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View Poll Results: Are you an audiophile? (went from music lover to sound and gear lover)
No 10 5.18%
No but I like music 74 38.34%
Yes 43 22.28%
Yes and I feel the same about photography/gear 66 34.20%
Voters: 193. You may not vote on this poll

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Who is also an audiophile?
Old 12-29-2007   #1
jvr
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Who is also an audiophile?

I know a lot of people that really likes music and photography (or audio and photo gear ), so there must be a few around in RFF...

I confess myself a very addicted, but recovering, audiophile. By this, I mean I started by playing music (classical guitar), then listen to music, then buying the best gear to listen to music and suddenly, I was listening to sound and not music, although my system was MILES better than where I started.

I'm recovering (although I still own a system where just cables make a Noctilux seem cheap. Very cheap. ) and I am again able to sit down and just listen to music.

Sometimes, I have a feeling I'm falling into the same trap in photography (and it's even worse, because gear is not so expensive, meaning GAS attacks are more frequent...). I get myself analysing the merits of a photo in purely technical terms, the way I used to when listening to sound. And subtely but surely I've been making technicaly very good photos but worse as "photos". And, worse of all, I've been falling into the trap of "Oh, if I just had that lens, I would take wonderful photos!".

Feel free to share your audio setup, if you are an audiophile and your thoughts on this, even if you are not.

My "final" (yes, it's final unless I downgrade) system is a bit esoteric:

Michell Orbe SE turntable/SME V arm/Sumiko Celebration cell
Harmonix Reimyo CD
Dartzeel pre-amp
Dartzeel amp
Wilson Audio WATT VII speakers
Transparent Reference cables for CD/amp and amp/speakers, proprietary Dartzeel cables between pre and amp.
Also using Abbey Road Reference cables once in a while (at the moment, for instance).
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Moved from Nikon FF (D700) to m43 (E-M1). My back thanks me and my "real" camera became my "everyday" camera.
Still an RF fan when it comes to "just because" photography (including film).

Using (at the moment):
Leica M8 (B&W) with 28/2 ASPH; CV 12/5.6, Zeiss 21/2.8, CV 35/1.2, CV 50/1.5, CV 75/2.5
Leica M3 with 35/3.5; 50/2, 90/4
Mamiya 7 + 43 + 65 + 150
And a bunch of m43 lenses on the E-M1
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Old 12-29-2007   #2
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well, i am not audiophile in the sense of looking and buying the best system to play it. I am an audiophile in the sense of i can't live without music every damn day. I have something on almost always when it is possible. With the portability of todays' music, that includes ...well, almost every minute. Luckily even at work i can have it on many times.
I am listening to an excellent internet radio station non stop since last evening. It was on all night long. Sometimes i wake up and really enjoy nice background music.
It also helps, like for n overgrown kid, to have it on when i go to sleep. Sometimes i can spend an hour or two in the bed before i finally fall asleep, no matter how late i go to bed! very annoying. This is usually much reduced if i put something on.

I used to have a TESLA turntable with excellent amplifier and two great speakers when i was in school age. In the nineties. But it's too big to carry it around, i left it at home. Still works except the needle needs to be replaced. I also hooked up a technics cd player on it in the "better times". But honestly i preferred LPs for some strange reason. I don't think i could hear quality difference, but i just liked them more.
Now i'm stuck with a plain dvd player, my laptop, and a jbl "creature" amplifier-speaker system. I got the creature as a present, and i was pleasantly surprised when i unpacked and tried it out. Quite good sound for three bubbles of plastic.
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Old 12-29-2007   #3
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by the way the radio station is called Beat Blender on Soma FM. Deserves a bit of commercial, its really good.
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Old 12-29-2007   #4
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No. In fact I see audiophiles as a warning sign what happens to you if you get into gear too much.

This includes a certain attitude of "but it's really about the music" when it obviously isn't about music, but about gear - you can listen to great music on a $10 MP3 player and it will still be great music, and no $150 cable adds to or detracts from it.

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Old 12-29-2007   #5
kevin m
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I don't think you can make a sharp distinction, as your poll does, between gear lover and music lover, or gear lover and photography lover, for that matter. You need some gear to accomplish either goal, and if you're going to have gear, then you have to pay attention to it, to some degree. I think the danger lies in getting lost in the specs and losing the music, or the pictures.

