Is High-End Audio Obsolete? - Page 74 - AVS | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #2191 of 2209 Old 01-29-2015, 02:15 AM
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Originally Posted by NorthSky View Post
Here's a fair question: In today's world of Turntable's renaissance and new remastered albums (LPs) and new hi-res music remastered and upsampled @ 192/32 downloads and Blu-ray Audio and Atmos and Auro and dts 3D and Meridian Bob Stuart MQA and Neil Young Pono; is there a chance to see the light?

Or simply put: Is today's high-end audio different than yesterday? ...Then tomorrow it'll still be there, you can bet your but on it. ...And all that expensive jazz cable.
IMHO, it is different. The focus is more on nostalgia. If it were truly about pristine audio quality, vinyl would never have come back onto the scene like it did. I don't think the majority of remasters actually improve the master's sound.

The simple fact is, higher bit rates (such as 64-bit, which good audio software uses these days) are mostly useful when processing individual tracks and doing difficult calculations where higher resolution is required so the degradation of the original signal is as little as possible. To me that means that the mix is where that extra resolution is needed. Once it's mixed, the mastering engineer can work his magic, but if the mixer did his job right, there's very little left to do. Labels will try to create new interest and sell extra copies of classic albums by claiming the mixes have been re-mastered up to modern standards, but in most cases, that just means they've been limited intensely to make them louder.
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post #2192 of 2209 Old 01-29-2015, 02:20 AM
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Good point.
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post #2193 of 2209 Old 01-29-2015, 04:13 AM
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Originally Posted by kucharsk View Post
The problem with that is once again you're relegating everything to measurements.

Virtually all high end manufacturers have one (IMHO) important step in the design process - they listen to the piece of equipment under development.

In fact many high end companies listen to each and every component that goes out the door.

That is (at least to me) the ultimate judge of whether it's a good design or not, and takes no more expense than the construction of a decent listening room (or two or three) at the company's headquarters.

That doesn't mean it's not smart to have some fairly sophisticated test equipment on hand, just that IMHO test results are nowhere near as the final sound of a piece of equipment in judging whether it is, in fact, a sonic improvement over an older model or that of another manufacturer's.
Yes, but what makes anyone think that the others don't? I can have a piece of test or measuring equipment calibrated and certified by an outside company to ensure accuracy as part of an ongoing SQC process. Who is going to certify Vlad's ears and equipment? If he's not feeling well, had a stressful day, is taking meds, or is just experiencing the progressive deterioration of his hearing? What makes him qualified when there is no process in place to confirm and verify that his ears are up to snuff?

When you're selling something, you've got to identify your target audience, find out what you believe it is that resonates with them, and tailor your pitch. If your audience is of the mindset that hearing trumps measurements then that's what you talk about. You tell them how much time you spent selecting this particular type and brand of capacitor because it sounds best when in reality it sounds like the best way to drive sales. You tell them the tubes have been hand selected even though all that means is someone used their hands to take them out of the box. They tell how they go old school and use point to point wiring when in reality their volume means they can't afford an automated robotic process. They tell you whatever it is that you need to hear that resonates with your belief system.

From time to time, you're going to find clunkers on either end of the spectrum. Somebody missed something. They got a batch of whatever and it turns out the manufacturer or their supplier made a change and the capacitors prematurely age. Happens.

With luck, whatever it is you buy at whatever price point will last significantly past the warranty period.
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post #2194 of 2209 Old 01-29-2015, 05:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chu Gai View Post
Yes, but what makes anyone think that the others don't? I can have a piece of test or measuring equipment calibrated and certified by an outside company to ensure accuracy as part of an ongoing SQC process. Who is going to certify Vlad's ears and equipment? If he's not feeling well, had a stressful day, is taking meds, or is just experiencing the progressive deterioration of his hearing? What makes him qualified when there is no process in place to confirm and verify that his ears are up to snuff?

When you're selling something, you've got to identify your target audience, find out what you believe it is that resonates with them, and tailor your pitch. If your audience is of the mindset that hearing trumps measurements then that's what you talk about. You tell them how much time you spent selecting this particular type and brand of capacitor because it sounds best when in reality it sounds like the best way to drive sales. You tell them the tubes have been hand selected even though all that means is someone used their hands to take them out of the box. They tell how they go old school and use point to point wiring when in reality their volume means they can't afford an automated robotic process. They tell you whatever it is that you need to hear that resonates with your belief system.

From time to time, you're going to find clunkers on either end of the spectrum. Somebody missed something. They got a batch of whatever and it turns out the manufacturer or their supplier made a change and the capacitors prematurely age. Happens.

With luck, whatever it is you buy at whatever price point will last significantly past the warranty period.
Basically Vlad's ears are important once the design is locked in, then they're only important as a sanity check before shipping.

For example, at many companies the designer listens extensively while designing, and then it's usually someone else at the company (whose ears can be similarly trusted) whose job it is to assure that each unit leaving the factory sounds as close as possible to the original, save factors like break-in.

Test instruments can help in this process so as to not let an obviously broken component reach the listen-before-ship phase, and changes in components would likely be flagged at that stage.

However per usual tests can only find what you're looking for; I recently talked to a person at a company who rejected a preamp before it went out the door because it sounded "weird." It took them about two days to find that one gain stage was misbehaving only when one particular frequency was fed to it, not with pink noise or other frequencies due to a bad discrete part.

