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HiFi Technology Flatlined Last Century

Steven Holt

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Indeed. I thought the point of our developing robots computers were so that they could take over the jobs we didn’t want to do, not take over the jobs we want to do!
Welcome to the Law of Unintended Consequences
 

Cbdb2

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The big shift in the last 20 years wast in hardware but in delivery. Streaming has changed the music industry, not all for the better. Better for the content users and the streaming companies. Not so much for everyone else in the business. Now for the price of one CD I can listen to almost anything I want as much as I want for over a month with out getting out of my chair, this would have been a dream when you had to go downtown to flip thru records and not find what you were looking for
The down side, less money going into artist development, so you can listen to anything but there is not as much good music to listen to. Instead of a label spending money (they no longer have) on gigs so an artist can learn to sing/play they just use autotune etc. Sorry for the off topic rant.
 

Bruce Morgen

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Have amplifiers really advanced functionally since the 70’s? Amplifiers really hit their stride in the 1970’s. Full-bandwidth 20-20khz power at extremely low distortion became commonplace. Whether it was the modest amplifier section in a mid-priced receiver like the Kenwood KR-5400 (35 watts/ch RMS from 20-20kHz at <0.5% THD) from 1974 or the Pioneer Spec 2 power amplifier from 1976 rated at 250 watts/ch 20-20kHz at <0.1% THD, amps in the 1970’s delivered the goods.
Although your 1970s receivers and amps had already achieved the "hi-" in "hi-fi," the advent of highly refined Class D circuitry and SMPS technology launched audibly equivalent (and better measuring!) amplification into a vastly lower price bracket and vastly smaller packages. Take a look at the inflation-adjusted prices for a KR-5400 and a Spec 2 -- not to mention their enormous size and weight -- and tell me the combination of Class D and SMPS is just "based on tweaking circuits and incorporating modern components" and not a quantum leap for music loving consumers, many of whom have limited budgets -- and limited space -- for audio gear!
 

Vacceo

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The big shift in the last 20 years wast in hardware but in delivery. Streaming has changed the music industry, not all for the better. Better for the content users and the streaming companies. Not so much for everyone else in the business. Now for the price of one CD I can listen to almost anything I want as much as I want for over a month with out getting out of my chair, this would have been a dream when you had to go downtown to flip thru records and not find what you were looking for
The down side, less money going into artist development, so you can listen to anything but there is not as much good music to listen to. Instead of a label spending money (they no longer have) on gigs so an artist can learn to sing/play they just use autotune etc. Sorry for the off topic rant.
There is, actually; but perhaps it depends on genre. The 90's had a loooot less talented Extreme Metal bands while now, you can get fantastic bands in a gazillion places that are not Scandinavia or the US.

A couple weeks ago I got a CD from Austria that would have been impossible to find over here just 15 years ago.
 

ohnonotagain

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There's still innovation to be made out there - maybe not revolutionary, but certainly evolutionary enough to make a difference.

The Apple HomePod is not what most people would call hi-fi, but the technology in it, if applied more widely, could be transformative. To correct for room response, we need to take separate measurements and either feed them into whatever EQ software we choose to use, or use an amplifier equipped with Audyssey, Dirac Live, or something similar. Meanwhile, the HomePod is taking those measurements and adjusting to the room response in real time.

Imagine, as @cavedriver did not so long ago, if this was more widely accessible and easily applied to any listening setup by adding a couple of microphones to the room in convenient places such as on top of the speakers, and if it was as easy to use as Apple's "just works" HomePod. It wouldn't get you a perfect listening room, but it'd get you a lot closer to it without having to make any adjustments to the furniture.
 

antcollinet

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You're completely correct here boss, but they don't sound any better.
The fact I can now easily afford a 200W+ into 8ohm amp says you're wrong.

(yes I know that 200W amp doesn't sound better than a 200W class AB.

But in the Class "amps-that-I-can**-afford", Class D sounds better. :p


** or: am prepared to...
 

Sal1950

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The fact I can now easily afford a 200W+ into 8ohm amp says you're wrong.

(yes I know that 200W amp doesn't sound better than a 200W class AB.

But in the Class "amps-that-I-can**-afford", Class D sounds better. :p


** or: am prepared to...
Can't argue with that. ;)
 
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