i love audio reproduction equipment: speakers, amplifiers, headphones, equalizers, mixers, record players, more speakers, more headphones! you get the idea.
i don't feel bad spending and splurging on audio equipment, because unlike almost all other electronic technology, audio equipment is ageless. sure you can tell me that the 2011 line of model xyz speakers are better than some 1970's crap boxes that i got from the salvation army. but aside from low level audio equipment (the cheap shit), audio reproduction equipment doesn't go obsolete. the same cannot be said for audio production equipment, but i'm not going there.
computers get faster, video gets higher definition, hard drives get smaller and faster with more space, connection types get smaller, data transfer speeds get faster, and thus phones, computers, tv's, gaming consoles, etc grow obsolete.
however, our ears can only hear 20hz to 20khz. and stereo systems developed in the 70's have been able to produce those frequencies with high volume and quality. sure there's been advancements in audio reproduction, but they haven't necessarily made older equipment obsolete like all of the other electronic examples i listed earlier.
i've polled a few of the older people i know who i'd consider 'into music'. and all of the people i talked to (all over 50yo), had audio systems that i would consider very old. some purchased their amps and speakers when they were in college, that's the 1970's! imagine me telling you my cell phone was from the 70's! or my TV, computer, hell -even my refrigerator! but their audio systems still produce high volume high quality sound, which hasn't and won't change.
which is why i do consider spending more money on audio equipment. life is too short to spend time listening to crappy speakers. it's also too short to drink cheap wine, hang out with shitty people, and watch bad tv. unless you love bad tv, then that's your own issue.
but i digress.
every audio setup is different. the songs are the same, but they can sound 100 different ways on a 100 different setups. which is why i've taken one variable out of the equation, my making my own cd for testing audio.
what is my cd for testing audio? it's 12 songs in a particular order that i am extremely familiar with. i know every word, every note, every second of each song is embedded in my audio memory. i've also listened to these songs extensively on my favorite audio setup. this prepares me to experience other stereo systems with a solid baseline. get it, bass-line.
it's one of my favorite things to do, spend an hour listening to songs i've memorized on a sound system i've recently met. playing 'watch the speakers' has been a favorite pastime of mine since i learned which knob was the volume on my dad's mcintosh amp + cerwin vega floor standing speaker home system.
here's how i've mentally categorized each song on my cd for testing audio:
acoustic guitar (live)
violins, keyboard, piano
you can download a .zip of my cd for testing audio. but the only way to have a real cd for testing audio is to create one yourself.