Are you an audiophile or a music lover?


Well-Known Member
Jan 13, 2022
Southwest, USA
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Well-Known Member
Sep 10, 2022
The OP's question may not find a satisfactory answer to the extent that we switch between focusing on the music and the system. I find it hard, if not impossible, to do both at the same time. Once you stop listening to the system, then you can really enjoy the music (which does not mean you won't enjoy it even more with a good system).

The same can be said of recording quality (or concert hall acoustics). Some of the best music I've heard has very poor recording quality by modern "audiophile" standards. You simply have to set aside the critical assessment of the recording quality to enjoy the music.

There is a point at which the recording quality is so bad that you cannot hear the music, but that is pretty rare!
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Jan 17, 2022
Et -et, not Aut-aut. That OP dichotomy simply doesn‘t exist. Music lovers that don‘t care for sound are simply an oxymoron. On second thought the opposite may not be true…


Well-Known Member
Jan 13, 2022
Southwest, USA

Al M.

Sep 10, 2013
Greater Boston

R Johnson

Well-Known Member
Jul 24, 2010
Chicago, Illinois, USA
An amazing amount of effort, time and money that Ken Fritz invested.

It's so sad that ALS robbed him of many years of enjoying the music. But I think he enjoyed every minute of building his dream system.


Well-Known Member
Jul 16, 2018
As we begin a new year (Happy 2024, WBF!), it might be an opportune moment to refresh ourselves and ask ourselves some really important and basic questions. Think of this as a New Year’s resolution for WBF members.

So, the question is: are you an audiophile or a music lover? Perhaps a bit of both (or as we mathematically inclined geeks would put, you are a “convex combination” of attributes that define an audiophile or a music lover). So, what defines an audiophile? What defines a music lover? Are these fundamentally incompatible? Perhaps not, judging from the many hundreds of posts on WBF, people really dig music, but they also love to horse trade with their equipment, seeking to extract every nuance of music from their grooves, tapes, and streaming bits. So, let’s define these terms.

An audiophile is someone who:

1. Spends far more on his/her system than on their music collection.
2. Spends far more time listening to their system than listening to live music.
3. Spends far more time listening to other people playing music than creating music themselves (like playing a piano).
4. Thinks that increasing the bit rate or depth of a digital recording improves its sound.
5. Thinks that stereo or multichannel audio is fundamentally better than mono.
6. Thinks that recordings made in the digital era, or on DSD, or DXD, are fundamentally better than recordings made 60-70 years ago.
7 Doesn’t listen to any music recorded before 1960.
8. Only listens to music sitting in his/her listening room centered between the speakers.
9. Cares about obscure audiophile terms like soundstage, depth, height, transparency, blah blah.
10. Wants to hear the subway trains roll under Kingsway Hall on their favorite recordings (Harry Pearson, hope you can hear me still!).

OK, with that out of the way, let’s turn to a music lover. A music lover is someone who:
1. Is perfectly happy listening to a boombox or an FM radio station or gasp, even shortwave radio (as I did many decades ago as an undergrad!).
2. Has no clue whether a recording is in mono or stereo, or whether it is recorded as an MP3 or DSD 512.
3. Goes regularly to live performances (opera, symphonies, chamber, jazz, popular music, folk, country, …).
4. Can‘t for a moment sit still in a chair listening to music, but must bounce around in the groove, digging the music.
5. Cares two hoots about soundstage, transparency, height blah blah.
6. Has their dealer set up their system, and never touches it again!
7. Tends to hang on to their equipment for 50+ years, only replacing it when it absolutely fails and even then grudgingly.
8, Actually can read music scores, and tends to get bogged down in the minutiae of whether the composer wrote something in C minor or C major.
9. Argues vociferously whether the best conductor was Toscanini or the best singer was Caruso, both of whom recorded their albums in mono on 78 rpm discs.
10. Has no clue at all what high end audio is, until they accidentally hear a high end system, and then WOW!

OK, WBF. What are you? An audiophile or a music lover?
For me the gear is a means to an end. I do appreciate good sound, but will sacrifice quality sound for the performance. Underscoring m preference for music is that I spend considerable time attending and enjoying live music.


Well-Known Member
May 3, 2021
Tehran, Iran
My old high school teacher used to quote poetry and one of his quotations stuck around in my mind all these years. It’s from the great poet Omar Khayyam:

“Dead yesterday.
Unborn tomorrow.
Why fret about these if today be sweet”.

Thank you for sharing this poetry from Omar Khayyam. I love Omar Khayyam philosophy.

This world is like paradise and the awful thing is we will die and left this beautiful world.
In this short time the only way should be enjoying .
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Well-Known Member
Dec 11, 2013
Most definitely music lover , while I love my systems I mostly play jam Wi-Fi boom boxes or earbuds
Even if in nyc and playing my big System I rarely sit in the seats
most times some 25 or so back at my desk working
Kind of like a live band is playing over there thing.
If I do sit down properly I then become an audio engineer and deconstruct my music
this leads to what I feel I need to fix or try something
life is short at this point in my life so boom box
A little EQ and my toes tap and start head popping
With little hair.

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