"audiophilia nervosa Audiophilia nervosa describes the anxiety resulting from the never-ending quest to obtain the ultimate performance from one's stereo system by means of employing state-of-the-art components, cables, and the use of certain "tweaks." Although the goal is supposedly to achieve maximum appreciation of the music, those afflicted with this condition are merely obsesed with their electronics. Todd had spent well over $100,000 in speakers,monoblock amplifiers, fiber optic cables, Shakti stones, pre-amolifiers, and other equipment and tweaks. And yet he still wasn't convinced that Diana Krall's voice sounded "silky" enough. Todd was in deep denial concerning his audiophilia nervosa, and his wife was on the verge of calling a divorce lawyer. by whimzzical June 18, 2010" Source: Urban Dictionary "Do you suffer from Audiophilia nervosa, that dreaded disease afflicting long-time readers of Stereophile, The Abso!ute Sound, Hi-Fi News & Record Review, and various other sordid high-end rags? Well, take heart, my friends---relief is on the way. But before treatment can begin, as with all illnesses, proper diagnosis is of paramount importance. To help facilitate this, I have compiled a set of multiple-choice questions. Please take the time to read through these carefully, and jot down your best-guess response from the choices below... 3) You have just dropped a wad of money on the latest D/A processor, the one which has received the ultimate accolades in the high-end press. Now your dealer informs you of a pending update which finally makes this processor sound "just like analog" (which he's been saying about each D/A to come down the pike for the last two years). How do you respond to this news? a) You rush home to call the manufacturer to make arrangements to send your unit in for an update, only to find out it's been updated two times since you bought it, and the cost to keep up means you'll have to put off that new-car purchase another year. b) You rush home to call the manufacturer to tell them how pissed you are that they should crank out these expensive updates, practically at the drop of a hat, and that no one in their right mind could attempt to keep up with this nonsense. Then you make arrangements to send in your unit to have it upgraded. c) You listen to a friend's $500 turntable front-end and realize just how badly you've been had with all this state-of-the-art digital technology, and out of frustration with the whole high-end endeavor, you sell off all of your equipment. The money you get, although about one third what you paid for it all, is still enough to subsidize you and your spouse's early retirement to a remote island in Hawaii, where the only sounds of any consequence are the waves crashing upon the shore (but what liquidity!)." Source: Stereophile ------------------------------------- Seriously, though, this is why I weigh objective data so highly: it has saved me from tweaker hell more than once. Mistakes I have made: "I should get into high resolution audio!" Got the gear to play high resolution files natively. Tweaked my playback set up to accommodate varying bitrates on the fly. Upgraded the network and storage to handle the fatter files. Spent a ton of money on high resolution downloads. Man, this was starting to turn into a real hassle... Finally did a long self-administered ABX test. Net result: I can't tell the difference, standard resolution is fine for me. Gains: massive money, less neurotic obsessing over bitrates, more time listening to music "I should get into native DSD listening!" I used to be really into SACD, back when it was the only game in town for high resolution. Had an Oppo Universal player, several hundred SACDs. When DSD-capable DACs came into the market, I got one (back when they used to be rare and somewhat expensive, unlike now). Then I got a bunch of DSD-native files (although this time I didn't spend nearly as much as I wasted on high resolution). Then I had to start futzing with the limited amount of playback software....oh and you can't stream it....oh, you can, but it has to be converted to PCM on the fly first....garrrggggghhhh....so it's only for local listening? I haven't done an ABX test on DSD, so don't know if it would pass or fail. But then I realized that the majority of DSD files I have were mastered in PCM, then distributed in DSD. So they're just effectively PCM transcoded to DSD. What's the point in that? Might as well decimate them back to PCM and at least get something more convenient and portable. So I did. Bye bye DSD. Gains: money saved, got rid of a format with no real benefits and lots of inconvenience "I should get into tube rolling!" Wasted several hundred dollars on tubes (at least not thousands like some). On my analog rig, I still use them. However, I had my wife help me do some blind testing. Blind testing tubes isn't very hard...they're so blatantly distorted it's pretty easy. The verdict? I prefer modern "reissues" ($20-50/pair) to vintage, NOS tubes (crazy prices). Oh, and that special pair of cryotreated Sovteks? I can 't tell them from the regular ones. Lastly, on the desktop rig, which is sourced from a Mac Mini, I can emulate tubes in software. Win! Verdict: I'm still into tube rolling. But I'm trying to cut back. And at least I know I like the cheap stuff. "You should get a [blank]! It will increase the [warmth / soundstage depth / air / detail] of your phones / speakers!" I can do pretty much all of that audiophile flavoring via DSP using PEQ. In my living room I use an OpenDRC-DI from MiniDSP (~$350-400). On my Mac, it's in software. ------------------------------------- I won't say I'm completely cured. I still get upgrade-itis. I still like having nice toys that are cool to look at. I like having visitors appreciate my sound system, both sonically and visually. But I feel that becoming a lot more objectivist has freed me from the worst symptoms of audiophile nervosa, has saved me from the death spiral of tweaker hell. This leaves me more time to listen to music instead of listening to gear.