What Earns The Title "Audiophile"?

Witterings

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Sep 17, 2020
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So when does someone officially become classified as an Audiophile and is it just people's declaration to make themselves fell important and sound impressive.

It's interesting that the title "Expert" isn't recognised in any field and there's no official certification although it's widely considered that someone who has 10.000 hour of doing something could reasonably classify themselves as an expert .. there are probably an awful lot of peopel working in factories / on building sites on rubbish audio systems all day everyday, the fact the majority probably aren't that bothered about the sound quality but have in excess of 10K listening hours tends to discout the theory in this case.

So is the title of Audiophile awarded to the person that spends literally thousands on their system ... what about the person who can't afford that and lives in a flat with a £500 budget so buys say Elac B5.2's combined with an SMSL AO200 Amp and a WiiM Mini Streamer or aren't they allowed "the title" as they haven't spent enough.


I've played music on various instruments since childhood and generally have a policy in life of buying something "quality" rather than cheap although I do see a level of diminishing returns once you go above a core level of what's reasonable.

So at what level do we earn the title / get to join this exclusive club and is it just about what you spend or more simply whether you spend your money wisely?

Interested to hear others thoughts :D
 
D

Deleted member 195594

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Personally, I consider myself a music lover; I have no idea if I am an audiophile though.

My love of music led me in to HiFi, as a means to an end, in order to listen to my music with as much fidelity as I could afford, but has split in to a separate pursuit which I thoroughly enjoy.

I do try not to lose sight of why I pursue the HiFi hobby, which of course, is the music, and I do give myself a reality check if I find I'm focusing on the gear, rather than the music.

I'm not sure what qualifies one to use the moniker "audiophile", it's not something I call myself, or a label I aspire to.
 
I think the term applies more to a slightly obsessive mindset - someone who has modest gear but invests a lot of time/energy in placing speakers perfectly, isolating from vibration etc etc would fit the bill for me.

It's therefore possible to be an audiophile and a music lover, but also possible to be either without being both
 

Gray

Well-known member
It's not a title that anyone should aspire to.
Probably why you often see comments like, 'I don't consider myself to be an audiophile but....'

People disassociate themselves from what is often used as a derogatory term.
(Little wonder with products such as 'Audiophile Fuses' available to buy).
 
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I think it can appeal to the nerdy instinct that lives within many men. You'd hope that they are in a minority, but I suspect we've all known at least one person for whom it felt the kit came first.
 

Samd

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Mar 6, 2013
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Interesting in that wiki just says:

An audiophile is a person who is enthusiastic about high-fidelity sound reproduction. An audiophile seeks to reproduce the sound of a live musical performance, typically in a room with good acoustics

...
whereas it may be seen as slightly more derogatory than that?
 

Witterings

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Sep 17, 2020
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My love of music led me in to HiFi, as a means to an end, in order to listen to my music with as much fidelity as I could afford, but has split in to a separate pursuit which I thoroughly enjoy.

I do try not to lose sight of why I pursue the HiFi hobby, which of course, is the music, and I do give myself a reality check if I find I'm focusing on the gear, rather than the music.

I'm not sure what qualifies one to use the moniker "audiophile", it's not something I call myself, or a label I aspire to.
^^^^^ This is exactly where I'm at, I've always been a music lover but my albums are in the loft and warped and I have a CD collection but it's not paticularly inspiring.

I recently signed up for Amazon Music (wouldn't have mattered if it was one of the other streaming services so not a plug for them) which has given me access to music / albums I loved and haven't heard from many years ago and has totally re-kindled my enthusiasm for selecting and playing music rather than just putting the radio on.

That in turn has led me to upgrading various bits of my systems in different rooms and I have heard speakers / systems that just sound horrible, but unless I won the lottery and literally had money to burn have got to a level that it's decent quality but without spending a silly amount of money for only a marginal improvement.

I love it when people quote ... "it sounds just like it did at the concert" ... take the same band, stick them in a different venue with different acoustics, a new sound engineer and a different PA system and the band will sound totally different and nothing like their HiFi system produces :ROFLMAO:
 

splasher

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I think there is a spectrum from a hypothetical person who enjoys music but cares not about the quality of reproduction at one end (100% music/0% audio) to one who fixates on the quality of reproduction but cares not for the music (0% music/100% audio).

I would say most people I see on the train are 80/20, I'm 50/50 and a refreshingly honest dutch guy I once met who admited that he wasn't really much of a music fan but loved striving for perfect reproduction is 20/80.

I think as soon as you are prepared to sacrifice convenience for quality, or to use my scale about 50/50, you are an audiophile, after all it just means someone who like audio. The cost of your equipment is irrelevant.
 

Gray

Well-known member
(100% music/0% audio)
I once changed a stylus for that type of person - a Biddy in an old people's home.
You wouldn't pay a tenner for her system.....but I guarantee she enjoyed her records more than some who've spent thousands on kit.

I don't generally regard Audiophile as a derogatory description, to me it's one that applies to every contributor to this thread.
(Your non- hi-fi family / friends would say so wouldn't they?)
 
I don't generally regard Audiophile as a derogatory description
I'd agree with that. I'm a bit nerdy/obsessive/whatever about sound quality in a way that none of my friends who love music are, so the cap fits.

The other angle is to do with people talking about money in a coded (or often not so coded) way. We've all seen contributors come, participate briefly and then depart - and where the sole purpose seems to be to show how expensive their gear is. I'm sure they'd leap at the chance to be termed 'audiophile', but I'm not sure it's 'all about the music' for them.
 
