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Why do people associate High End audio with snake-oil?

svart-hvitt

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#63
That works, too, although it may take more than a single trial.
Yes, indeed. So I wondered what to do with all my marker pens after I shifted from CD to streaming.

I asked Tidal if they used the Stereophile Recommended Stoplight pen before reading from CD and writing to file, but I didn’t get a reply. Shame on them!

I also wondered how streaming company Qobuz can achieve adequate sound when they stream 24 bits and sample rates above 44.1 kHz, because it precludes the use of the Stoplight CD pen.

I have an idea for the next Stereophile:

Audio in the post Stoplight Pen era. Progression or degression?

Teasingly yours,

;)
 
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Sal1950

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#64
CD Stoplight,
You got to ask yourself, who came up with this idea? Who was involved in promoting it to the boys club of HiFi media.?
Someone made a lot of money selling $0.10 magic markers for $25. LOL
 

SIY

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#66
At least, unlike the ArmorAll recommendation, it doesn't irreversibly damage your discs.
 

restorer-john

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#67
Being someone who collects CDs on the secondary markets, I find the users of stoplight pens (and other green markers) primarily listened to Windham Hill's catalogue back in the day, and not much else.

I have developed an easy technique for removing all the marker without damaging the discs. At least people who used the green marker tended to look after the discs better than people who didn't.
 

svart-hvitt

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#68
Being someone who collects CDs on the secondary markets, I find the users of stoplight pens (and other green markers) primarily listened to Windham Hill's catalogue back in the day, and not much else.

I have developed an easy technique for removing all the marker without damaging the discs. At least people who used the green marker tended to look after the discs better than people who didn't.
What’s the point of removing the marker?
 

Xulonn

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#71
I can overlook the snake oil and appreciate some of the really cool designs the exotic audio guys create. To me it's just art that reproduces music.

I've always enjoyed the industrial art / steampunk creations of Josh Stippich and his Electronluv gear. I met Josh at the VSAC 2003 (Vacuum State of the Art Conference) when his company was one year old. Below is one of the 10 watt single ended stereo pair that Josh brought to VSAC. It uses the giant GM100 transmitter tubes and mercury vapor rectifiers. Here's a LINK to Steve Rochlin's report on the event, and there's even a picture of me - David van Harn - on the Showmen Part 2 page. I don't know why Steve published my picture - my only connection with the field was that I was a volunteer moderator for three vacuum tube forums at AudioAsylum.com at the time. I had recently retired and traveled from Northern California to Silverdale Washington to see the scenery and find out what a gathering of hard-core tube nuts was like. It was interesting and fun.

Exotic Amplifier 02.jpg


I also appreciate the artistry in the design of the Swiss Amati amplifiers and Dan D'Agostino's recent creations. Audio bling in all its glory!

Exotic Amplifier 01.jpg


Exotic Amplifier 03.jpg


And artistic loudspeaker design? A search at Pinterest yields a truly mind-boggling array of speaker designs.
 

restorer-john

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#72
I grew up with a pair of these (mk2s) gracing our loungerooms. As a little boy, I used to lie on the carpet to watch, and feel the air from the downward facing 15" alnico woofer coming out the 360 degree grille around the 7 sided base.

I still have Dad's 9000m mk2s, in my storeroom, unmarked and in their original cartons with the Portuguese marble tops. One day I'll have the midranges rebuilt and woofer spiders/suspension fixed.

To me, they still are the most elegant speakers I've ever seen- but I am biased.

9000m.JPG
 

Xulonn

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#73
To me, they still are the most elegant speakers I've ever seen- but I am biased.
I remember the Empire Grenadier 9000 speakers - never actually heard them, but the elegant design caught my eye.

I did, however, once own an Empire Troubadour 598 turntable, which like your speakers, was also an elegant design. (Pic is not mine)

Empire 598 Turntable.jpg
 

amirm

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#74
Being someone who collects CDs on the secondary markets, I find the users of stoplight pens (and other green markers) primarily listened to Windham Hill's catalogue back in the day, and not much else.
I didn't use markers but Windham Hill's catalog was most of what was available in early days of CD! I bought most of them. :)
 

restorer-john

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#75
I didn't use markers but Windham Hill's catalog was most of what was available in early days of CD! I bought most of them. :)
One my early CDs was their very first sampler! (My very first CD was Jean Michel Jarre's Oxygene)

Over the years I've always picked Windham Hill discs up whenever I see them, and have a pretty decent selection now. Not played often, but there's some hauntingly beautiful pieces among them.

It's funny to think what was, and wasn't available. I remember the Compact Disc section at a major local chain being one row of about 20 discs. I still have a copy of September 1986, sixth edition (quarterly) Music Post- which had every single disc available listed with the distributor and number. I had to order and wait for several weeks to get CDs.

