August 25, 2009


Here is a little video about obsessive audiophile culture.

One thing that I have noticed in my life is that the people with the best record collections sometimes have the worst stereos, and the people with the bells and whistles stereos sometimes have the worst record collections. One would assume that the appreciation of music and sound would go hand in hand, but it seems that this is not always the case. Thousands and hundreds of thousands of dollars can be spent on stereo equipment, but how much does it really enhance the listeners experience? I believe that the law of diminishing returns applies at some point. I personally use vintage Dynaco speakers for my listening pleasure, and enjoy the sound of them, I also use an EQ to suit my ear. But, do I enjoy it more or less than the next guy with a better or worse system? We all started out on our musical journeys on inferior equipment, but still fell in love with the music. We all rock the hell out to our crappy stock car stereos whenever we get the opprotunity. When I do get to hear a system that is out of my price range, I can appreciate the clarity, definition and presence that can be achieved with a buttload of cash, but I wonder if I would actually enjoy it more. I certainly wouldn't want to listen to music on laptop speakers for any significant amount of time, and I have felt the ear fatigue that hours in the recording studio can bring, so quality is of course a factor. So good gear can help the listening experience, but $7000 speaker wires? For me, pretty good, is good enough, I am particular, but I am not sound obsessed.

I don't remember the source, but this quote has stuck with me:
"A bad recording of a great song is better than a great recording of a bad song."


  1. These guys may know a lot about stereos but it was their expansive vocabularies that have me really wowed.

    And I am so guilty of too many records and a barely average stereo system held together by two decades of dust.

    I am just as happy to play records on my crappy portable as I am the proper hifi. And at the end of the day all my money was spent on wax so I couldn't afford good speakers or cables or whatever even if I wanted to!

  2. All records sound better on this stereo