Is High-End Audio Obsolete? - Page 61 - AVS Forum
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post #1801 of 1807 Old 11-17-2014, 06:01 PM
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You want good quality music recordings? ...Check the ECM record label, and Channel Classics, and Reference Recordings, and APO, and AudioQuest Music, and Concord Jazz, and Mercury Living Presence, and RCA Red Seal Living Stereo, and Chesky record labels. ...Among some of the bests.
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post #1802 of 1807 Old 11-19-2014, 10:49 AM
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Don't despair! I have a first year college kid who is really starting to "get it". So yes he is kind of a music nut but until recently he got all his music the traditional teenager way via iPhone and PC. Last year he discovered vinyl so I set him up with a simple turntable/speaker system. Just a few days ago I exposed him to hi-rez so now he is all over wanting a USB DAC/headphones for x-mas as he can easily enjoy in his dorm room.

Point is, some of the upcoming generation will be natural born audiophiles and will hopefully carry on our hobby. The rest will follow the "latest/greatest" for the most part. Since reproduction technology is getting very close to the point of diminishing returns that really takes us back to improving the source material. It sure seems that music is next. I'm sure that there will be something very great and very standard beyond 4k video before we know it but it sure seems we are starting to see the celling there as well. As the cost of bandwidth continues to plummet, the desire to shrink those packages of info down will lessen. Then if manufactures/artists want to differentiate they will naturally move to higher quality source as the next natural step one would hope. It does seem to me that Hi-Rez audio does have a chance as implementation is relatively straight forward for the masses as opposed to SACD etc.
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post #1803 of 1807 Old 11-22-2014, 10:22 PM
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Dear Imagic,

Even tho I do not have the same experience, I will try to tell a little bit of my story too... And in some ways I do agree with all that you said. I do not know if HI-END is becoming obsolete, but i do notice that Mid-Fi gear is catching up, as the "leap" in quality from a good to a better equipment, is fairly marginal and sometimes not even heard or perceived by human ears..

My quest for good audio started at early days, back in grade school I started learning violin, which, without false modesty, it educated my ears to accuracy, and this "education" is still "in me"...

My first "real" gear was a micro-system from Aiwa model NSX-999, that micro-system alone would actually beat our home "stereo", that probably costed 3 or 4 times more at time of purchase... A few years later I sold everything and bought a Pioneer VSX-402, a pair of Bose 201, and sony carrousel CD Player (5 CDs). While it was not the best equipment available and far from being anything high-end or even hi-fi, the sound was pretty good. I even hooked my Sound Blaster Pro to that receiver... It was a pretty nice equipment for a 17 year old girl....

I remember that I finished high school and as a gift I received an Yamaha RXV-990 + DDP1, natural sound receiver, and a set of Bose Acoustimas 7 and I used the 201 as surrounds... Incredible bass, great highs for violin, but it sounded weird for voices... However at that time Bose was "THE THING" to have.. I even remember that I bought a Lion King Laser Disc, and I had a Pioneer CLD-504 (i think).

The jump in quality from the Pioneer to the Yamaha was great, even tho it has different speakers and all..

A few years later, I moved all the stereo gear from my room to the family living room, and it was then when we traded the 990+DDP1 to a brand new 995...

But university was on the way and I had to forget about audio for a little bit... I had a few microsystems from Sony, JVC, Pioneer and Panasonic during my school years away from my parents, and the audio "virus" died for a little while..

I finished university in 2005, had too many things in my head, and when I got back home the 995 was still there and my dad was actually enjoying his new hobby, as an audiophile, he had a pair of BW speakers, Rotel pre and amps and a cd player, it sounded GREAT.. and my "virus" woke back again....

Years passed by and in 2007 I was again living alone in my own apartment, of course by that time I was working, and I bought my first receiver, this time with my own money, and a set of bose 602s3 + htm7 + lm1 speakers and a velodyne subwoofer... harman kardon 247 + dvd player... Thats.. when things got a little strange...

