Cut off for music purchase-Are you an Audiophile or Musicphile?

Aug 31, 2010
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#1
To the WBF brethren,

I am sure a lot of music lovers fall into both camps, where they have a choiceful great (large) physical music collection followed by a mega $ (hundreds of thousands) system.

But not all can afford such a system and possibly the music too.

So where does one draw the line (its pretty grey looking), where one would consider themselves more of a musicphile than an audiophile or vice versa?

What would be the actual rate of collecting music titles - 1 title a day or more, every couple of days, or weekly?

I guess time is a factor where one can sit down and listen to it all. I know I am squirelling away music hoping I can enjoy well past my retirement. There have been some discs that I have not touched since I have bought 10- 15 years back (picked up in travel, before the days of web sales), mainly due to family priorities. Before you know it, more purchases come through and you have lost focus of the previous purchases.

New formats, artists and music arrangements appear, and one wonders if you will keep continuing purchasing at the present rate of a bit over a title a day.

I have come across audiophiles who are so caught up in the system performance (which is not the wrong thing to do) that they forget all about the availability of music. After all this hobby is all about enjoying the artists and their performance. I wonder what sets them so radically apart in that direction where spend is all on hardware and hardly on software. Is that really an audiophile, and is this what the hobby is all about - just attaining top quality system performance?

So what should an average audio/musicphile spend in hardware and software as a % to each other? Where does the line cross?

I do understand that all this is dependent on the availability of listening time and spend affordability.

Look forward to your views.

Best,

Neville
 

puroagave

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Sep 30, 2011
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#2
my music collection cost 5x what the hardware cost. doesn't mean I like music more than the next guy, im just more willing to spend it on music (LPs in particular) many of which cost way more than the RBCD equivalent and at least 2x that of a hirez download.

to be fair, i'm firmly in the bottom 30% of respondents of system cost poll I posted last week.:)
 
Aug 31, 2010
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#3
Rob,

Thanks for your view and I agree that thinking about the music first is the main criteria about this hobby.

Yes those OOP and Original LP's can set you back $$$ as I too fall into that camp sometimes.

But eventually that is just one single title to the addition of many others.

Its that balance of quantlty vs. quality.

I know of others that could buy a record collection and double their collection over night for a few hundered/thousand bucks. Does that make them better musicphiles? I don't know, hence I ask.

Cheers,

Neville
 

puroagave

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Sep 30, 2011
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#4
..I know of others that could buy a record collection and double their collection over night for a few hundered/thousand bucks. Does that make them better musicphiles? I don't know, hence I ask...
I was that guy once with over 10k in LPs, ill never go back to that. quality over quantity is now the byword.
 

Mike Lavigne

Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
Apr 25, 2010
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#5
I certainly have a multiple more invested in my music collection than my hardware; at least 2x more and likely 2.5x as much. not to say I don't have a considerable hardware investment. even if I add the investment in the dedicated room I still have more invested in music.

for my first 10 years or so of collecting I likely acquired close to an average of close to 3 new recordings a day.....the next 5-6 years maybe half that pace. and many of my recordings were spendy.....many thousand expensive Lp pressings.....and the couple hundred master tape dubs were not too cheap. almost all my 4000+ CD's and SACD's were bought at retail. and I'm not even considering the 5 gigs of downloads. it's actually scary to even do the mental math on it.

recently I did cull the herd on my Lp collection and reduced it from 12k down to around 7k to 8k. some I donated and I sold the rest to some local friends.

I believe one can be a gearhead and a music lover. the 2 directions are not mutually exclusive.....but it is a huge commitment to push the envelope on both....I've made that commitment.

in the last couple of years my musical investments have slowed to a trickle. I simply don't need another new reissue of music I already have and little new music gets me interested.
 
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Aug 31, 2010
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#6
Mike, clearly you are in a league that is very eclective as I know your system has some mega spend and performance to show for it.

I guess the passion drives it, and as you say it is a scary spend. I just dont want to think about it myself too!

I think encouraging youngsters into the hobby by prioviding (selling/donating) them some physical software is key. The joy of holding and reading an art cover be it an LP (god bless that print size) or even a RBCD is being lost with downloads (which may have little or no value in later years due to copyright issues).

Thanks for the input.

