How Has Your Finely Tuned Audiophile Dexterity Helped You in Your "Other" Life?

Listening. Observing. Trying. Failing. Perceiving the nuances. And, sledge hammer impacts. Developing a new vocubulary. (As well as using very familiar terms when things don’t go as expected), Sorting through tons of data. Skillfully differentiating between the things that matter, and things that don’t. To us, anyway.

So, how have these skills (and, being a generally good person) helped you in life? Or, others?

Here’s one to start:

Wine Pouring:

My wife and I like to drink wine. Landing a enjoyable wine in the single digits (after all discounts applied) is a big win for us. Our evening of wine allocation and enjoyment generally takes on the following cadence: Pour One. Pour two (making sure to save just a little in the bottle). Then, the highly anticipated "desperation pour". The last 2 sips for each poured from the bottle. This way we take a pause, and take the time to fully appreciate those last two sips. Silly, but it’s what we do.

Frankly, I’ve gotten pretty good at this wine allocation thing. Equal pours, every time. For a while there, I thought I was just "lucky" and timed it just right. But, recently, I’ve concluded it’s something more. My "finely tuned audiophile" dexterity.

As we have all observed, when you fill a vessel with liquid, the frequency of the sound changes as the space in the vessel becomes occupied with more liquid. I was unaware that I was paying attention to those frequencies and my brain remembered the frequency at the conclusion of the last pour. So, when filling the second glass, I just listened and stopped when the frequency of the last pour was matched. Seems to work for me (within a tolerance of a few Hz/Mls). This doens’t help when you’re camping in near darkness and miss the glass completely, but has worked for us in a workable domestic sense for quite some time. Now I thank Sal Marantz, Frank McIntosh, and others after those (nearly) perfect pours.


I know it hasn't helped my golf game. Except I've found I can distinguish the tree species by the sound my ball makes hitting it.


It helped me understanding the universe...

There is no inside separated from an outside...

There is no separated body and no separated soul ; only music...Infinite diversified harmony...

I have not much dexterity as many here...But plenty of imagination...

Acoustics is creative imagination working from one measured parameters to another in our own personal way...

Each room is a universe...




I'm able to keep a keen ear out for frogs, lice, flies, hail and locusts.



I believe that the right music can be extremely healing. There are stories out there about people using music to improve their health. If nothing else, the experience is very close to mediation when you turn the lights down, close your eyes, and let your mind let go of the day’s troubles. And we know meditation is good for you. I also think you can use the hobby to build confidence. Being really good at something (like building a great music system) helps me when I run into troubles elsewhere in life. It’s something to fall back on and think: I’m really good at this one thing, I bet I can get good at this other thing I’m struggling with. 

If anything, it has hampered my "other" life. At least the part that still involves music. Whether at a bar, theatre, stadium, or outside venue for amplified live or recorded music, it nearly always sounds like such crap compared to a decent stereo rig that I am hardly ever interested in venturing out to hear music any more, unless an intimate venue with a properly adjusted sound board (extremely rare). And if I just happen to be where it is playing, I almost always cannot tolerate the bad sound so much that I have to exit the area. I’d much rather listen at home to the same music, but with much higher sound quality. Especially if the music is amongst my familiar and favorite stuff. I’ve developed a zero tolerance level for most performances outside of my home. Sad.

Since I do some DIY, I have improved my soldering and fabrication skilz.

My understanding of electronics has also increased, though I admit, not a lot.

That translates over to other things in 'real' life.


Yeah, I get it. I attended a music program at a large church last Christmas. A few seconds into the performance, I had a strong desire to rent some scaffording and rip out all the cheap "builder grade" speaker wire and replace it with "good stuff". Everyone around me was smiling, and singing along. I found that singing loudly helped the situation.

But..... on the other hand, when they DO get it "right" at a music venue, I’m the happiest guy in the room, filled with joy, gratitude, and appreciation for all who made it happen.

So, that’s the "tariff" for being an audio nurd?


Well, there you go.  That's something worth sharing.  "Others" probably benefit from your new skillset as well, I'll bet.

Okay, here’s another one. Hot rodding:

I have an older car with solid lifters connected to the camshaft. The car sounded like a Singer sewing machine running down the road at high RPM from the driver’s position. Audiophiles use a product called "Acoustical Magic" to dampening the ringing on turntable platters, and I had a can of it laying around. Since my valve cover (yes, one in case) was made of aluminum, I thought: "Why not?" So, I cleaned up the inside, de-greased it, applied the magic stuff, baked it in the oven for several hours, let it cool, and reinstalled.

