How serious are you?

On a scale of 1 to 10 with ten being totally obsessed, how serious are you about this hobby?  Explain please. Thanks. 


During the lockdown, I was obsessed with the hobby of buying and selling audio gear about 8 on a 10 scale. I just got a new pair of speakers, but after that, I'm good, so today I would be a 2 on that scale.

@larsman yes my obsession comes and goes but never leaves. I’m probably an 8 highest. There are some things I just won’t do or buy into. But I take no prisoners when it comes to having just the right sound available when called upon which is almost every day to some degree.

My Roon dash says I’ve listened 50 hours and 14 minutes over the last 4 weeks.

Yes it’s come down to my hifi measuring how much time I spend with it. Hope it does not have a hissy fit like HAL in 2001 A Space Odyssey and take it out on me 😉.

Maybe 3. I lost interest with near SOTA systems over 10 years ago. Now my interest is limited to getting the sound that I want to hear. New acquisitions are rare but I did get a new preamp recently because it offered both analog as well as digital DACs, and a Schiit Lokius for old recordings. Sounds pretty good. 

Same here as Larsman...   I made some major changes since 2021 including a second system

My main system is pretty near end game , except for speakers but I am saving that for down the road.   Waiting on a DHT preamp and when that arrives I am pretty much done.  Not much more I could want for and since getting a turntable  I am really enjoying my records again.   Since getting a good streamer I have discovered more music in the past 5 years than in 56 years !    So I am more about enjoying the music than dissecting the hardware .

My second system is super simple and gets me about 75% there.   It is very musically satisfying.   In a few weeks I will have what will be my last piece of hardware for a long time , a pair of Omega Super Alnico Monitors.   

I bought these for System 2 but I will be rotating these and my other compact monitors between both systems to fight boredom and stave off any future upgrades for a while.  

When you have enough gear to put together to put together a third system,  and you have no room then you know you have a problem. That said I am selling off several pieces.   I hate seeing good gear not being enjoyed 

I guess in terms of buying new gear I am more of a 3-4 I’d estimate. I go for a long time with what a I have once I get it right. But I am always on the lookout for technical advancements and features that might move the needle and in most years I am likely to add something new to try but that does not mean I necessarily replaced anything. I keep multiple systems running and also keep spares around just in case needed. Yikes, better make that a 6-7!!  What normal person does that?

For example this year was busier than normal. I bought 2 very good but cost effective stands and updated my streaming with Roon, qobuz, and a second Cambridge Roon ready streamer. Then some new digital wires needed to hook things up off Amazon.  Also I acquired a few spare pieces that I had given my sister  a few years back but that she no longer used. 

I'm with larsman in that I'm very satisfied with my present system. That, and this is kind of a clickbait question if there ever was one. I can't recall the last time I was asked how obsessed I was with something without someone thinking I needed help.

All the best,

@nonoise I asked how serious not obsessed necessarily but I suppose the closer to 10 one gets the more one has to wonder. 🤔

Wondering if anyone is brave enough to fess up with a 10? We know you are out there.  Claim your audiophile crown with pride!


I gave myself an 8 so get the straitjacket ready….

@mapman Every hobby has that potential to go the way of the slippery slope. I call it an obsession based on what I myself went through and am so relieved to be satisfied to the point of not even calling it a hobby anymore.

It's now more of a fulfillment and my ears have thanked me. 😉

All the best,

I didn't have the interest or financial means to focus my capacity for obsession on audio until about 15 years ago, so I never got as far down the rabbit hole as I might've been, had circumstances been different. 

At this point, I'm approaching the end in terms of  feeding the desire for better and better SQ. 

My system, in its present state, is "good enough". Significant improvement in sound-stage depth was the tipping point for me and ironically, I didn't have to spend a cent to achieve it -- I just played around with speaker positioning -- call it my "last gasp" of obsession     :o)

I find I no longer enjoy being obsessed. Chasing "better" is inherently a state of dissatisfaction -- a sort of  "nagging emptiness" demanding to be filled. While I once experienced this state as enlivening, now, it just feels exhausting. To be fair, I do have a tendency for OCD. Those in this hobby who are not so afflicted  may not relate to my sense of relief associated with withdrawing from "upgrade fever".  