Somehow something was missing... The sound had a nice clarity but it was missing something.. I traded the 247 for a 254 later on, same thing...

Traded the 602s3 to a set of 705, the sound was even better but something was REALLY missing...

Then I started thinking about separates, bought a RB-1080 and an used RB-993 it got a little bit better... Then someone said something about Denon, and I decided to try.. and once again things got even more weird...

I ended up with a Denon 4311ci driving an RB-1080 and RB-993, a set of 803n, htm4, velodyne 4000r and pair of 686s1, just because, I read *audyssey* was good, but in my case it wasn't.. The sound was pretty good and smooth, but with audyssey on the sound was like "compressed".

So this year I took a whole new direction, I sold everything (almost), the 4311, the rb-993, the htm4. I put the 686s1 in the attic and a few other stuff too..

I got an old RSP-1098, which was the flagship of Rotel in it's time if Im not mistaken, bought a used RMB-1075, a set of in-ceiling speakers, since i kept the Velodyne 4000r I called it good enough for movies and soap... I played a bit with Y cables, and connected the 1080 with the B&W 803 but i decided it was not good..

This week, Im testing a Parasound P7 + rb1080 to drive the 803, and I like it, very much...

Then all of sudden, since I started my own business, I wanted to have a stereo set for my office.. Then.. I grabbed the 686 from the attic, hooked the a RA-05se, with help of a small 8" sub (DLS-3500r), and voila!.. Amazing sound, for a cheaper setup...

Today I went to a audio store and I witnessed what the Cambridge Azur 840a V2 can do with my little 686... I also heard the 685 and a few other spears including the CM8...

I couldn't resist... I bought a new old stock Azur 840a V2 the seller offered me 30% of discount for it...

I hooked with my old 2930ci, it didn't sound as good as the 851C but it was good enough.. Tomorrow I want to try to hook the 840a with my 803...

Is it high-end? I don't think so... Is it good enough to satisfy me? You bet!

And yeah it was a HUGE step from the stuff I had in the 90s...

So in essence, yes I agree HI-END is obsolete, what was high end in the past is not high end anymore. But I think I have to go further, music as part of perception, sometimes giving a step further in quality is not even perceptible, but it costs a lot of money just for a very tiny step.

Sorry for the long post...
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Last edited by kate*; 11-22-2014 at 10:27 PM.
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post #1804 of 1807 Old Yesterday, 03:45 PM
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Great post Kate*.

And I agree, about what you said regarding Audyssey. ...That is the last thing you want in a true dedicated hi-end hi-fi sound system.
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post #1805 of 1807 Old Yesterday, 06:20 PM
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real natural music

Originally Posted by balky View Post
So much pity for the current generation most of whom will never get to know what "real natural music" sounds like...
Nope. It turns out that the current generation is spending more time and money on more variety of live music than ever before! It is a great time to be a working musician, and a live show customer. The current generation knows what "real natural music" sounds like ... just maybe not "hi fidelity recorded music".
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post #1806 of 1807 Old Today, 02:44 AM
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Originally Posted by IanS View Post
Nope. It turns out that the current generation is spending more time and money on more variety of live music than ever before! It is a great time to be a working musician, and a live show customer. The current generation knows what "real natural music" sounds like ... just maybe not "hi fidelity recorded music".

Yes, like every live show can be seen and listened to at will at any time... where do you get this kind of information from?

AFAIK... current generation is all sold out to MP3 and the likes in the name of portable music and those tiny hurt plastics they call head phones...
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post #1807 of 1807 Old Today, 06:00 AM
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Is High-End Audio Obsolete?

Today's equipment in studios can record and product high end sound like never before in the history of music recording.

The problem may be the final output file and the system people buy at home.

High end was and always will be for a small group of people. Most people value conscience above all. Most people do not have the time to sit down to listen music. Most people listen music in the car, commute, gym, club, Bar and at work more than any other place. Much less a full listening room.

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