I live in Portugal, a country in the economic tail of Europe, my monthly pay is about 750€ after all discounts, it’s not bad if you think about the minimum wage they pay here.
That brings me to the fact that most consumer audio websites and magazines make me uncomfortable with my bank account.
Maybe it’s because they only review the most expensive gear around or maybe it’s the casual mentioning of a price tag that makes me wonder if it’s common sense buying two 250K amplifier mono blocks with the final price of half a million dollars.
Why do most consumer audio magazines have a fetish about ultra-expensive stuff?
Bias, especially if the medium advertises the reviewed gear or brand, it’s a way of having good relations with the brand that pays the monthly bills or lends gear for the reference system of the reviewer.
The upgrade syndrome, because most audiophiles always search for the best sound and reviewing ultra-expensive stuff is like showing food to a hungry man.
Most of them will never be happy with their gear and will always search for a better one.
This goes full circle and feeds of itself, editors need to release what their audience wants or the competition will do it first.
So how can one solve the uncomfortable feeling of being a normal person with a normal wage in a world of ultra-expensive gear?
Don’t buy magazines that only review expensive stuff, show the finger to the editor and say “I want affordable audio gear reviewed more often or I’ll cancel my subscription”.
Be a critic of ultra-expensive gear, always with good humor and respect for the reviewer and medium, if they are not amused, you might have a case of serious bias virus. Bias virus is a dangerous thing, please run against the wind to avoid the smell of bullshit.
Start a blog or website, you have the right to give an opinion about your hobby but beware of trolls and cable discussions. Try to be professional and don’t bash specific brands because some can be a bit too aggressive with lawsuits.
Read articles and reviews made for audio professionals, usually they review affordable gear and have less bias because pros smell bullshit miles away. You won’t see audiophile or even some consumer brands on these mediums, but it’s a great way to learn about audio tech without the bullshit.
Understand what you need in a Hi-Fi system and your available budget for it, think real based on your wage, and don’t fuck your bank account because you want those 100K loudspeakers.
Your audiophile friend might have the money to buy ultra-expensive stuff, but you should not compare his budget with yours because you’ll never enjoy your system that way.
Always enjoy good music, if you got the chance hear as many systems as you possible can with your own favorite songs, buy the music you enjoy the most and hear it with friends that also enjoy music.