... a position of lesser prominence

Has music taken a position of lesser prominence? I stumbled across this post from the October, 1981 HFNRR periodical. A Freudian approach, with I presume a touch of satire.

Provided for your consideration and enjoyment.

… a position of lesser prominence.


I was preoccupied with Audio gear in my 20s. I am 65 now. I went through a period when I said enough, just focus on the music.
Now, with the incredible system I have it doesn’t take anything at all to focus on the music.

Chicken → Egg?


Interesting article, food for thought and introspection. Thanks for posting.


Individual’s priorities and finances dictate what they buy / acquire. Look at everything called luxury goods and services (includes but not limited to jewellery, watches, designer clothing, cars, motorbikes, signature yachts, private jets, designer furniture, designer homes, travel in style, etc.). Time machines could be $100 or $100k; warm clothing could be $100 or $100k. There are designer shoes for €30k and beverages at astronomical figures. So, where is focus / prominence in all the above?

Music or system, it’s all subject to one’s priorities and disposable $$. Suffice to say I never heard of an audiophile who put their hobby ahead of their family’s wellbeing or their personal wellbeing!

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I’ve been part of the lunatic fringe since I was a teenager. And proud of it!


As I have stated since joining this forum some three years back the music experience is fundamentally important. The listening equipment is a means to an end. Upgrading can be fun, but only to the point that it serves the music. I have on more than several occasions witnessed owner’s systems that were totally out of proportion to their music collections, including several salon style dealers. Specifically, rather expensive stereo systems, and meager music collections. Most notable in the day of vinyl, streaming has altered this perception somewhat.

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My impression of the article is the author, while trying to be objective, was deriding the gear crazy audiophile (lunatic fringe), albeit in a wink wink sort of way (he is an academic after all). What leads me to this is the overuse of “fetishist” for those who take stereo equipment seriously. Yes, those of us who do this are a little over the top and we do like our equipment, but in the context of when this article was written (1981) being referred to as a fetishist was more of a derogatory term (i.e., a pervert). Of course, in today’s world some folks take great pleasure in being a fetishist (though not so much a pervert!) and telling others too much detail, the more I can shock you the better! We all live on a spectrum and for the most part the extremes of that spectrum are not good vs. bad, they are just variations in human behavior. There’s a lot more that could be debated here but I (and many here) don’t need to justify our choices.

What it comes down to for me, and most folks here, is enjoying the music. With better equipment I get to hear better what the artist was intending. I can enjoy it on a lesser system (I listen frequently in the car and have a Bose Wave radio for background music in the kitchen/dining area), but I enjoy it even more on a better system.

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