How I've Become an Audiophile (Music Lover)
From Self-Doubter to Critical Listener
Music and I share an unusual history. Up until about four years ago, I felt that I couldn't understand music.
As a child, I had a speech delay with some auditory discrimination problems. I had speech therapy until 4th grade. When I was in preschool, my speech was so garbled that no one but my parents could understand me.
My parents didn't have a stereo system. I still don't know why. They just didn't listen to music much. Of course I didn't know that this was unusual until later in life, when I found out that many families had stereo systems in their living rooms!!
I did really like seeing the orchestra play in school. However, because of problems with motor control of my tongue/mouth I wasn't able to learn how to play the clarinet or trumpet.... Music class became a very frustrating experience. My parents did have a piano and I tried to learn that, but I couldn't figure out how to read sheet music. I also felt I was a bit tone deaf. My Grandma tried teaching me to sing but that was also a frustrating experience for me.
So all of these perceived failures added up to me thinking that I just had problems with music.
As a teenager, I wanted to enjoy music, and I got a double cassette player and recorded music off of the radio. I liked doing that and did enjoy some music, but I had trouble understanding the lyrics in most music, and my brain had trouble separating out the individual instrument sounds.
Music often sounded cluttered to me.
Things have changed though..... Music is now one of life's most enjoyable experiences for me!
After spending hours of listening to all kinds of music through good speakers and headphones, now I am a music lover!(Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/lethaargic/4003011776/)
Then It All Changed
My husband, who has been an audiophile all of his life, brought home some old KLH speakers from the thrift store, and he hooked them up, right near me. They did a good job on the midrange and all of a sudden I could understand many of the lyrics. Amazing.
Suddenly I realized that if I had better speakers, I could understand the lyrics!
Since then we have tried out many different speakers, amps, and such.. We have quite a collection! Now I can tell the difference between a boxy-sounding speaker, a boomy speaker system, speakers lacking the midrange, etc. I have this whole range of knowledge that I've gathered from listening to a ton of different speakers and stereo components!!
The More I listen to music, the better I hear it!
Are you an Audiophile?
Best Website for Audiophiles
There are a lot of cool websites out there, but the best one is: Audiokarma Forums. Their motto is "All Audio. No Attitude." It's a great place to learn about audio and to meet other audiophiles!
A Whole New World To Me
Since then, I've developed a love for music. It didn't all come at once. It came in starts and stops.
Now, I'm always asking my husband, "What's that instrument?" I'm starting to guess the instrument right more often than not.
I've finally figured out what kind of music I like, and it's quite an assortment: Classical, Jazz, Folk, Country, Rock... I don't like it all, but I like some of each :)
My Top 5 Favorite Albums
by Brian Bromberg. This is an uplifting jazz album.
Cold Missouri Waters is my favorite song. It is about a fireman fighting a fire and about how the other firemen he was with died. These songs tell stories... All of them are good!
Another storytelling album. The lyrics are great. I especially like "A Juggler Out in Traffic" and "Balloon Man"
K.D. Lang's voice is the best!!
The Best Birthday Present Ever
A few years ago my husband bought me a great birthday present, a pair of AKG K301XTRA headphones. They were perfect for me at the time. They are super comfortable and sound pretty good.
Headphones are great way to listen to music. With good headphones (and even better, a great sound card and headphone amp), you can hear an amazing amount of detail. We like to listen to songs and compare what we hear. Live recordings are especially fun.
Finally we switched from Walkman to Ipod
The next best present we bought together was an MP3 player. We finally bought one, years after everyone else already owned one. For awhile we shared one, but it was just too neat, so we had to get a second one, so we could each carry around music in our pocket.
I listen to my MP3 player when I walk. I try to walk every day and music is a great motivator.
We each have a Sansa Fuze... Pretty good quality and easy to use!
My Favorite Websites for Audiophiles
- AudioKarma.org Home Audio Stereo Discussion Forums
This is my FAVORITE website. All audio, no attitude! Learn from fellow audiophiles about equipment, music, and more. Great community. Something new every day.
- HeadRoom: Stereo Headphones, Amps & DACs, Wireless, Noise Canceling, Ear Canal, Earbud, Audio Ca
Great place to compare headphones. Easy to use frequency response comparison. Headphone ratings and reviews. If you love headphones, you'll love this site!