Vintage Stereo Commercials And More... - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 19 Old 05-11-2020, 11:04 PM - Thread Starter
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Vintage Stereo Commercials And More...


Just ran across this and it's blowing my mind!

For those who want to take a nostalgic walk down memory lane!
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post #2 of 19 Old 05-13-2020, 08:33 PM
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I don't think its this one but there's a similar audio infommercial compilation showing Bob Carver in his like 20's.

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post #3 of 19 Old 05-13-2020, 08:36 PM
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Found it. No its not a 1970s pro n, I swear.

I think that's a rug on his head, or maybe a small mammal.

In A/V reproduction accuracy, there IS no concept of "accounting for personal taste/preference". As art consumers we don't "pick" the level of bass, nor the tint/brightness of a scene's sky, any more than we pick the ending of a novel or Mona Lisa's type of smile. "High fidelity" means "high truthfulness", faithful to the original artist's intent: an unmodified, neutral, accurate copy of the original master, ideally being exact and with no discernable alterations, aka "transparency".
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post #4 of 19 Old 05-13-2020, 09:42 PM - Thread Starter
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Found it. No its not a 1970s pro n, I swear.

I think that's a rug on his head, or maybe a small mammal.
I loved the whole presentation! I remember going to presentations like that around that period.

After his assistant helped him erase the board; it was only then I could clearly see that was a mammal on his head!

It was the very early 80s after all!

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post #5 of 19 Old 05-15-2020, 10:18 PM - Thread Starter
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I'd like to add during the early 1980s, I used to visit a stereo shop in Flint MI called Stereo Center. I'm not sure, but I do remember hearing about a demonstration which I think Bob Carver came in with Miss Hologram, I remember being told I would have liked her. The thing is I had forgotten being told about that demo, that is till I saw the Miss Hologram video posted above. What jogged my memory was the diagram being drawn out of each speaker producing sounds from each speaker which is heard by each ear blurring the stereo image. I wasn't there for the demo by Bob, however one of the sales people reproduced the same drawing and explained in the same way what is in the video above. Then it clicked, not only did it remind me of being told of the event, I also remember listening to a Beatles album (I think it was the White Album) through this hologram device.

I had to stand on a marked center point of a display so the effect would work correctly. It was fantastic. I was hearing Beatles music with imaging I thought never possible. With each instrument laid out precisely from left to right just next to each other like there was four or five things going on with the audio not over lapping. In other words, I could directly select a point to the left, or a little bit more to the right and point out where each sound was coming from. It was crazy precision imaging.

Over the years I have heard devices that do the same type of thing where there's audio fed into each speaker in reverse phase (or some such audio signal) that widened the sound-stage. Dolby audio played in stereo is a good example. Sometimes I can hear the effect of audio going to the rear even though there's no rear speakers. It's been a while since I've heard such effects since today of course I have a real speakers placed in a surround sound (rear placement) fashion.

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post #6 of 19 Old 05-15-2020, 10:21 PM - Thread Starter
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Stereo Wars "The HiFi Receiver Wars of the 1970's


This one is interesting as this video is all about the wattage wars that took place during the 1970s and the companies that partook in this race for the most powerful receiver...along with why these power wars suddenly stopped.
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post #7 of 19 Old 05-16-2020, 09:30 AM
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That was fun.

Something to add to why the watt war ended: Somebody at one point finally did market research and discovered that the magic number consumers needed to hear in a sales pitch was "100 watts" or close to it like "90watts". In their mind that's the goal. Maybe not for a rich guy going into it with an attitude of "I need to buy the most powerful there is and will pay whatever I need to.", but for the general masses, which make up 95% of the market, as long as a unit had "90-100 watts" in its description they considered it a contender and nothing they had to be ashamed of when the competitive neighbor visited.
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post #8 of 19 Old 05-16-2020, 02:57 PM
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Fun with history!

Yep, I remember the "stereo wars" of the late 70's--I was a kid but had a brother that was 8 years older than me. He had the late 70's sound system, a Pioneer SX silver faced receiver with wood side panels, big, coffin sized speakers and the perfect 1970's rack to hold it all. The rack was cinder blocks and wood shelves (of course!)

