I admit it. I am an Audiophile

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I have been giving thought lately to the labels "High End" and "Audiophile". Why do many of us, including me, hide from these labels?

My friend Bob and I were enjoying dinner together and the talk came around to high-end audio, as it usually does between the two of us. I asked him why it seemed ok to show our friends a new car, a new watch, and new TV but not ok to show off a new Hi Fi acquisition. In fact, so not ok that many of us hide the fact we even have an expensive system.

"I am embarrassed to tell anyone other than a fellow Audiophile how much I spent on just cables, let alone equipment" blurted my friend. I suggested "You might hear a similar conversation at an AA meeting". Really?

Are we that worried that others might think we're nuts? Why?

None of us are into bragging, gloating or flaunting. We don't tell friends "look at my new $50,000 car." We show off our new possessions because we worked hard to get what we have, it's natural. Who doesn't do it even if it only involves the quick notice by our friends without ever saying anything? But show off our new Hi Fi stuff? Not a chance. We restrict it to our fellow enthusiasts believing they would be the only ones that might "understand" how we could spend so much on a cable or a new DAC. We don't like those sideways glances from our friends, questioning our sanity.

And one of my readers just told me he hates the label "High End" because it's boastful and bragging, suggesting ours is better than the norm. Is that true? Is there a better term?

It's taken me years to come to grips with the label "Audiophile". When people ask about my hobbies, passions and interests, I would talk about food, skiing, hiking, family and oh, yes, stereos. Good stereos. "Oh, like Bose?" Right, just like Bose. I had to actually work on my answer to include being an Audiophile. Like someone announcing "I am an alcoholic".

This isn't a good situation. It's one I am starting to think about how to change. It starts with me. It moves to this group of readers. It goes out from there.

Let's open a dialog about this.

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Paul McGowan

Founder & CEO

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