Do you have the audiophile 'disease'?

The audiophile "disease" was identified more than a half century ago in Time magazine, but there's still no cure in sight.

Back in 1957, Time magazine reported on "audiophilia," a disease that afflicted the "middle-aged, male and intelligent" and found them to be compulsive and fascinated with bizarre sounds. Hey, that describes me!

Robert Wright

My wife happened to find the article, "Audiophilia," online with no author listed. The article reported that a new neurosis was discovered, audiophilia, an excessive passion for hi-fi sound and equipment. The Audiophiliac was amused.

I admit it, we audiophiles are an obsessive bunch who endlessly fuss over our hi-fis, but no more than car freaks fiddle with their fuel injectors, or computer geeks agonize over bits and apps. Each group has its nut jobs, but they're at least passionate about what they do.

They're involved in something, striving to make it better, to get ever closer to some ever-elusive goal of perfection. If audiophiles take some satisfaction in that, what's the problem?

I'm not sure what to make of the Time piece, whether it was tongue-in-cheek or what. The discoverer of the disease, Dr. Henry Angus Bowes, clinical director in psychiatry at Ste. Anne's Hospital for veterans at Ste. Anne de Bellevue, Quebec, noted that some audiophiles turn up the volume up until it reaches the physical level of pain. Ouch! There is an extraordinary fascination with recreating the actual sounds of instruments. Yeah, so?

Do you have the disease? More important, is there a cure? Maybe we need a telethon.

 

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