I have a very humble sound system. A pair of ADS 810 speakers I bought nearly twenty years ago; an Adcom amp and preamp I bought off ebay; a Rega Planar 3 turntable and new RB-250 tonearm with a Dynavector 10x5 cartridge. I did splurge on one audiophile-type item, and that's a set of carbon fiber isolation feet for the turntable, which really work well. It's a lot of "bang for the buck" I can tell you that. My LP's have never sounded better. There's so much warmth and life in some of those old LP's that simply can't be duplicated on CD, at least not without spending a small fortune.
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Old 12-29-2007   #6
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I like good audio gear but only to a point. I wouldn't call myself an "audiophile". I'll admit I spend too much money sometimes and that I still like vinyl, but I also have an endless supply of CD's.

To some extent I see camera/lens fetishism and "audiophilia" to be almost one and the same phenomena. They are people who have been the victims of media/marketing.

It's profound technical ignorance married with hypnosis by reviews and magazines/websites.

The same people who will spend $3000 on a lens for their snapshots simply because they read that the lens will give them the "Leica Glow" is the same person who will spend $2500 on interconnects or $3000 on AC/Mains cable. (Yes, a plug that goes into the wall. Some sell for $10,000) It's simply mumbo-jumbo and self delusion, but "religious" adherents are the most voracious supporters of their cause.

Almost none of them are engineers or scientists.
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Old 12-29-2007   #7
mike goldberg
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Around 1970, or so, I bought a Sherwood receiver, which my son still uses in the business area of his home. In our living in Jerusalem, there's a Sony Superscope amp and Goodman speakers. I picked up a JVC used, for the PC room.

My parents played piano and violin, and my mother sang soprano, however non-professionally. I've loved pop music, easy listening and some classical, from early on. Now, it's smooth jazz, folk and world music.

As for gear & gadgets, I've been a gearhed since I was a teenager ;-)
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Old 12-29-2007   #8
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Not sure your meaning of audiophile, but I do have set up for home stereo and protable. I enjoy good music so collected quite a lot of SACDs, XRCDs and audiophile recordings. I spend more time on music, and really not keen in doing equipment comarisons.

Same as photography, I just stick to Zeiss and enjoy taking photographs. I really do not like to do equipment comparisons.
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Old 12-29-2007   #9
literiter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M. Valdemar
To some extent I see camera/lens fetishism and "audiophilia" to be almost one and the same phenomena. They are people who have been the victims of media/marketing.
This is certainly true. (I hope this thread doesn't descend into some kind of riot now)

I have witnessed the phenomena by watching a well off relative. He has quite a bit of time and money tied up in expensive audio gear. Much of his stuff is tube technology. It looks far more impressive than it sounds and it sounds nice. It sounds at least as good, to me, as my quite substandard hodgepodge of solid state stuff.

The irony of it is, his 60+ year old ears are a little deaf, his wife and I often must repeat ourselves. What is truly amazing that even with this disability is he has the ability to detect the difference in sound, in his amp, by replacing some .01mfd. OEM capacitors with $60.00 replacements.
I'd like to not discuss the antics the lad had with sourcing the correct tubes.

Once, in a fit of foolishness, on my part, I suggested we could set up a comparison test between systems. This is not wise. Do not suggest this, to these guys.

I think the advantage with coveting audio systems over camera systems is audio stuff is pretty well open ended. I mean you can keep buying more goodies to enhance what you have. More speakers, Biamp, triamp, audio tiles on the walls and when the wife finally moves out you get her sewing room.

With cameras; Well once you've acquired your M, how many lenses and bits can you get then? Do you see how camera stuff can be limiting? If ya wanna fetish get audio stuff.
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Old 12-29-2007   #10
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I am not an audiophille but I do like music. I have a turn table, two receivers, r to r tape deck, equilizer, and a couple of huge speakers. Thousands of records. I inherited it all from my uncle who passed away. He was a collector & loved blues music & early RnR. The other day I was going down the road and a show called Beale Street something or another was featuring a early Blues singer called Howling Wolf, and I said to my self, heck I got that!
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Old 12-29-2007   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by literiter
Do you see how camera stuff can be limiting? If ya wanna fetish get audio stuff.
You gotta be kidding. Well, I'm not a fetishist and I use or used every piece of photo equipment I have since I make my living off this. But a closet will hold a lot of Leicas for those so inclined.
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Old 12-29-2007   #12
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Quote:
Once, in a fit of foolishness, on my part, I suggested we could set up a comparison test between systems. This is not wise. Do not suggest this, to these guys.
No foolin'! Nothing like a blind test to make a true believer shout "infidel!"

