I'm not an audiophile
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kelly

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I'm posting this message in response to Macdef thinking it somewhat ridiculous that I'd make such a claim.

"I'm not an audiophile."

And so... let me describe what an audiophile is, in my personal interpretation. I've known audiophiles. I have no problem with them and I don't consider it an insult to be called one. The word audiophile should be self describing but it seems insufficient. One who loves audio right? But it's not so simple.

I know people who know the essence of every note of a song by some of their favorite artists, but they're not audiophiles. I know people with absolute perfect pitch but still... not audiophiles. I know people who could win every single contest of trivia on any given radio station... and still, they're not audiophiles either.

Now let me give a little warning here--I'm not saying "all audiophiles are..." and given thing and I'm not saying there's no crossover or that you can't be both or a blend or a mutant or a turtle in an owl's body or whatever you think you are, it's cool. I'm down with the "don't label me crowd." If you don't wanna be in the group, just try to sit back and read my ramble objectively. I'm not necessarily talking about you.

But surely you've met people who... Really, really like audio equipment. They always have the latest Stereophile or whatever other magazine and can talk about the reviewers the way some people talk about movie stars. They can spend entire weekends cruising from audio shop to audio shop and never really be satiated.

Most of these guys have turntables. To tell you the truth, if you'd told me you were an audiophile but didn't have a turntable a few years ago, I'd have laughed at you. Yes, I really did believe that until very recently you had to give up a lot going to compact disc. CD has gotten better in the last couple of years and SACD threatens to actually be good--we'll see.

Some of these guys have really killer systems. Others don't. Some will spend a lot of time trying to get the right suction cups under the right things, stabalizer blocks of marble and grey duct tape when it's been approved by someone known for tweaking something or another. And money or no money, a lot of the time these guys are right. They actually can make some kind of audible improvement by doing something subtle.

Audiophiles aren't the only guys like this. People can be like this over everything. Personally, I have a lot of interests and I'm big on the research aspect of my hobbies so I tend to know a lot of different people. I've known people who were like this about anything you can name--chess, religion, philosophy, comic books, magic cards, rpgs, computer games, console games, sports, model cars, remote control airplanes.

Let me tell you about this car guy I knew. He was a really nice guy, always glad to answer my stupid quesitons. You see, I like to drive. I like to drive a lot and in ways it's probably not a good idea to confess in a public forum like here. But let's just say that I can appreciate a nice car. So after getting pretty into this whole car thing, I ended up with a 97 Integra Type R, which I liked quite a bit.

My friend would always catch me on instant messenger or head out to IHOP with me to BS (you guys from other states have that saying "shoot the ****?"). Anyway--he'd always ask, "So what are you gonna do to it?" "Thought about any mods yet?" And I did, honestly, but in the end, no - I was happy with it the way it was. I was "done." I had my car and my interest in it was just driving it.

Like I said, this guy was a really nice and patient guy and I mean him no disrespect, but we weren't really on the same wavelength. He bought car after car--sometimes really old ones, sometimes newer. Muscle cars, japanese performance cars, whatever caught his interest for a while. He'd rebuild engines, add turbos, all kinds of things. It probably doesn't surprise you that this was one of the guys who also made one of those dual Celeron PCs running those 333s at 700MhZ (if that went over your head, don't worry about it but there's a lot of "PC guys" here).

See, for me, shopping for cars I liked and figuring out what aspects of the performance mattered to me and what I could afford--that was all just a means to an end. I enjoyed driving. And for me, at its price point, the Integra Type R delivered in spades. Of course, it was stupid to have that kind of car and not have a garage. Live and learn.

You see, I'm kind of a poser. My sig on Head-Fi used to be "Team Poser" which alluded to this fact. The Cure did a song called "Jumping Someone Else's Train" that was about people like me. You see, I don't know the first thing about being an audiophile and yet here I am trying to fit in with you fine people like I belong here.

