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    Music Lovers vs. Audio Lovers

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    Having a website about vinyl records, I occasionally attract folks from the audiophile crowd. Of course, this is great. When it comes to musical formats, audiophiles know where it’s at (vinyl, duh!). Of course, there also seem to be a big group of audiophiles who don’t seem to care that much about music. They just like the way it sounds on certain pieces of gear–not necessarily how much it resonates within you.

    This is crap. Why listen to music then? Why not just listen to yourself talk? I mean, if I was a millionaire, you know I’d have a nice setup with McIntosh amps and JM Lab speakers, and a comfy seat set right up in the sweet spot, but this gear in no way effects how I feel about the music. I admit that having gear that can get LOUD without distortion helps a bit…loud music certainly does stir the soul, but whether you’re listening on a $75 shelf system, or an iPod with headphones, or some krazy $50,000 rig, the music doesn’t change.

    Audiophiles love to debate about how all kinds of specifications (that are measured with precision instruments in labs) are SOOOOPER important to how the music sounds and how this piece of gear does this, or this piece of gear does that, and I’ll admit (I like gadgets too), it’s kinda cool, but the music isn’t so much different based on what it’s played through.

    Where music is really going to affect you and nourish your soul–it’s all psychological. It’s all within you. If you connect with a piece of music, it doesn’t matter what it’s played through. What’s going to make you feel good is everything that happens after the music leaves the speakers and enters your ears.

    I’m a music lover, how about you?

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    Topics: Music, Sound Quality | 3 Comments »

    3 Responses to “Music Lovers vs. Audio Lovers”

    1. Muxx Says:
      March 17th, 2010 at 7:48 pm

      For a while I thought I was developing an audiophile-like obsession with music. I was always seeking better formats and started to buy some expensive gear.

      But then I stopped.

      I realized that I didn’t care about the quality of sound, just that it had an impact on me.

      I listen to a lot of Electronic Music. My favorite are actually the early releases that sound really raw – they had a hiss, pops and hums from the instruments.

      I love listening to music on a loud system, at raves and clubs. I want the sound to envelope me.

      I realize that I just want to listen to music, not to listen to the technical aspects of it.

    2. Alan Says:
      March 17th, 2010 at 9:10 pm

      Yup…You just have to find something you love…and if you want to take it to the next level, be sure you can play it loud and clean.

    3. Rex Says:
      May 21st, 2010 at 10:32 am

      I agree here. For me it’s always MUCH more about the music than the gear. I DO think there is a point at the LOW end where it makes a big difference. For example, the difference between listening to tinny little built-in speakers on a laptop vs a nice amp/speaker/turntable system can make a HUGE difference in my enjoyment of the music that touches me. So, in my mind, the difference between an el-cheapo system and say spending a total of $1000 on seperate componants and speakers is great, and worth it. From $1000 to $50,000 is a MUCH smaller sonic improvement, and I would argue is mostly just snob appeal. It’s a little like wine. I can tell the difference between $4 wine from the gas station ans a decent $20 bottle from COSTCO. But blindfolded, how many people could REALLY tell the difference between my $20 bargain and that $1200 rare vintage??

      Also, I completely agree with MUXX’s comment that sometimes the appeal IS the Lo-Fi. I love 50’s DooWop and 60’s Vocal harmony (among many other things), and the romance of a well cared-for first edition mono platter (the smell, the feel, that first crackle as the needle drops and the music kicks in) — there is no high end gear that can replace or enhance that feeling for me…

      Keep listening, my friends!