September 3, 2010

Just What The Audiophile World Needs Today, RESPECT!

I think we audiophiles are some the most opinionated people around. And I am pretty sure you've heard this saying before too, "Opinions are like an a#*hole, every body's got one!"

Now, just in case you're thinking, "what prompted Big E to have such angry thoughts?" I say no particular reason what so ever, but it's some thing that I've been observing silently for a while now. There are many mainstream press that seem bent on putting down the hobby labelled as audiophile. It would seem that audiophiles are gullible fools who'd buy any "high end" snake oil marketed to them. Yes, I must admit to have come across products of dubious thinking and at best, does nothing to improve your hifi system's sound. Some will question the rational of audiophiles who has spent huge amount of $$$ on our hobby.

I think the problem lies within the audiophile community themselves. As a community, I don't think we give each other enough credit and respect for our selves. We audiophiles tend to think in absolute terms and only feel that our own experiences are empirical. Others just don't understand, maybe just don't know enough. I hereby give a few examples of audiophiles not respecting each other:

1) Classic case of DIYers VS high enders. DIYer's tend to think they are technically superior beings as compared to those moneyed monkeys.

2) High enders VS low enders. High enders do not think highly of low enders, especially when low enders criticize their system. If you can't afford it, please keep your opinions to your self!

3) SET/horn loaded single drivers VS the world. Every one else just don't get it, hence they are not worthy of my respect.

4) Vinyl VS Digital. Most recent will see vinyl lovers up in arms when they see others play with music servers.

5) My own system as reference VS other inferior systems. I've seen too many folks like these!

And what happens when we don't respect our peers and each other as a community? The other 98% of general population loses respect for our hobby. Are we so engrossed in putting each other down, we forget that others are putting all us down too? We are not a big group, I last checked and found a recent study indicates that only 2% of the world's population are audiophiles. Why doesn't the mainstream press target to ridicule other extravagant hobbies, like the Ferrari or Porsche groups, the yacht and boating enthusiast, high end bikes communities, be it motorcycle or bicycle, the high end Swiss watch collectors? There are other countless other hobbies which are just as extravagant as hifi and perhaps, markets just as much snake oil? I am sure by now, you get my drift.

As a community, we should embrace each other's thoughts, accept each other's short comings and lastly, respect our selves. It's only when we respect one another, we can have a strong community. The audiophile community is too fragmented today. There's too much me, and not enough we. Building goodwill amongst our selves as we improve our audio system's performance is a better way to engage this hobby. It's so.... much more positive.

I wish to end this with a quote by Jack Nicholson when he was starring as the Joker(in one of the Batman movies) once said, "Why can't we all just, get along?"


HS said...

Well said! An owner of a RM5000 system could be very happy because he believes that he has achieved his audio nirvana whereas an owner of a RM1,000,000 system could be forever chasing for his audio nirvana and always not satisfied with his system audio quality. To each his own.

kiarch said...

Be humble and grateful for what we have, and appreciate all sizes, colours of friends around us that you referred to as 'Audiophile'.

I simply cannot imagine if all of us are having ONE kind of sound from using ONE type of system!

Champion your course Big E.

Big E said...

HS and Jo,

If only the audiophile/music lover world has more understanding folks like you, we'd all be enjoying this hobby in a much better enviroment.

We should all respect each other a bit more as audiophiles, that way we also cultivate respect for our selves. Irregardless of what system, or one's audiophile journey travelled so far.

There's enough room for all of us.

The Wise One said...

Big E, you are over generous when you said that audiophiles makes up only 2% of the world population. I would think it should read music lovers instead of audiophiles. Audiophiles makes up 2% of the music lovers sounds more realistic.

If only audiophiles are more like music lovers, this posting of yours would not have arised at all. Music lovers just enjoy the music and just as the saying goes "Live and let live". The metal music fan doesn't sneer the country music fan and neither will the dance music fan look down on the classical music fan. The Japanese music fan does not talk bad about Chinese pop music nor would the English pop song fans snub the world music guys. To music lovers, music is music, the various genre of music is just that - different style in different forms, unlike the audiophile world of labeling, ego and bitching.

Rock, dance, rap, metal and loud music will never be accepted in the snobbish world of audiophiles. Only minimalistic/acoustic recordings, vocals, jazz, classical and certain world and blues albums are accorded this elite status. Sad, but this to me is just like the caste system or the privileged social contract entitlement.

David said...

very good discussion. But I have a question - if I were Michael Schumacher, how could I stand letting anyone teach me how to drive F1? Hehehe.

Capernaum Creative Solutions Inc. said...


Easy. Beat him.

In more ways than one, and like most things in this world, isn't that what audiophiles are doing to one another?