Neville
 
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rockitman

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Sep 20, 2011
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#7
I believe one can be a gearhead and a music lover. the 2 directions are not mutually exclusive.....but it is a huge commitment to push the envelope on both....I've made that commitment.
That is keeping in line with the "All out Assault" mantra. I follow that mantra too... Cheers Mike. Your system and dedication has been a motivator & influence for my reproduction system.;)
 

JackD201

WBF Founding Member
Apr 21, 2010
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#8
My gear will come and go. I intend to pass my music collection on to the next generation. I guess that says it all.
 

Al M.

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#9
I don't think the amount of music that one possesses has anything to do with being a musicphile or an audiophile -- unless you listen to the same 20 hi-res files over and over again just for the sound; then you are certainly an audiophile-only. I have only between 1,000 and 1,500 CDs, but I consider myself a musicphile foremost, even though I do have my 'audiophile' periods. I listen mostly to classical and classical avantgarde, and it can take dozens of hours to fully understand a piece in its structure and in all its detail -- I simply like to listen in depth. Also, there is nothing wrong with foregoing new music for the sake of simply enjoying old one, especially when one keeps an adventurous mind that does like to regularly explore new music. I also write about music, primarily Stockhausen's music,

http://home.earthlink.net/~almoritz/stockhausenreviews.htm

and one article is often the result of hundreds of hours listening over the years and finally writing with again many, many hours of re-listening in the process.

I sometimes listen dozens of times to music that is recorded with quite mediocre sound quality just because I am interested in the music (yesterday again Hindemith's excellent Fourth String Quartet with the Danish Quartet on CPO). I also only listen to CDs since that is where all the music is found that I am interested in. I have zero interest in hi-res files -- I thoroughly hate the idea of a format limiting my music choices. Fortunately CD makes the choice against hi-res easy also because CD playback has become so ridiculously good in recent years; I have phenomenal playback quality that I would have thought impossible a while ago from CD.
 
Aug 31, 2010
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#11
My gear will come and go. I intend to pass my music collection on to the next generation. I guess that says it all.
Jack, that's what I think of too, in light of my music collection and LP's that have been singularly picked as I want to ensure that i get into quality and I would like to play that record again.

The fear is will the kids want to keep it? Their appreciation of music and playback quality is still at an MP3 level, though they listen to some serious gear quite often.

I just hope they get into the music.

Thanks for sharing.

Neville
 
Aug 31, 2010
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#12
I sometimes listen dozens of times to music that is recorded with quite mediocre sound quality just because I am interested in the music.....
Al M, clearly greatly dedicated to your cause of critiquing and appreciating the music. I wonder how many audiophiles venture so deep into their music. I certainly don't go that deep into it myself even though I have learnt and played musical instruments.

Neville
 

edorr

WBF Founding Member
May 11, 2010
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#13
Let me suggest a contrarian point of view. Collecting music at a pace much faster than you will ever be able to listen to it (other than an initial quick scan) is not indicative of being a "musicphile". It is indicative of being a music collector. Nothing wrong with that - I personally own all the Beatles albums (because it feels right) although I only ever listen to Abbey Road - but let's not confuse the two. of course it is perfectly possible to be both a musicphile and an obsessive compulsive music collector, but they are different thing. I personally have a core collection of may be a 100 albums that are deeply engrained in my brain (I add 1 -2 a year to this core) and have profound meaning to me. I could happily live with just these albums, yet spend 6 figures on a system to enjoy them. Does this make me a gear obsesses audiophile as opposed to musicphile? I think not.
 

Al M.

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#14
Let me suggest a contrarian point of view. Collecting music at a pace much faster than you will ever be able to listen to it (other than an initial quick scan) is not indicative of being a "musicphile". It is indicative of being a music collector. Nothing wrong with that - I personally own all the Beatles albums (because it feels right) although I only ever listen to Abbey Road - but let's not confuse the two. of course it is perfectly possible to be both a musicphile and an obsessive compulsive music collector, but they are different thing. I personally have a core collection of may be a 100 albums that are deeply engrained in my brain (I add 1 -2 a year to this core) and have profound meaning to me. I could happily live with just these albums, yet spend 6 figures on a system to enjoy them. Does this make me a gear obsesses audiophile as opposed to musicphile? I think not.
Good point.
 

rbbert

Well-Known Member
Dec 12, 2010
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#15
In fact I sometimes wonder whether I might get more enjoyment from music if my collection were much smaller than it is, i.e. only the music I would put in my "top tier" or two, but then there are the days when I get tremendous enjoyment from a relatively rarely listened to album and I'm back to where I am now.
 

