I often get emails from audiophiles asking my opinions of
certain combinations of products or upgrades. Sometimes their questions are
about components I’ve reviewed in the past, and sometimes not, but regardless
of the specifics of their questions, most boil down to the simple quest for
empirical and experiential information about products and product mating’s that
they haven’t heard yet. In short, they want to bypass part of the evaluation
process so that they can more quickly get to the endgame.
In many ways this is akin to taking a trip on an express train
so you get to your destination faster, but it’s oftentimes at the expense of
enjoying the views and experience of taking a slower mode of transportation. It’s
dumping the journey in favor of the destination.
I believe that to fully enjoy the hobby of audiophilia you
should be more involved in the process and less with the endgame of “perfect
sound forever.” By this I mean that the experience of listening to music
through different components in your system is REALLY what the hobby is all
about. The goal of achieving optimum sound is a byproduct of the quest.
But if you don’t enjoy the search, you are missing out on a
major part of the experience. Often times the question of which is better, A or
B, comes down to the simple expression, “Listen For Yourself,” because in the
end listening is what the hobby is all about…