Recommend me a good psychologist

I used to be a happy guy with a huge passion for music, especially classical music. Music was so important in my life that I almost quit my final engineering studies (electrical) to enter to the conservatory dreaming to be one day a great orchestral conductor. I realized that it was too late to continue with that dream and decided to finish the electrical engineering. I used to enjoy so much my classical music cd’s with my 70 bucks sony discman (with megabass!) that I really did not care about the perfect sound but the perfect performance. I used to be really transported by music until I accidentally met “Mr. High-End” in Internet. That was about two years ago when I finally decided to get a “dream stereo system” with a budget of $2000 (wow!!). To make this story short, I was entrapped by “Mr. High-End” and ended with a $10000 buck system after an extensive search and auditions of components. The very sad part of this story is that I enjoyed more the music with my old cheap discman than with this high-end thing. YES, the high-end system sounds much better but now I can not concentrate in the musical message but in those terms well known in the audiophile world (soundstage, microdynamics, warm, bright, transparency, focus, image, bla bla bla…). Now I find myself buying music that is well recorded and sounds good with this system and not the music that I used to love. To be honest, I would have preferred to meet Mr. High-End NEVER. Do I need to visit to the psychologist? Whom do you recommend me?
Hi Pancho; you've apparently learned to listen to music using predominently the left side of the brain which is in charge of "intellectual or logical" matters. You need to re-order your listening priorities and re-learn how to listen with the right side of the brain as well, which takes care of the "emotional stuff". No, I'm not a psychologist, but I've read a lot and have experienced some of what you describe myself. Also, I stayed at a Holiday Inn last night.

You can do this because you used to do it when you listened with the $70. walkman and enjoyed music. In order to pick out good high-end equipment, you have to learn to use both types of listening, ie intellectual and emotional, and also learn how to integrate the two. And I know this is possible as I've been through some of what you describe too. I refuse to buy "audiophile approved" music, unless I really enjoy it.

As an example of what you describe, I recently auditioned a $1000. power cord. It provided excellent detail, had great tonal balance, transparency, soundstaging, etc., but it did not "boogie", ie it did not "move" me with my favorite R&R music, and I concluded that it didn't have very good pace, rhythm, and timing (PRaT). I rejected this power cord, and stayed with my inexpensive ($325.) PC 'cuz it does "boogie". Hang in there Partner. Cheers. Craig
Don't fret Pancho. You haven't gone mad. I infer from your contemplation of entering the conservatory that you are intimately familiar with the sounds of acoustic instruments. If this is indeed the case, your high resolution system maybe overkill. Your brain is probably converting the sound of an instrument (e.g. piano), rendered by the Walkman, into the sound of an actual acoustic piano that's stored in your memory. Therefore, there is no need to be "spoon-fed" by a hi-fi system. I suggest that you purchase a nice bookshelf system, enjoy the music and indulge in what you really pocket protectors.

Great post!

I can relate..... Here's the thing. If you now have the great system, start listening to the same music that you once did. What you will find is the new system will resolve much more detail than you ever used to hear. Sure, poor recordings don't sound as good as the audiophile stuff, but you will hear all sorts of stuff that you never heard before....

I agree with the post above that stated that you need to start listening with the emotional side of your brain. I too have an engineering background and this hobby allows me to use both sides of my brain. It keeps the tinkering/logic side happy with the never-ending tweaks but also feeds the emotional side when I simply want to sit back and enjoy the music.

Something that has worked for me lately is to go back to records. I purchased a VPI record cleaner and now watch swap meets and record stores for items of interest. I have found myself buying things for $1 that I never would have bought otherwise and then being blown away by them! It's reintroduced the love of the music to me...

Remember, the whole purpose of the hobby is to reproduce the music in the most realistic manner possible. This is supposed to be fun. Go find yourself some new piece of music that you wouldn't normally buy, grab your favorite drink, kick up your feet and just relax and enjoy the 45 minute ride.... Not everything is logic based.....

Happy listening,

Go back to listening live music, man...

And after a recovery period if you want to set up a system that will allow you to enjoy ANY recording email me, Eric of Audio Advisor, Kenny of Needledoctor, Steve Monte of Quest for Sound, Bill Parish (GTT Audio) or Sedond here in Audiogon...we all listen to all types of music and are not into the Voodoo. That's why my TT is a modified Technics 1200, not a Sota, Rega, Music Hall/Project or VPI...I like to SPIN records!
I would contend that this can happen with really any pursuit unless it's anchored by a defined value system. In my case, I enjoy many types of music but am careful to ensure that it's positive and uplifting. In many ways it is an act of worship to God. The fact that it's played over a 'high-end' system just makes it that much more special.

My advice is to pursue a meaningful spiritual dimension to life and the hobby will become a 'means' vs. and 'end'.