Confessions of a Reformed Audiophile: Exorbitant Stereo vs. Sensible HomeTheater

Ever since the show, I have been thinking about the true goal of an entertainment system, be it stereo or home theater. Here’s my point of view on this. For most of my life, I’ve been a 2 channel audiophile. I’ve spent plenty of time switching back between amplifiers, CD players, speakers, etc., trying to pick out the nuances that make one piece of equipment more expensive than another and worth it.  As an audiophile, the Holy Grail has always been to recreate sound that gives the illusion that those who perform it are present in your room. To achieve this goal, some will spend enormous sums for even minute improvements.

In thinking about it, a live performance is a 3 dimensional event. All around you will be the acoustics of the concert hall, the audience, and the musicians. Stereo is only a 2 dimensional medium. So audiophiles will look for the best equipment that will attempt to make this 2 dimensional stereo system as realistic as possible. Some of the best gear may create a bigger sound stage with more depth and detail. I’ve heard some great systems in my time, but I can’t remember ever walking into a room with a stereo system and being fooled into thinking the performers were actually there.