It truly was "magic." Now I hear the exhaust, and the wind. A definitely upgrade in the "SQ" of my ride.

@waytoomuchstuff ...

I found that singing loudly helped the situation.

Ha! Hadn’t thought of trying that. But if I start singing, then EVERYONE will leave! 🤣

Hasn't helped one bit.

No audio club where I live.

All of my family and normal friends think it's weird.

My four music buff friends get it, but only one is willing to spend serious coin and effort with setup to "get there".

My wife has to remind me most people just don't care how good or bad music sounds, it's just background noise.

I've learned the hard way unless a guest requests to listen to my system (almost never) they will not get excited about how it sounds.

I have exactly one friend like me who is willing to cut expenses in other areas in order to have the best gear he can afford.

I'm envious of people who live in a city large enough to have an audio club, and access to audio shows.

As much as I love this since hobby (since age 15) I can't fathom why more people don't embrace it like I do.


Most people dont care about art, nor astronomy nor poetry neither about number theory or mammals morphology or linguistic astounding revelations...

Most people love when they recognize the melody corporations sell them , now making it as a sound enginering pop-up merchandize industry...

Most people dont care about history, geopolitics or medecine true art, they sleepwalk to death with pods in the ears ... Sorry ...

They dont give a damn about acoustics when listening music nor about some senile warmonger pushing the nuclear button ...

i am not optimist this month ... 🤐

Now i dont think you are weird...You had a passion and curiosity...

No audio club where I live.

All of my family and normal friends think it's weird.


Regrettably it hasn’t helped me at all.  Sometimes I try to communicate my love of well reproduced music and I can measure the amount of time for the listeners eyes to glaze over with a stopwatch.  Occasionally someone will listen tome and then start enthusing about the soundbar they purchased from Best Buy, which they probably haven’t listened to in years, and it is an effort for me not to pull the audio snob face and really be a major bore.  I’ve learned not to discuss it at all.

Having the skills you mention helped me develop an audiophile system.

I got those skills from learning to play the guitar and from reading and writing.

Understanding a bit better psycho-acoustics problems and acoustic one was very deep philosophically in meaning.. it help me to think ...

i am not gifted musically , i was thrown out of choral when i was young because of my unability to perceive tonal correctness and reproduce it ...

i now think that it is because sound for me are more a set of continuous visual meaningful abstractions than separate sounds ...I visualize symphonies for example as the Bruckner 5 th for example as an entire story , an abstract movie full of meanings , i can translate in words as a story to some degree ...

( in the 5th symphony the composer reproduce a near death experience when all his life events are recorded and lived anew but with a new meaning till the final chord of the last long fugue in the last movement , reproducing in the same order the life events lived through as emotions in the first movements.... it is for this reason for me the greatest deeper symphony ever written after the 7th of Beethoven who describe the grounded movement of any natural life seeds or animals and how by his creative potential any life break even the hardest resistance to grow in an irresistible liberating movement the symphony describe in the allegretto; for sure, there is more beautiful symphonies as the ninth of Bruckner or the sixth of Beethoven but no deeper one for me , the most tragic symphony is the Schumann 4th by Furtwangler describing exactly his mental disease , one of the deepest symphony too i ever heard especially directed by a maestro who was able to understand his meaning... Almost no other maestro could because they think that this symphony is a mere piece of music instead of a cry desesperate for help and reproducing his mental state oscillations between abyss despair and rare ectasy )... ...

Then i am deaf to separate tones even if i perceive them distinctly it is always perceived by associative differentiation not isolated has no colors for me though as for each tone experience in some synesthesia ... Instead music for me is dynamical forms i see in space ...It is the reason i was in ectasy with Bach at 13 years old ... It is the more geometrically balanced composer ...At the age when others listened to the beatles i was in Bach because of that "handicap" ...

The philosophical aspects of my last decade investigation in music and acoustic had a deep impact in my worldview... Instead of thinking about music to be as said Leibnitz very astutely :

"Music is the pleasure the human mind experiences from counting without being aware that it is counting" - Gottfried Leibniz

I was sure of that all my life ...

But i changed my mind after my acoustic journey, now i know for sure that it is mathematics which is musical, a silent music , in his core not the reverse ....

Mathematic as music must be perceived and is perceived as music is in TIME RYTHMS....The great mathematician Alain Connes think so ... And my last thinker discovery think exactly that : anirban

The Rhythm of The Primes

Taking someone from a position of ambivalence to being wildly enthusiastic about quality sound reproduction is a pretty steep gradient for anyone. Small, precise steps may be the solution.

