OCD? Hardware Nut?

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"How is it that Hi-Fi—or High End Audio—once the domain of doctors and attorneys, celebrated in magazines likePlayboyandEsquire, essential element of bachelor-pads and dorm rooms alike, has come to be viewed as the realm of obsessives, a perverse diversion that requires defensiveness on the part of the "victim" of this illness? 

When was the last time you heard someone defend the purchase of a large flat-screen television, or a home theater system?" Bill Leebens, in his article In Defense of Audiophilia, published in Gizmodo, asks a great question. A question I have been asking these past few days. It's a good question but I want to steer this conversation in a different direction. A more inward one. Sure, none of us are comfortable bragging about being into high-end audio. None of us want to be "that guy" at the party that rambles on about his superior knowledge of wine, cars, stereo, or anything no one else is particularly interested in. Personally I move away as quickly as I can when someone starts into that bit. That's not the point of what I am trying to get across here. How do we feel about ourselves? Amongst just us? If you're reading my words you're an Audiophile. You have an interest in better sound, in music, in getting an emotional connection with the music. You sit and stare at a blank wall behind the loudspeakers from time to time, don't you? I do. Sometimes I sit an stare at that wall listening to some of the best music I have ever heard. I share my listening room with the likes of John Coltrane, John Mayer, Bob Dylan, Anne-Sophie Mutter, Haydn, Mozart and many great artists too numerous to mention. It sounds so good sometimes I want to run out into the hall and grab someone and share it with them. I often do. Does that make me a hardware nut? An obsessive compulsive? Or am I just someone who really digs being immersed in a special, wonderful place at the push of a button? Whatever that makes me, I am calling myself an Audiophile. It's just a label. I want that label, or any label that describes what I am passionate about, to be something I am comfortable with. This is where I want the discussion to go. For the moment I don't care about the outside world. I care about this inside world. You're an Audiophile. Are you ok with that? Just between us.
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Paul McGowan

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