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Industry Insiders And Their Nonsense

egellings

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Portability can also be a need that contraindicates large bulky equipment. A lot of people are working in a gig economy often necessitating frequent moves, and hauling large equipment around frequently would be a burden.
 

Punter

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It's an interesting topic, the "death" of the traditional HiFi system. Personally, I think it's definitely on the way out. When I was a callow youth, a friend of mine who was working and earning money bought himself a HiFi system. It consisted of a Kenwood integrated amp, a Kenwood receiver and the top of the line Kenwood cassette machine. I have no idea of the model numbers. It was finished with a pair of AR10 speakers. To me as a penniless high school student, obsessed with music, it was the holy grail with blinking lights and power meters. I remember describing it to my father in rapt reverence and he asked me how much it cost, when I told him he visibly blanched at the amount. Subsequently, when I began earning regularly, my first savings goal was to buy my own system and accumulate a big collection of LP's.

As I have mentioned previously, I was accosted by a snake-oil product only a few years in to the HiFi bug and that effectively killed it. I kept that gear until it aged and deteriorated so much that i replaced it with a desultory combination of a media centre amp, a Sony CD changer and a pair of home made speakers that I cobbled together with Yamaha NS10 drivers that had been rendered spare by the recording studio next door to the radio station I was working at.

Just as an aside here, the engineers/producers at Alberts recording studios would have the NS10's re-speakered every so often when the perceived the drivers had lost their bite. Subsequently there were lots of low-hour Yamaha speakers sitting around looking for a home.

Anyway, my music collection transitioned from vinyl to CD and my equipment changed along with it. In the present, my music collection has transitioned from CD to streaming. As a consequence, my equipment is now a bluetooth amp hooked up to a pair of bookshelf speakers. If I look at my kids, the eldest exclusively uses earbuds and the youngest splits between her car stereo, earbuds and a mono bluetooth speaker. The space any of these solutions take up is inconsequential and I can't see either of them ever wanting a rack full of gear and some enormous speakers. Why would they, this is the way they consume recorded music content. It's portable and convenient.

In a previous thread I started, I posed the question (hardly novel) "Where are the female Audiophiles?" In that thread, I included a bunch of photograps illustrating the sex and age of the audience for a HiFi show. I did'nt cherry pick the photos either, the crowds were primarily 40+ males where the average age is probably over 50. So how much life has the traditional HiFi business got left in it realistically? I can't think of a single male under 30 I know that has saved up and bought a HiFi. My friends sons who are in their 20's are similarly equipped to my daughters, car, bluetooth speaker (maybe) and headphones. If any of them do catch the bug, they're more likely to buy home theatre style equipment rather than bespoke HiFi components.

I agree that the HiFi business has puportedly been "dying from the same heart attack for the last 40 years" but I think that maybe, the shift in technology and lack of interest in HiFi specific equipment might actually be the beginnings of it's extinction. Without a receptive generation to buy in, how can it continue?

Speaker crowd

High-end-munich-show-report-2022-BEV-4-Linn-6.jpg


Headphone crowd

melbourne-hifi-show-7.jpg
 
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Mart68

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It's an interesting topic, the "death" of the traditional HiFi system. Personally, I think it's definitely on the way out. When I was a callow youth, a friend of mine who was working and earning money bought himself a HiFi system. It consisted of a Kenwood integrated amp, a Kenwood receiver and the top of the line Kenwood cassette machine. I have no idea of the model numbers. It was finished with a pair of AR10 speakers. To me as a penniless high school student, obsessed with music, it was the holy grail with blinking lights and power meters. I remember describing it to my father in rapt reverence and he asked me how much it cost, when I told him he visibly blanched at the amount. Subsequently, when I began earning regularly, my first savings goal was to buy my own system and accumulate a big collection of LP's.

As I have mentioned previously, I was accosted by a snake-oil product only a few years in to the HiFi bug and that effectively killed it. I kept that gear until it aged and deteriorated so much that i replaced it with a desultory combination of a media centre amp, a Sony CD changer and a pair of home made speakers that I cobbled together with Yamaha NS10 drivers that had been rendered spare by the recording studio next door to the radio station I was working at.

Just as an aside here, the engineers/producers at Alberts recording studios would have the NS10's re-speakered every so often when the perceived the drivers had lost their bite. Subsequently there were lots of low-hour Yamaha speakers sitting around looking for a home.

