Am I just not cut out to be an audiophile?
May 27, 2017 at 11:13 AM Post #46 of 76

musichal

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I agree with those who say experience is likely the issue, rather than the OP's hearing acuity. The best way for me to compare audio gear is to listen to music and try not to constantly analyze what I'm hearing. If the headphone (or speaker or amp or...) won't let me forget about sound and transport me to music emotionally, then I try a different model. After all, that is the real goal. Takes some time, using multiple genres - simply listening and allowing music to reveal my cuppa-joe.

Switching components back and forth quickly doesn't work well for me. I listen to one for a good while, then the other likewise.
 
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May 27, 2017 at 11:36 AM Post #47 of 76

Whazzzup

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To me dacs do provide different abilities to discern bass slam, mid detail ( this is where the bulk of the magic happens) and sound stage width.
Amplifiers to me, the best ( in my case gsx mk2) are protraying the conversion exactly as it was intended. While they offer bloom the amp should not even be noticed. True wire and gain. This initself produces the delema if I don't notice it, is it doing anything and is it beneficial or necessary. The answer is of course yes, with the caveat of the can and ohm demands or efficiency.
In these cases differentiating cans and iem becomes easier as they are producing different auditory hues and colors. Your preference can dictate which you like.
In the end don't feel bad or good about it, just follow your ears.
 
May 27, 2017 at 12:25 PM Post #48 of 76

Whitigir

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Ok, the experiences you have will determine how much of a bich you are in this kind of hobby, and I wouldn't call that being an audiophile at all. To me, audiophile is where they love music and keeps on enjoying music without too much biching about gears, or hunting for much more expensive pieces.

Anyways, the more you listen to, the more you will be buching toward the hobby, and that is how it progress. That is why people call it "experiences"

At the end of the day, you keep progressing until you find your peace of mind with your gears, performances, and so on that you no longer bich about anymore. That is the end goal, and people call it satisfactions.

And no, music is music, a beat, a note, a string pull will sound like music. Ofcourse different equipments has different way to express them. You will have to find yourself in a position of what and which way it is going to satisfy you. Otherwise, if you can't understand yourself, then no one can help you, and that is nothing like you say "am I not made out to be an audiophile ?"

Just like any hobby, you have to know what you want. See, even cars, they simply get you from point A to B, and all is just moving boxes, why do some people get obsessed ? Photography, robotic.....adventures....etc...they are all the same....the matter is how much you bich about it and what can satisfy you.

The one thing I do know is that the more you are into a hobby, the more you will bich about it. The same as love, and that is why family is a bich...LoL
 
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May 27, 2017 at 4:18 PM Post #49 of 76

HBen

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Sounds like a typical "ignorance is bliss"-type of situation.

Be happy with some good (not too expensive) headphones and enjoy your music. You saved so much money and time - run and don't look back :)
 
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May 27, 2017 at 5:30 PM Post #50 of 76

Little Bear

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If you didn't hear differences in the amps or between LCD-2 and LCD-3, it just means you haven't hung around here long enough to drink the kool-aid. I actually think slight differences between the 2 and 3 should be apparent if you listen carefully for long enough and with the right material, but if I'm right about that, it just underscores the facts that A) $1k can buy an end game headphone, and B) spending an additional $1k for the next model up is going to net you the most miniscule of differences (notice I did not say improvements, as improvements are in the ear of the beholder). Think how much music that $1k could buy instead.
 
May 27, 2017 at 10:50 PM Post #52 of 76

serman005

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If you didn't hear differences in the amps or between LCD-2 and LCD-3, it just means you haven't hung around here long enough to drink the kool-aid. I actually think slight differences between the 2 and 3 should be apparent if you listen carefully for long enough and with the right material, but if I'm right about that, it just underscores the facts that A) $1k can buy an end game headphone, and B) spending an additional $1k for the next model up is going to net you the most miniscule of differences (notice I did not say improvements, as improvements are in the ear of the beholder). Think how much music that $1k could buy instead.
Diminishing returns are a b&%^h.
 
