Do people tire of audio forums?

Not sure how much interest this will generate since members who've left audio forums, or at least this forum aren't here to comment.


Anyway, I've been one to come and go from forums of all kinds over many years, this for any number of reasons. So recently I've been lurking again, checking in perhaps once a week, came across a recent post where a member stated he was leaving because he felt unappreciated. Got me to thinking how much this sentiment enters into people decisions to participate or not participate in this forum, or any other forum for that matter.


Based on my observations and experience, being unappreciated and/or underappreciated is inherent to the hobby/obsession. Unless one has very wide experience with equipment in their home system or systems they have only limited empirical evidence to offer. For instance I'm exclusively involved with SET, custom build and modification. only limited numbers of members have interest in this, so appreciation only goes so far.


Seems to me, a whole lot of people on these forums speak on things they've only heard from others, or have very limited experience with, suppose this makes them feel important. And then some are provocateurs, get their need to be appreciated fulfilled in this manner, guess arguing feels like appreciation for them. Based on my observations the need to feel appreciated is important for people both to continue to participate and in decisions to leave.


I've also been perusing some past posts where members are leaving and remarking about how audiogon was a more friendly place at some time in the past. I don't recall a time when that was true, there have always been bully's, provocateurs, self important people here. I believe this nostalgia comes from a time when this individual was still making many new audio discoveries. I suspect many of us settle down into satisfactory and/or dream systems and no longer have much interest in new discoveries. I for one don't see this forum ever changing much, members come and go, always newbies and oldies, same arguments and agreements go on and on.


For me, interest in talking about audio waxes and wanes, never get tired of listening to music over a fine system, just get tired of talking and thinking about everything that goes into creating and maintaining a system. Feeling like you're repeating yourself and seeing the same old posts gets stale for me, so I leave. If past repeats itself I'll likely find audio talk to be of interest at some point in the future.


Just interested if others have similar experiences or observations.



To me, the question is more than just loss of interest in audio fora but engagement in the hobbyist aspects themselves. Long before the Internet, I had periods of intense involvement in the hobby, through such things as the NY Audio Society (or whatever it was called- the original publisher of The Audio Voice). A bunch of characters, some reviewers, ardent hobbyists, record collectors. Great fun.

Yet I went through periods where I didn’t even set up a system (though I kept the gear and all the records). It isn’t that I lost interest, but had other things, including work, that took most of my time and energy.

Once the Internet emerged, I got involved in it first as a lawyer- it was largely bulletin boards on fairly bandwidth limited ISP intermediaries. You’d read threads in a string. Over the years, I did some behind the scenes work for one hobbyist board (not audio) and a ton of work on Internet related litigation.

My experience also led me to get involved as a participant in a variety of boards, involving audio, cars, motorcycles, and other hobbyist interests. What I saw over the long haul was that participants change, old members drop off for any number of reasons, new participants join and the culture changes- not making a value judgment on that- it’s the nature of the beast. The topics change too as different technologies come into play- look how much bandwidth is now devoted to "streaming."

I think when you are in acquisition and evaluation mode, you are more likely to engage. At a certain point, at least for me, I’ve seen a lot of the same questions arise and don’t feel compelled to chime in; the topics are usually well covered. It isn’t exactly "lack of interest" but more where I think I can contribute something of value.

The social aspect of the fora also mark a change from the old days and I’m not sure we can go back-- there was something special about in person group listening sessions. Yeah, not all of it was serious and productive- a fair about of kibitzing, record swaps and just plain socializing. In some ways I miss that.

But the Internet opened up the whole world to us-- from record shopping worldwide, to communicating with groups of audiophiles from all over.

Trade-offs to be sure. I’m now about 53 years deep into this hobby and seem way more comfortable not knowing all the answers. So I still visit, still peruse the threads and chime in when I find it appropriate.

I have made many friends over the years through various hobbyist fora and for that I’m grateful even in cases where I no longer actively participate in a particular forum.

Whart, just wanted to say I enjoy your input on music so please keep it up.

Yes, positive outweighs negative. This is a very nice and peaceful thread, so I won't mention any negatives, as perceived by me. Good to see many old-timers in one place. 

With due consideration to the auditory nature of this pastime, I felt it my obsessive-compulsive duty to call out this mistake.

Here, Here on the Ignore feature and Like button.

Many great comments here. I agree this forum is a reflection of the larger community or world we live in, forums by their nature a more impersonal community.

I don't know how many others feel this way, but whenever I get nostalgic about the good gone days of audio I think back to when I was first discovering audio, going to the dozens of high end audio stores here in southeastern michigan. The shows I attended, local shows as well in those days. I just loved the in person engagement with audiophiles much more knowledgeable  than I, sort of like some exclusive club I wanted to get into. And yeah, that does reflect my high school need to be in a club or gang of cool people (and I did have that). I also had inherent or already converted audio buddies and other new converts, we all desired to own the best of the best.


On top of the need for socialization, I also had an inherent desire to learn about all aspects of audio, how components and parts work, and I loved to look at and touch these beautiful works of art.


So, there was all that. But then we mature, other things draw our attention, audio just another interest amongst many. While I maintained my interest in audio over all these years, equipment came and went, knowledge gained, the audio magic club morphed into being just another interest.


Perhaps some of us have short attention spans, highest interest when engaging in something new, interest gradually wanes as time goes on. I suppose these forums are the magic clubs of today for the newbies, and they still have shows and a few dealers to engage with. Sort of feel sorry for the newbies today, forums pale imitation of in person engagement, so few dealers and only national shows.


I'd say the one thing that sustains me is listening to great performances and music over a really fine, highly resolving system. The performers in room experience is one thing I never tire of!