded music played on stereo equipment will fool me into thinking it is real.
    SandAndGlass likes this.
  6. SandAndGlass

    SandAndGlass Twilight Forum Resident

    I was just thinking about the same way just a little bit earlier after yet another sound quality discussion thread. I think this one was about new MM phone cartridges vs. Vintage ones.

    Despite all the thought that went into a few of my posts, afterward, I just realized that no matter what I do, some things are just not going to sound any better than they already sound. Yeah, a few things do seem superior, everything I expect them to be, and maybe even better, but, no matter what, it is only going to be for a very limited amount of music that I listen to. The rest is just going to sound like music that is being reproduced by a stereo and speakers and that is that!

    I need to quit beating myself over the head looking for some audio "perfection", that is just not going to happen. If I could get it out of my mind, then maybe I could just accept listening to recorded music as just that, recorded music? What ever it is, it is, leave the expectations at the door.
  7. fuse999

    fuse999 Forum Resident

    I don't have to be alone, but whoever is with me needs to be as silent as I am.
  8. ukrules

    ukrules Professional Appreciator

    Union, Kentucky
    Just avoid anything that tickles your audio's orders.
  9. Mike-48

    Mike-48 Forum Resident

    Portland, Oregon
    I think the title is mis-posed. "The" audiophile? There are many of us, and from what I've seen, many variations on the theme. Some of the variations overlap in interesting ways. To describe some people I've found in audiophilia:
    • The person who wants a respite from everyday life, whether family, work, the news, or all of that. This type of audiophile comes in (at least) two very different types: the first is one who uses music itself as a respite or inspiration, and who may find spiritual renewal that way; the second is one who who loves tinkering and finds enjoyment in that.
    • One who expresses individuality through having a hobby that his peers don't.
    • One who loves to talk about audio, far more than to listen to it. This person is a bit like the sports fan who is not an athlete.
    • The fortunate one who can afford the best, and who devotes energy to assembling a system perceived as at the state of the art.
    • One who wants to see how much enjoyable sound can be got for very little money.
    As I said, that's hardly an exhaustive taxonomy. One could construct another one based only on audiophiles' attitudes towards music. That varies widely, from what I've observed.

    I know people in all the categories, and I enjoy knowing them all. They all have fun with audio, and each of them adds something of value to the endeavor.
    Kristofa and doak like this.
  10. Dolemite

    Dolemite Forum Resident

    I think I may be the only one here who will say this. The thrill of the hunt of collecting FAR out weighs the gear for me. So does discovering new bands
    ThinWhiteDuke likes this.
  11. Did we solve this one? Can someone summarize the consensus opinion, in two sentences or less... ??? :D:cool::angel:

    EDIT: BTW, does this really belong in the Audio Hardware Forum? Shouldn't it be moved to the Audio Psych Forum, or equivalent?
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2018
  12. old45s

    old45s MP3 FREE ZONE

    All of the below!
  13. Remote Control Triangle

    Remote Control Triangle Forum Resident

    Las Vegas
    Hit up Tapeheads. The R2R subforum is fantastic. Tons of knowledgeable folks there. It's not that difficult to find an R2R and a good tech to bring it up to top condition.
  14. SquishySounds

    SquishySounds Yo mama so fat Thanos had to snap twice.

    New York
    Focusing your attention on the music and getting anything else out of your head calms the nerves and focuses your chi. It’s like watching a rock grow, but with your ears
    doak and Mike-48 like this.
  15. Giacomo Belbo

    Giacomo Belbo Journalist for Rolling Stone 1976-1979

    it’s a condition that requires careful monitoring. In its extreme it manifests itself in middle aged men where lack of meaning in life combined with a slow down on sexual activity leads to impulse equipment purchases as a substitute to relationship building giving a false sense of control over the passing of time and existential voids - similar behaviors are observed in women (impulse purchase of bags, shoes, etc). Sessions and medication do help but cannot guarantee results.
  16. Remote Control Triangle

    Remote Control Triangle Forum Resident

    Las Vegas
    morinix likes this.
  17. Mr Bass

    Mr Bass Chevelle Ma Belle

    Mid Atlantic
    I very much share this attitude. It's paradoxical that the more the system disappears the more I like it. It's that electronic sheen (which can be present with tube gear as well as SS) that bothers me and I have taken great pains to minimize it.
    Grant likes this.
  18. Tim Lookingbill

    Tim Lookingbill Alfalfa Male

    New Braunfels, TX
    You sound as if you speak from your own experiences in relationship building. Knowing one's self can lead to all sorts of insightful views on how humans can be some of the most irritating creatures on the planet. This new realization has changed my opinion that PETA is not the crazy fringe group I once thought but a beacon for us all that animals are far more well behaved than humans.
  19. SandAndGlass

    SandAndGlass Twilight Forum Resident

    P.E.T.A., People Eating Tasty Animals? :)

    I'm a self confessed carnivore!
  20. Otlset

    Otlset free-range audiophile

    Temecula, CA
    Too long in the man-cave...


    "I've finally got it...the sound, oh the glorious SOUND! Huh-huh, huh huh huh..."
    RockAddict and SandAndGlass like this.
  21. LitHum05

    LitHum05 El Disco es Cultura

    The article author can also stand some psychoanalysing. The guy clearly has displaced anger issues (and a fetishistic fascination with the phrase “lunatic fringe”).
    ThinWhiteDuke likes this.

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