May 27, 2017 at 11:18 PM Post #53 of 76

Contrails

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A good friend gave me a great definition for an Audiophile, 'Someone who uses music to listen to his gear'. I have been guilty of doing this. Guilty of chasing the 'if it costs more, must be better' principle.

Working as a pilot, the only luxuries onboard the plane is the coffee machine and the NDB (Non-directional Beacon) radio. We can sometimes pickup certain AM radio stations. I have a few of the frequencies written down for the Classic Rock ones. The sound quality is absolutely shocking. Lots of interference and really low quality stuff. Add to that our Headsets ain't exactly HD800 level. But I still thoroughly enjoy the music. And when I really listen to it, all the interference just disappears.
 
May 28, 2017 at 4:27 PM Post #54 of 76

ahmadfaizadnan

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A good friend gave me a great definition for an Audiophile, 'Someone who uses music to listen to his gear'. I have been guilty of doing this. Guilty of chasing the 'if it costs more, must be better' principle.

I somehow feel that this is true. But, the better gear does allow me to enjoy the music more. Even with the same song I listen to years ago, feels new with a better gear :darthsmile:
 
May 28, 2017 at 4:36 PM Post #55 of 76

Little Bear

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IMO, more than gear or music, it's sound. What defines an audiophile is the pursuit of great sound quality.
 
May 28, 2017 at 5:39 PM Post #56 of 76

Contrails

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What defines an audiophile is the pursuit of great sound quality.

I do agree with you there but 'Great sound quality' begins with well recorded stuff. But not all music is recorded equally. Some good music that is not that recorded well would sound horrible on uber systems. It's a double edged sword indeed.
 
May 28, 2017 at 9:01 PM Post #57 of 76

Nicholas Seltzer

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Are my ears just not sensitive enough to be an audiophile? What am I supposed to be listening for? Or is it really that the entire hobby just about obsessing over that 1% difference?

No, being an audiophile isn't about obsessing over that last 1%--though sometimes it seems that way. Ultimately we're all hear because we love the music. Better gear helps us to appreciate it in richer, fuller ways--or sometimes just in different ways. And it takes time. There isn't anything wrong with your ears but it can take time for your brain to become sensitive to a lot of this stuff. There's a learning curve--and I'm not just talking about all that strange jargon of sound description--the distinctions are real but there is a learning curve. Kind of like how for a rando walking into a museum to look at paintings they all kind of look the same, but to an art historian there are so many more layers of information. Or--and this is a bit of a terrible example but intuitive--you know how kind people from another part of the world witch which you are unfamiliar all kind of "look the same"? Well, it's because you aren't as familiar. Most white Americans sort of think all Asian nationalities look the same, or are unable to tell them apart, but for Asians in Asia the differences are right here and obvious. Again, terrible example but I only use it because I know most of us humans will understand it.
 
May 28, 2017 at 9:57 PM Post #58 of 76

castleofargh

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the assumption that if we prefer something then it is of superior quality has roots deep in audio ideologies, but is it justified? IMO it's like adding ketchup to some food. someone will judge you for doing it, the usual prisoner of some social code who wishes for everybody else to stand proud in the same jail he built in his mind. but if the purpose is to enjoy the experience, and you enjoy it more with ketchup, I say go ahead and enjoy.
if you enjoy music the most in your car with the windows down, shouting along some horrible system with even worst acoustic and too much engine noises, what's wrong with that? is that not audiophile? what part are we discussing, audio or phile?

