The Custom Installer: Distributing Audio for Audiophiles

Certain things will automatically mark you as uncool. Walking down the street wearing a Michael Jackson "Beat It" jacket, for instance. Or admitting you voted for Sanjaya. And I certainly don't expect to wow the ladies with the fact that I belonged to my high-school chess club - all 4 years.

It seems to be equally uncool to admit to being an audiophile. With more regularity than I care to remember, when a conversation with a customer turns to topics such as quality and performance, he'll throw up his hands and proclaim, "Hey! I'm no audiophile. I just like good sound."

I can understand why people might want to distance themselves from the "audiophile" label, since audiophiles have often staked claims that aren't too far off from what you'd expect to hear from that guy who spends all day on the corner drinking out of a paper bag and shouting non sequiturs at passing cars. Perhaps you recall the fad of coating the edges of CDs with a green Magic Marker to cut down on laser reflections. Or the practice of cryogenically freezing audio components to improve performance. Or suspending speaker wiring (using special stands, of course) to improve ... something.

But being an audiophile doesn't mean you have to believe in that mumbo jumbo. You can just be a music lover who wants to enjoy good sound to whatever level your budget allows. And since audiophile is from the Latin audire, "to hear," and the Greek philos, meaning "loving," being an audiophile really means that you love to listen - something I'd expect all Sound & Vision readers to cop to.