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What is the Point of This Hobby?!?!

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  • What is the Point of This Hobby?!?!

    I had some further thoughts after rereading a reply I made to Al in the Digital vs Analog thread.

    When all is said and done, point of the hobby is not analog vs. digital vs tape, PCM vs. DSD vs RBCD, tubes vs solid-state, stats vs. dynamic speakers, NOS v. new tubes, original vs. reissued LPs, etc but to enjoy high-end audio. Sure it's fun to debate the merits of each technology but I just get the feeling sometimes that audiophiles just aren't having fun. Rather than looking at the half full glass of water, people insist on concentrating on the half empty to the detriment of the former. Rather than looking at what the equipment does to bring us closer to the sound of live music, time is wasted on how far the equipment is from real music. Maybe we should allow ourselves time to just listen to the music and forget about the gear. As a I reviewer, I need to take time off periodically and just return to listening to and enjoying more than a couple of dozen LPs or tapes in my collection. (And yes, it's easy to do as I sometimes find myself falling into this trap too.) But at the end of the day, one should shut their system off with a smile on their face. God only knows life is too short to do something you don't enjoy!
    Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
    Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
    ________________________________________

    -Zellaton Plural Evo speakers
    -Goldmund Telos 300 stereo amp
    -Goldmund Mimesis 37S Nextgen preamplifier
    -Doshi EVO and Goldmund PH3.8 phonostage
    -VPI Vanquish direct-drive turntable
    -VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy dual pivot tonearm, VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy gimballed and SAT LM-12 arm
    -Lyra Atlas SL Lambda, Fuuga Mk. 2, vdh Colibri Master Signature, MutechHayabusa, MOFI Master Tracker, Sumiko Songbird cartridges
    -Technics RS1506 with Flux Magnetic heads, Doshi V3.0 tape stage (balanced)
    -Assorted cables including Transparent XL Gen. 6, Skogrand, Viero, Kubala-Sosna, Audience Au24SX, Genesis Advanced Technologies and Ensemble Power Cords
    -Accessories including Stillpoint Aperture panels, Cathedral Sound panels, Furutech NCF Nano AC receptacles; Silver Circle Tchaik 6 PLC, Symposium ISIS and SRA Craz 3 racks, Audiodharma Cable Cooker, Symposium Ultra and assorted SRA OHIO Class 2.1+ platforms.

  • #2
    I come from a musical family on my father's side and was a musician in younger days, so listening and playing music is a part of my life. Audiophilia is a continuation of that.

    For me, learning about the music I play - the composers, their compositions, their history, and the social context within which they lived - all bring new appreciation for what I hear. Audio opens vistas to new people and new worlds. Music and the audiophile miracle can carry you to unimaginable worlds from the security of your listening chair. Plus, track time and slip fees are going up faster than NOS tube prices! :-)

    Comment


    • #3
      Myles, I'm having a great time listening to music on my system. It's never sounded better and with my music collection including music server, LP's, tape and internet streaming, there is an almost infinite selection of great music to choose from, there is never a boring moment. It is my drug of choice.

      ps. I fully admit to being a gear head and enjoying the technology and this forum of like minded enthusiasts.
      Speakers/Amps: Genesis G2.2 Jr with Powered Servo-Sub Bass, Genesis GR1440 Mono Amps, 5,000 watts total power
      Preamp: SMc Audio VRE-1C Preamp (fully balanced inputs and output)
      Analog 1: VPI Signature 21 Belt-Drive Turntable w/ 10” 3D Printed Fatboy Gimbal Arm and Ortofon MC Windfeld Ti Phono Cartridge driving Lehmann Silver Cube Phono Preamp
      Analog 2: VPI HW-40 Direct-Drive Turntable w/ 12” 3D Printed Fatboy Gimbal Arm and Ortofon MC Anna Diamond Phono Cartridge driving Genesis Gold Phono Preamp
      Analog 3: Studer A810 R2R tape w/ Bridge Console. Using built-in tape preamp
      Digital: Lumin Network Player with Lumin NAS
      Cables: Genesis Advanced Technologies/Absolute Fidelity Interface Interconnects, Speaker, Phono and Power
      A/C Power: Extensive System Upgrades, Sub-panel w/hard-wired power cables, and IsoTek Super Titan Passive Power Conditioning for Amplifiers
      Accessories: Custom Acrylic Equipment Stands, Klaudio Ultrasonic RCM

      Comment


      • #4
        I'm hesitant to answer your question, because the answer is different for each of us. Anything I say is obviously only for me. For my, I simply love listening to music. Always have. I remember as a little kid staring at 78s of kids songs on a little record player.

        The audio part interest is twofold. I like playing with gear. I find the differences between how things are made and how they sound simply interesting. It's fun to swap things out and see what happens. Just this weekend I swapped speakers out three times (Tektons, then the Elacs, then the Sound Dynamics, then back to the Tektons) not to evaluate or test, but just because they all sound different and and those differences interest me.

