Reading a few of the recent posts on this it appears that many were into the hifi and music equally or maybe skewed a bit to kit. I can honestly say I was into the music totally in my teens to being in my late twenties. It never occurred to me to listen to the equipment, all I could hear was the music.
My family had a Sharp music centre and I thought it was the business. It played the Friday rock show with Tommy Vance and all my records (it wasn't called vinyl then). The music centre played all my taped tapes of "TV on the radios" concert broadcasts. Many years later I recall after moving into my own house having my Fidelity music centre with me. That too was bliss it was something to play my beloved music on, still didn't give actual Hifi a thought not even for one moment.
But then one day my Fidelity music centre packed in. A black day because then the hifi barged down the front door and everything changed. The reason for this was I had a bit of spare cash that I didn't have through my student and flat days. I reasoned good equipment would make my music sound better. I have to say the sound improved but the magic went. Don't get me wrong I sort of like the kit but its hard to listen through it or beyond it. I remember being able to play whole albums, doubles and even triple albums and revel in the music without once thinking about soundstage, sibilance, etc etc.
Hell I even used to revise for my degree listening to a TDK tape of Tales from Topographic Oceans on a radio cassette player and loved it, a Sharp with a graphic equaliser, oh yes.
I think the post heading says it all really, how to listen to hifi properly. Everyone has a film or a book or an album they wish they could unsee/unread/unhear so that experienced can be felt anew. I'd like to unhear the equipment. But once the bug bites it bites hard and the itch lasts a long time.