If you hadn't guessed, I don't own a turntable. You see when I had that Integra Type R, I knew that if I wanted to, the cold air filter was the exact right mod to do if I wanted to keep that car naturally aspirated but squease just a little more performance out of it. But if you mount a cold air intake under a car and end up driving through water, you could really damage your car. So it was with that practicality in mind that I never did the mod. In fact, my Type R had an air conditioner too (they didn't come stock--AC units are a major hit to performance; not something you'd do if you wanted a no compromise car). So too... was vinyl just too inconvenient for my non-audiophile ways.

They damage easily, they're collectible so you have to (get to?) hunt them down, some are of a different quality material than others, etc. Then there's the turntable. My god, do you know what some people spend on a turntable. This one guy on Audio Asylum has a PUMP for the platter and the pump is located in a *seperate* room just to keep any vibration from getting to the table. And then there's tone arms and phono stages. It gets complex pretty quickly. And when it's all said and done, you have ONE place to play your record collection. Wanted to listen on the go? In your bedroom? In the car? How about in a PC? Nope, no go when it comes to the vinyl collection. Oh sure, you can make copies to CD but what a pain just to end up back where you started in terms of quality.

But you see, I understand those of you who have turntables. I even actually really admire it. It takes a lot to have that kind of dedication to a hobby. And that's just it--I don't. I'll sacrifice quality when it doesn't meet my needs for convenience... sometimes. Often. More often than you'd think probably.

But when I get into something, I go pretty headlong and full bore. That's part of the fun to me. I think it's interesting to learn something new and meet new people and learn about how they do things and where they're coming from. Don't get me wrong, even though I don't consider myself an audiophile, it's been a real priviledge getting to talk with those of you who are.

I came here, literally, because I had a noisy coworker. I'd heard the HD600 before and I'd even visited HeadRoom's site. I had a friend who had a Creek OBH-11 headphone amp. I'd heard the SR- line of Grados, even. But basically, I found myself in this job where I not only *could* wear headphones a lot but wanted to. So I had my old Panasonic portable and Sony 7506 (aka V6) from years ago... at my last job where I wore headphones a lot. And it was, more or less, time for an upgrade. "Maybe I'll buy a Supreme and a pair of HD600," I thought at the time.

Then sets in that obsession thing. At this point, I really have to know and I mean it's critical. Is the Supreme worth it? Maybe the Creeks better? But ohh, that MG Head looked really cool and this Kurt guy says that German guy's amp is pretty good too and it's cheaper than the Supreme even. And here I was with no place to audition any of this stuff. So screw it, I ordered a couple things with the idea that I'd sell em if I didn't like em.

And hey, I've never had a tube amp. Maybe that'd be cool too--"tuberolling" huh? I wouldn't even know how to shop for tubes but it can't be that hard, right? So wait, you know, I'm never going to be able to afford those Martin Logans I heard at the mall. Maybe I'll build a killer headphone system for home? One for work and one for home? That's probably the best way.

So... some would say things got carried away. Me? This is normal for me. I did this with home theater too. I ended up with every issue of Home Theater magazine for a solid year. I must have auditioned every single component on the market that did Dolby Pro Logic during that time. I ended up with a good Pro Logic receiver and then my current one when Dolby Digital became affordable. I got a killer deal on one of the best LD players ever made, bought Sony's flagship DVD player almost the day it hit the shelf and over time completed my NHT VT-2/VS-2 speaker system. I know, I know - you guys have all seen better, but it's not bad for mid-fi Home Theater.

And then... I bought movies, and watched them. And... that was about it. I had this buddy who was REALLY into home theater and about once a week he'd tell me about some new component or some new tweak he did to his system and he'd ask me about mine. "I got Little Mermaid last week," I'd offer.

I could go through this a dozen more times. I have a friend who always tells me at his latest comic score at Half Price. It's cool but you know, I get the titles I get and I just don't have the energy to scavenger hunt. I sit in on a game of D&D from time to time and have a beer with that crowd but you know, the way they're into that stuff, I just have too many other things I want to do. But if you look back, and one point in time, I REALLY dug in and saturated myself in their knowledge. It was fun and I made a lot of friends.