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Deleted member 195594

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I don't generally regard Audiophile as a derogatory description, to me it's one that applies to every contributor to this thread.
(Your non- hi-fi family / friends would say so wouldn't they?)
In this context, I'd most definitely agree 😊
 
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plastic penguin

Well-known member
Personally, I consider myself a music lover; I have no idea if I am an audiophile though.

My love of music led me in to HiFi, as a means to an end, in order to listen to my music with as much fidelity as I could afford, but has split in to a separate pursuit which I thoroughly enjoy.

I do try not to lose sight of why I pursue the HiFi hobby, which of course, is the music, and I do give myself a reality check if I find I'm focusing on the gear, rather than the music.

I'm not sure what qualifies one to use the moniker "audiophile", it's not something I call myself, or a label I aspire to.
Pretty much the same. I'm a music-first person, a decent hi-fi is a wonderful additional bonus.

I guess, and this is purely a guess, a true audiophile is someone who'll constantly upgrade even if their current set-up is more than adequate - and/or are quite happy with "look at what I've got".
 

nopiano

Well-known member
I think I’d always thought ‘audiophile‘ implied a particular interest in the sound quality and the equipment, without necessarily referring to the music played. I consider myself a music lover and an audiophile, in the sense I can be engrossed in either or both.

I’m fascinated by the gear, and how it works together and in isolation. But also in the sound - how those boxes make music sound so amazing in my own home. Equally, I love concerts, recitals, broadcasts etc., so I’m lucky I can put them altogether in a rewarding way.
 
D

Deleted member 195594

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I consider myself a music lover and an audiophile, in the sense I can be engrossed in either or both.

I’m fascinated by the gear, and how it works together and in isolation. But also in the sound - how those boxes make music sound so amazing in my own home. Equally, I love concerts, recitals, broadcasts etc., so I’m lucky I can put them altogether in a rewarding way.
Yep, this exactly summarises my relationship with my music and the equipment I play it on, but in much more articulate, succinct way than I would have managed 😊.

I used to be a hard core PC gamer back in the early 2000s, but eventually started building my own gaming rigs, and became equally as absorbed in component selection and builds, as with the reason I was actually building them for. I still build but not as much. My 17yr has reaped the benefit on a couple of occasions 😊.

I guess I must have one of those nerdy/geeky natures 🤓😊
 
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Witterings

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I used to be a hard core PC gamer back in the early 2000s, but eventually started building my own gaming rigs, and became equally as absorbed in component selection and builds, as with the reason I was actually building them for. I still build but not as much. My 17yr has reaped the benefit on a couple of occasions 😊.
It's funny how different parts of the same hobby / interest can snag you, I gave up the dreaded fags several years ago and wanted something to occupy my mind and took up flying RC planes and joined a club.
I loved flying them but didn't have much interest in building / repairing them, others at the club designed and built them from scratch and didn't have that much interest in flying them ... opposite ends of the same hooby.
 

twinkletoes

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Nov 16, 2021
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Audiophile,

To me this means a number of things but the assumption is that equipment has to be of note. My Audiophile journey started with a "walkman", not an expensive one either i saved my paper round money and it cost me 20-30 quid at the time. For many, that's the end of their journey. Others had portable radios or midi systems radio alarm clocks or today's kids have their phones (more expensive that my first HiFi i might add) or little echo dots and the like.

What it really means is you take/make the time to listen. Id lay on my bed for hours listening to music in my own little world

Every audiophile is music's first listener, I don't get that comment, if you weren't you'd be listening to test tones and pink noise. But i guess what you're actually saying is you place more emphasis on collecting music than chasing marginal gains in electronics.
 

Tinman1952

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Interesting in that wiki just says:

An audiophile is a person who is enthusiastic about high-fidelity sound reproduction. An audiophile seeks to reproduce the sound of a live musical performance, typically in a room with good acoustics

...
whereas it may be seen as slightly more derogatory than that?
I agree with the first sentence in the 'definition' but not the second...
Most live musical performances have awful sound quality.....depending on the sound engineer/roadie!
 
D

Deleted member 195594

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I agree, I would never want to reproduce a live musical performance from 80% of the gigs I've been to, or those I've engineered myself for that matter. Most rooms in small venues, that are not purpose built, and are usually terrible for this purpose. Also depends on the PA/desk/mics/engineer etc. It's a crap shoot, lottery, compromise. Classical music in old Victorian music theatres can be the exception, or the Music College theatre in Manchester (can't remember the full title) . This place is so obsessively, acoustically engineered, it barely needs a PA, and it's a big hall. Very impressive.

So, yep I agree, the second part of that definition, in my case, is definitely not true..... So, I guess I'm not an "audiophile" 🙄🤔😊
 
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shadders

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Nov 19, 2009
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Hi,
For me it is anyone who takes a continued interest in hifi equipment and music reproduction.

That could be reading magazines, visiting forums, visiting hifi shows, as well as trying to get the best sound they can within their budget.

Regards,
Shadders.
 

Gray

Well-known member
Hi,
For me it is anyone who takes a continued interest in hifi equipment and music reproduction.

That could be reading magazines, visiting forums, visiting hifi shows, as well as trying to get the best sound they can within their budget.

Regards,
Shadders.
That's me then.
Was dragged round hi-fi shows from about the age of 8.
Read every UK hi-fi mag title, bought far too much hi-fi over too many decades.
(Yet my music has cost way more than my current system).
 

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