Anyway, my music collection transitioned from vinyl to CD and my equipment changed along with it. In the present, my music collection has transitioned from CD to streaming. As a consequence, my equipment is now a bluetooth amp hooked up to a pair of bookshelf speakers. If I look at my kids, the eldest exclusively uses earbuds and the youngest splits between her car stereo, earbuds and a mono bluetooth speaker. The space any of these solutions take up is inconsequential and I can't see either of them ever wanting a rack full of gear and some enormous speakers. Why would they, this is the way they consume recorded music content. It's portable and convenient.

In a previous thread I started, I posed the question (hardly novel) "Where are the female Audiophiles?" In that thread, I included a bunch of photograps illustrating the sex and age of the audience for a HiFi show. I did'nt cherry pick the photos either, the crowds were primarily 40+ males where the average age is probably over 50. So how much life has the traditional HiFi business got left in it realistically? I can't think of a single male under 30 I know that has saved up and bought a HiFi. My friends sons who are in their 20's are similarly equipped to my daughters, car, bluetooth speaker (maybe) and headphones. If any of them do catch the bug, they're more likely to buy home theatre style equipment rather than bespoke HiFi components.

I agree that the HiFi business has puportedly been "dying from the same heart attack for the last 40 years" but I think that maybe, the shift in technology and lack of interest in HiFi specific equipment might actually be the beginnings of it's extinction. Without a receptive generation to buy in, how can it continue?

Speaker crowd

View attachment 325957

Headphone crowd

View attachment 325958

I agree with the 'technology now' angle - that could maybe kill it.

On the other hand I notice that adverts and TV shows seem to feature turntables quite often and in the local record shop I am by far the oldest customer.

Those shows featring 'proper' hi-fi as props or set dressing are not aimed at my demographic, but the 20-40 age group. Maybe turntables are starting to be seen as aspirational? You can't have a decent turntable and not have the rest to go with it so it might be that, ironically, a flawed analogue medium that brings hi-fi back as an -almost - mainstream pursuit.

It's so hard to predict the future, it's not always the logical/expected progression that actually happens.
 

egellings

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I agree with the 'technology now' angle - that could maybe kill it.

On the other hand I notice that adverts and TV shows seem to feature turntables quite often and in the local record shop I am by far the oldest customer.

Those shows featring 'proper' hi-fi as props or set dressing are not aimed at my demographic, but the 20-40 age group. Maybe turntables are starting to be seen as aspirational? You can't have a decent turntable and not have the rest to go with it so it might be that, ironically, a flawed analogue medium that brings hi-fi back as an -almost - mainstream pursuit.

It's so hard to predict the future, it's not always the logical/expected progression that actually happens.
You could have one of those all-in-one Crosley TT's that have two little speakers built in.
 
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Mart68

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You could have one of those all-in-one Crosley TT's that have two little speakers built in.
In the same way we started with an Aiwa or JVC midi system. Or the generation before us started with a Dansette?

It's junk and will die pretty fast but they will still want to play those expensive records.

Just the gateway to the harder stuff. At least maybe for some.
 

Galliardist

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I agree with the 'technology now' angle - that could maybe kill it.

On the other hand I notice that adverts and TV shows seem to feature turntables quite often and in the local record shop I am by far the oldest customer.

Those shows featring 'proper' hi-fi as props or set dressing are not aimed at my demographic, but the 20-40 age group. Maybe turntables are starting to be seen as aspirational? You can't have a decent turntable and not have the rest to go with it so it might be that, ironically, a flawed analogue medium that brings hi-fi back as an -almost - mainstream pursuit.

It's so hard to predict the future, it's not always the logical/expected progression that actually happens.
My money would go on augmented reality and virtual ambisonics being the next really big thing, though I don't know when it will be good enough, or how long it will be useable for in a single session based on my current reading and only experience of VR.

On the other hand, people will want to plug the turntable in, and I suspect some of the early apps will be about playing "virtual records" complete with actual noise.

Still, the younger among us will get to see that future. Not sure if I will.
 

