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The "Hi-Fi" gene


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I was reading a thread on a guitarist's forum regarding audiophile definition. I may be an "audiophile", but I am not totally convinced. One of my friends say I am. I don't study specs, read audiophile magazines, and I don't have super high end cables. I surely am a "hi-fi enthusiast" though. One poster with a history in home audio sales defined it well:

 

"I have often hypothesized that there is a "Hi-Fi" gene. Either you have it, or you don't. An audiophile most definitely has the gene. 

 

When exposed to really good playback of music they like, people with the "gene" experience an emotional, physical and aural stimulation well beyond what people without the gene do.

 

For me, hearing my first good component system was like taking a new drug. I had to have my own system! I wanted to feel the bass, and hear with clarity the midrange and treble. Not just any system could do this. Hence the hunt for equipment that could.

 

Although audiophiles can and do get burnt out on often what can be a compulsive hobby, for the most part they have a lifelong interest from time of exposure, until late into adulthood.

Due to health, money, or space constraints, they may not necessarily be active with the hobby at all times, but the appreciation of good sound never goes away.

 

In the 70's, it was "in" to own a component stereo, so it became a mainstream purchase. The decades after have seen a development of the quality of mainstream audio playback.

Now an iPhone with earbuds or Bluetooth table radio satisfies many of these same people who used to own a good hi-fi system."

 

Makes a lot of sense to me. For example, no one else in my family gives a damn about listening to my system, or even knows how to fire it up with Tidal. Sometimes I come home, and the wifey is listening to music on a DirecTV music channel, thru the soundbar. 

The bug bit me at age 17, when I was lucky enough to listen to my friend's dad's McIntosh separates into Klipschorns. I was stunned! Flabbergasted! As soon as I could afford it, I bought a decent component system. Back then, there were only 2 things that really mattered to me: my car, and my stereo.

I do have 3 or 4 buddies who have the "hi-fi gene". Sadly, I don't know a single woman who has it. 

 

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I love music played on a very good system but I don’t feel the need to wring out every last percentage of improvement. I need good speakers but I don’t need to shake the walls. I love being able to locate the instruments in the sound stage but I’ve also gotten into original mono lately, as a side road. Not sure where that places me. I’m unlikely to ever buy exotic cables but I’m considering a vintage 1960’s paper speaker mono cabinet, just to hear Sinatra and Ellington the way a rich guy would have heard them in 1955.  

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9 minutes ago, Pondoro said:

 I’m considering a vintage 1960’s paper speaker mono cabinet, just to hear Sinatra and Ellington the way a rich guy would have heard them in 1955.  

Any Klipsch Heritage speaker will do whether  new or from the 50-60's -70's ,if you like Jazz , that 's exactly what these speakers were designed for

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4 minutes ago, RandyH said:

Any Klipsch Heritage speaker will do whether  new or from the 50-60's -70's ,if you like Jazz , that 's exactly what these speakers were designed for

Yes I listen on Heresy and (on my computer) R-51PM. The R-51’s do well near field. The old school open backed paper two way system is for historical purposes. What would Sinatra have sounded like in 1955?

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Just now, Pondoro said:

Yes I listen on Heresy and (on my computer) R-51PM. The old school open backed paper two way system is for historical purposes. What would Sinatra have sounded like in 1955?

well ,  I have a few old tube Radios from the 50's   , the sound is pretty special  , you're right about that ,  to hear the old sound , you need old gear

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22 minutes ago, RandyH said:

well ,  I have a few old tube Radios from the 50's   , the sound is pretty special  , you're right about that ,  to hear the old sound , you need old gear

An old Magnavox, rebuilt by a pro, clothed in striped maple by me. It lives for Frank, Duke, Bennie, and more. I have a solid state Yamaha for Techno and Metal, it doesn't get used much.

glowing.jpg

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