It's the chasing of diminishing returns for ever greater sums of money that strikes me as, well, foolish. Whether its $10k A/C line conditioners for the audiophiles, or $5k lenses for the family snapshots, it can get pretty silly pretty fast.
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Old 12-29-2007   #13
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yes, i've been an audiophille for 10 years now. i listen to jazz and blues mainly. my current system comprises:

roksan xerxes 10 / naim aro / zyx mc with dps 1.5 p/s
frank acoustics pipit reference phono stage
naim audio nac 52
naim audio supercap
naim audio nap 180
sonus faber concerto with naim audio naca 5 speaker cables

cheers!
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Old 12-29-2007   #14
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I think for any type of "gear", be it cameras or audio, a true blind test should be the deciding factor.

NONE of the fetishists will agree to or admit the results of blind tests as conclusive. They will come up with every rationalization known to mankind to "prove" their pre-existing beliefs.
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Old 12-29-2007   #15
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I used to have a tidy little system: Linn LP12 with Akido arm and K18 cartridge, Naim Nait 2 integrated, Epos ES11 speakers on Epos stands. My CD front end was a Rotel something or other. It was a very nice package... until the divorce.
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Old 12-29-2007   #16
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no hard core audiophile but using my (to me) very good system every day to hear blues and southern rock and trying to find vinyl also from nowadays music;
oh, its a LP12 with some electronic and not wifeacceptable speakers
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Old 12-29-2007   #17
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By the way, members of the male gender in particular have an amazing and almost limitless tendency to fixate on gear whatever the endeavor: photography, music, cycling, I imagine hunters can get totally wrapped up in "stuff" and so can cooks, skiers, car enthusiasts.... the list is virtually endless.

Ok, so some women get wrapped up in clothes, and home furnishings. But, really, let's be honest, men can get totally nutso over "stuff".
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Old 12-29-2007   #18
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I've built my entire home stereo - from the tube phono pre-amp, to the 2A3 single ended triode monoblocks to the Fostex 166E single driver back loaded horns.

I think I'm as much into the technology (as old as it is) as I am in the sweet sound it makes.
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Old 12-29-2007   #19
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"Ok, so some women get wrapped up in clothes, and home furnishings. But, really, let's be honest, men can get totally nutso over "stuff""

Yep, that's absolutely true. Most women I know have wonderful earing and can easily say they like or they don't like a particular audio setup but surely they don't give a damn about how it's produced (transistors, tubes?) and they would not (there are notable exceptions, like always!) spend a lot of money to get the "small-extra" that comes with bigger bucks.

BTW, I have a friend who is admittedly like that and keeps hopping between hobbies just to get the gear. And then he moves on...

I think my "audiophilia nervosa" is not of this kind but is tied to my long standing perfeccionism. It's always possible to get a systems that will sound better, with more records, if you are willing to put the effort and the money on it. The question is always "Is it worth it?". If what you like is listening to music (and I do!) the answer is probably "No". But if you like the "learning" process (and I do!), and have the money, the answer may be "Yes", at least for a while.

BTW, and in total disagreement with some of the opinions in this thread (but respecting them nevertheless because YMMV ), I think most of the audiophiles I know are not "marketing/review/peer pressure" victims and a lot of them are enginners (so they know wire is wire). Some of them (just like RFF members) like niche products and reviews are hard to come by (try to find reviews of the Dartzeel, even on the Web, let alone a magazine...) and probably not trustable (in the sense that we are all different).

I don't regret the whole process and the money I spent, I learned a lot in the meanwhile. Some of it were to be expected ("You need to spend a lot of money in audio to learn you don't need to spend a lot of money in audio"), some a surprise (speaker cables do make a difference, even in double blind tests. And I am an engineer).

And I learned something very important: my ears are the ultimate judge and I have to trust them. Even if reviewers say it's good, even if all your friends have it, if you don't like, it's not for you.

I see nothing wrong is experimenting new cameras or new lenses. Just like I don't have a problem trying a new set of speakers (although testing new speakers in your own room tends to be more of a challenge in terms of logistics than, say, a new lens). But I begin to worry when I spend MORE time testing things than using them to hear music/take photos. And by "Music" I mean "real music " (not audiophile-grade CDs with lots of strange noises), and by "Photos" I mean "real photos" (not pictures of face-on walls or shelves or whatever we use to test lenses/cameras).