My little kid butt did battle with a boombox--complete with massive 4" full range drivers. By the time I was ready to build my first "system" in 1986--the stereo wars had long been dead. Now it was video, first you purchased a VCR and had a small movie collection BEFORE worry about a stereo. Why? Women...they liked movie nights so my hormones demanded video first. I complied! Oddly enough, my older brother gave me his Pioneer SX as he blew a channel so I fixed the thing then purchased some speakers. Now to be the cool kid, any stereo by the mid 80's was not complete without a CD player (of course!) Reminds me of a variant of the song Video Killed the Radio Star--video crushed the stereo wars.

In the early 90's, the great audio fad (1965 to 1990) was over and video was king but a new thing was moving in. Computers! By the mid 90's the computer was king but video had a round two with the DVD player. Throw in the internet fad (it's a fad!) and by the turn of the century plenty of young folks had a more expensive audio system in their cars than their living area. Then comes cell phones and flat panel TVs... by the time you had a flat panel TV, a cell phone, DVD players, movies and high speed internet fees... audio fell completely off the charts.

I was reading over at AudioExpress about sales of audio gear. Overall, speaker sales fell 10% on the consumer side last year although were up on the professional side (PA) and the studio side (monitors for VLOGs) Sound bars and smart speakers had huge increases so if you think audio is going to be relevant--not in a stereo war sense. What is the next big thing for twenties? I look at variations of bigger TV screens, better/louder soundbars and the internet of things. In reality, the market is now being driven by the Chinese and India is moving up so the market goes to where the money is... China/India is not well known to have large houses to store giant audio related gear so the return of the ultra-high efficiency coffin speakers is not a good bet. My biggest bet would be "half-rack" audio gear since a size that wide is not required. Heck, if PowerSoft can make a 20,000 watt prosound arena amp that is 17" wide X 1.75 or one rack space high--I can see "half-rack" Class D AVRs start to move in a few years. It does not help with the millions of Youtubers using active studio monitors, why have that really wide, giant box? That would be my long term guess for audio in the 2020's, Class D AVRs that are considerably smaller because their active monitors use Class D... the stereo warriors will be retiring by then so the market is shifting. You don't think there is a bunch of old audiophiles in China/India? Those two countries will drive the market as they already are...they are the two contries that saw increases in speaker sales. Money talks!

My older brothers all have AVRs with a sub or two--the coffins are long gone. Another major factor in the stereo wars history is the Bose AM5 little cube speaker/bass module things. Since really small speakers can't handle a ton of power anyway--not much of a demand for such monsters. The speaker market never really recovered after Bose dropped the tiny speaker bomb... even know it is hard to get any tower speakers with large drivers, plenty of them have multiple 6" woofers to remain skinny and shiny piano black! No worries, you can get what you want because Google is your friend to help you spend waaaay too much money on such a goofy little hobby.

The biggest thing I miss about my first receiver, the fix it an it's yours Pioneer SX is the silver color. Not because I like silver but it is a heck of a lot easier to read the markings on the gear. To start a conspiracy, ever notice that the change from easy to read silver was changed over to black once the CD was released? Just something I noticed... the CD rolls out and everything starts turning black. Hmmmm, black started to make a move around 1984... just like the book.

OK, thinks to on screen displays I know what is going on but... silver, white or anything besides black would be cool. It's audio, I'm supposed to complain about minor complaints about nothing... waaaaaaa!
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post #9 of 19 Old 05-17-2020, 12:23 AM - Thread Starter
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That was fun.

Something to add to why the watt war ended: Somebody at one point finally did market research and discovered that the magic number consumers needed to hear in a sales pitch was "100 watts" or close to it like "90watts". In their mind that's the goal. Maybe not for a rich guy going into it with an attitude of "I need to buy the most powerful there is and will pay whatever I need to.", but for the general masses, which make up 95% of the market, as long as a unit had "90-100 watts" in its description they considered it a contender and nothing they had to be ashamed of when the competitive neighbor visited.
Even the "powerful" amps I have today have 80 to 120 watts. The only thing that have more (much more watts) are my two subs. Of course many of these multichannel receivers are rated at around 100 watts, the start to drop in their wattage rating when all channels are driven...yet I'm still impressed with what I hear.

