Audiophiles are a different breed:
Lets be real here, audiophiles are different. Audiophiles are always looking for the newest and best way to upgrade their music listening experience. They can be among the toughest to gift however, if they don’t yet have a turntable, you might want to consider these ideas first.
Most audiophiles that I know, use specific speaker wire, cables, and special sound dampeners and enhancers, they also know the exact measurements for speaker placement to maximize their listening pleasure.
Some will pay thousands of dollars for restored vintage turntables as well.
It’s a legitimate hobby being an audiophile; they usually have subscriptions to magazines, participate in internet chat rooms, and forums. Audiophiles seem to enjoy the hunt for better quality equipment more than the music its self at times. My Dad was this way.
I am not on that level, I understand crisp highs and natural bass lows however, I hate distortion, and like a wide and true sound stage, I guess that’s how you describe it? Audiophiles can be difficult shopping for, I think I can help you with a few great ideas:
Don’t forget to ask some questions about their hobby, what they clean their records with, what type of inner sleeves and outer sleeve they use for their vinyl. Do they have an ultimate wish list of some sort?
High end record supplies as a gift
Many audiophiles will go to great extremes to protect the vinyl playing surface with high quality plastic inner sleeves.
These sleeves will protect the record from dust and minimize the sleeve scuffs that paper sleeves can cause just by taking the vinyl out for play back.
The sleeves from Mobile Fidelity Sound Labs are pretty good sellers, and I can personally vouch for them.
Record cleaning machines
Personally, I always just used a basic record cleaning method, my own gentle home-brew with a basic record cleaning brush. I then took a flyer on the Spin Clean system, that does a fantastic job for the money, under 100 dollars is hard to beat.
The craziest thing I ever heard of was these units like the VPI that cost 500 dollars or more some times. These machines deep clean, and suck the moisture out of the groove.
I am OK with air drying, but the residue left behind, in theory is eliminated by the high-end suction vinyl cleaning machines.
Superior sound vinyl record box sets
Everybody has a favorite band or musical artist, I am a Miles Davis fanatic, others are fans of Pink Floyd, The Police or Michael Jackson.
Heck, perhaps opera is their taste? With artists like Caruso or Pavarotti is what your friends or loved one is into?
I am here to tell you that there are some really nice and extravagant box sets out there with LP’s CD’s DVDs, and limited edition lithographs.
It’s the inclusion of these little odd ball items like photos and replica magazine covers, that really get the mega fan mega excited.
With the Miles Davis Genius box set, there was an actual trumpet case and trumpet mouthpiece.
Extremely advanced turntable options
This is the point you have to really do your homework. You can really spend some cash on an audiophile turntable like the pictured Music Hall brand.
These types of turntables have stylus “needles” that really draw every last nuance out of the vinyl grooves.
They are made for the person who pays close attention to the finer points, the small details of analog sound.
Usually units like this will have very generous warranties, if anything should go wrong, they will stand behind their workmanship.
3 things seasoned audiophiles don’t want as a gift:
- Generic ear-buds: Oh what a misfire this is, never by ear buds that don’t sit inside the ear forming a seal. You can can get a decent ear-bud from JVC for 15 bucks, don’t buy the 5 dollar ones at the dollar store that distort the music and short out in 2 weeks. Ear buds are a personal experience to the audiophile, but the JVC are very good for the price.
- Cheap plastic record player: The 60 dollar record player you buy new at the name brand brick and mortar won’t do, they look nice of course, but will not live up to the audiophiles sound expectations, plus many have ceramic needles that will destroy vinyl in a short time. This is a better choice.
- Cheap iPod dock station: I have tested a half-dozen of these over the years, only the Bose lived up to the hype, and it ain’t cheap. The ones under 75 bucks have fake distorted bass, if any at all. If you stream Spotify through your iPod, that compressed as it is sound will sound even worse. Though I wonder how many true audiophiles would give a streaming service the time of day, they all sound wretched to me.
Photos used with permission via Amazon.com
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Jason Sositko, a freelance writer and entrepreneur is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. I also use services such as Viglink and Skimlinks to earn income via links placed inside articles.