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Industry Insiders And Their Nonsense

Head_Unit

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Something I see a lot is people asking about half-width components or all in one units as they 'Don't have the space.' I mean, seriously?
Sure. For instance back in the day, a receiver was just one component sitting in a rack of equipment, maybe with a tube TV on top. Now there's no rack, so where do you put a full-size receiver? To answer that question you have to get in a mindset of "I don't want an ugly retro-not-in-a-good-way stereo rack AT ALL." And maybe just wanting less clutter and less stuff.
 
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Mart68

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Sure. For instance back in the day, a receiver was just one component sitting in a rack of equipment, maybe with a tube TV on top. Now there's no rack, so where do you put a full-size receiver? To answer that question you have to get in a mindset of "I don't want an ugly retro-not-in-a-good-way stereo rack AT ALL." And maybe just wanting less clutter and less stuff.
There is a modern trend for minimalism that is true. You see it in equipment design and pictures of people's living rooms where there is a sofa, a TV on the wall, and that's it. Neither is good for sound quality.

I would suggest that people who want to 'save space' by buying tiny pieces of equipment or 'decluttering' by getting rid of a couple of hundred records or CDs are more caught up in the idea than the reality.
 

Chrispy

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I agree re the changes to come, but as I said in the o/p why is 'space' an issue? I had 'proper' systems in plenty of small rooms from teenage years until I was almost thirty and bought a house with a large room (although it's still a small house, overall).

Something I see a lot is people asking about half-width components or all in one units as they 'Don't have the space.' I mean, seriously? It's just weird.

Likewise with physical media, you can get five thousand or so LP records in a single alcove with floor to ceiling shelving, probably four times that many CDs.

It's just a non-issue.
Space is an issue. It costs money and time and moves aside other things that may be more interesting than a wall full of ancient vinyl especially. I know after lugging around only several hundred pieces of vinyl (let alone some ridiculous amount like 5000) over the years that the furniture and effort needs some sort of dedication to the idea and I can't see any sensible young person bothering with vinyl at all myself....I know if I hadn't needed to way back when, I certainly wouldn't go that direction now....especially if money and space were an issue. Even with cds I tend to put them in more compact storage (discarding the jewel boxes) in binders and just use my rips on various drives. Most younger folk I know have no real desire to have either vinyl or cds when they can stream.

Smaller components are more possible now, so that might be a more viable thought....
 

Galliardist

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There is a modern trend for minimalism that is true. You see it in equipment design and pictures of people's living rooms where there is a sofa, a TV on the wall, and that's it. Neither is good for sound quality.

I would suggest that people who want to 'save space' by buying tiny pieces of equipment or 'decluttering' by getting rid of a couple of hundred records or CDs are more caught up in the idea than the reality.
Here's an alternative thought. If I was to move to a location closer to the "centre" of Sydney - a one bedroom unit (apartment) close to Bondi beach, say - it would then cost the same as the space it was sat in. If we price in the space you need in front of the speakers and where you sit, it costs the same as the space it actually uses, where I am now.

In many cities, space is expensive and has to be carefully used. Sure, when I retire I could move to somewhere well out, into a new subdivision where I could have the listening room, but the way things are here I lose nearby shops, easy access to public transport, and I grow old a long way from health facilities. For different reasons, we can't drive.

Just because you can't imagine this stuff doesn't mean it isn't true for other people. For some, small components and no CDs are a better choice, whether for minimalism that may cause you less stress, several thousand books, room to move indoors - you may have impaired movement and need space for your frame/wheelchair, or have to allow space because of poor balance, whatever.
 
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Mart68

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Here's an alternative thought. If I was to move to a location closer to the "centre" of Sydney - a one bedroom unit (apartment) close to Bondi beach, say - it would then cost the same as the space it was sat in. If we price in the space you need in front of the speakers and where you sit, it costs the same as the space it actually uses, where I am now.

In many cities, space is expensive and has to be carefully used. Sure, when I retire I could move to somewhere well out, into a new subdivision where I could have the listening room, but the way things are here I lose nearby shops, easy access to public transport, and I grow old a long way from health facilities. For different reasons, we can't drive.

Just because you can't imagine this stuff doesn't mean it isn't true for other people. For some, small components and no CDs are a better choice, whether for minimalism that may cause you less stress, several thousand books, room to move indoors - you may have impaired movement and need space for your frame/wheelchair, or have to allow space because of poor balance, whatever.
Well my house is only about 750 square foot so it's not like I'm living in a mansion.