Sal1950

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With the younger generation, portability rules.
I think that's the bottom line there.
This has been a dying hobby "I hate using that term" for a number of decades now.
I believe popularity reached it's peak thru the 1970-80s when just about every boomer had
some type of receiver and a pair of speakers in the living room. (most always to the displeasure of the Mrs).
There were 4 or 5 big mainstream HiFi mags and 5-10 "underground" mags. All gone now except for a couple
but replaced by many websites which in the main are much cheaper to produce.
It's true the younger crowd mostly gets exceptional sound quality from their phones & IEM's and they
get it for dirt cheap costs, its a world I've never been able to grow to. I got into the headphone scene for
a few years but just couldn't really be satisfied without the immersive involvement quality of the soundspace
speakers bring to the table. Expand from 2ch to multich and the differences become just that much more
involving and important (to me).
Time marches on and I do find it sad that the hobby at this point appears to be at the end of the line. Music and it's
reproduction in the home has always been a huge part of my life and brought me much joy. But then as an audiophile
I've always been an outlier. Maybe someday technology along the lines of StarTreks holodeck will be a reality and start
a whole new kind of HiFi, now that would be supper cool. Just a small extra room in the home, size isn't important, internally
it'll grow to the need. LOL
 

egellings

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I think that's the bottom line there.
This has been a dying hobby "I hate using that term" for a number of decades now.
I believe popularity reached it's peak thru the 1970-80s when just about every boomer had
some type of receiver and a pair of speakers in the living room. (most always to the displeasure of the Mrs).
There were 4 or 5 big mainstream HiFi mags and 5-10 "underground" mags. All gone now except for a couple
but replaced by many websites which in the main are much cheaper to produce.
It's true the younger crowd mostly gets exceptional sound quality from their phones & IEM's and they
get it for dirt cheap costs, its a world I've never been able to grow to. I got into the headphone scene for
a few years but just couldn't really be satisfied without the immersive involvement quality of the soundspace
speakers bring to the table. Expand from 2ch to multich and the differences become just that much more
involving and important (to me).
Time marches on and I do find it sad that the hobby at this point appears to be at the end of the line. Music and it's
reproduction in the home has always been a huge part of my life and brought me much joy. But then as an audiophile
I've always been an outlier. Maybe someday technology along the lines of StarTreks holodeck will be a reality and start
a whole new kind of HiFi, now that would be supper cool. Just a small extra room in the home, size isn't important, internally
it'll grow to the need. LOL
Agree. Audio is pretty much a solved problem.
 

computer-audiophile

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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 fact, living space in beautiful townhouses is also becoming more and more expensive. The rent in our former flat 10 years ago has more than doubled in the meantime. I always enjoyed having lots of space and different rooms where I could set up nice setups. My dream would have been to have my own small audio concert hall where I could have set up a really big system of horn loudspeakers. Instead, we've downsized a bit in our older days and now only have 5 rooms + kitchen for the two of us.
 

anmpr1

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In a previous thread I started, I posed the question (hardly novel) "Where are the female Audiophiles?" In that thread, I included a bunch of photograps illustrating the sex and age of the audience for a HiFi show. I did'nt cherry pick the photos either, the crowds were primarily 40+ males where the average age is probably over 50.

In all my years of audiofoolery, slumming the hi-fi shows, wandering the audio salons, dealing with dealers, trading with traders, I've never encountered an enthused woman. At the stores I've seen guys walking in with their wives, who immediately proceed to stand in the background looking bored, as husbands abandon them for gear.

Waifu, whom I dearly love, would just as soon listen to whatever she is listening to on one of her multiple cell phones or tablets (she likes those, for some reason). But if I turn on one of our multi-thousand dollar hi-fi systems she nods indifferently, smiles at me because I am happy, and then retreats to some or another room of the house.

I have a female friend who is an accomplished classical pianist. She recently sent me a file (she called it a 'tape') of a Chopin piece. Nice performance, yet it sounded pretty bad sonically. Her perplexed reply? "It sounded great when I was playing it!"
 

computer-audiophile

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In all my years of audiofoolery,
I like the term 'audiofoolery'.

Speaking of my wife: she already had a good hi-fi system when I met her. And she has accompanied me on many of my audio pilgrimages over the years without getting bored or just being there on the sidelines. As a result, she has become something of an expert herself when it comes to practical listening results. This is her perspective. Technically, she doesn't deepen the topic that well.
 

fpitas

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A friend's musician wife relaxed her aesthetic senses to allow his giant horn speakers to stay in the living room, because she likes the sound. So, rare as it is, it happens.
 

egellings

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A friend's musician wife relaxed her aesthetic senses to allow his giant horn speakers to stay in the living room, because she likes the sound. So, rare as it is, it happens.
Whew! and horns are especially ugly, at that. They look so shouty.
 

fpitas

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Whew! and horns are especially ugly, at that. They look so shouty.
One of his friends stared and asked if they were air raid sirens. Kids these days.
 

fpitas

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fpitas

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I don't read those mags but am curious. Do Genelec or Nuemann advertise in them or do they find these magazines embarrassing?
Kind of pointless. They aren't aimed at domestic use. Hence the "pro audio box" aesthetic.
 
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