So that's where I am with you guys. I'm mid stream on my goal to get a good audio system. The work system is almost done. Etymotics--THAT was the answer to routing out that pesky coworker. Of course, I needed a modded ART DI/O and that guy Kurt to do some work on that German amp before I was done there. I could still use some decent cables in that "rig," too. Home's another beast entirely. I'm trying to get a good deal by getting a modded CD player because I just couldn't justify the Wadia I really wanted. We'll see how that works out. I've auditioned a ton of amps and still haven't really found "the one." Not quite sure about headphones either. I'd still like to throw on a good dedicated amp instead of using the HT receiver so maybe a used one will do me there. And then I'll have to figure out whether to get new speakers. This is a long trip.

But in the end, I won't care all that much about the "audio." You see, I like movies, not home theater. And I like music a lot. This hobby for me is just a means to an end. Now if I can get educated in the process and maybe help out some other guys, I'll be glad to do my best there. But audiophile? No, not really. I'm just visiting. But you can bet after I get done with the system I'm building with the help from you guys, I'm going to like listening to my CDs a lot more than the average guy.

(Anyone read all that? You know, I tend to ramble.)
 
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Matthew-Spaltro

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Quote:

Originally posted by kelly
I'm posting this message in response to Macdef thinking it somewhat ridiculous that I'd make such a claim.

"I'm not an audiophile."

And so... let me describe what an audiophile is, in my personal interpretation. I've known audiophiles. I have no problem with them and I don't consider it an insult to be called one. The word audiophile should be self describing but it seems insufficient. One who loves audio right? But it's not so simple.

I know people who know the essence of every note of a song by some of their favorite artists, but they're not audiophiles. I know people with absolute perfect pitch but still... not audiophiles. I know people who could win every single contest of trivia on any given radio station... and still, they're not audiophiles either.

Now let me give a little warning here--I'm not saying "all audiophiles are..." and given thing and I'm not saying there's no crossover or that you can't be both or a blend or a mutant or a turtle in an owl's body or whatever you think you are, it's cool. I'm down with the "don't label me crowd." If you don't wanna be in the group, just try to sit back and read my ramble objectively. I'm not necessarily talking about you.

But surely you've met people who... Really, really like audio equipment. They always have the latest Stereophile or whatever other magazine and can talk about the reviewers the way some people talk about movie stars. They can spend entire weekends cruising from audio shop to audio shop and never really be satiated.

Most of these guys have turntables. To tell you the truth, if you'd told me you were an audiophile but didn't have a turntable a few years ago, I'd have laughed at you. Yes, I really did believe that until very recently you had to give up a lot going to compact disc. CD has gotten better in the last couple of years and SACD threatens to actually be good--we'll see.

Some of these guys have really killer systems. Others don't. Some will spend a lot of time trying to get the right suction cups under the right things, stabalizer blocks of marble and grey duct tape when it's been approved by someone known for tweaking something or another. And money or no money, a lot of the time these guys are right. They actually can make some kind of audible improvement by doing something subtle.

Audiophiles aren't the only guys like this. People can be like this over everything. Personally, I have a lot of interests and I'm big on the research aspect of my hobbies so I tend to know a lot of different people. I've known people who were like this about anything you can name--chess, religion, philosophy, comic books, magic cards, rpgs, computer games, console games, sports, model cars, remote control airplanes.

Let me tell you about this car guy I knew. He was a really nice guy, always glad to answer my stupid quesitons. You see, I like to drive. I like to drive a lot and in ways it's probably not a good idea to confess in a public forum like here. But let's just say that I can appreciate a nice car. So after getting pretty into this whole car thing, I ended up with a 97 Integra Type R, which I liked quite a bit.

My friend would always catch me on instant messenger or head out to IHOP with me to BS (you guys from other states have that saying "shoot the ****?"). Anyway--he'd always ask, "So what are you gonna do to it?" "Thought about any mods yet?" And I did, honestly, but in the end, no - I was happy with it the way it was. I was "done." I had my car and my interest in it was just driving it.