To be honest, I liked those days, the music was awesome, there were new releases all the time- not just re-hashed 'best-of' albums. My local music stores knew my name, rang me when new things I'd be interested in came into stock. I'd go in and there was a pile behind the counter for me to listen to in the little booth. Lots of recommendations I'd never have known about.

The good old days... :)
 

restorer-john

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#76
I did, however, once own an Empire Troubadour 598 turntable
I've got the catalogues someplace- the 598 and 698 were lovely looking tables alright. :)

My Dad (85) still has and uses his Empire 398a turntable he bought before (1969) the Royal Grenadiers. He also has about 100 others too, but the Empire is his favourite.
 

FrantzM

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#77
Hi
I do not mind the search for visual aesthetics when it come to High End Audio. I find it actually appealing. What bothers is the pretense of elevated/superior performance. Rolex or Patek Philip wouldn't dare claim that their wares are more accurate than a $50 quartz Seiko watch... Watch magazines do not pretend that it is about accurate time keeping. They concede that it is an artistic/artisan endeavor. Not so with High End Audio, ... what they claim is fronted and supported by countless magazines (often under the guise of unbiased "reporting") and web forums. It has created a field of falsities and lies that is simply unhealthy to not say unethical. DACs costing $100K may not fare as well when it comes to fidelity as a $300 Topping D50 ( Please, Amir! find a way to compare the Topping (s) with one of those audiophile Darlings >$20K, the entire Audio Industry will hate you even more for that :D ) . They are pushed as more revealing and more veil lifting over and over ... Distortion-machines such a the WAVACs cost close to half a million USD while routinely sporting THD in the 10% , yet are put on an altar of "musicality" ... and (gasp!) true to the source ... There may not be a better example of con artistry.
Interestingly Goldmund, one of the most prestigious company in High End Audio dropped the pretense of High Fidelity a while back .... they're now "Luxury Audio" ....
After writing the above I noticed that Goldmund.com is no more ..are they dead? :D sometimes the truth hurts too much :)
 

cjfrbw

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#78
A lot of the bling and wealth display for it's own sake is actually distracting. I suppose that it is part of getting everybody to look at you and go "Wow!", but if you are actually interested in great sound, and damn the bling, you feel like you have to eliminate all the expensive stuff because, well, it's expensive and maybe they WERE on to something? So, much time wasted until you get lots of experience.

I did hear a system at California Audio Show 2018 that was big horns, lots of transformers, and flea power amps that I liked a lot, and it was very expensive. I think those kinds of system are verging on religious extremism, but it did sound really, really good.
 
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Sal1950

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#79
I did, however, once own an Empire Troubadour 598 turntable, which like your speakers, was also an elegant design
What a beautiful design, I always lusted after a Empire table with the wood cases.
I do not mind the search for visual aesthetics when it come to High End Audio. I find it actually appealing. What bothers is the pretense of elevated/superior performance
AMEN, I despise what the con artists and hucksters have done to the industry of High Fidelity. It's embarrassing that they make us all look like idiots to anyone in the outside world with half a brain.
 

sergeauckland

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#80
Hi
I do not mind the search for visual aesthetics when it come to High End Audio. I find it actually appealing. What bothers is the pretense of elevated/superior performance. Rolex or Patek Philip wouldn't dare claim that their wares are more accurate than a $50 quartz Seiko watch... Watch magazines do not pretend that it is about accurate time keeping. They concede that it is an artistic/artisan endeavor. Not so with High End Audio, ... what they claim is fronted and supported by countless magazines (often under the guise of unbiased "reporting") and web forums. It has created a field of falsities and lies that is simply unhealthy to not say unethical. DACs costing $100K may not fare as well when it comes to fidelity as a $300 Topping D50 ( Please, Amir! find a way to compare the Topping (s) with one of those audiophile Darlings >$20K, the entire Audio Industry will hate you even more for that :D ) . They are pushed as more revealing and more veil lifting over and over ... Distortion-machines such a the WAVACs cost close to half a million USD while routinely sporting THD in the 10% , yet are put on an altar of "musicality" ... and (gasp!) true to the source ... There may not be a better example of con artistry.
Interestingly Goldmund, one of the most prestigious company in High End Audio dropped the pretense of High Fidelity a while back .... they're now "Luxury Audio" ....
After writing the above I noticed that Goldmund.com is no more ..are they dead? :D sometimes the truth hurts too much :)
Exactly this. The utter fraud that so much of the high-end is. Claiming completely un verifiable things like 'musicality' whilst ignoring easily verifiable things like poor distortion, high noise or poor frequency response. If somebody wants to buy a hand-made amplifier or loudspeakers at sillymoney because it's handmade, fine, but don't then claim that it's a better amplifier than an everyday commercial item.

Supercars at least go faster than most family cars and SUVs, very little of High-End HiFi actually is better than the run-of-the-mill, and even then, hardly audibly better.

S.
 
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