This thread is being made due to something I been noticing for over a decade. It is something that I feel so passionate about that I wanted to make this thread. 11 years ago I became an audiophile. I remember what a pair of Grados SR225i did for me, it changed my life. I always been a heavy music guy, but I didn't know that something like a Grados can show me the world of High Fidelity. Later I did purchased a pair of the SR225i, and I later obtained a basic DAC from China and a Little Dot I+ hybrid tube amp. Lets call that setup a $500 setup. I was very happy with it since it was my first decent setup. During that time I started to spend money on music. Since I wasn't on the Apple ecosystem due to my personal issues with Apple, I just purchasing CDs like crap. It is normal for me that I can spend $500-$1000 on music, regardless of format (just look at my Bandcamp and Qobuz online purchases account nowadays). So when I talking about my music buying habits with people on HF and some guys I know locally, they made comments like this: Them: You spend $500 on music? Pffff, that's super crazy. Me: You just spent $500 on a headphone, and we need music if you want to enjoy the hardware. Them: Hardware does cost money, but I'm not willing to spend $500 for music in a few months. From my perspective, I thought people who made those comments were weird. I mean, isn't music is just as big as the hardware? I never understood why people thought spending a lot on music is weird. Later in my audiophile life I was part of a OAFAS group locally in North East Florida. One of my closet friends from the group (R.I.P.) was big into vinyl. In matter of fact, he hated everything digital. From his turntable to his speakers, his setup cost him $50k. However, he always been infamous for not paying music for music. It normally goes like this when we went into a record store: Me: Hey this LP is worth it for $10. Him: I prefer to spend $1-$5 on LPs, no LP is worth $10. Me: But did you purchased a $5k cartridge for your TT? Him: Yeah I did, but I don't think music should cost this much. Me: But dude, your setup is an annual salary for me, yet you don't want to send a little more money on this killer LP? Him: I like being cheap on music. It wasn't only him who didn't spend much on music in the OAFAS group. It was at least five guys. All of them love music and like to buy music, but regardless of the format they prefer being cheap on their purchases. However, $25k and up ridges. A lot of the guys have money to burn, but when it comes to obtaining new music they pinch their pennies. I have to be honest, if that's how people want to be with their music purchases then I guess that's fine. I just thought it was weird that buying music is a low priority than hardware purchases. Recently I had another conversation with someone that I know locally. A few months ago he did a $10k rig upgrade to his speaker setup. We had this conversation about Qobuz and buying music in general: Him: I think Qobuz is pricey for what it is. Me: Why? Him: Well for starters I think there's too much music on there for me. Me: Qobuz just drop their annual price down to $150ish a year. Him: While that is true, I just don't see the value of a streaming service. Also, I don't really listen to music that much anymore. Me: Then why you did you do the rig upgrade then? Him: I value my hardware. That conversation struck a nerve with me. I found people who value more of the hardware than the value of music. I never understood it because you need music in order to make the hardware work. The same guys (regardless of they are running speakers or headphones) were mostly lusting on hardware, but pinching their pennies on music. In our current music world there's so many different streaming services, legal download purchases, and music stores still shipping CDs and LPs that I have a hard time believing that we can afford to be cheap on music purchases. To be blunt: I think there is a serious problem when we value more of our hardware purchases over music purchases/streaming. I think at times we have a mental block when buying a $10-$20 album either digital or physical when we are using our pricey rigs. You know when you go on Qobuz on Amazon adding things to the cart, then later decided "that's too much music for me because $30 is too much," that's the metal block we have at times. I originally thought it was the transition from physical to digital that generated this mindset. However, I know enough physical format users who have the same problem as well. There's so many different reasons I feel why people are like this. Some is due to they have different hobbies, their money is tied on buying new gear, and other legitimate reasons. I do love trying out new gear and getting expensive purchases. This 1:1 Verite Open Loaner I'm doing right now, that Loaner is going to make me save up and pick up a Verite Open next year. However, I don't have a problem spending a similar amount of money on new music/streaming etc. Bandcamp loves me, and I love to support the artists that I like. Artists is what create the stuff that we love. They will always be my main focus in my love of music. As I'm getting older, I prefer a cheaper setup if I can spend more money on music, then a more expensive setup with less music available. I will admit that I made this thread with a passion, and I will also admit that I don't have all the answers to this matter. However, I am very curious if others had experienced this mindset in the hobby? If I have to conclude this on a note, the only thing I will say is don't forget the value of music that it brings to our musical enjoyment.