I’m attaching to link to what I used as a training exercise for my guys to demonstrate quite simply what their job is as an "audio consultant." I’ll not attempt to add context here. Hopefully, the clip will speak for itself.

I’ve found the "perfect storm" for those most likely to migrate into "audiophile territory" requires 2 components. 1) a profound interest and appreciation for music, and 2) a sense of "play" where they are highly interested in things to mess around and experiment with. The combination of these 2 produces the lifetime of musical enjoyment and presents infinite possibilities to elevate the listening experience to another level thru experimentation, research, etc.

I’ve seen "the light come on" when demonstrating real high fidelity sound to customers for the first time. Their ears were opened. And, so were their wallets. The hardest "nut to crack" for me were trained musicians with enormous investments in their musical pedigrees and equipment ($30k cello, $8k bow comes to mind). I just couldn’t move these guys off of the "lower mid-fi" category into to decent gear. It was probably me.

I remember many years ago a man came in looking for speakers, accompanied by his 8-year-old son. As the music started, the 8-year-old began "coaching" his dad on what to listen for. When that 8-year-old reached 18 years of age, I hired him on the spot and never looked back. He is still currently working full time in the business I founded (and sold). And, having fun. Some people just gravitate towards high quality audio the elements required to achieve it. Some people don’t.

For me it is a chicken and egg thing.

I love very complex highly ambiguous problems where just getting your feet on the ground and bearings are hard. I love and thrive in this environment. So high end audio, and my job as electro-mechanical engineer (with the objective of being an inventor), scientist given only a goal and no guidance what so ever, and a corporate executive given massive global projects to do things that no one had done before, for me were all things I loved.

My experience with high end audio… establishing goals, separating the bs from reality, experimenting… the same as what I did professionally… so clearly my audio experiences helped with work and visa versa.

The really funny thing is for decades, completely by accident I ended up working in companies that are primary sources of high end subcomponents for high end audio… Burr-Brown Corp and Texas Instruments. So all wrapped together for me.

I have a couple of friends who have had very successful careers as Classical musicians, who could well afford high end gear, and who are perfectly happy with dreck.  They tell me that their brains probably fill in the missing stuff.  So no, @waytoomuchstuff , it isn’t you.

It sounds like we have the same experiences, @tomcarr .  It’s nice to have a site such as this to virtually meet fellow enthusiasts.


Yes it does, @mahler123 . This is an isolating hobby. I'm also grateful to have this site.


"The really funny thing is for decades, completely by accident I ended up working in companies that are primary sources of high end subcomponents for high end audio… Burr-Brown Corp and Texas Instruments. So all wrapped together for me."

Back in the 70's when I was working at a "consumer electronics" store, I was reminded by someone that we were selling products from the company that built the planes that bombed Pearl Harbor (Mitsubishi), and the company that made the chemicals that killed people in death camps (BASF). Not exactly a "feel good" moment in my audio career.  


Yes. Times change. Vietnam is now a great tourist destination. I’ve worked in Japan for a couple years finding the Japanese to be incredibly friendly, especially to Americans. Walking around Hiroshima was humbling.

I worked in Germany as well. I became really good friends with some executives. One looked and acted as you would imagine a nazi officer would be like. In a gray suit with brilliant intelligent blue eyes, he could wither people into submission with a look from across the room. A really scary individual… well, unless you got to be friends. So, I asked him, what he thought of World War 2. This was in Stuttgart, he was 8 years old when a bomb landed in his front yard giving him a scar on his face. He said, “We started it, we deserved it, got our asses kicked.”

There is a graveyard in Singapore that is on a distant hill overlooking the city. There are hundred of graves of the Indian Gurkhas troops that attempted to defend the city. Even the thought of this place brings tears to my eyes. What a waste.

When I was young and stupid I thought different cultures were naturally prone to do bad things. I have little recourse other than repeat, I was young and stupid. It is a terrible flaw in humans with the right circumstances.


@y'all....I have too many 'other lives', damn few have made any rational use of my audiophilia...

Actually, the inverse is more likely....woodworking relates to cabinetry or shelving or racks....knowledge and practical experience with plastics and metal? Ditto.

I just finished installing a mini-split system into a motor home, VAC wiring and all.

Oh, and the compressor had to be on the Other side of the chassis, and all the pipes, wiring concealed ...of course.

Not saying the audio detail devils are simple, no.

But i've got complicated this 'n that to burn up the balance of this existence already....not prone to volunteer at this junction of the function....*mock growl*