Thursday, September 16, 2010

Audiophilia Nervosa: Ear Pornography’s Inevitable Consequence?

The “audiophile disease” that first gained widespread notice during the mid 1990s, is audiophilia nervosa the inevitable consequence of compulsive hi-fi tweaking?

By: Ringo Bones

This insidious “audiophile disease” can easily infect an unwary audiophile noticing how a DIY RG-58 cable being used as an ad-hoc interconnect managed to sound way much better – sound quality wise - than the “scrawny” freebie interconnect that came with the newly-purchased CD / DVD player. And before you know it – especially if you’re not careful – audiophilia nervosa is often that not far behind, but should it be?

From my perspective, it usually afflicts audiophiles with a fairly narrow musical taste – genre wise. Or those intentionally unwilling to explore other genres of music are highly susceptible. Depending upon one’s perspective, a music reproduction system – namely the hi-fi rig that you own – should not influence which music you play on it. But more often than not, many hi-fi systems do.

Now is the time to ask yourself, does your hi-fi system make you exited about the music you play – or the way it sounds? If it is the latter, it’s no doubt you have now an advanced case of audiophilia nervosa and should take steps – really careful steps – to avoid forgetting your record collection. In a perfect world, your hi-fi rig should steer you – the listener – away from itself by letting the style and content of music carry you away. But more often than not, one is more likely distracted by overkill bass and supermarket tabloid style attention-grabbing treble. Well, at least my current hi-fi rig can play a well recorded rock drum kit way better than the hi-fi currently being stocked at our local mall. Or was it making the recorded singers sound like their right in front of me?

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