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post #10 of 19 Old 05-17-2020, 12:38 AM - Thread Starter
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In the early 90's, the great audio fad (1965 to 1990) was over and video was king but a new thing was moving in. Computers!
For me it was making sure the audio from those low quality video sources was at least in stereo, then Hi-Fi stereo, then surround, (don't forget when TV started to broadcast stereo audio July 26th 1984) then pro logic, and with LaserDisc; Digital (Dolby) Stereo, AC-3 (Dolby Surround.) Now with higher end video starting with at least with DVD...Dolby Surround. And now with Blu-ray Dolby True HD, and for both Blu-ray and Ultra HD Blu-ray Dolby Atmos.
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post #11 of 19 Old 05-19-2020, 02:03 PM - Thread Starter
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This one's going WAY back!

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post #12 of 19 Old 05-19-2020, 02:18 PM
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Thanks. What I find most interesting is the nature of the ad is "We want you to understand what it is so we will now carefully explain it to you" whereas now the mentality is to keep the consumer in the dark, not explain it, and instead provide testimony from so-called experts about "how great" the product is.
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post #13 of 19 Old 05-19-2020, 05:11 PM
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Thanks. What I find most interesting is the nature of the ad is "We want you to understand what it is so we will now carefully explain it to you" whereas now the mentality is to keep the consumer in the dark, not explain it, and instead provide testimony from so-called experts about "how great" the product is.
This, IMO, is for the same reason we have no real education in the United States -- dumb (and scared) people are easier to control and manipulate. Well, that and educators' jobs are closer to "baby sitter" than "teacher" and their "give a s__t level" (and seemingly pay) is all too often reflective of that.

What I find "most interesting" is that in the so-called "information age" what we have ended up with, seemingly so far, anyway, is tons of: misinformation; group think; and people that feel "facts" are just like opinions. I mean, I wasn't aware we were all allowed to have our own fact-variants and we should respect everyone's different facts about things like...I dunno...how physics works . I mean, I'm all up for a good philosophy debate with a person having a thoughtful mind. And, by all means, if one has a hypothesis, say so and go about testing it -- it is the scientific method, after all.

Alas, most people aren't capable of much more than "my group think doesn't agree, so you're dumb and whatever you said isn't true." This is made much worse when the "dumb group" is actually the same group (i.e., scientists) that helped research, design, and build the technology whose inner-workings the "alternate fact fools" wish to opine upon. Of course, when they can't even agree about the color of a g-d dress on the Internet, a color whose pixel value can quickly and easily be sampled and read by a piece of software...I mean, what can I expect?
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post #14 of 19 Old 05-20-2020, 01:03 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks. What I find most interesting is the nature of the ad is "We want you to understand what it is so we will now carefully explain it to you" whereas now the mentality is to keep the consumer in the dark, not explain it, and instead provide testimony from so-called experts about "how great" the product is.
Besides magazine ads that sometimes do explain the technology (in what ever little space is allowed,) there are television ads where the high cost of 30 seconds really doesn't provide the luxury of explaining much which I know is not what your really trying to say. Your right since even if all was explained; during this age of short attention span and instant gratification it's not glamorous to do so.

So what we hear (or learn about a product) is how beneficial and or superior it is over the competition in a short time or little space. Which brings up the point as you say keeping the consumer in the dark.

When I drive a car, I personally don't have to know every aspect as to why the car starts, stops and goes; I just want to make sure it works every time I need it. However not knowing much about cars, I do know some go faster, and some go around curves better for various reasons. I know faster cars usually will have bigger engines, but I don't understand the full engineering and/or workings of that engine as to why it performs the way it does. I do know however cars with engines like that will cost more money.

However, there are magazine articles, articles on the internet and YouTube videos that can take much more time to explain something if one wishes to do so, and it's those sources I find most interesting.

That 1950s RCA commercial by the way does not seem to me like a regular TV ad even for it's day...it's just too long for a TV spot. I think it might have been made as a promotional film to be used at sales meetings, seminars and maybe even possibly a state or worlds fair.

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post #15 of 19 Old 05-20-2020, 01:47 PM
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What I find most interesting is the nature of the ad is "We want you to understand what it is so we will now carefully explain it to you" whereas now the mentality is to keep the consumer in the dark, not explain it, and instead provide testimony from so-called experts about "how great" the product is.
Here's an example. Say you've heard of a new technology called "MQA". So you go out looking for an explanation of how it works. You find a video called "MQA explained", but does it? No; it is a sales pitch "explaining" that MQA is supposedly more authentic to what is heard in the studio. There's some vague claims that other systems don't record sound reflections yet MQA does [what an incredibly intelligent microphone they must use to distinguish what arriving sounds are reflections vs direct ] so there's "smearing". It's baloney.