        But I like all my music to sound good. Any time I have upgraded, or certainly when I review gear, I have made sure to test with a wide variety of records and digital files, of all genres and more importantly, all quality levels. I need to make sure any change or "upgrade" doesn't make some of my music sound less enjoyable. That wouldn't really be an upgrade in my book.

        So, to me, the point of this hobby is first and foremost, to have fun. Any part that isn't fun doesn't interest me. I'm in it to listen to music, and play with gear. The search for perfection, or the constant upgrading isn't part of it for me. I am rarely tempted to buy new gear when I review it, even if it is better than what I have, as I really like what I have. I'll write about "better" but don't feel overly driven to acquire it.
        Steve Lefkowicz
        Senior Associate Editor at Positive Feedback
        -
        Analog 1: Linn LP12 (MOSE/Hercules II), Ittok, Dynavector 10X5 MK.II Low, iPhono2/iPowerX; Analog 2: Pro-Ject RPM-1 Carbon, Talisman S, iFi iPhono.
        Digital: Samsung 300E5C notebook, JRiver Media Center 28, Tidal HiFi, Qobuz Studio), iFi NEO iDSD, iFi iUSB3, iPurifier2, Audioquest Jitterbug.
        Electronics: DIY passive line-stage, Antique Sound Labs MG-SI15DT-S, Burson Timekeeper Virtuoso
        Speakers: Tekton Perfect SET 15, Tekton Lore, Magneplaner .7
        Interconnects: Morrow Audio MA1, Vermouth Audio Black Pearl, Audioquest Evergreen
        Speaker cables: WyWyres Diamond, Morrow Audio SP4, Vermouth Audio Red Velvet, Audioquest Type 5
        Digital cables: Aural Symphonics USB, iFi Gemini twin-head USB.
        Accessories: Sound Organization turntable shelf, Mondo racks, Pangea Audio Vulcan rack, Pi Audio Group Über BUSS, Monster HTS2000 power conditioner, Kinetronics anti-static brush, Pro-Ject VC-S record cleaner, Spin Clean record cleaner.
        Headphones: Schiit Valhalla amp, Burson Conductor Virtuoso Amp, Meze Audio 99 Classic and 99 Neo, Beyerdynamic DT770Pro 600 ohm, DT770 Studio 80 ohm, 1More Triple Driver Over Ear, 1More Triple Driver IEM

        Comment


        • #5
          Music first, gear second. There is no doubt some of that is driven by budget, but even back in the day when I could pretty well buy what I wanted, I still didn't drive down that road. The fascination and more enjoyable aspect of being in this hobby is the pursuit of looking for and acquiring the best possible pressings I can afford. I never go downstairs to my music space because I want to listen to my gear. I go to listen to music.
          Dynavector DV20x2L MC cartridge - Genesis G7.1f speakers - Marantz Reference PM-KI-Pearl Int. Amp. - Oracle Audio Paris MkV turntable - Various Morrow & Valab/King cables

          Comment


          • #6
            This one is easy (for me);

            Audiophile(ism?) is just like any other hobby. It involves the pursuit of something you are passionate about and willing to commit a significant portion of your spare time to pursuing. Just like most other hobbies, there are various ways to go about this and in truth, the hobby is made better with the variety of approaches. Someone who collects obscure blues 78s has just as much a claim to audiophilia as someone who collects vintage Krell amplifiers. We are all a part of a community that some see as shrinking but I see growing. Those whose systems haven't changed in the last 20 years or who only have 50 LPs they play, and equipment churners and prolific content buyers may occupy different niches but are covered under one big umbrella.
            Turntable: - 1. Fairchild 750/OMA slate plinth
            2. Analog Engineering AE-2008 MinusK support.
            Tonearm: 1. Schroder Custom
            2. Schick 12"
            3. Abis SA-1
            Cartridge: Miyajima Kansui and Premium BE Mono
            PhonoPre: AprilSound LR, EMIA Strain Gauge, EMIA silver SUT
            CD: Wadia 860x
            Server: Innuos Zen Mini Mk3
            DAC: Computer Audio Design 1543 Mk2
            Preamp: Bent Audio TAP-X w silver autoformers
            Amplifier: AprilSound SET50 monoblocks
            Speaker: Pioneer PAX-30C

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Beaur View Post
              This one is easy (for me);

              Audiophile(ism?) is just like any other hobby. It involves the pursuit of something you are passionate about and willing to commit a significant portion of your spare time to pursuing. Just like most other hobbies, there are various ways to go about this and in truth, the hobby is made better with the variety of approaches. Someone who collects obscure blues 78s has just as much a claim to audiophilia as someone who collects vintage Krell amplifiers. We are all a part of a community that some see as shrinking but I see growing. Those whose systems haven't changed in the last 20 years or who only have 50 LPs they play, and equipment churners and prolific content buyers may occupy different niches but are covered under one big umbrella.
              Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
              Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
              ________________________________________

