What is an “audiophile”?
My definition: someone who listens to music for extended periods of time (counted in hours) for that sole purpose, and not as an accompaniment or background to other activities such as dancing, jogging, internet browsing, ironing and housework.
They are not just a “music lover”. They are a music lover who through experience over time has built up sensitivity to the quality of sound reproduction, and aspires to the quality of live performance in studio or concert hall: musicians in the room (bearing in mind there are some musicians you really wouldn’t want in your room).
That quality of music presentation is generally only found on vinyl with an authentic analogue chain from recording to manufacture, played on a transparent high-end audio system fully insulated from physical vibration, with a pure stable power supply. Not everything on vinyl is audiophile, not every vinyl system offers audiophile sound quality.
Audiophiles make an investment in home audio equipment. Through active listening and comparison, audiophiles gain an appreciation of the variation in the performance of different audio equipment, and vinyl of different origins. This is a fertile breeding ground for both true audiophiles and “equipment snobs” often seen at Hi Fi Shows. Some professed audiophiles appear to have no taste in music, or at least limit it to a test record, often Pink Floyd Dark Side Of The Moon, or “something with a woman singing”.
An audiophile will be inclined to spend a significant amount of their limited resources to further improve their listening experience, because listening to music is one of their priorities in life. They will have found that the listening experience can always be improved, and devote yet more resources to gaining further improvement.
It is a lifetime journey, and it is often only later in life, after work and family commitments have been met, that one has time money and inclination to pursue their audiophilia.
Some discoveries along the way to becoming an audiophile:
- Zen and the Art of HiFi Maintenance
- CD or Vinyl?
- The HiFi system test record
- Turntable isolation platform
- Vinyl care and protection
- Record Cleaning
- Home recipe for record cleaning
- Tonearm VTA adjustment
- stylus cleaning
- cone madness
- Radio Gaga – the war against RF
- Mono Stereo
- Lo-cost tweaks
- Mid-price tweaks
- The Law of Diminishing returns, “another unproven Hi Fi maxim”
You’ve got it wrong, the ironing is background activity to listening to the music!
Since you have a clear preference for 1950-60’s vinyls to new vinyls, do you have any thoughts on whether one should get a refurbished 1970-80’s turntable or a new turntable?
Being unqualified in the matter, I am looking forward to read the comments of those who are qualified.
I think the subject is an interesting one.