Like I said, this guy was a really nice and patient guy and I mean him no disrespect, but we weren't really on the same wavelength. He bought car after car--sometimes really old ones, sometimes newer. Muscle cars, japanese performance cars, whatever caught his interest for a while. He'd rebuild engines, add turbos, all kinds of things. It probably doesn't surprise you that this was one of the guys who also made one of those dual Celeron PCs running those 333s at 700MhZ (if that went over your head, don't worry about it but there's a lot of "PC guys" here).

See, for me, shopping for cars I liked and figuring out what aspects of the performance mattered to me and what I could afford--that was all just a means to an end. I enjoyed driving. And for me, at its price point, the Integra Type R delivered in spades. Of course, it was stupid to have that kind of car and not have a garage. Live and learn.

You see, I'm kind of a poser. My sig on Head-Fi used to be "Team Poser" which alluded to this fact. The Cure did a song called "Jumping Someone Else's Train" that was about people like me. You see, I don't know the first thing about being an audiophile and yet here I am trying to fit in with you fine people like I belong here.

If you hadn't guessed, I don't own a turntable. You see when I had that Integra Type R, I knew that if I wanted to, the cold air filter was the exact right mod to do if I wanted to keep that car naturally aspirated but squease just a little more performance out of it. But if you mount a cold air intake under a car and end up driving through water, you could really damage your car. So it was with that practicality in mind that I never did the mod. In fact, my Type R had an air conditioner too (they didn't come stock--AC units are a major hit to performance; not something you'd do if you wanted a no compromise car). So too... was vinyl just too inconvenient for my non-audiophile ways.

They damage easily, they're collectible so you have to (get to?) hunt them down, some are of a different quality material than others, etc. Then there's the turntable. My god, do you know what some people spend on a turntable. This one guy on Audio Asylum has a PUMP for the platter and the pump is located in a *seperate* room just to keep any vibration from getting to the table. And then there's tone arms and phono stages. It gets complex pretty quickly. And when it's all said and done, you have ONE place to play your record collection. Wanted to listen on the go? In your bedroom? In the car? How about in a PC? Nope, no go when it comes to the vinyl collection. Oh sure, you can make copies to CD but what a pain just to end up back where you started in terms of quality.

But you see, I understand those of you who have turntables. I even actually really admire it. It takes a lot to have that kind of dedication to a hobby. And that's just it--I don't. I'll sacrifice quality when it doesn't meet my needs for convenience... sometimes. Often. More often than you'd think probably.

But when I get into something, I go pretty headlong and full bore. That's part of the fun to me. I think it's interesting to learn something new and meet new people and learn about how they do things and where they're coming from. Don't get me wrong, even though I don't consider myself an audiophile, it's been a real priviledge getting to talk with those of you who are.

I came here, literally, because I had a noisy coworker. I'd heard the HD600 before and I'd even visited HeadRoom's site. I had a friend who had a Creek OBH-11 headphone amp. I'd heard the SR- line of Grados, even. But basically, I found myself in this job where I not only *could* wear headphones a lot but wanted to. So I had my old Panasonic portable and Sony 7506 (aka V6) from years ago... at my last job where I wore headphones a lot. And it was, more or less, time for an upgrade. "Maybe I'll buy a Supreme and a pair of HD600," I thought at the time.

Then sets in that obsession thing. At this point, I really have to know and I mean it's critical. Is the Supreme worth it? Maybe the Creeks better? But ohh, that MG Head looked really cool and this Kurt guy says that German guy's amp is pretty good too and it's cheaper than the Supreme even. And here I was with no place to audition any of this stuff. So screw it, I ordered a couple things with the idea that I'd sell em if I didn't like em.