              -Zellaton Plural Evo speakers
              -Goldmund Telos 300 stereo amp
              -Goldmund Mimesis 37S Nextgen preamplifier
              -Doshi EVO and Goldmund PH3.8 phonostage
              -VPI Vanquish direct-drive turntable
              -VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy dual pivot tonearm, VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy gimballed and SAT LM-12 arm
              -Lyra Atlas SL Lambda, Fuuga Mk. 2, vdh Colibri Master Signature, MutechHayabusa, MOFI Master Tracker, Sumiko Songbird cartridges
              -Technics RS1506 with Flux Magnetic heads, Doshi V3.0 tape stage (balanced)
              -Assorted cables including Transparent XL Gen. 6, Skogrand, Viero, Kubala-Sosna, Audience Au24SX, Genesis Advanced Technologies and Ensemble Power Cords
              -Accessories including Stillpoint Aperture panels, Cathedral Sound panels, Furutech NCF Nano AC receptacles; Silver Circle Tchaik 6 PLC, Symposium ISIS and SRA Craz 3 racks, Audiodharma Cable Cooker, Symposium Ultra and assorted SRA OHIO Class 2.1+ platforms.

              Comment


              • #8
                I get my music kicks from live shows. I am here purely as a hobby, and my hobby is curiosity - forum chatting is part of the hobby, as is travelling and investigating gear. When I want to listen to music I go for a live show, easily done where I live. Or put on earphones for youtube. The point of this hobby is to satisfy your OCD - whatever it is - tweaking frequency curves, VTA/SRA, attempting to make digital sound like analog, reviewing, or spinning.

                Comment


                • #9

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                  • #10
                    Wow for me it's complex and I am nit sure what to say
                    I can list the moving parts that's about it for me
                    knowledge
                    love of music complicated by my moods
                    pursuit of applying new ideas
                    enjoyment of making changes not always improvements
                    learning and sharing with others
                    social Ina solitary way in both music choices and systems
                    one of my favorites is tube rolling and finding new sounds in old faverite recordings
                    see complex lol.
                    analog stuff.
                    otari mtr 10 2 track 1/4 made new by soren
                    otari mtr 10 2 track 1/4 1/2 combo made new by soren
                    sota sapphire used eminent tech ver 2 arm
                    new sota nova table has magnetic levitation platter and full speed control and latest motor same arm as above
                    thorens td124 sme ver 2 arm
                    thorens td125 sme ver 2 arm
                    kenwood direct drive sme ver 2 arm
                    phono preamp Ml no 25 all re capped
                    speakers cust infinity IRS V , new caps and LPS , magnets etc.
                    mark levivson pre no 26 amps no 33
                    digital three cust servers , win ser 2016 , AO
                    Dacs lampi various

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      There's supposed to be a point?

                      I'll try to answer more seriously later.....

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Hobby?!?!?! Music is too important to me to be considered a hobby. The "hobby" descriptor to me would apply to those on the perpetual upgrade treadmill.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          IMHO, music is one of the few passions I have in life and so I just try to enjoy it as much as I can.
                          Hugh Nguyen
                          ACA

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                          • #14
                            Like anything that has been a constant in my life- music, work, food, love, intellectual pursuits,athletic activity (low on my list until I got older), I "connect" with the pursuit for different reasons at different times. Sometimes, I'm disengaged- I've gone for periods without a serious playback system set up and have been happy because at the time, it wasn't crucial for me, given other priorities, including time, energy, space and environment. None of which has a bearing on the enjoyment of music as far as I'm concerned. (Just as owning a bunch of expensive gear doesn't make you more or less of a music lover). But, the relationships I have had in all of these things have changed as I have over the years. Like a love relationship or a relationship to a profession to give examples far removed from hi-fi, I think you go into that relationship with certain expectations and knowledge. Five years later, your knowledge, your perspective, what you want out of the relationship and what you are willing to accommodate or trade-off changes. In ten or twenty years, your perspective, expectations, etc. are probably somewhat different again.
                            For me, this requires a recommitment. Not in a formal sense of "renewing my vows," but taking a step back and reassessing what I'm doing and why I am doing it. You change just as other people and things, the world around you (including music itself) changes. Sometimes, I don't think this is even a conscious process- it is slowly being hammered out silently in the background of your mind and deep in your soul. What does this have to do with the hobby? Some of us have been doing this stuff for almost 50 years. It's not like we "knew everything" when we started- and it certainly isn't like I "know everything" now- to the contrary, i'm more aware of my limitations now than ever. But, I've stayed committed, in my own way, over many years, decades in fact. Sometimes, there are elements of gear lust--I dig a shiny thing as much as the next person. (With cars, same thing- loved 'em since I was a kid). But, my connection to all of this stuff has evolved, my perspective has changed, my expectations alter and my knowledge base increases- with that, and a continual exposure to different kinds of music--I'll get into a groove (or rut depending on how you look at it); I'm hearing and chasing different things. My standards for good fidelity have probably been raised over the years, some a result of improvements in the equipment, but some as a result in how I listen and what I'm listening for. The point-- it's an adventure. Music is an avenue into a timeless form of expression that engages us on a primal, visceral level. This is the gateway. It's like living on a the edge of a beautiful park. You need a window to see it. The hobby is that window.

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