Given the above, I'm grateful that I couldn't afford what it would cost to take my system to "the next level" and that, even if I could, the fact that my listening room is my living room would inevitably constrain the return on such an investment.   







Listening to music an 8 to 10.  Equipment about a 2.  Equipment setup around a 5 to 7.

I'm serious to a 10. But I'm not obsessed, it's just that music and audio have always been important. It's a lifestyle. Some guys care about sports or big trucks or fancy guns. Those things mean nothing to me. I'm into music.

My "interest level" has ebbed and waned over the 42 years I’ve been doing this...I’d guess somewhere between an 8 and 10, depending on what’s happening in life. I prefer to call it a passion more than an obsession, because it’s simply my activity of choice most of the time. I’ll admit it was more of an obsession early on, and I didn’t enjoy it as much until I finally got a system that took me where I needed to go. I’m much happier now, use it daily, and enjoy it immensely. 😎

When the kids were younger I obviously couldn’t spend as much time or money. Now that they’re older, I definitely spend more time on it, but since having a very small working budget from the start, that’s pretty much remained my mantra...."poor man’s highend". It takes more time to build or modify gear than to buy a new piece, and takes patience and time to buy the right used gear. So, yeah, I still spend on a lot of time listening and plotting and scheming my next move, and that’s what keeps me interested.

My interests are broader than hi-fi and records- which activities wax and wane depending on a lot things. There have been periods where I didn't set up a system; others where I'm crawling around on the floor troubleshooting, doing album shoot-outs or tube rolling. 

My career was as a copyright lawyer and I did a lot of catalog deals so I know how the industry was structured. A lot has changed.

And my real interest is the history of the technology and the changes in music over time. So I've been beefing up my chops on archival/preservation and am going to try to go back to school- I would be 70 years old by the time I start the program.

I'd say it has consumed a large part of my life but not just as an "audiophile" or record collector. 

I listen to my system pretty much every day and evening so in terms of use/music listening a 10. My interest in gear seems to come in spurts but after my latest upgrades has dropped to say a 4.

Covid's period of total isolation is done, 3 systems overhauled during that period, inherited 4,000 lps, all done.

health issues keeping me home a lot, but home theater, pre-recorded shows, streaming shows is happening much more than listening.

back to acquiring a bit of 'new to me' music and listening, by myself a 3, with friends say 6  regarding interest, but frequency of that down, everyone busy, glad to be out and about, outdoor weather ....

Listening is an 8.Upgrading is a 3.The day isn't complete unless I can settle in front of the system and listen to music for an hour at least.

Probably 11. Explanation?  Playing with this stuff for 54 years. Look at my "All Out Assault" system Thankfully, I've got what I want. Oh, the CD player has been upgraded....



Some guys care about sports or big trucks or fancy guns. Those things mean nothing to me. I'm into music.


Same here -- both listening and playing!  

About the same as Cleeds. I love the music, and came to love and be enthused about the gear as well. Always loved to work on stuff as well, so that became a large part of it.

Still a great hobby for us old guys, I hope my hearing goes last!



I am not sure what defines "serious," or whether you are asking about the music or about home audio reproduction specifically, but in terms of dollars invested and system optimization, most would probably say I am at least a little serious.

From my perspective, I am fortunate to have a nice sounding system and to be done with the urge to upgrade. I enjoy listening to music whether reproduced or live, and lately I enjoy whichever system I am listening to, but I am not obsessed about any of it.


When I was building my system, I was probably a 9, but since then I've eased off to a 4.

I had tongue cancer surgery in April 2021 followed up with chemo and radiation.  I have been into audio since the 1970 but lost all interest in everything.  My music did nothing for me, I had no interest in my 'retirement Porsche' and my wife and I had to put any travel plans on hold.

Fast forward to the last 4 months and there has been a significant change in my interest and mental attitudes. I am all in enjoying my music and I actually find joy in it once again.  I'm glad to be a part of this community.

I’m probably a 9. I got way too invested. Loved it so much I became a dealer to help others. I am taking a point away because I do have friends and customers who spend way more money than me on it. While I have some upper echelon gear, I’m not spending my life savings away on it like some people. I probably spend 1-2hrs listening daily for myself (used to be before I had my business) and about 4 hours / day helping others on it and working on growing my own dealership business. 