In this respect, digital was a bad movement for me. I would never dream to spend more than one roll of film to "test" a new lens (and sometimes, even developing at home, rolls accumulate and when I develop them I don't even remember what lens I was testing... ).

Moreover, I now fret with small focus misadjsutments that look terrible on "Actual pixel" view but would go very unnoticed on an 8x10 print in my lab. Sometimes I don't resist reviewing pictures on the LCD, interrupting the flow of the moment and loosing some real good shots (especially with people).

I think this thread was motivated by a desire to change things for next year and put out some public commitment on doing it... And maybe because I have been looking at more the 150 rolls of "old" B&W pictures I took (and scanned): a lot of them are unfocused, some badly exposed but, on average, much better photos than I've been making, with much beter gear...

Am I saying that we need worse gear to make better photos? No way! That would be so strange as saying that we need bad sound to listen to good music.

But I find I am getting more gear-focused than was in the past, when I should be more subject-focused. And that is something I notice in my older photos and would lke to get back. By gear-focused I don't mean I spend hours fondling my cameras, lenses and light meters (not that I have a problem with collectors: collecting cameras is as wise as collecting stamps or coins!!!).

By "gear-focused" I mean my "new" cameras get more in my way (between me and the subject) than the cameras I used before. I am more aware of focus and exposure "errors" than before and I get myself looking at a picture and thinking "wow, that's sharp" before seeing the real photo. and so on.

For me, my trajectory as a (recovering!) audiophile is a warning sign and I would really like to keep photography simple, like it used to be before I started analysing.
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Moved from Nikon FF (D700) to m43 (E-M1). My back thanks me and my "real" camera became my "everyday" camera.
Still an RF fan when it comes to "just because" photography (including film).

Using (at the moment):
Leica M8 (B&W) with 28/2 ASPH; CV 12/5.6, Zeiss 21/2.8, CV 35/1.2, CV 50/1.5, CV 75/2.5
Leica M3 with 35/3.5; 50/2, 90/4
Mamiya 7 + 43 + 65 + 150
And a bunch of m43 lenses on the E-M1
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Old 12-29-2007   #20
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Well I've always been into audio as well as cameras.
I have Martin Logan speakers, Electron Kinetics Amp and PreAmp, SOTA turntable, Clear Audio Arm and other stuff.
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Old 12-29-2007   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kevin m
I don't think you can make a sharp distinction, as your poll does, between gear lover and music lover, or gear lover and photography lover, for that matter. You need some gear to accomplish either goal, and if you're going to have gear, then you have to pay attention to it, to some degree. I think the danger lies in getting lost in the specs and losing the music, or the pictures.

I have a very humble sound system. A pair of ADS 810 speakers I bought nearly twenty years ago; an Adcom amp and preamp I bought off ebay; a Rega Planar 3 turntable and new RB-250 tonearm with a Dynavector 10x5 cartridge. I did splurge on one audiophile-type item, and that's a set of carbon fiber isolation feet for the turntable, which really work well. It's a lot of "bang for the buck" I can tell you that. My LP's have never sounded better. There's so much warmth and life in some of those old LP's that simply can't be duplicated on CD, at least not without spending a small fortune.
Yes, I know my questions are a bit "rough". But I wanted to keep it simple (maybe I simplified too much), this way we get more discussion (people tend to write something when options are not exactly what they think should be) and, most of all, I think it's not easy to draw the line and you have to do it for more elaborated options.

BTW, on the CD vs LP stuff, the bad news is that my Orbe/SME/Sumiko confortably outperforms my Reimyo, although the Reimyo is much more expensive... But I have lots of CDs on top of the LPs (that I keep buying!)...
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jvr
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Moved from Nikon FF (D700) to m43 (E-M1). My back thanks me and my "real" camera became my "everyday" camera.
Still an RF fan when it comes to "just because" photography (including film).

