I have been wanting to write about this for a long time and was trying to find a way to be as cordial as possible, but……….there is not really a way to do that and most audiophiles keep proving that to me. So, with inspiration from a good guy and a recent experience, I decided it is time to blow the whistle as it were.
Sean at Zero Fidelity came up with the Seven Audiophile Sins in a recent video and it was just about the simplest and yet best editorial on the subject I have ever heard. (I actually came up with a number 8 “sin”). I think many of us can relate to at least one of them and if we are intellectually honest with ourselves we can also find at least one that we are or were guilty of. (By the way, I do recommend you check out Zero Fidelity. Sean does a great job talking about gear and such in a real world and very honest way).
I am not going to use the word “sin” though as it denotes oppressive religion. I’m going to use the term “defective thought”, that is really what it is.
So, I am going to break it down similar to the way I saw it and explain it from my own experiences and knowledge. This is not going to be a “bitch session” (well, maybe a tiny bit) or a call for a lynch mob or a doctrine of hate, because how is that different from the defective thought and behavior I am discussing in this article? This is more a note of awareness to avoid these behaviors, not only in others, but ourselves as well.
Besides just being unpleasant human traits that some have, the other reason is that I always hear complaints about how there are not enough folks in the “hobby” and that “we need to find ways to attract more people to it”. The problem is that there are two agendas to it and they are working against each other and therefore unless one is eliminated, we will be forever stuck on this treadmill. Agenda “A” is that of what could be likened to religion. It is the theory of “strength in numbers alone”. Just as with monotheistic religions who constantly complain that there are not enough members and then turn around and continue to be exclusive to remain in judgement of others instead of inclusive and fair. So it is with most audiophiles, they complain constantly how nobody is interested in the hobby and then run around like religious zealots, harshly judging others (even among themselves) and doing everything they can to remain exclusivity and “holier than thou” attitude keeping anyone interested in the hobby out of it while continuing to complain. By the way, that “harsh judgement” comes in a variety of topics: the biggest being money (income, budget, your existing system’s monetary worth, your choice in music, brand names, what you read, etc.).
The opposite agenda (we’ll call it Agenda “B”), we almost never see from these groups is the one that says, “hey, we can’t keep this goodness to ourselves, it brings so much happiness, we need to share it with others, so they can enjoy it too. We need to find a way to welcome new folks into the hobby genuinely”. So group/agenda “A” is selfish, exclusive, elitist, prehistoric, the good ol’ boys club (and by the way, exclusive to men as well, women are not allowed unless they serve as eye candy or some kind of receptionist function or something. That is almost a whole other subject too). Group/agenda “B” is sharing, kindhearted, fair, inclusive and evolved. Continue reading