And hey, I've never had a tube amp. Maybe that'd be cool too--"tuberolling" huh? I wouldn't even know how to shop for tubes but it can't be that hard, right? So wait, you know, I'm never going to be able to afford those Martin Logans I heard at the mall. Maybe I'll build a killer headphone system for home? One for work and one for home? That's probably the best way.

So... some would say things got carried away. Me? This is normal for me. I did this with home theater too. I ended up with every issue of Home Theater magazine for a solid year. I must have auditioned every single component on the market that did Dolby Pro Logic during that time. I ended up with a good Pro Logic receiver and then my current one when Dolby Digital became affordable. I got a killer deal on one of the best LD players ever made, bought Sony's flagship DVD player almost the day it hit the shelf and over time completed my NHT VT-2/VS-2 speaker system. I know, I know - you guys have all seen better, but it's not bad for mid-fi Home Theater.

And then... I bought movies, and watched them. And... that was about it. I had this buddy who was REALLY into home theater and about once a week he'd tell me about some new component or some new tweak he did to his system and he'd ask me about mine. "I got Little Mermaid last week," I'd offer.

I could go through this a dozen more times. I have a friend who always tells me at his latest comic score at Half Price. It's cool but you know, I get the titles I get and I just don't have the energy to scavenger hunt. I sit in on a game of D&D from time to time and have a beer with that crowd but you know, the way they're into that stuff, I just have too many other things I want to do. But if you look back, and one point in time, I REALLY dug in and saturated myself in their knowledge. It was fun and I made a lot of friends.

So that's where I am with you guys. I'm mid stream on my goal to get a good audio system. The work system is almost done. Etymotics--THAT was the answer to routing out that pesky coworker. Of course, I needed a modded ART DI/O and that guy Kurt to do some work on that German amp before I was done there. I could still use some decent cables in that "rig," too. Home's another beast entirely. I'm trying to get a good deal by getting a modded CD player because I just couldn't justify the Wadia I really wanted. We'll see how that works out. I've auditioned a ton of amps and still haven't really found "the one." Not quite sure about headphones either. I'd still like to throw on a good dedicated amp instead of using the HT receiver so maybe a used one will do me there. And then I'll have to figure out whether to get new speakers. This is a long trip.

But in the end, I won't care all that much about the "audio." You see, I like movies, not home theater. And I like music a lot. This hobby for me is just a means to an end. Now if I can get educated in the process and maybe help out some other guys, I'll be glad to do my best there. But audiophile? No, not really. I'm just visiting. But you can bet after I get done with the system I'm building with the help from you guys, I'm going to like listening to my CDs a lot more than the average guy.

(Anyone read all that? You know, I tend to ramble.)


Are you done
 
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ChenaynayC

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Yeah, I feel you.
 
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dngl

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Hey, I agree with you. I'm done with my system. It sounds good to me and I enjoy music from it a lot. I'll still prowl around here looking for elusive HD700 info and trying to help other people become happy with their systems, but I'd rather spend my audio money on CDs now since I feel that I've hit the price/performance ratio perfectly right now.

PS- I was one of those celery people.
 
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Calanctus

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My personal definitions:

Audiophile: someone who enjoys and cares a lot about the physical sound quality of music, as well as about the melody, rhythm, tonal relationships, etc.

Music lover: someone who enjoys and cares a lot about the melody, rhythm, tonal relationships, etc. of music, who may or may not care about the quality of the sound.

Audio buff/gear nut: someone who cares about gear, often with the pretense or illusion of caring about music, but who really cares only about gadgetry.

By these lights, dare I say it, you are an audiophile, but not a buff/nut.
 
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tanfenton

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You never loose sight. Look through to the bottom. There it is. I saw it tonight; I see it every night. Glorious.

NGF
 
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pigmode

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This is a sticky wicket. Everyone relates to things in different ways, and in audio discussions it is often politically correct to slam the equipment freak and to proclaim otherwise for thyself. I have one thing to say to that:

LOVE YOUR TOYS!!

Play with them, and have fun.
 
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Nick Dangerous

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Audiophile - A person who loves the music as well as the equipment that reproduces it. Said individual has a level of interest involved to the point of it being a hobby (i.e. significant amounts of time, money, or both are invested).

