Audiophile Stories

Everyone has an “audiophile story”. Most of you are audiophile stories. But whatever. I’m just guessing here, but I’d hazard that most of you have an image tucked into your metaphorical back pocket about that time your kids lit up about something you were playing on your stereo — or completely failed to. Or the time that dinner party degenerated into a Journey sing-along (okay, maybe that was just me). Or that time the power tube went purple and sheets of flame shot up six feet in the air while your infant twins grinned and pointed from their playpen, hooting the word “hot!” over and over (okay, maybe that’s just me, too).

But whatever the circumstances, that’s part of the audiophile thing, too. In many ways, that’s perhaps more real. Yeah, we’re “all about the music”, blah blah blah. But, I submit, that even the most hardcore ‘phile out there, once they pulled their head from their rectum and the reverb from the giant sucking sound faded out, even they would have a tale to tell.

And that’s what I want to capture. Want to share?

Let’s call these “Audiophile Stories”, a new, some-time, series here on the site. No, we’re not replacing anything and yes, there will still be screeds and shows and product examinations, but perhaps you could say that maybe a little humanity would be fun to read, too.

So, if you got ’em, send ’em on.


  1. Yeah, I have a small story concerning my daughter when she was about 6 yrs old. My wife and I was sleeping soundly one Saturday morning approximately 7 A.M. I love audio and everything and had bought a new surround system. Nothing special. Sony stuff. But at 6 yrs old my daughter had no idea how to use my remote control. She knew how to change channels and stuff but no idea how to turn the whole system on. We were sleeping soundly as I said when we were suddenly woken up to aliens invading our house.

    Let me explain?

    This was back in the day when TV stations went off air late in the morning and you would see red blue green yellow, whatever, color on the television screen along with a sound that sounded like, well aliens, as I said. Kind of like an air raid sound which all of us has heard at one time or another on radio or T.V. Booooooop, Boooooop, Booooooooop Boooooooooooop at approximately 120 decibels or so. My Sony receiver was 120 watts a channel with Cerwin Vega RE 30 speakers and of course when I jumped out of bed to see these aliens, [which my daughter had already eaten]. Thank God!!! was by the T.V. with the remote control in her hand looking at me like {I didn’t do nothing Daddy}. And as I said of course it was full tilt. All the way up. I remember my wife and I jumped up out of bed at the exact same time and looked at each other in bewilderment of what the heck is happening. Are we being attacked by the enemy or by the aliens. As I found out it was just my wonderful 6 yr old daughter wanting to watch cartoons on Saturday morning. My bad!!!

  2. Anyone here been embarrassed with there choice of audio refinement? I have on two occasions. I would like to share one of my audiophile embarrassment stories. I participate in this hobby with 3 friends who are also audiophiles. I remember like it was yesterday I was jumping on the Home Theater bandwagon when I came across the PS Audio Classic 250 on the internet. This piece of kit to my eyes was the most beautifull jeweled amplifier ever devised. I shared with my friends my lust for this amp and we as a group were always curious as to how it would sound. I never satisfied that itch as it lacked 3 channels and I had no room for 2 monster amps that being the 5 channel amp I bought and on top of that the classic 250. Jump ahead maybe 5 years and I am searching for an amplifier for my living room system. My requirements are it has to fit in our living room cabinet and it has to be significantly better (at least in my mind) then the current Newcastle 925 receiver residing in the cabinet. I purchased the PS Audio Ice amp the GCC 500 for this purpose. Well that went over well with the wife as I got the silent treatment instead of the yelling treatment so now I am searching for new speakers to maximize my new amps potential. This all takes place in the Washington DC region and after visiting every audio store around I am down to a final decision. Actually the decision has been made and I am with 2 of my audio friends heading to UHA to play the speakers with my amp to see if the synergy is right. The good folks at UHA have been trying to sale me there Jolida amps along with a set of speakers and when my friends and I arrive Greg has pulled out his big cannon to sway me away from my GCC. Sitting on a very nice steel audio stand was a PS Audio Classic 250 waiting and hooked up to my speaker choice the Dali Helicon 400. I would say the entire groups jaw dropped and this amp staring at us was even more impressive then the website showed. Undaunted I hand my GCC over to Greg who looks at this digital piece of kit with disdain and guttorial disapproval. Guttorial disapproval is kinda like diarreah with your pants on but lets not go there. This has become something much more then just a synergy check. All my neurons are firing as I drool at the Classic 250 and images of me and my classic 250 rocking the dog house which is where I surely would be if I brought this gorgeous monstrosity into my wifes living room. There is also the inevitable comparison between the GCC and Classic which is going to take place. Well the GCC is hooked up and wouldn’t you know it the sound is very good but memory seemed to serve me that the Helicons sounded better last time I was here. I have a plan B which are sitting in the room which are the Dali Evidence 870s. The 870s to my ears and my friends ears over reached it’s price point to stand as an admirable backup to the Helicons. After a couple of songs Greg gets up and exclaims something is not quite right. He hooks up the classic 250 and pushes righteous goodness into the Helicons. The difference was wider then I could spread my arms. The bass was bolder the highs were more extended and sparkled and 2 of my best Audiophile friends were there to witness the slaughter of my GCC 500 at the hands of it’s bigger same brand brother the Classic 250. I am embarrassed not for my self mind you but for my aluminum box of capacitors, transistors and digital filtering. Only an audiophile could be embarrassed for a piece of equipment. The synergy check with the Helicons is now a full blown disaster. My GCC being laughed at by my audiophile friends and Greg with his I told you so look was all swimming through my head as I tried to make sense of how this could happen to me. This is the single most embarrising moment of my audiophile life outside my touching my buddies speaker wires and blowing his McCormack amps fuse. Thank Tesla for fuses. Well as luck would have it plan B was hooked up and the GCC acqutted itself quite well against the Classic 250. The Dali 870s did not seem to care which amp was hooked up to them and they sang with the same gusto. My friends were all sure the GCC was going to be retired (after maybe 4 months of life) but I licked my wounds and purchased the speakers that were happy with my amp. I have never regretted that decision as it was the sane choice to make at the time considering the logistics, WAF and living room arguments for the smaller amp and speakers. In less then a year my dream fantasy purchase ended when PS Audio discontinued the Calssic 250 and my window of opportunity had passed. I have since moved to a larger house and often wish I had picked that PS Audio Classic 250 up. I should note the GCC is an integrated amp and I do not remember what preamp the Classic 250 had hooked up. I have since learned most likely the output filter in the GCC was the culprit for the synergy check disaster.

  3. Hmm for kid and audio stories I don’t have much yet but I do have a lot of audiophile lunacy type of stories that I’m sure will make a lot of you laugh.

    When I got a new Shunyata Venom 3S power cord and wanted to break it in while I was making other tweaks to my system I found that it could fit on my child’s baby bottle sterilzier. Since the sterilizer is used multiple times a day 7 days a week and draws more current than my DAC I was going to use it with I thought why not. It could break-in while I was working on other things and becoming more familiar with the other changes I made to my system. So for 3 weeks I had the Shunyata Venom 3s in place of the stock power cord on the baby bottle sterilzer and no one caught onto me.

    I have some other odd thiings I’ve done to break-in new outlets, power cords, and power conditioners. I’ll post those later when I have more time.

  4. I recall when my (then) 6 yr old twins were listening to Justin Bieber on my main rig. I told them they needed to turn it off and they reacted by asking their mother why “daddy doesn’t like music?”

  5. A little humanity will go a long way…. I think this is a great idea.

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