At what price is one considered an Audiophile.

Audiophilia, what is is it?

Is it the love of music or the equipment that presents the music.

Or is it both? 

What is the cost of admission?

How much does one have to spend on equipment to be considered an Audiophile, if it is truly the later than the music.

What has membership to this perceived exclusive club cost you?




IMO cost has very little to do with being an audiophile. You can be an audiophile with your phone and a good pair of wireless earbuds, or an dongle DAC and a pair of cheap but good wired earbuds. So it really isn’t about the gear. It is about the intent of the listener to elevate their listening experience from just casual listening to one where there is an appreciation of the quality of the sound and/or the detail. As a matter of fact, if you never listened to recorded music and often attended live musical performances where the house system or performance gear was good, and you appreciated the sound and detail in the music and the performance, I would consider you an audiophile.

I helped a friend curate one of the best sounding systems I’ve heard in real life (ie in a home not in a show room or audio show) for $3k.  It absolutely spanks some $20k systems I’ve heard.. 


I think it’s about sitting back and being transported to the venue.. It’s possible ina very affordable way with some research and patience.

personally I’ve rejected that label when applied to me.. I take it as a pejorative term.

Today I took two old amps,a Classe Ca 100  and a old AMC 30 watt tube model into the little local shop I frequent. I wanted him to check them out and get a clean bill of health ( they’re techs too ) before I listed them for sale. We ended up listening to both my amps and the monster Mark Levinson amp he had running before I came in. Other equipment was, vintage rebuilt Luxman pre, Aurender N10 server ,a korean dac that they import and Usher speakers. We listened to all types of music changing out the amps ( Classe still sounds great ) and ultimately he ended up buying the two amps, fine by me saves the hassle of shipping heavy amps. So all in all we listened to some pretty good equipment, and when I walked out a there it was the first time out of dozens of times hanging out in his shop that I was able to say to myself “ wow my system sounds better “. It cost me a pretty good sum to able to say that , was it worth it? Oh hell ya😀!


It is about passion for the gear, not price.

The fallout from my assault on the low end has resulted in a garage full of boomboxes and mini-systems.

As a self-proclaimed transport junkie, a high-end CD system starts at about 2K for the transport alone. If you don't get the transport right, the rest of the system will sound "mid-fi" no matter what you spend. Spending more on downstream equipment will only reinforce that "mid-fi" sound.