I'd say you're an audiophile. You take a very active interest in the hobby, financially and intellectually. Even if your interest fades (similar to those D&D times), you have gained a level of understanding and enjoyment that will stay with you throughout the years.

Do you consider me an audiophile?
 
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kelly

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pigmode
If that is indeed the trend, believe me when I say that is not my intent. Tanfenton is a budding audiophile -- he has 13 tubes to roll into his just barely acquired MG Head and is starting a vinyl collection. He's digging the collectiong part of it, the tweaking part, the whole thing. I think it's really cool. I think any hobby you enjoy is worthy. Tan's enthusiasm is really cool to take in even if we're not really in it for the same reasons.

Nick
I don't know if you are or not, yet. Not like my definition was meant to be some kind of authority when I myself feel like the outsider here--that was just my take on it for why I don't consider myself to be an audiophile. What you're into now... the building and wiring and soldering isn't really a part of the audiophile thing as I've come to know it. So maybe you're an audiophile, I dunno, but THAT part of it is something else entirely and that's something I want to get into myself. My interest in electronics in general is NOT something that's a passing phase or a means to an end and I kind of feel like I made a wrong turn in college for not doing something a little more challenging and in line with that interest.
 
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Hirsch

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Forget sematics. Anyone who owns an RKV, and is having an SACD player modified is an audiophile. NO non-audiophile has ever even heard of an RKV (must less do they own one), nor do they buy intense digital sources. You're past the point of no return, kelly. You know and can hear the differences between a Meridian and a BAT. You're one of us now. It may take you a while to realize it, because you're in denial right now. But eventually, you'll look into a mirror and realize an audiophile is staring back. It's not a bad thing to be. We're here to help you when you eventually decide to come out of the closet.
 
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Joe Bloggs

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Heck, going by your definition, how many of us are audiophiles? It's not like you have TIME to be an audiophile when you are pushing 2000 posts (and beyond) here...
 
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tanfenton

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I subconsciously expected my equipment to re-write music. Somehow I can see that in what others say, too. The vicious cycle of buying and selling turns what someone listens to over and over, and it always seems to end up sounding good in one way or another.

What to keep? Where do my tastes lie? There isn't any other place to hear this; I'm buying it! That's almost right, but the other could be yay more extended.

I've begun to notice more and more how all the questions burn off with the flick of a few switches and the drop of a tonearm. The stylus slides into the lead-in, and I'm traveling.

Play, listen, repeat--whatever else I do counts as fidgeting. The aural and cerebral pleasure is so great my fingers need to be typing here, turning pages in TAS, and tweaking my amp's footings. The feelings for the music pour over into the re-creation, and that, my friends, is fun.

NGF
 
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I think you fall into the audiophile category IMHO. Anyone regardless of budget who is prepared to put that much effort into modding stuff to suit your needs is an out-and-out, rabid, foaming, audiphile.

You couldn't call me an audiophile for example, although my friends seem to think I am - I've never modded anything (except the HD280s and that wasn't about the sound), as far as my sources are concerned I bought exactly what the dealer recommended, didn't really bother to audition other stuff, and on the whole I just like listening to music, usually loud. What I put thru my primary setup would probably have any real audiophile chewing his remote in horror. Not that that's a bad thing - many audiophiles IMHO being right sanctimoneous gits.

Headphones however have brought out the gadget nut in me. And I can justify it because I have one with me practically all the time.
 
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Nick Dangerous

Mr. Tuberrific
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Joined
Nov 19, 2001
Posts
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Kelly, what you wrote was an entertaining read as always. However, you are a certifiable audiophile. It's too late to avoid it. I know what you are using for a source. Combined with the number of posts and the sizeable amount of gear you have cycled through in the pursuit of what's "just right", I'd say it puts you squarely in Audiophileville, if not directly onto Main Street itself.

Audiophileville... where everyone owns a concert hall!
 
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