First let me explain. So I’m taking a class and our final project is to write an ethnography. You might be asking “What the hell is that?”. An ethnography is a style of writing used by commonly by ethnomusicologists. Let me break down what an ethnomusicologist is: there are anthropologists, then there is a derivative field that studies music, called musicologists, and then a further derivative field that focuses on the culture surrounding the music rather than specifically just the music itself, an ethnomusicologist. Basically this assignment is to go out find a music related community and find out the function, values, and practices of the community with respect to music and the culture that surrounds it. The written ethnography focuses on both the people’s culture as an outsider looking in and by interaction and personal accounts of experiences.
So I need input from some music related community… I’m choosing to focus on this one. More specifically the audio enthusiast/hifi/audiophile community, or whatever you want to call it. In order to study it however, I need to converse with people and gather data.
This is where I need help, if you could answer all, some, or even just one of the following questions, that would be amazing(Feel free to go as in depth as you feel like):
Do you consider yourself an “Audiophile”, and how would you describe what an Audiophile is?
Whatever you want to call this community, what got you into it?
Let me give an example of what I mean: What happened to me was I played a video game. I really liked the game, so eventually I found the playlist of it’s ost on youtube, and I listened to that ost all the time. Then one day I was like “Screw it!”, time to buy this ost so I can get all the detail and really experience this music as it was intended, instead of some rip from the game. Yikes, that was a lot more of a plunge into the unknown than I thought it would be. The game is called Xenoblade Chronicles 2, and I did some research and found a place to buy it in FLAC format. Ha ha, that site was called mora.jp, and no they don’t sell to anyone outside Japan. So after jumping through hoops(like hours worth of hoops) I finally got the music. Long story short this lead to me buying better headphones, then the FiiO K3, then more headphones, a custom balanced cable, and now I just got the Topping 30pro stack. Dude, Xenoblade Chronicles 2 was definitely the thing that made me into the audio enthusiast community. So what happened to suck you into this crazy world? Was it music, home theater, needing headphones to work from home, or something else?
- Since entering this literal money sink hole how has the way you experience/use music in your life changed?
Shorter example than the above: Since entering this space I’ve noticed my hearing is much more sensitive. I notice a lot more when listening to music and tend to analyze music much more heavily. Before this I would go through certain periods of time where I would find a certain group or song that I would listen to on repeat for a month, and then essentially stop listening to music on any kind of regular basis for months on end, rinse repeat. Ever since I dipped my toes into the “Audiophile” world I listen to lots more kinds of music, and I listen to music all the time. Now I use music to help me focus on my school work, and even to relax after doing a metric tone of work. What’s your experience?
- What kind of “Audiophile” are you? Do you look for the most fun sound(tube amps, interesting tuning, etc…) or are you the type to want a very “sterile” sound(solid state amp, neutral tuning, etc…)? Or maybe you try both ends of the audio spectrum?
Example: I tend to try and go as neutral as I can, but I’m branching out and waiting for a good time(monetarily) to get into tubes.
How long have you been part of this community, and why do you continue to take part in it?
Are you happy with your current setup and headphones, or are you still looking for something more? If you are still looking, do you think you’ll ever stop looking? Is enough ever enough?
How do you view this community/yourself? Are we all just riding the placebo effect of new stuff with small, if any, improvement to our previous setups? Is this practice wasteful(Who needs five+ pairs of headphones?)? Or is all this justifiable as the trail we walk in the search for audio bliss?
I’m not planning on including any one’s name/tags, etc., and if you think I’m missing I key aspect of the culture of our community please feel free to tell me how wrong I am. I really appreciate anyone who takes the time to read this and even more so anyone who responds. Thanks guys. This forum is so chill, and I’m glad to be here and hope you all feel the same.