The test equipment didn't catch it, the listener did, and now the pre-listen tests include testing for that particular flaw.
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post #2195 of 2209 Old 01-29-2015, 08:35 AM
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What are some of theses many companies?

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post #2196 of 2209 Old 01-29-2015, 11:01 AM
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I dont regret any penny I have spent so far on audio/video stuff. Of all the "other stuff" i could have used my hard earned money on, i get some of the best enjoyment out of my gear and room.

To say that I haven't improved the audio experience over my lifetime would be pretty much crazy talk.

Starting from my dad's Sansui stereo and matching speakeds connected to a "tape deck" with music recorder from the radio...

I went from zero budget to near limitless budget if I chose to use it on gear.

Lower noise floor in better rooms, better speakers, better amps, more exciting processing with substantially cleaner and cheaper "mainstream" dacs...

What the "best buy" consumer can buy today at bargain basement pricing is in general substabtially superior to what was out 20 yrs ago.

Next test for me is to see if Hypex lives up to its low noise and sonic claims. Gonna possibly build a full hypex based amp system for my atmos setup. Near zero hiss out of 19 speakers would really help the noise floor in my room where you can literally hear everything.

Bring on the innovative technology... the naysayers can go screw themselves as far as I'm concerned. I don't subscribe to magic rocks and cables, but I know for a fact that object oriented audio sounds better than my Dolby Pro Logic AC-3 kit I had. Hell even a $200 best buy receiver sounds better than my Yamaha DSPA-3090 "flagship" from the mid 90's. If that isn't progress, I don't know what is.

I hope everything I own is obsolete in 10 years and the next stage is even more fun.
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post #2197 of 2209 Old 01-29-2015, 12:59 PM
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High-end audio is like beautiful women; they'll never be obsolete. ...Yes they'll age, but new ones will appear ever so beautiful and with the times we live in now. Yes, we'll age too, but new dudes will appear better looking than us and with more money than us...and they'll get all the beautiful gear they want.

High-end will never be obsolete; audio, women, food, sunshine, everything that make our world a capitalism system of our society.
The planet's gravity will make sure of that.

Alright now, next subject. ;-)
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post #2198 of 2209 Old 01-29-2015, 01:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NorthSky View Post
High-end audio is like beautiful women; they'll never be obsolete. ...Yes they'll age, but new ones will appear ever so beautiful and with the times we live in now. Yes, we'll age too, but new dudes will appear better looking than us and with more money than us...and they'll get all the beautiful gear they want.

High-end will never be obsolete; audio, women, food, sunshine, everything that make our world a capitalism system of our society.
The planet's gravity will make sure of that.

Alright now, next subject. ;-)
Spoken like a true Wiseman
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post #2199 of 2209 Old 01-29-2015, 01:58 PM
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post #2200 of 2209 Old 01-29-2015, 02:24 PM
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Lolol
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post #2201 of 2209 Old 01-29-2015, 06:30 PM
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Originally Posted by NorthSky View Post
High-end audio is like beautiful women; they'll never be obsolete. ...Yes they'll age, but new ones will appear ever so beautiful and with the times we live in now.
That's a nice analogy, especially as to speakers.

And when the "new ones" come along, you go after them and dump your wife (if you can afford it). Explains the urge-to-upgrade as well as anything I've read.

Going one step further, it's hard to argue that this year's crop of beautiful women is more appealing than last year's crop was when they were fresh and new.
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High-end will never be obsolete; audio, women, food, sunshine, everything that make our world a capitalism system of our society.
Is that a working definition of "high-end audio"? That it can't be made in China? (China's still run by their Communist Party, you know.)

If so, I think you're in for a surprise....
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post #2202 of 2209 Old 01-29-2015, 10:17 PM
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iPhone 6 is very polar (popular) right now in China. ...And that's a high-end phone too.
And China they build a lot of high-end gear, for us here in America and everywhere. ...We even let them build our speaker's enclosures.
Yes, you got that right sir. ...They have beautiful hi-end Chinese women too.
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post #2203 of 2209 Unread Yesterday, 07:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Chu Gai View Post
What are some of theses many companies?
Go over to http://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?action=circles Almost all of the companies there under Industry Circles are like that.
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post #2204 of 2209 Unread Yesterday, 08:17 PM
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Are high-end audio snobs about to become obsolete?
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post #2205 of 2209 Unread Yesterday, 08:19 PM
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Originally Posted by charmerci View Post
Go over to http://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?action=circles Almost all of the companies there under Industry Circles are like that.
Great place, gentle folks, down-to-earth members, nice owner.
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post #2206 of 2209 Unread Today, 02:41 AM
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What are some of theses many companies?
Three I know of by personal experience are Audio Research, Boulder and Spectral.
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DECWare, Conrad-Johnson, Inspire (Dennis Had), Omega Loudspeakers, Salk ......

.
. . . . . . . . . . . Peter
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post #2208 of 2209 Unread Today, 10:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by charmerci
Go over to http://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?action=circles Almost all of the companies there under Industry Circles are like that.



Quote:
Originally Posted by NorthSky View Post
Great place, gentle folks, down-to-earth members, nice owner.
Though I have to say that a lot of those companies are small, workshop "one-man," boutique companies. So sometimes, e-mails take a while to get answered and items often take weeks to make and get delivered. So dealing with them is not for the "I-want-it-now" crowd.
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post #2209 of 2209 Unread Today, 03:07 PM
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But that's the "delicacy" of dealing one-on-one.
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