He lies in this video, by the way. MQA is a lossy process, not lossless as he states, so by definition it is not bit accurate.


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post #16 of 19 Old 05-20-2020, 03:07 PM
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*snip*
He lies in this video, by the way. MQA is a lossy process, not lossless as he states, so by definition it is not bit accurate.
One of (possibly many, ) "arguments" I lost on here! MQA is wrapped in a lossless container (e.g., FLAC) and the designer (Stuart) says it's lossless, so I believed him. I had to do more digging and then eat crow. I was very mad at myself for being wrong. Though, arguably, that anger was misplaced. I was flabbergasted that Bob Stuart would outright lie; I probably should have projected more anger in his direction than mine!

Since then, I've read that playing back MQA encoded PCM through a non-MQA device can, despite its being "backwards compatible", actually cause audible artifacts! More, the "random-looking" data encoded in the PCM to support MQA's "origami" lessens FLAC's encoding efficiency. So, MQA even hurts bandwidth utilization for streamers while also adding distortions.

All in all, I began to realize how much MQA was a solution in search of a problem that caused more problems of its own than it "solved". I was hurt I ever bought into it, even for a second. Screw Stuart and his team of pushers! I have since come to believe they know this is all bulls__t scam and are just looking for a payday; I hate giving it to them!

Unfortunately, I do give it to them on Tidal. The only reason? The knowledge that not doing so may result in a worse playback experience if the "CD cut" contains the "backwards compatible" MQA mix rather than raw, i.e., pre-MQA authored, content. Thus, if the "CD cut" contains the "backwards compatible MQA cut", then when played back there is the potential for artifacts. Artifacts that would be absent when the "MQA cut" is replayed by a compatible device (which may introduce its own artifacts, and that's another stupid rub). Alas, the whole thing starts feeling stupid -- the "CD cut" should NOT contain MQA artifacts to begin with (so should not use MQA encoding), but the MQA cut may have its own artifacts from the "origami encoding". Not knowing the studio work-flows doesn't help me decide what's better here. Alas, I can only assume that someone in the production chain at least listened to the MQA cut and decided it was "good enough". Whether a critical ear was similarly applied to the "CD cut" or the "MQA cut when played back on a non-MQA enabled device", I don't know...but I can have doubts given time costs money!

Regardless, I think it's clear I believe the MQA format should die a terrible death! It does no good and has only the potential to do harm, IMO.
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Thank you for all the videos!!!




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When you stop watching what they want you to watch you stop thinking what they want you to think.. Then you see a world that is nothing like they tell you it is.
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post #18 of 19 Old 05-21-2020, 08:25 PM - Thread Starter
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Here's an example. Say you've heard of a new technology called "MQA". So you go out looking for an explanation of how it works. You find a video called "MQA explained", but does it? No; it is a sales pitch "explaining" that MQA is supposedly more authentic to what is heard in the studio. There's some vague claims that other systems don't record sound reflections yet MQA does [what an incredibly intelligent microphone they must use to distinguish what arriving sounds are reflections vs direct ] so there's "smearing". It's baloney.

He lies in this video, by the way. MQA is a lossy process, not lossless as he states, so by definition it is not bit accurate.

I'm still on the sideline with MQA. On one hand I've been under the impression it was non lossy, now I'm finding out it's lossy, but with the information that's more important to how we hear things in real life. I just don't get it, blurring of the sound either comes from a bad mic, bad electronics during recording and/or bad playback device. Folding (compressing) all that info onto a regular CD is a very interesting idea, but if it doesn't contain all the original information from the original recording; I don't understand how it can be as good as the original recording.

I've seen other videos that explain how all that information is compressed and decoded, but at that time I didn't understand that it was a lossy process.

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post #19 of 19 Old 05-21-2020, 08:48 PM
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I'm still on the sideline with MQA. On one hand I've been under the impression it was non lossy, now I'm finding out it's lossy,. . .
There's a very easy to understand reason why you and many others were under that initial impression: You were lied to in their advertising:
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