It's a big world so I accept there will be some edge cases but I really don't know how small a place would need to be before someone feels they have to go for half-width over full width components. You're saving a few square inches!
 

Short38

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None of the folks I interact with owns a music system. If they listen at all it is while driving or with earbuds streaming a playlist from their phone. This is true of my peer group friends (70’s - 80’s) as well as many friends in their 30’s. Our local “lifestyle” magazines feature upscale homes and I have never seen an audio system in said homes. We have a vinyl shop in town with vintage equipment of various types but no dedicated listening sessions. There is a Crutchfield store some distance away but the focus there is car audio, cameras and large televisions. The listening room is packed with good speakers but no real listening environment. I have no idea what to make of this. It seems to me that brick and mortar audio dealers are faced with the prepared spaghetti sauce and breakfast cereal problem: large numbers of manufacturers with each manufacturer offering multiple “lines”.
 

Blumlein 88

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Well my house is only about 750 square foot so it's not like I'm living in a mansion.

It's a big world so I accept there will be some edge cases but I really don't know how small a place would need to be before someone feels they have to go for half-width over full width components. You're saving a few square inches!
I've thought audio companies are missing out by not going with vertical components. Skinny and rather tall. Most people don't use their height up, it is more about width and depth. DACs/preamps can easily work that way. Class D amps could probably be better that way. You can get tall skinny PCs. A whole rack of components could be knee to shoulder height, not overly deep and very skinny. One might run into display ergonomic issues. A smart play would be a flat panel that talks with everything else and displays info with no other purpose. An 8x10 such display would suffice better than what you have now.

You sort of can do this now. Pro audio has 500 series modules. Everything from mic pres, compressors, ADC, DAC, EQ, and more. These 500 series modules (sometimes called lunchboxes when you've built your rack) have a space efficient rack with its own power supply. These modules slide in something like computer components with switches on the front and you put together whatever you need. Old high end was always a multi-component system so you could swap out each part to your own preference. 500 series setups are like this on steroids, only very space efficient and easy to do. You could have a single rack for years swapping out dozens of things as you go along.
 
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Galliardist

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I've thought audio companies are missing out by not going with vertical components. Skinny and rather tall. Most people don't use their height up, it is more about width and depth. DACs/preamps can easily work that way. Class D amps could probably be better that way. You can get tall skinny PCs. A whole rack of components could be knee to shoulder height, not overly deep and very skinny. One might run into display ergonomic issues. A smart play would be a flat panel that talks with everything else and displays info with no other purpose. An 8x10 such display would suffice better than what you have now.

You sort of can do this now. Pro audio has 500 series modules. Everything from mic pres, compressors, ADC, DAC, EQ, and more. These 500 series modules (sometimes called lunchboxes when you've built your rack) have a space efficient rack with its own power supply. These modules slide in something like computer components with switches on the front and you put together whatever you need. Old high end was always a multi-component system so you could swap out each part to your own preference. 500 series setups are like this on steroids, only very space efficient and easy to do. You could have a single rack for years swapping out dozens of things as you go along.
I believe that for most people, horizontal components with the accompanying horizontal controls are more ergonomical, but if you aren't using items with lots of knobs and buttons, that makes sense.
 

Galliardist

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Space is one of the most expensive things to own in urban areas (where most people have to live). The accumulation of possessions is also stressful; it takes longer to find the thing you are looking for and moving them around is problematic.
In my own case, that is an understatement!
 

CapMan

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Devialet can be wall mounted - leaves more space for the dog !

68787275225__69EDE3C4-B509-48CA-AE1D-322B49E7ECBD.jpeg
 

Balle Clorin

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Something I see a lot is people asking about half-width components or all in one units as they 'Don't have the space.' I mean, seriously? It's just weird
Not weird at all… when you do not have a dedicated room where you can spread out in width and height . Modern interior do not account for Hifi and young people cannot afford a large space, in my country a separate kitchen is not normal anymore, everything is cramped into one single living room. Not much room for Hifi there.

I am fortunate, but even in my 18 000 ft^2 flat with 6 rooms + kitchen, there is really only one corner where the Hifi could reasonably fit , considering the rest of the family’s needs. In my case a stereorack/bench in the any of the 3 living room was not acceptable aesthetically nor practical ( collide with door etc)

I ordered a custom bookcase deep enough , but still limited to 5 feet width to 3 full width components, but that is it. I am limited to only one turntable as it is. Maybe that saves me some money.
index.php


The space below the equipment is for, power distributor, turntable motor supply, RIAA power, streamer, swith, and stuff, drawers with CD. LP Records are in a similar cabinet to the left of the door


The TV room has its own micro system

index.php

Steamers, DAC, preamps in full width are mostly empty boxes. No need to make them full size. Can you see my not-so-full-size RIAA box in the attached photo? I full size box would never fit.
 

