Are Audiophiles Obsessive Nuts?

The following is from the website of The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc.

Agree? Disagree? Why?

“High-end equipment is aimed at the most obsessive audiophiles, famed for worrying about small details which most people ignore or cannot even hear...

“The rise of high-end sales was influenced by the statements of subjective audio reviewers, whose nontechnical and rarely rigorous listening tests at times encouraged near-hysteria among magazine readers. A positive review in a powerful magazine such as Stereophile can trigger hundreds or even thousands of unit sales, and turn an unknown manufacturer into an instant success. A negative review can sink a small firm just as easily (and has done so)...

“Much of high-end is conducted in a gold-rush fashion, with companies advertising exotic connecting cables and acoustical treatment devices while making wild claims
about the supernatural results achieved. The result: negative comments from the professional engineering fraternity. Items have been published in the Journal of the Audio Engineering Society, in electronic-industry journals such as EE Times, and elsewhere that attack the methods and conclusions of the audiophiles...
Everthing is relative.Most of the really exotic stuff is hand built and built in rather small QTY.Thats the main reason some goods are so expensive.
A Pontiac Grand Prix will get you where your going.A Ferrari will get you there too.
If you can afford one over the other and precieve there is a value and premium to pay go for it.Same is true for Audio.
I AM NOT OBSESSIVE. I'M NOT, I'M NOT, I'M NOT. IF I WAS OBSESSIVE I WOULD KNOW IT. Wouldn't I notice obsession on my face in the mirror at even one of the 435 times that I was my hands. If I was obsessing over my audio equipment, I would never be happy with it. And I am always happy with it. I just know that it can be better. Every time I listen to it I know that it could be better. Every second of every minute of hour of every day of every month I know that it could be better. And whenever I go to an audio store and hear something better, I cannot not even listen to my stereo until I purchase that item. One time I didn't listen to my stereo for an entire year until I saved up enough money to purchase a $60,000 amp. But I don't think that this is obsessive. Do you? I don't. I really don't! I gotta go wash my hands.
As a shrink and an audiophile, I can say that in my experience, many philes are "o.c." But, so be successful, we need an optimum level of o.c. Sucessful people tend to be more "o.c." than non-sucessful people. Further, empirical evidence does not reflect the totality of human experience. In audio, hearing is believing, which, ofcourse, is subjective. My spouse, who is not an audiophile(far from it), can readily identify differences sonically, between componants and cables, as well as "tweaks". Lastly, audio is a great hobby, bringing untold pleasure and fun, as well as being a great source of meeting like-minded folks, who, as mentioned earlier, tend to be more sucessful, but more importantly, more fun!
Plasmatronics; (1) you have quoted much info. that many (most?) audiophiles would consider "fighting words", or at least inflammatory, but you have not expressed YOUR views on all of what you talk about. I have expressed my opinions on some of your quotes above as have others. How about giving us yours?

(2) I am not lemming like, and resent the implication(s). Nor am I part of a herd. I have, however "heard" much music ;>). Cheers. Craig