Using (at the moment):
Leica M8 (B&W) with 28/2 ASPH; CV 12/5.6, Zeiss 21/2.8, CV 35/1.2, CV 50/1.5, CV 75/2.5
Leica M3 with 35/3.5; 50/2, 90/4
Mamiya 7 + 43 + 65 + 150
And a bunch of m43 lenses on the E-M1
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Old 12-29-2007   #22
eric mac
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I used to follow the whole audiophile thing. Unfortunately too many concerts and not really having a dedicated area has taken its toll. My last and current setup is the "New" AR turntable with a Shure V15 cartridge, a Van Alstine diy rework of a Dynaco PAS 3, a Hafler power amp pushing a couple of the small Maggie speakers. I have a Sony generic cd player, but I pull the vinyl out when I really want to relax. I started getting in the whole cable thing, but couldn't hear the difference in the different interconnects. There is a Dynaco 70 amp waiting to have a new driver board installed and the PAS 3 needs a new selector switch. This system when it is setup right can really open up the sound of vinyl and cut the shrillness of cds. OF course there is a lot of poorly recorded albums on both vinyl and cd and no amount of equipment can help these.

Just like camera stuff there is always the battle between latest and greatest vs. the classics, but we always go back to the classics.


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Old 12-29-2007   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mllanos1111
Well I've always been into audio as well as cameras.
I have Martin Logan speakers, Electron Kinetics Amp and PreAmp, SOTA turntable, Clear Audio Arm and other stuff.
Strangely enough, the trend has been audio down, cameras up, in terms of interest. That's why I say I am recovering as an audiophile (now I listen to a ton of music, both at home, ipod and car and I don't remember changing a component or even try one in more than one year!). My fear is that my "addiction" is moving to camera gear!

On the other hand (you see, rationalizing!), lenses don't loose a lot of value, especially when you buy them SH. Now CD players, on the other hand...

BTW, I love SOTA. What do you have?
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jvr
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Moved from Nikon FF (D700) to m43 (E-M1). My back thanks me and my "real" camera became my "everyday" camera.
Still an RF fan when it comes to "just because" photography (including film).

Using (at the moment):
Leica M8 (B&W) with 28/2 ASPH; CV 12/5.6, Zeiss 21/2.8, CV 35/1.2, CV 50/1.5, CV 75/2.5
Leica M3 with 35/3.5; 50/2, 90/4
Mamiya 7 + 43 + 65 + 150
And a bunch of m43 lenses on the E-M1
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Old 12-29-2007   #24
jvr
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eric mac
I used to follow the whole audiophile thing. Unfortunately too many concerts and not really having a dedicated area has taken its toll. My last and current setup is the "New" AR turntable with a Shure V15 cartridge, a Van Alstine diy rework of a Dynaco PAS 3, a Hafler power amp pushing a couple of the small Maggie speakers. I have a Sony generic cd player, but I pull the vinyl out when I really want to relax. I started getting in the whole cable thing, but couldn't hear the difference in the different interconnects. There is a Dynaco 70 amp waiting to have a new driver board installed and the PAS 3 needs a new selector switch. This system when it is setup right can really open up the sound of vinyl and cut the shrillness of cds. OF course there is a lot of poorly recorded albums on both vinyl and cd and no amount of equipment can help these.

Just like camera stuff there is always the battle between latest and greatest vs. the classics, but we always go back to the classics.


Eric
A bit like digital vs film? Just kidding, we don't want to start a fight... But this would be an unfair comparison: CD specs were created a long time ago and good vynil (of course there is also bad vynil) sounds better. But if you listen to a good SACD recording on a good SACD player on a good system, you are in for a treat.

Digital photography has evolved incredibly, today is easir to get good quality from digital than film. If only digital audio has evolved on the same pace...
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jvr
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Moved from Nikon FF (D700) to m43 (E-M1). My back thanks me and my "real" camera became my "everyday" camera.
Still an RF fan when it comes to "just because" photography (including film).

Using (at the moment):
Leica M8 (B&W) with 28/2 ASPH; CV 12/5.6, Zeiss 21/2.8, CV 35/1.2, CV 50/1.5, CV 75/2.5
Leica M3 with 35/3.5; 50/2, 90/4
Mamiya 7 + 43 + 65 + 150
And a bunch of m43 lenses on the E-M1
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Old 12-29-2007   #25
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I'm a poor audiophile! Currently I have an Advent Model 300 hooked up to my ever-present Tannoy PBM 6.5's. I was a working musician/hobbyist as well as an engineer for many years and am very comfortable with the way my speakers sound, and know a great mix when I hear it. I get excited by production and still chase a few producers and will listen to most everything they put out because I really appreciate a good mix. I am of the notion that Pro-Tools and MP3's have somewhat ruined the quality of alot of music, and feel if i had the room, dollars and inclination I would have a serious audiophile system. It's a good thing I don't!
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Old 12-29-2007   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dpetrzelka
I've built my entire home stereo - from the tube phono pre-amp, to the 2A3 single ended triode monoblocks to the Fostex 166E single driver back loaded horns.

