It happens sometimes for me. When I’m either evaluating a piece of recently acquired equipment or considering a change in my system I’ll tend to listen more analytically & less emotionally. For a few days that might be for the first 30 to 60 minutes of a long 3 or 4 hour listening session. In general though I’m just letting the music transport me.
One of the great questions in the hobby, sir!
In the backs of our brains, I believe all audiophiles are listening for flaws (or breaking) at all times, we can’t help it.
There are times we can relax and enjoy the show, but it’s always lurking in the backs of our minds. Especially if we happen to be listening with our fellow audiophiles.
Once we’ve learned to listen as audiophiles, it’s damned hard to stop!
My best bet for simple relaxed listening is to play music in one room, and hang out in the kitchen and enjoy while I cook, that turns off the audiophile obsessiveness quite well.
I think a slightly altered state helps, too. Some wine, listening with a non-audiophile, both lessen that little nibbling bit of audio angst in my lizard brain.
Thanks for the thoughtful reply Anton.
You recognised the true question, “How do I stop thinking about hifi getting in the way of enjoying music”! I like your advice and will try it out for myself.
I am a music person first.
If I am thinking about the hifi there is something wrong.
There’s the quote, attributed to Alan Parsons:
Audiophiles don’t use their equipment to listen to music. Audiophiles use music to listen to their equipment.
Definitely a bit of truth in that, more or less depending. When I have a new piece of equipment or I’m trying to dial in speaker placement, etc. I am definitely listening to the system. On a given night with a whiskey in my hand, it’s all about the music and how it (and the whiskey) make me feel. Close my eyes, and… bliss…