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CapMan

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IMG_4677.jpeg

Cyrus in the UK have always made 1/2 width boxes. I’ve owned a few - they are quite neat. No idea how they measure!
 

r042wal

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None of the folks I interact with owns a music system. If they listen at all it is while driving or with earbuds streaming a playlist from their phone. This is true of my peer group friends (70’s - 80’s) as well as many friends in their 30’s. Our local “lifestyle” magazines feature upscale homes and I have never seen an audio system in said homes. We have a vinyl shop in town with vintage equipment of various types but no dedicated listening sessions. There is a Crutchfield store some distance away but the focus there is car audio, cameras and large televisions. The listening room is packed with good speakers but no real listening environment. I have no idea what to make of this. It seems to me that brick and mortar audio dealers are faced with the prepared spaghetti sauce and breakfast cereal problem: large numbers of manufacturers with each manufacturer offering multiple “lines”.
That sounds so depressing. I hear what you say. An iPhone and an MP3 is what seems to make the new generation click. I am wondering if finances factor into it? When people like us grew up in the 1970's for example, we took an interest in hi-end audio and could pull off what we needed for gear. It is tough for young people these days, even if they love their music as much as we do. If they have to subscribe to Spotify or download MP3s, I can understand their predicament. What do you think?
 

Galliardist

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That sounds so depressing. I hear what you say. An iPhone and an MP3 is what seems to make the new generation click. I am wondering if finances factor into it? When people like us grew up in the 1970's for example, we took an interest in hi-end audio and could pull off what we needed for gear. It is tough for young people these days, even if they love their music as much as we do. If they have to subscribe to Spotify or download MP3s, I can understand their predicament. What do you think?
Personally I remain convinced that in a lot of family homes, while Dad is rolling yet more overpriced tubes or “fine tuning” VTA.and making the sound worse, the kids upstairs listening to Apple Music or Spotify in their rooms on their earbuds are getting excellent fidelity by any comparison.

Who has the predicament?
 

cinemakinoeye

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Personally I remain convinced that in a lot of family homes, while Dad is rolling yet more overpriced tubes or “fine tuning” VTA.and making the sound worse, the kids upstairs listening to Apple Music or Spotify in their rooms on their earbuds are getting excellent fidelity by any comparison.

Who has the predicament?
I decided to accommodate “the kids” in my household and install a music listening system in the living room that uses anyone’s iPhone as a music source. I can hear the gnashing of teeth and the sharpening of knives. Sign of the times. The system consists of an Apple AirPort Express connected to a class D power amplifier and two good speakers on stands. Minimalist and it sounds good to me. The kids and my spouse appreciate being able to play music from their phones and they appreciate the vastly better sound you get from well placed speakers and room acoustics which contribute more to good sound than expensive components at the end of the day. I have audiophile tastes but no patience for snake oil, tubes, or the ridiculously poor sound of records (clicks and pops drive me crazy, how is that good?)
 

Galliardist

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I decided to accommodate “the kids” in my household and install a music listening system in the living room that uses anyone’s iPhone as a music source. I can hear the gnashing of teeth and the sharpening of knives. Sign of the times. The system consists of an Apple AirPort Express connected to a class D power amplifier and two good speakers on stands. Minimalist and it sounds good to me. The kids and my spouse appreciate being able to play music from their phones and they appreciate the vastly better sound you get from well placed speakers and room acoustics which contribute more to good sound than expensive components at the end of the day. I have audiophile tastes but no patience for snake oil, tubes, or the ridiculously poor sound of records (clicks and pops drive me crazy, how is that good?)
Nice.

One thought though. If in our childhood my youngest sister and I had both had iPhone access to a living room stereo, the result would have been that no song would ever have finished playing… how do you manage that?
 

cinemakinoeye

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Nice.

One thought though. If in our childhood my youngest sister and I had both had iPhone access to a living room stereo, the result would have been that no song would ever have finished playing… how do you manage that?
In most cases they who were there first are the defacto DJ; most of the time it’s the kids or the adults using the living room; and the eldest is now off at college. There are the occasional arguments…
 
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