I think I'm as much into the technology (as old as it is) as I am in the sweet sound it makes.
Never went down the DYI way, I know there is no turning back...

In the past I also had a Audio Innovations First Audio with 2A3 tubes (7.5W) into a pair of small Triangle speakers on a very small room. Sound was marvellous but one of the 2A3 developed a crack (chinese, I was told) and the amp started fuming. It went to repair and never came back, I was refunded... I had several tube amps since but I still remember the sound of the 2A3s...
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Old 12-29-2007   #27
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As in photography, I recognize that the gear can make a difference in the results obtained, and understand the whys and hows. For this reason I would call myself an audiophile - not because I have simply spent exorbitant sums on the latest and greatest gear hyped in TAS or Stereophile.

Like kevin m (who is also an audiophile - whether he will admit it ot not ) I consider my system modest. But it is bi-amped, parts of it burn vintage tubes, and parts of it I designed and built. And although my ears are aging about as well as my eyes, I can still hear the difference between LPs and CDs on this system, and some crappy low bitrate MP3 played through $200 earbuds.

Truth be told, I am better founded in sonics than in optics, and have probably spent my hobbyist budget on audio gear to better effect than I have on my photo gear .

- John
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Old 12-29-2007   #28
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I like to consider myself appreciative of the technical aspects of music, if that's what your asking.

I don't have too much in the way of gear, just an old Sony turntable (with a pretty nice Stanton cartridge, though), a Yamaha 2020 amp, and a pair of my dad's Bose 301s.
I love my headphones, too (a pair of Grado SR80s. Best headphones ever, short of a few $500+ pairs). They just make music more enjoyable, allowing little nuances that other cans can't render to be heard.
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Old 12-29-2007   #29
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I was a record collector since the age of 12 yrs old. I have a passable (by my standards anyway, sound system). It's all off the shelf stuff. Yamaha, old (they're about 20 years old and have been re-coned) RSL speakers w/ 16 in woofers. The EQ stopped working years ago so I never replaced it. I'm now in the process of getting the records together for sale/trade. Will probably put the money into photo/darkroom stuff. I may hang on to some of the bootlegs just for old time's sake. Everything else can be had on CD now. Cd's are nice, but all the re-issues have taken the fun out of record collecting. The only thing I collect seriously now are photographic prints. Comparing specs of either camera gear or audio equip doesn't interest me. I use what I like and listen what sounds good. After a certain point, I can't tell the difference.
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Old 12-29-2007   #30
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p.s. I do like the sound of LP's, but the convenience and robustness of Cd's are irresistable. I've not been completely swayed by Digital phtography.
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Old 12-29-2007   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by foto_fool
As in photography, I recognize that the gear can make a difference in the results obtained, and understand the whys and hows. For this reason I would call myself an audiophile - not because I have simply spent exorbitant sums on the latest and greatest gear hyped in TAS or Stereophile.

Like kevin m (who is also an audiophile - whether he will admit it ot not ) I consider my system modest. But it is bi-amped, parts of it burn vintage tubes, and parts of it I designed and built. And although my ears are aging about as well as my eyes, I can still hear the difference between LPs and CDs on this system, and some crappy low bitrate MP3 played through $200 earbuds.

Truth be told, I am better founded in sonics than in optics, and have probably spent my hobbyist budget on audio gear to better effect than I have on my photo gear .

- John
I think your point is well taken (not that I wanted to imply otherwise on the poll!): I don't consider someone a "audiophile" just because s/he spends a huge amout of money on a audio system (BTW, I know a few of those, they are the dream of audio dealers, auto dealers or whatever-dealers: "Hey, I want the best there is, so just give me the most expensive stuff you have there. Here's the credit card. Hey, speakers have to be blue, to match my living room!")

As the word suggests , an "audiophile" is someone who likes or enjoys (ok, probably, maybe in a just-a-little-tiny-bit-over-the-normal way... ) "audio". That has much more to do with attitude (including when listening to music) than the moeny we spend on it.

Of course, to be considered a full-fledge audiophile _nut_ (but that's another poll... ) you will have to spend a significant part of your free money on audio AND have problems with your wife/husband because of the gear on the living room...

I think you audiophiles out there know exactly what I'm talking about, even the ones that are a bit too shy to come out and assume...
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Moved from Nikon FF (D700) to m43 (E-M1). My back thanks me and my "real" camera became my "everyday" camera.
Still an RF fan when it comes to "just because" photography (including film).