I am probably a 8. It has been a continuous passion for over fifty years… taking precedence over but not exclusively of other sedentary pursuits. It has not prevented me from traveling the world, SCUBA diving, riding my bicycles all over the continent around 100,000 miles, backpacking, rafting the Grand Canyon collecting and reading thousands of books, taking care of my disabled partner. My system is the second largest asset I own, after my house and before my two cars, and sporting equipment. While it has been a major expense, it did not bankrupt us or prevent enjoying other aspects of life. In retirement all the work and expense has really paying back in enjoyment.


A 10+ while I built the house of stereo and the ensuing 3 years to get it just right to my ears. Now it's smooth sailing and I feel I have regained my sanity.

@ghdprentice nice!  I may be ready to retire sometime not too far ahead as well.   Still mulling over what I might do then. 

When I had my house built I had speaker wires run in wall throughout the house and the room my gear is in fully insulated with solid wood door.  Maybe that bumps me up a point or 2?  

I am not a hoarder but I do have a spare amp or two, extra preamp, extra tuner, extra DAC , extra speakers ,  back up sources just in case something dies or needs service.   Can't be without music , it's a major way for me to unwind.   

I would normally be about a 7 or 8. Currently however I am designing and will be building a listening room in my basement that will take all of my attention for the next 5 or 6 months. Once the room, the electrical, the networking, the sound proofing, the room treatment, etc. are complete; I'll see how my system sounds and figure out what to upgrade.

I currently think I'll be in the market for a higher end streaming set up, and trying to fit my tube amplifier in with my other solid state set up.....haven't figured that one out yet. Eventually I will add higher end speakers, but I don't think I'll ever get rid of my Buchardt Audio S400 MKIIs.....I LOVE those little speakers.

Warning: I drank a bottle of champagne as I cooked dinner tonight, as the following may make obvious.

We all started out first as music lovers (I myself bond with other humans first and foremost in terms of being fellow music lovers), eventually becoming audiophiles in our need to be afforded a deeper immersion in and appreciation of recorded music (I hope that doesn’t sound too pretentious). If we are not careful, the pursuit of sound quality can become more important than the music itself (I speak from experience). That’s why many serious Classical music lovers view audiophiles with contempt.

The pursuit of high fidelity is a noble endeavor, assuming one keeps the ultimate objective in mind: the music itself. At a certain age---with the benefit of accumulated wisdom, one may feel freed of the pursuit of the highest fidelity as the great beyond approaches, realizing that the recording and reproduction of music is inherently limited, and that the hearing and appreciation of music should be one’s focus, whatever the quality of the sound.

Which brings us to the old basic tenant: Are you first and foremost a music lover, or an audiophile? Some of my favorite recorded music suffers from mediocre sound quality, yet still manages to thrill me. The quality of the system it is played on is immaterial.

So what is the point of assembling a high performance hi-fi system? To do as little harm as possible to recorded and reproduced music, within reasonable expectations. The definition of reasonable is the trick.


After a hiatus from my cancer surgery, I jumped back into the audio forums in April this year (2023).  I bought a PSA DirectStream DAC so my natural inclination was to follow the PSA forums.

I became so disillusioned with the cult following for cables, fuses and snake oil, I dialed back my participation and involvement.  What I have discovered about myself is that I'm a music lover, not an audiophile.  I have a decent setup and feel bad for all the sincere hobbyist's that get sucked in by all the hype pumped out by the 'cult' 

I don’t really get the question.....serious about what exactly? its just listening to music...

@bdp24 +1

I wish I could write as eloquently and cogently as you do on a bottle of my favorite beverage. 😄 That's exactly the reason I tried to convey in that I've finally settled on what's good enough for me to just sit back and listen.

All the best,

Uh, @mapman ....If your Roon goes Hal on you, it's because that's only 11 min. 21 sec. a day on the average....

Obviously, we've got to get you listening to it more....for your own safety....😟

Yes, I'd assume you've 'other things' that need to be heard in your daze, but one never can assume their Roon won't go rogue on you...  

