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How to not be an audiophile

post #1 of 64
Thread Starter 

So you came over here looking for ways to improve the sound of your system but after looking around a bit you find that it's kind of easy to become obsessed with this stuff.  You're noticing that audiophilia is a disease, and a very expensive one.  My advice is to set some ground rules for yourself and stick to them as long as you can.  Here are mine:

 

1) Stick to 256k mp3s.  These are the files you've already got.  They can sound awesome.  Resist the urge to even try some hidef. You will receive offers to try out hidef files for free.  Ignore them. 

 

2) Stick to $200 headphones.  There are plenty of great $200 headphones.  I want to try them all.  That's another problem.

 

3) Since I use a Surface 2, I'm sticking to portable, USB powered DAC-Amps, also under $200.  This is an interesting segment of the market with great new products arriving every 6 months. Possibly yet another problem.

 

I know it's tough to stick to these limits.  About a week ago I became obsessed with getting some HD650s and a Bottlehead Crack.  Fortunately, a quick look at my credit card balance brought me back from the edge.

 

Good luck and good (enough) listening.

post #2 of 64

Is saving over time - to eventually get what you want - not an option?  It used to be the go-to method when I was growing up.  What about buying used? ;)

 

If you discount electrostatics and the purchase of a PC, you can have a literally world-class headphone system for maybe $2,000 or less.  There are very few hobbies/occupations where you can achieve that for that small of an investment.

 

Or, never plan ahead with anything and stick with your 256K mp3's.

post #3 of 64
Thread Starter 
Sorry to have offended. Just trying to amuse. It's interesting how often that doesn't work out. I should give it up.
post #4 of 64

It's definitely easy to get obsessed. You're right about that. Kudos to you for realizing your budget limits. 

There is an easy fix for #1! :evil:

post #5 of 64

I joined yesterday... and I cant seem to stop reading.

 

My new Bose QC20 (for Android) is what brought me here.  I spent 300 dollars on a noise canceling feature that I really don't need.  now I'm in search for a replacement that will live up to my heavy metal standards.  

 

I guess i never realized how potent this hobby was until i checked out this forum. 

post #6 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by CharlesC View Post

Sorry to have offended. Just trying to amuse. It's interesting how often that doesn't work out. I should give it up.


Maybe you shouldn't be so sensitive - although, coming on here and advising to stick with 256K mp3's was a bit over-the-top. ;) 

post #7 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by CharlesC View Post
 

So you came over here looking for ways to improve the sound of your system but after looking around a bit you find that it's kind of easy to become obsessed with this stuff.  You're noticing that audiophilia is a disease, and a very expensive one.  My advice is to set some ground rules for yourself and stick to them as long as you can.  Here are mine:

 

1) Stick to 256k mp3s.  These are the files you've already got.  They can sound awesome.  Resist the urge to even try some hidef. You will receive offers to try out hidef files for free.  Ignore them. 

 

2) Stick to $200 headphones.  There are plenty of great $200 headphones.  I want to try them all.  That's another problem.

 

3) Since I use a Surface 2, I'm sticking to portable, USB powered DAC-Amps, also under $200.  This is an interesting segment of the market with great new products arriving every 6 months. Possibly yet another problem.

 

I know it's tough to stick to these limits.  About a week ago I became obsessed with getting some HD650s and a Bottlehead Crack.  Fortunately, a quick look at my credit card balance brought me back from the edge.

 

Good luck and good (enough) listening.

 

Look at my join date. I started with Q701 when I first joined, and 2 months later I can't help but to get an HD800, and probably going for an amp upgrade as well within next month :p

 

You are right about one thing though, I do admit audiophilia is a disease. At times I do think of the time when I was an ignorant of audio quality and just listen to music with whatever available anywhere I was. Now I can't even listen to my B&W C5 anymore, seems like ignorance truly is a bliss.

post #8 of 64

Yeah it's pretty addictive. I went from Ultrasone Pro 900 with Fiio E10 to Hifiman HE-500 with Schiit Lyr/Bifrost and upgraded cables, way too expensive tubes and whatever more in a couple of months. Had 8, 9 or 10 different headphones the past few months. But it was fun :tongue_smile:

 

Now I'm done though and I'm very happy with it. Just stick with what you really really like. :L3000:  Oh and I'm getting the Denon D5000 next week since I obviously need a closed can, right?! Maybe also buy a portable dac/amp like the Audioquest Dragonfly because it could come in handy.. And maybe a portable pair for when I go grocery shopping. Aaaarrrrgghhh

post #9 of 64
Thread Starter 

Well, I'm very sorry I got to all you guys too late.  Maybe there are still some souls to be saved. And did the original post sound a little like a man trying to convince himself?

post #10 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by CharlesC View Post
 

Well, I'm very sorry I got to all you guys too late.  Maybe there are still some souls to be saved. And did the original post sound a little like a man trying to convince himself?

Come to the dark side we have FLAC. :deadhorse:

post #11 of 64
Hehe, it's definitely too late for me...
post #12 of 64

It isn't my home setup that worries me: I have control over that. What worries me is that I started noticing the sound in stores, diners, banks. And if it's bad, I want to make like a preacher and get the hell outta there! Can't always leave though.

post #13 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by Claritas View Post
 

It isn't my home setup that worries me: I have control over that. What worries me is that I started noticing the sound in stores, diners, banks. And if it's bad, I want to make like a preacher and get the hell outta there! Can't always leave though.

Thankfully I'm not there yet. My brother is strating a lifestylestore where there is some music in the background all day long. I actually recommended some Sonos (with the Bridge) because it's convenient. You don't need the best sound ALWAYS ;)

post #14 of 64

I like the idea CharlesC. It's a worthwhile one to have anyone on a budget read (i.e. students like myself!) Although, I'd change your first rule to 320k files. Mp3 in general is pretty safe. It's when we start trying to spend money on lossless or hi-res music, or if you're like me, trying to rustle up all of your old CDs to re-rip into FLAC (ended up going back to 320 for convenience across players).

 

All of my setups hit right around the $200-300 mark and I think they sound excellent. My main portable rig was had for about $200 even, I use a Dragonfly for my laptop ($99), a Little Dot 1+ and ODAC variation when I'm at home (~$220), and none of the headphones I currently own 1. were bought new and 2. cost me more than $150. And at one point I had both the HD600 and 650!

post #15 of 64
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Claritas View Post
 

It isn't my home setup that worries me: I have control over that. What worries me is that I started noticing the sound in stores, diners, banks. And if it's bad, I want to make like a preacher and get the hell outta there! Can't always leave though.


I used to enjoy listening to music in my car.  No more.  Now I drive in silence.  Guess I'll need a new car now.

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