Using (at the moment):
Leica M8 (B&W) with 28/2 ASPH; CV 12/5.6, Zeiss 21/2.8, CV 35/1.2, CV 50/1.5, CV 75/2.5
Leica M3 with 35/3.5; 50/2, 90/4
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And a bunch of m43 lenses on the E-M1
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Old 12-29-2007   #32
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Quote:
Like kevin m (who is also an audiophile - whether he will admit it ot not ) I consider my system modest. But it is bi-amped, parts of it burn vintage tubes, and parts of it I designed and built. And although my ears are aging about as well as my eyes, I can still hear the difference between LPs and CDs on this system, and some crappy low bitrate MP3 played through $200 earbuds.
OK, if being an audiophile means "I like good sound," then I'm an audiophile. I just don't want to spend an evening yakking about "oxygen free speaker cable" that's all.

Just like the "film v. digital" debate, there are times when well-recorded CD's are better than LP's, too. I think classical music benefits from the lack of background noise CD's provide, but, again, you have to pay a bit of money to get a CD player that sounds.... I don't know, "musical." For rock music, LP's are the way to go. So much cheap, good sounding used vinyl is out there, much of it unavailable on CD's or badly transferred, and so many new pressings!

This: http://www.musicdirect.com/ is where I usually order my new vinyl, and I've been shocked at how good the quality of new, clean vinyl can be.
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Old 12-29-2007   #33
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I love music. I appreciate good audio gear but nowhere close to the same level as I appreciate good photography gear. I'm holding off a bit before purchasing some nice audio gear but when I do I probably won't spend a fortune on it. I'm leaning toward a basic system with an Almarro A318B integrated tubed amp and Almarro M3A speakers. At the moment, I listen to music right off my computer using an M-Audio Firewire Audiophile and Grado SR80 headphones. Very low priced but sounds great. I also bought HiVi/Swans T120 speaker system for the computer. They sound amazing for computer speakers and better than any other computer speaker systems I've ever heard however I still prefer listening with the Grados. 50% of my listening is Portuguese Fado and Spanish Flamenco music. The other 50% is pretty much a mix of everything.
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Old 12-29-2007   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by erikhaugsby
I like to consider myself appreciative of the technical aspects of music, if that's what your asking.

I don't have too much in the way of gear, just an old Sony turntable (with a pretty nice Stanton cartridge, though), a Yamaha 2020 amp, and a pair of my dad's Bose 301s.
I love my headphones, too (a pair of Grado SR80s. Best headphones ever, short of a few $500+ pairs). They just make music more enjoyable, allowing little nuances that other cans can't render to be heard.
Nope, "technical aspects of music" makes you a "musicophile", not an audiophile, sorry! I guess when you talk about "technical aspects of music" you mean interpretation, players technique or emotion, etc.

A "real" audiophile would fret about transparency, soundstage, dynamics, extension, tonal colors, effortlessness, etc (well, a good sign of cure is that I'm out of audiophile expressions!). It does not have to be music, garage sounds, dogs barking or just a good stereo recording of children playing in the park will do.

I think there is no analog term for people who (just) worry about sharpness, global and local contrast, focusing, correct exposure, monitor calibrations, absolute hue and tint, MTF graphs, lens diagrams, etc. I would use "image-o-phile" as an opposite of "photophile".

We can be both, of course, and a bit of each is needed to make good music / photos: if the medium is not "correct", the message will not get through.

I may be wrong (or don't have sampled enough photographers) but I suspect "audiophila extremis" is much more common than "image-o-philia extremis". At least I know some guys (and they are really "guys", no gal... ) who have wonderful equipment but only own 3 or 4 CDs and they are all demo stuff...

Again, this is a different attitude from the collector. I also know a few audo collectors but it's a very expensive and very space-robbing collectionism...
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Moved from Nikon FF (D700) to m43 (E-M1). My back thanks me and my "real" camera became my "everyday" camera.
Still an RF fan when it comes to "just because" photography (including film).

Using (at the moment):
Leica M8 (B&W) with 28/2 ASPH; CV 12/5.6, Zeiss 21/2.8, CV 35/1.2, CV 50/1.5, CV 75/2.5
Leica M3 with 35/3.5; 50/2, 90/4
Mamiya 7 + 43 + 65 + 150
And a bunch of m43 lenses on the E-M1
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Old 12-29-2007   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kevin m
OK, if being an audiophile means "I like good sound," then I'm an audiophile. I just don't want to spend an evening yakking about "oxygen free speaker cable" that's all.

