What is an Audiophile or Sprach Zara.. Who?

Quite a number of years ago I became interested in music and sound. I never felt I had sufficient gifts to consider myself a creator of music however I became interested in its reproduction. The sound generated from most equipment I was first exposed to was far from sounding as if it came from the source. Just as there is a strong affinity for deep bass now, there was then as well. The difference was in those earlier devices, there was more of a hollow boom than a deep thud. Now of course the demand is not only for a boom and a thud but the desire is to see if you can shatter windows and perhaps turn concrete to dust, thereby rendering the listener to a point where they become stone deaf in their 40s.

Back to my original thought.  Music as it came from let’s say natural sources, stringed instruments, horns, keyboard and percussion doesn’t have a boom or grinding distortion. Only when someone plugs into an electronic device does the sound become altered to a point where distortion is welcomed. So as far as electronic instruments are concerned, it may not seem important to the audience to hear the sound exactly as it first was produced.

I started to enjoy concerts and live staged musicals as a young person. I wanted to hear the same clear sound when I came home but my pocket book didn’t have extensive resources for the better audio equipment. I learned the technical side first while in school and later through extended library visits. I began to build speakers and amplifiers which I thought might take me to a higher level of audio perfection. Of course these earlier experiments sometimes ended up looking and sounding pretty dismal. It takes honed craftsmanship along with expensive tools to create something of value. Over time this improved but the necessity of earning a living superseded my audio perfectionist desires. I resorted to doing the same thing most other people have and that’s, save your money and buy things which are already perfected and readily available.

I’ve learned through reading and numerous listening sessions what equipment works well. Auditioning many pieces of equipment with music of familiarity I expanded my ideas on what usually will work well. Most often price and hype alone will not always claim a victory in my assessment. Now that I’ve worked several occupations, raised a family and back to being single, I can indulge myself a little bit with speaker building. I enjoy the process as well as the final product. Sometimes I will find a good buy at a thrift store and either repair or modify an older discarded item. Some of them I’ve improved enough and sold on eBay.

My musical tastes have also evolved and I’m listening to music that requires accuracy in reproduction to fully enjoy. I routinely listen to jazz and full symphony orchestra. To my grown children, I’ve become even more boring but I’m truly enjoying the process of becoming an older audiophile. Thank God I still have good hearing.

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