Re: "Do musicians and audiophiles hear music differently?"
I do think that musicians hear music differently than the casual listener, while audiophiles are in search of a different kind of experience. I don't mind listening to lower quality audio... to a certain point. I like to hear rich bass if the music was recorded with it, so if the playback device sucks and doesn't even have a "tone" control then I feel like something is missing. It's frustrating and I can't get past it! Some of this may be due to my own hearing loss at certain frequencies. I hunted/shot guns a lot as a kid, have been to a lot of concerts that were too loud, and I raced flattrack motorcycles for years.
All that being said, I have an ex-coworker with a very serious sound system... $50k plus easy. TAD drivers in custom Baltic birch cabs driven by Bryston 4B amps, Klipsch horn drivers in tar filled horns driven by class A tube amps, and on and on and on... down to the granite slab turntable and first pressing records and Hsu sub and specially extruded directional wiring. The guy is a real jerk, but the system sounds freaking awesome. You can be listening to something well recorded and mastered, like Steely Dan or Pink Floyd, at very high levels, and it doesn't sound that loud or fatiguing. The sound is so crisp and wonderful... it amazes me. I would never put that much into a sound system, but it really is astounding to hear quality music through it.