The difference between an Audiophile and a Stereophile?

While this question may just be Phylostrabation, I think it does raise a question that many are ambigous about.  

I think an Audiophile is about the sound, the mastering of the recording, the frequency seperation of instriments and clearity of the sound.  The SN ratio, the EQ of the room, the type of music is not the topic of discussion.  A given brand may be admired, and drooled over, but only because the means justifies the end, the sound.

On the other ear, a Stereophile, is likely stimulated by the sound, but possibly more by the jewelry of the equipment.  The philostrabation for a Stereophile is the discussion about the toys, the gear, the looks of the system, possible brand names, the absolute beauty of the rack!  Both types enjoy a good looking rack! but how much will they pay for a given toy, or visual thrill? Can one justify the expense? Does anyone even need to justfy the expense, maybe to their spouse, but otherwise? 

One way we can adress this question is to ask does the blue light of a McIntosh excite you? How about the unity of the components being stacked in a manner that is visually amazing?  The size of a floor speaker? The fame of a name? Don't get me wrong, I will bragg, and enjoy names, I talked to Bob Carver on the phone once. He fixed up his original CD player I sent him for me with new chips so it would track better. That is like an audience with The Pope to some.  As well, I have met and discussed a few things with Doug Dale at Coda and such. 

I first fell in love with Hi Fi in late 70's because of the feel of a smooth volume knob turning up "Hey 19",  But I digress.

To me the sound of Miles Davis doing Bitches Brew song "Miles runs the Vodo" with John Mcglaughin Herbie Hancock, and others is more than amazing, it is life it's self.  Providing the song is flying out of my Legacy Focus 20/20 speakers powered by the Coda 11.5  Class A amp, or better.  While  I'm not lost on the Dark Side of the Moon, but will suggest Steely Dan is quite undeniable.  I will end with, "Kashmir" and just ask, what the hell is better than sound itself?   

As Ravi Shankar said," Nada Brahma".  


I think they are the same.... an audiophile and stereophile will buy the best sounding and best looking stereo equipment they can afford (depending on the amount they feel comfortable spending). I'm with the responder who thinks you are overthinking this and really, does it matter.

If I built a great sounding speaker made out of plywood and roofing nails, would the audiophile buy it?

gs5556,  Great question, exactly what I meant when I asked this over thinking question. My bet to your question is maybe an audiophile buy it, but not a Stereophile.  The Stereophile may only buy jewelry looking equipment. Yet, the Audiophile is about the sound, and if your plywood box reproduces a piano clearly, then yes, he/she would buy it. If too ugly, they would cover it with a fine fabric having Beethoven or Zappa on it.  


Are the nails made of OCC single crystal cold drawn stainless? 

 Are they @rkenjit  approved?

Cryo treated cables create a warm sound?  Now I'm being nasty, somebody stop me.