I don't know for you guys, but when I think back on some significant moments in my audio life, the memories coming back to me have very little to do with the gears. sure I remember what I was using but that's not why I remember that moment. sometimes it's related to where and what I was doing, sometimes it's related to the song. often it's that magical moment where both were somehow significant. the gear used were just tools, I'm glad I had them but I would probably still remember it with the same emotion if I had used different gears.
in my case, getting objectively improved fidelity resulted in me having to change my taste a little as some genres I like are typically recorded with an empty can and a string(some old punk rock and stuff like that). listening to those with high fidelity isn't a lot of fun TBH. that's why I mentioned the car thing. I have playlists of stuff I avoid like a plague on good gear, and that's particularly true with headphones. somehow I always feel like speakers and the room offer some little reverb and acoustic that makes everything easier to enjoy. but in a car, all my old favorite punk stuff, and modern rejects who were never told about the 0dB limit on digital media(black eyed peas, imagine dragons...), become a lot of fun. on the other end, music with great dynamic kind of sucks in a car. I either listen way too loud and that's not a good idea, or miss half the sounds. I gave up on classical music under such conditions, instead it's a genre that does work well with clean gears and quiet environment.

but maybe I'm mistaken about the meaning of being an audiophile, and the true meaning is to take everything seriously and make a big deal of any small detail? ^_^
 
May 28, 2017 at 10:25 PM Post #59 of 76

Little Bear

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music with great dynamic kind of sucks in a car. I either listen way too loud and that's not a good idea, or miss half the sounds. I gave up on classical music under such conditions, instead it's a genre that does work well with clean gears and quiet environment.

Symphonies and other large scale works don't work so well in a car unless the interior is super quiet, but I've found chamber music and solo piano to be great. String quartet, for instance. The crescendos don't get too loud.
 
May 28, 2017 at 11:48 PM Post #60 of 76

Music Alchemist

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Although the word "audiophile" etymologically implies "music lover", it was originally a term coined in 1951 in High Fidelity magazine to refer to, as Dictionary.com puts it, "a person who is especially interested in high-fidelity sound reproduction."

The way I see it, there are two types of audiophiles, both of whom are interested in high fidelity equipment to more accurately reproduce recordings.

The most "pure" audiophile would only be interested in high fidelity acoustic recordings that are truer to life. However, I feel that this is a very limiting, narrow-minded approach, as it ignores a significant percentage (if not the vast majority) of music.

I am an audiophile in the more broad (but still denotative) sense: I want to get closer to reproducing the recording accurately, but the recording itself need not be high fidelity. I believe most audiophiles fall under this category, though many may nevertheless lean toward a purist philosophy.

So the first type would be about high fidelity reproduction of the original performance as heard in real life whereas the second would be about high fidelity reproduction of all recordings regardless of how true to life they are in the first place.

Many people call themselves audiophiles but are not primarily interested in high fidelity, and instead simply want to enjoy music in their own way. "Music lover" is one term commonly proposed to refer to this category. However, we are all lovers of music as far as I can tell, so it's not specific enough. Plus there's the fact that plenty of dedicated audiophiles may enjoy using a more colored system from time to time. There are certainly grey areas here.

Descending into more controversial waters... (And I will refrain from labeling these categories, as it would merely spark more fruitless debates.)

Some who claim to be interested in high fidelity are not serious about it and end up shooting themselves in the foot by assuming so-and-so can't be more audibly accurate and so on, jumping to speculative conclusions without ever bothering to spend time actually listening. The end result is that they are stuck with equipment that doesn't come close to what audiophile gear is capable of, and on top of that, they lead others down that dead end by spreading misinformation. In many cases, the equipment sounds downright awful compared to their true high fidelity counterparts, but too many will never get to experience that due to being willfully frozen in a fantasy world of false theory.

Then there are those who use particularly colored equipment, yet insist they are audiophiles. I think this should be given a different name, since it involves intentionally pursuing lower fidelity...but I'm not sure what.

Having said all that, in the end, we're all here for the music. (Among other things.) It's totally fine to be a casual audiophile and attain a reasonable degree of fidelity without spending a whole lot. In some cases, the cheaper stuff can be better anyway. I may be on the extreme end of the spectrum when it comes to all the things I'm interested in, but that path is certainly not necessary to reach the goal of enhancing your enjoyment of music.
 
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