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HiFi Technology Flatlined Last Century

Indeed. I heard some higher end speakers in my last round, above the $10kish price point of my primary auditioning. Wilsons, Blades, B&W, etc.

In some cases inferior, and in others the difference just wasn’t that large. Maybe in the old days I was just impressed by low end extension (seems like that accounts for a lot of quality perception) but the differences seemed much larger then.
I've always been partial to tweeters. I hear much less out right offensive sets nowadays. More importantly this applies to lower tier offerings. I'm not surprised that a 10k speaker sounds good but sub $500/pair speakers are getting really good. Add an affordable DSP and most people are happy. Same applies to soundbars etc.

Sure, I'm yet to hear a $500 pair that has any business in actually great upper mid / high frequencies, still very far, but things have settled really nicely and you get far with a budget. That's progress.
 
There is something to be said about dr tooles and other peoples work in the fields of speaker and how we perceive them in home acoustic.
iE the importance of directivity has not yet penetrated the whole speaker market.

Some speakers are using the finest drivers and best crossovers but still has unimpressive off axis behavior and thus random and unpredictable behavior in normal listening rooms ( nearfield in the fully acousticaly treated studio is the only place they can work )
I'd suggest with a few of these designers that a flat on-axis response (as much as possible) was the main task and the responses off axis were seemingly deemed less important or at least played down. One of these makers has finally launched a far more up-to-date small speaker where the tweeter sits in a neat waveguide (shock - who'd have thunk it :D ), so maybe this will trickle into their more highly-traditional models in time. The main issue, more recently for one manufacturer (and tying into my post above), is dragging their distributors and dealers into what's available in the 21st century, as these latter seem to be trailing way behind in terms of current developments in the audio field.
 
I'd suggest with a few of these designers that a flat on-axis response (as much as possible) was the main task and the responses off axis were seemingly deemed less important or at least played down. One of these makers has finally launched a far more up-to-date small speaker where the tweeter sits in a neat waveguide (shock - who'd have thunk it :D )
I find this fascinating, trends come and go. Waveguides were The thing around here filteen years ago with Amphion and Aurelia. They still use them of course but I don't see that much discussion about waveguides until now again.
 
I find this fascinating, trends come and go. Waveguides were The thing around here filteen years ago with Amphion and Aurelia.
Waveguides are still very much "a thing" with most all serious manufacturers using them of some type.
From Revel / JBL to the LT6 style for the Planar Ribbons and many many others.
 
Waveguides are still very much "a thing" with most all serious manufacturers using them of some type.
From Revel / JBL to the LT6 style for the Planar Ribbons and many many others.
Yes, I see them. I merely commented that I don't see as much discussion about them as some time ago.
 
Yes, I see them. I merely commented that I don't see as much discussion about them as some time ago.
I think they’ve just become an accepted tool - useful to those who engineer for dispersion linearity and deliberately ignored by those who won’t.
 
I think they’ve just become an accepted tool - useful to those who engineer for dispersion linearity and deliberately ignored by those who won’t.
There are different legitimate schools of thought on dispersion patterns. My speakers are narrow dispersion planars that are designed to minimize listening room interaction with the speakers and listener. They perform best in a room that has as much absorption as possible to contribute to the minimizing of room sound imposed upon the playback.

IMO that is a better approach to audio playback. I have no interest in hearing the listening room at all. I don’t want conflicting spatial cues in my playback. That’s my take. There is no consensus.

So it’s not that they are being ignored as much as they are being rejected by numerous speaker designers
 
At the same time, with, say, Purifi or Hypex amplifiers, a good DAC, and a nice kit of speakers, you can get the same sound quality of a $100K system of 20 years ago for less than 10K today. I could share the design of my speakers, for instance (modified Beyma horn loaded AMT over bass reflex loaded FaitalPro 12PR300 and active ripole subs). And I am quite sure that once the Purifi tweeters are out there will be nice DIY projects that, in the worst case, one can ask somebody else to build for them.

And THIS is a problem for peddlers of high-end and esoteric stuff.
Probably should have been more specific as not talking about 2.0 but more something like 9.8.8 system.
 
Power Amplifiers and dacs are still improving, but so far beyond audibility it's pointless penmanship.

Speakers are still making genuine progress.

The perfect pre amp has been a done deal for a couple of decades.

Likewise some turntables have been better than the lathes the records were cut on for almost 30 years.

Cartridges are still getting better due to manufacturing techniques, lighter, stiffer, stronger, better crosstalk and output from lower moving mass. But one could argue that they surpass the recorded medium so why bother.

Phonostages are getting more convenient, but theres been nothing measurably better for over a decade. More gain to cheat snr tests, but nothing better sounding.

Iems and headphones are still a work in progress and probably the area with most progress.
 
Probably should have been more specific as not talking about 2.0 but more something like 9.8.8 system
Best to talk about the system in the reality frame.
What can be done, and the big picture question is, why even bother ?