Per the Goog (Knows All; Knows You Laugh @ It Because):

Is audiophile a disorder?

The audiophilic syndrome is characterized by preoccupation with the reproduction of recorded music and other sounds in the home. The afflictee spends a high percentage of his/her income on electronic and mechanical equipment as well as recordings of the sounds themselves.

Now, while I've got you 'en garde'....

Consider this a....'vaccination'.....yeah, a 'jab'...;)

Get those hours in...

...and the booster, while you're hear....


Lost count awhile back....😜

Building my dream system took 30 years at an easy level of 9.750. Now I spend my time in pursuit of music at a robust level of 9.875. The internet changed everything for me... so much music just a click away. Now my mailbox is just a new cd receptacle. At least 5 a week. I love CDs. (newest find is an Iranian singer named Sevdaliza)

Serious Obsession?

I just watched Crazy CAR WIZARD Stories: Six cars that truly Ruined My Customer's lives!  One of them was, using money set aside for his wife's cancer treatments to fund his car repairs.  I'm going to set this as 10.  This will put me at about 2.  Blasphemic but there are things in my life that are way WAY more important than Audio.

I was always serious about my audio and music since my first system at the 18 yrs old and many more upgrades since. I’m now 57 and recently purchased my new Audio Research Ref 750s mono blocks along with having upgraded my Audio Research REF 6 to 6SE. And just purchased a gorgeous rack and 2 amp platforms from Timbernation. I also just bought about 25 mobile fidelity 24k cds that I really love. So I’d say both audio and music a 10 as of now. Look at my all out assault system in my profile. 

I'm close to a 10.  Roon says I listen 10-12 hours per week but that doesn't include vinyl.  Listening to music is my drug of choice.  It has always been my means of coping with stress and unplugging after work.  I never use my system as background music.  I look forward to a concert as often as I can.  It is in a dedicated, treated room and if it is on then I am in my spot listening.  I get drawn in- always been that way.  Roon also shows that I listen 4-5 days a week.  Again, that doesn't include vinyl because when I listen to vinyl I don't turn the DAC on.  Used to be I might listen to 1/2 to one CD before switching to vinyl.  Now, I listen mostly to digital since revamping my system the last couple of years.

I have revamped my stereo eight times over 47 years.  I typically would change nearly everything over a one to two year period and then leave it alone for 10-15 years.  My latest splurge which was a cost no object project- in as much as my conservative midwestern upbringing would allow met my goals of killer sound and hi res streaming.  I thought I had tempered my spending quite well; but friends and family have this look that implies I should seek help.  Doesn't everyone have a dedicated room for audio with panels and treatments on the walls, ceiling and floors?


I listen pretty much every day, I have 4 systems, three are vintage and one main. The vintage systems morphed during COVID, and are still going strong in terms of use. Ive restored and had restored components, soldering troubleshooting etc. Ive customized and restored a Thorens and AR turntable. I put in my own NAS and fiber network, digitizing all of my cds and SACDs. I no longer get sticker shock at the prices of high end audio. I just purchased an Esoteric N05 network streamer….so I’m maybe an 8 or 9 out of 10…..but that maybe conservative. Hey it’s a hobby!

I have too many hobbies.  I enjoy them all, but I don't obsess over any of them.  They can all cost a lot of money and require budgeting, but not airplane money.

I guess I'm a 3.  I'm serious enough to have a dedicated room, but I'm frugal enough to not play in the "Class A" pool very much.

I'm also older and my hearing is what it is.

Better headphone system will probably be a step in the future when we "downsize".

Let’s just say that anyone who spends time on an audiophile web site is pretty serious.  We have already estimated on a different thread that percentage of the general public that cares about audiophilia is under one percent, probably a few hundred thousand in the US.  And then only a small fraction of that group will care enough to discuss these issues regularly on line.  So folks by virtue of us being here we are all at least a 9 in my book

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I have several systems in my house so you guess. Having said that, there is a price point I will not go over because I think the dealers sit back, look at their equipment, and come up with a number they think they can get those crazy people to pay. I made a decision long ago to not be one of those crazy people.

I killed off most of my serious brain cells in the 70's.  But if I lived close to any high-end stereo shops I might be thinking.......