BlueFox

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Nov 8, 2013
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#16
I went on the gear buying frenzy for the last 2-3 years because I enjoy music, and each improvement made it sound better. However, today a pair of Magico S5s are scheduled to arrive, and that is it for new gear, cables, power cords, power conditioners, racks, and vibration isolation. I have about a 100 or so new CDs, and a few more on order yesterday, and from here on out my time is on listening to music, not buying gear. I'm sorry if this plunges the country back into a recession, but I have done my part to help the economy recover.
 

jazdoc

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Aug 7, 2010
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#17
I reject that implicit premise of this thread that there is a magical proportion that defines an appropriate/acceptable range of software and hardware expenditures. As long as someone earns their money legally and takes care of their family's more important obligations (i.e. retirement and education), I could care less how someone spends their discretionary income. Likewise, I consider the terms audiophile and musicphile as pretty meaningless; to some degree, everyone is an audiophile and musicphile. Does the money I've spent on equipment enhance my enjoyment of software? -- absolutely. But I also understand why others choose to spend their money differently. More power to 'em.

Personally, I could fit in all categories. I own ~5,000 recordings. Have I listened to all of them? --yes. Indeed, I have a personal rule that I listen to each piece of music at least twice before permanently filing. If I accumulate more than 5 recordings that haven't been filed, I impose a personal moratorium on new music purchases. Do I listen to each piece of music regularly? --no. However, I've been buying records for nearly 40 years and each one means something to me. Do I occasionally seek out better pressings of my favorites?-- you betcha. Do I listen to music that does not rise to audiophile standards?--quite often. As I get older (I'd hestitate to say 'mature'), I'm finding my appetite for new music continues to grow and my musical horizons broaden. My most recent purchases: Bartok String Quartets (Valois Box Set), Mike Dillon "Band of Outsiders" (punk-jazz), Maria Bethenia "Rosa Dos Ventos...", Mel Powell "Septet" (Vanguard mono 10"). There just doesn't seem to be enough time in the day to listen...
 
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May 30, 2010
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#18
I reject that implicit premise of this thread that there is a magical proportion that defines an appropriate/acceptable range of software and hardware expenditures. As long as someone earns their money legally and takes care of their family's more important obligations (i.e. retirement and education), I could care less how someone spends their discretionary income. Likewise, I consider the terms audiophile and musicphile as pretty meaningless; to some degree, everyone is an audiophile and musicphile. Does the money I've spent on equipment enhance my enjoyment of software? -- absolutely. But I also understand why others choose to spend their money differently. More power to 'em. (...)
+1!
 

mep

Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
Apr 21, 2010
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#19
Let me suggest a contrarian point of view. Collecting music at a pace much faster than you will ever be able to listen to it (other than an initial quick scan) is not indicative of being a "musicphile". It is indicative of being a music collector. Nothing wrong with that - I personally own all the Beatles albums (because it feels right) although I only ever listen to Abbey Road - but let's not confuse the two. of course it is perfectly possible to be both a musicphile and an obsessive compulsive music collector, but they are different thing. I personally have a core collection of may be a 100 albums that are deeply engrained in my brain (I add 1 -2 a year to this core) and have profound meaning to me. I could happily live with just these albums, yet spend 6 figures on a system to enjoy them. Does this make me a gear obsesses audiophile as opposed to musicphile? I think not.
I think so. You are gear obsessed and not music obsessed. Since you only listen to Abbey Road, send me the rest of your Beatles LPs and I will take them for a spin for you unless of course they are the Capitol versions. Abbey Road is the one album that people who don't really care about the Beatles claim they like. As good as Abbey Road is, compared to the earlier Beatles LPs, it's fluff. I own two copies of the BC-13 collection and the one Beatles LP I play the absolute least is (drum roll please) Abbey Road.
 

Al M.

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Sep 10, 2013
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#20
I think so. You are gear obsessed and not music obsessed. Since you only listen to Abbey Road, send me the rest of your Beatles LPs and I will take them for a spin for you unless of course they are the Capitol versions. Abbey Road is the one album that people who don't really care about the Beatles claim they like. As good as Abbey Road is, compared to the earlier Beatles LPs, it's fluff. I own two copies of the BC-13 collection and the one Beatles LP I play the absolute least is (drum roll please) Abbey Road.
Hehe, you have an interesting way of joking.
 

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