Likewise some turntables have been better than the lathes the records were cut on for almost 30 years. Cartridges are still getting better due to manufacturing techniques, lighter, stiffer, stronger, better crosstalk and output from lower moving mass.
I get it that some users enjoy the table for it's playback rituals and that there are one in 10 million recordings that have
never been offered in a digital form. But dang people, all that money to play a couple records? If your still stuck on 2ch, expand your system to incorporate at least a 5.1 capability. That will allow you to play everything from an old single channel mono recording to a down-converted 7.1.4 Atmos file. A truly revelatory listening experience.
 
Best to talk about the system in the reality frame.
What can be done, and the big picture question is, why even bother ?


I get it that some users enjoy the table for it's playback rituals and that there are one in 10 million recordings that have
never been offered in a digital form. But dang people, all that money to play a couple records? If your still stuck on 2ch, expand your system to incorporate at least a 5.1 capability. That will allow you to play everything from an old single channel mono recording to a down-converted 7.1.4 Atmos file. A truly revelatory listening experience.
I've owned a halfway decent 5.1 system. Matched speakers, plenty of room to place and adjust speakers, three subs to smooth out the low end. Didn't find it helped much. Not enough interesting 5.1 mixes. Perfectly happy with 2.1. Surround sound isn't for everyone. In fact, it really isn't for most people.
 
In fact, it really isn't for most people.
Neither is Hi Fi, the vast majority don't give a crap one way or the other.
They'd tell you your nuts for spending big money on stereo.
So don't start thinking you know the way.

If your really into HiFi, the surround market is where the progress is.
As J. Gordon Holt said about 25 years ago,

"With fidelity in stagnation, spatiality was the only area of improvement left." JGH

"As you were so committed to surround, do you feel that the commercial failures of DVD-Audio and SACD could have been avoided? J. Atkinson"

"I doubt it. No audio product has ever succeeded because it was better, only because it was cheaper, smaller, or easier to use. Your generation of music lovers will probably be the last that even think about fidelity." JGH

Maybe if you hadn't cheapened out by dividing your budget between separate Stereo and 5.1 systems and built one really great multich rig you would have felt differently about it.
So along with the many other ASR multich enthusiasts here, I feel in pretty good company with the likes of Gordon Holt, and Floyd Toole.
 
Maybe if you hadn't cheapened out by dividing your budget between separate Stereo and 5.1 systems and built one really great multich rig you would have felt differently about it.
So along with the many other ASR multich enthusiasts here, I feel in pretty good company with the likes of Gordon Holt, and Floyd Toole.
I didn't "cheap out", I got as much multichannel as I could afford. Just didn't like the effect that much, that's all.
Seems like you cannot accept that some people do not share your tastes in music and audio.
Although I did have a separate rig for pure 2 channel stereo, that was mainly for my side-hustle of making digital rips of analog sources for others.
 
Seems like you cannot accept that some people do not share your tastes in music and audio.
What do you know about my taste in music or audio?
Nothing
 
Like I said, NOTHING.
Are you insinuating that your posts mean nothing?
Just asking.
You troll anybody that claims to like LPs and turntables, you constantly espouse the virtues of Pink Floyd as if they are the ne plus ultra of musical invention.
But if you want to tell us that those statements are "nothing", that's your business.
 
You troll anybody that claims to like LPs and turntables, you constantly espouse the virtues of Pink Floyd as if they are the ne plus ultra of musical invention.
Sitting behind your keyboard you can be a big man flapping your jaws and looking for a fight that you'll never have to back up. Enough of you. IGNORED
 
Best to talk about the system in the reality frame.
What can be done, and the big picture question is, why even bother ?


I get it that some users enjoy the table for it's playback rituals and that there are one in 10 million recordings that have
never been offered in a digital form. But dang people, all that money to play a couple records? If your still stuck on 2ch, expand your system to incorporate at least a 5.1 capability. That will allow you to play everything from an old single channel mono recording to a down-converted 7.1.4 Atmos file. A truly revelatory listening experience.
It’s not an either/or proposition between vinyl playback and multi Channel . Some of us really do enjoy vinyl playback just for the sound
 
I find this fascinating, trends come and go. Waveguides were The thing around here filteen years ago with Amphion and Aurelia. They still use them of course but I don't see that much discussion about waveguides until now again.
I think now that it's common to see detailed off-axis measurements (I had never seen many / any until a couple years ago personally) it's starting to dawn on more listeners exactly how much a waveguide can do for the dispersion.

I also think the CAD tools for developing good WGs are getting better and more widespread. There's even a guy on DIYAudio.com that's published free 3D printing files for waveguides for maybe a dozen tweeters or so.

So basically the means to create a good WG and the knowledge of their actual, quantitative importance is only just now becoming mainstream, I think.
 
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