One of the biggest fallacies in the consumer electronics world is that an audiophile system needs to be expensive and esoteric. By NO MEANS is that true. You can have a low-cost, high performance audiophile system starting at around $1,000. Of course, there is room to grow and upgrade as that is a very big part of the “audiophile journey” and we encourage such upgrades but the snobby, anti-science audiophile “OK Boomer Elders” many of whom write in the audiophile print magazines need to be silenced.
Here are time-tested and proven ways to make sure that you have a blast with the Audiophile Hobby from day one until the day you no longer are interested in music (aka: when you are taking a dirt nap).
Audiophile Happiness Advice No. 1: Don’t Subscribe To Audiophile Print Magazines
For years, the only way to get information about new audiophile products, new audiophile music and to read reviews was to subscribe to the hobby’s print magazines. In the 1970s and 1980s, these print magazines were literally KING MAKERS. One review could make or break a product or change the trajectory of a product or even an audiophile company.
In the old days, there was a lot of mis-information in these print magazines. They didn’t want any equalization in their systems because it supposedly introduced “phase shift” yet every recording that audiophiles and audiophile writers used back in the day was made with EQ on every one of the 128 channels of the recording. EQ was on the house speakers. EQ was used on the house subwoofers. EQ was used by the mastering engineer. EQ was used to make their beloved vinyl. EQ was everywhere but the audiophile elders crapped on the concept in your system. Lame.
Today, the audiophile elders can’t help but to revert back to old technologies. In a world where for the cost of one Compact Disc – you can have streaming access to EVER Compact Disc ever made – audiophiles are fixated (literally fixated on vinyl). Today, audiophile elders suggest that you need EQ in your cables and that cables should cost more than a used BMW M3. They promote esoteric audiophile components made by fly-by-night audiophile manufacturers where you WILL lose 50-cents-on-the-dollar from the day you take ownership of said product (versus retail price).
This is all garbage and should be rejected by new-school, pro-science audiophiles. There are COUNTLESS good audiophile online publications who follow science and don’t buy into the bullshit. Take a look at SoundStage.com, Audioholics.com, eCoustics.com and FutureAudiophile.com which are all excellent options for people who want to know what’s really going on in the audiophile world.
Audiophile Happiness Advice No. 2: Know That You Don’t Have To Spend a Fortune On An Audiophile Component For It To Be Good.
Do not believe the hype when old-school audiophiles tell you that you have to buy esoteric and expensive gear in order to be “part of the club” or to get to the “audiophile promised land”. That is plain rubbish. It just isn’t true.
Look at how a $99 Sony Blu-ray player connected to a $139 DAC (digital to audio converter) can perform versus a $1,000 or $2,000 CD player and then tell me about what else you can do with the extra money. Is the $2,000 CD player better? Almost assuredly. Is it worth seven times more? Not for somebody starting out in the hobby. A $49 streamer or a $399 Sonos Port can do a wonderful job getting you in the hobby.
Expensive or rare/exotic gear is fun to look at but you don’t need it to get started in the hobby.
Audiophile Happiness Advice No. 3: Old Audiophile Components Are Rarely Better Than Today’s Products.
We saw a YouTube.com video a year or so ago that said “My 1970s System Is Better Than You Modern System”. No it isn’t. It isn’t even close in terms of performance, service cost, wear and tear, product longevity and beyond.
Just because some talking head has a YouTube.com channel doesn’t mean he’s an expert OR correct about anything even if he or she has a big following.
Remember, this hobby is about fun not bullshit.
Audiophile Happiness Advice No. 4: Online Audiophile Gear Can Be JUST As Good As The Stuff You Buy From Your Local Store
There are some old-timer audiophiles who won’t buy their audiophile gear from anybody but an audiophile dealer. Amazon.com sells some EXCELLENT audiophile components today be it speakers, audiophile amplifiers, audiophile preamps, audiophile DACs, audiophile DACs and CD players and more.
Spend your money smartly.
Audiophile companies in the new world often skip the local dealer and sell higher value product direct to the consumer in a way that allows you to do the audiophile test or “demo” right in your home. That’s pretty smart in many case.
Audiophile Happiness Advice No. 5: Try To Support Your Local Dealer When You Can
We just waxed poetic on the power of buying online and we meant it but your local retailer can provide you service, advice, trade-ins and more that NO online source can. If you expect your local AV dealer to respect you when you walk in to his or her store – you need to send them a little business here and there. They appreciate their past clients and will take very good care of you for it. You don’t “owe them anything” but supporting them keeps the business alive and thriving. Recommend neighbors. Embrace their events. Promote them on social media. Work with them on charity projects.
You can have your cake and eat it too when it comes to online versus local audiophile store.
We hope this has been a valuable set of tips for you to focus on your audiophile happiness!