audiophiles or retrophiles


As I read the posts on Audiogon with their gushing about the warmth of tubes, vinyl, horns, older technology, it seems there is a reversion. New bad, old good. Solid state bad, tubes good. Digital bad, analog good.

I expect a return of the wind-up gramaphone with catus stylus. No electricity to sully the sound and a natural material used to read the grooves. Must be good!

How many audiophiles are actually retrophiles?

But then again, many refer to their audio systems as a hobby, rather than as a means to the end of listening to music. As such, the care of analog tape with its fragility (head alignment, avoiding print through), matching of output tubes, cleaning vinyl and worrying about tracking forces, and so forth are activities that a hobbiest might enjoy. So much more opportunity to demonstrate expertise than merely turing on solid state electronics and putting a CD in a drawer. So much more lore. So much more mystic.

db
donbellphd
Personally, I've been through it all--analog, digital, reel-to-reel, tubes, horns, solid-state, etc.--and after nearly bankrupting myself on this hobby, I've come to terms with one simple reality: if it sounds good to you, it IS good. Many audiophiles love analog and tubes. That's fine. I prefer great digital and solid state. When done right, each format, each circuit type, each speaker form can get you to the top of the audio mountain. It just depends on what kind of presentation you prefer and what you value in sound reproduction. If "retrophile" gets you there, that's cool. If high-price modern does the trick, that's cool too. As John Lennon so eloquently put it, "Whatever gets you through the night . . . ."
My best guesstimate is 53.2 percent.

Is there a point to your discourse? It would appear that you are someone attempting to comment on the state of the hobby from a perspective of a little reading and research rather than from actually taking the journey yourself. My suggestion to you is that the fun lives in the audible journey, not the reading or the theorizing...
"Solid state bad, tubes good." This has been true since transistors have existed! (It's a JOKE, boyz and girlz, it's a JOKE!!!!) Actually, SS equipment can sound quite good, and there are twelve of those cool-running little things in my 6-channel preamp.

It IS the journey, and it IS the music, too. Some of us emphasize one more than the other. Some of us realize we love to tweak things. I just removed Quad 989s from my system and added Eminent Technology LFT-8s--I can't tweak the Quads, but I surely can and am tweaking the ET8s (and they sound FABULOUS!).

If you love and enjoy the sound of your system HALF as much as I love and enjoy mine, you're a happy man, Don.
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