Just like the "film v. digital" debate, there are times when well-recorded CD's are better than LP's, too. I think classical music benefits from the lack of background noise CD's provide, but, again, you have to pay a bit of money to get a CD player that sounds.... I don't know, "musical." For rock music, LP's are the way to go. So much cheap, good sounding used vinyl is out there, much of it unavailable on CD's or badly transferred, and so many new pressings!

This: http://www.musicdirect.com/ is where I usually order my new vinyl, and I've been shocked at how good the quality of new, clean vinyl can be.
If you like "good sound", then you are an audiophile... If you don't like the "oxygen free" hype, you are an intelligent person... That makes you an "intelligent audiophile", the species audio dealers most fear... If you have good earing, they'll probably hate you, espcially when you come up in the middle of a demo and say "Hey, this sounds like crap!"

Rgd LPs, sometimes I feel happy it became a "purist" medium: most new pressings are really good, they don't have to cut corners anymore AND they know we will pay for it...
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Moved from Nikon FF (D700) to m43 (E-M1). My back thanks me and my "real" camera became my "everyday" camera.
Still an RF fan when it comes to "just because" photography (including film).

Using (at the moment):
Leica M8 (B&W) with 28/2 ASPH; CV 12/5.6, Zeiss 21/2.8, CV 35/1.2, CV 50/1.5, CV 75/2.5
Leica M3 with 35/3.5; 50/2, 90/4
Mamiya 7 + 43 + 65 + 150
And a bunch of m43 lenses on the E-M1
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Old 12-29-2007   #36
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Rgd LPs, sometimes I feel happy it became a "purist" medium: most new pressings are really good, they don't have to cut corners anymore AND they know we will pay for it...
Which is exactly the argument I was making about the future of film in the "film is dead" thread, to no avail.
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Old 12-29-2007   #37
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I love classical, jazz and female voice.
But my gear doesn't qualify me as an audiophile in the sense defined above.
Just old stuff: Audiolab 8000, Onkyo Integra CD player, Mission speakers and proper cables.
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Old 12-29-2007   #38
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Like vintage camera's I enjoy vintage sound staging as well...there is something about the tactile rituals of both manually focus an image and preparing some vintage vinyl for playback on a classic sound system. I like the gear to look at but it is really about the listening experience.

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Old 12-29-2007   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dpetrzelka
I've built my entire home stereo - from the tube phono pre-amp, to the 2A3 single ended triode monoblocks to the Fostex 166E single driver back loaded horns.

I think I'm as much into the technology (as old as it is) as I am in the sweet sound it makes.
Back in my old days of audio there was Heathkit. You could pay an exorbitant amount of money to build it yourself. Franky, I loved it.

I think that you are saying you built your equipment from scratch, like, with soldering iron, wire cutters, and hole punch. If you are, then you have much to be proud of indeed. This is where the idea of building your own system really takes off. (my opinion)

In the past I worked on tube equipment a fair amount. More recently I've considered building my own stuff from scratch but the time, expense and high plate voltages always makes me reconsider.
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Old 12-29-2007   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kevin m
Which is exactly the argument I was making about the future of film in the "film is dead" thread, to no avail.
Well, I missed the thread but I agree with you! And with the Web, customers and producers will easily find each other, if you are prepared to pay the price. LPs have been getting more and more expensive. And I don't mean ratities or collectibles...

I still have, at least, a ratio of 1:3 rgd CD/LP. On photos, digital/film ratio is going to digital at an alarming rate, even when including all my slides, B&W and color films (and they are a lot! I'm now in the middle of scanning almost 200 rolls of color negs, after more than 10k slides and 200+ rolls of B&W and I'm getting tired!).
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Moved from Nikon FF (D700) to m43 (E-M1). My back thanks me and my "real" camera became my "everyday" camera.
Still an RF fan when it comes to "just because" photography (including film).

Using (at the moment):
Leica M8 (B&W) with 28/2 ASPH; CV 12/5.6, Zeiss 21/2.8, CV 35/1.2, CV 50/1.5, CV 75/2.5
Leica M3 with 35/3.5; 50/2, 90/4
Mamiya 7 + 43 + 65 + 150
And a bunch of m43 lenses on the E-M1
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