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Thread: Whatever Happened To The Audiophile?

  1. #31
    Dang. Amateur speakerdave's Avatar
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    The Golden Ages of audio have been only occasional blips on the screen because civilization must be paid for, and it is only occasionally that significant numbers of people with good taste and good sense have generous quantities of discretionary income. In the closing phases of renaissances, demonstrating both Sturgeon's Revelation and Gresham's Law, the people who want to make $30M annually running corporations view the people who will buy the 90% of everything that is crap as a neglected market, so the economies of mass production never apply to the really good stuff.

    I think there's some truth to William Morris's assertion that the human being is happiest when he is making something useful with his hands. Since the contingencies of my experience more or less compelled me to acquire some modest skills an easy analysis quickly led me to think that if I could get the drivers and the information necessary I could build some speakers which might kiss about the boundaries of 'world class' at a cost very much below retail. It hasn't turned out to be that easy, but with some help from friends here and elsewhere it's been worthwhile.

    As to how other people might feel about the money spent, I couldn't care less, especially when listening to Mozart or Clifford Brown or Joni Mitchell. I'm pretty certain the sound I'm getting couldn't have been acquired for less, so the amount is right.

    The problem I have with the word "audiophile" is that it has been used by advertisers to valorize the focus on equipment, the slippery edge of our hobby, and to define an elite membership you can acquire by buying their stuff. It's not a new thing that language gets trounced with misuse and overuse, so I just ignore it. It's not that great a word anyway. The payoff for me is always in getting back to the music. And that is one reason why for me the system building stretches into the years. It's the long plateaus during which I'm listening to music that take the time. It's only when I've come to be distracted from the music by something in the sound that I start gearing up or tweaking. I really don't do a lot of critical listening otherwise.

  2. #32
    Administrator Mr. Widget's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SEAWOLF97 View Post
    I've been reading Stereophile 4 or 5 years now and while they do have a column called "The Entry Level" , that has only been a development in the last year or so and mostly in response to all the reader feedback complaining about the writers living in an audio fantasy land.
    Art Dudley wrote about restoring Advents in May of 2010. I agree these articles appear sporadically at best, but the business of producing a mainstream magazine and selling them at the cover price that they do, requires advertising dollars to cover the production, mailing, and salaries. I am afraid they can only afford to "give away" so much column space.

    Obviously companies like HH Scott and the like are no longer around to buy advertising... then there is the exotica quotient. Look at the car mags, the uber expensive sports cars get far more attention than the actual sales numbers would suggest is appropriate. Obviously there are quite a few "armchair" audiophiles who like to read and dream about Everests and the like.


    Widget

  3. #33
    Senior Member louped garouv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by speakerdave View Post
    I think there's some truth to William Morris's assertion that the human being is happiest when he is making something useful with his hands. Since the contingencies of my experience more or less compelled me to acquire some modest skills an easy analysis quickly led me to think that if I could get the drivers and the information necessary I could build some speakers which might kiss about the boundaries of 'world class' at a cost very much below retail. It hasn't turned out to be that easy, but with some help from friends here and elsewhere it's been worthwhile.

    ain't that the truth... a great learning experience indeed....


  4. #34
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    I think many moved to the home theater scene

    Yes, I know it isn't exactly the same but there are many avenues there in the pursuit of the best.

    High-end is difficult to get into as the only entry is through dealers who seemingly are anti-social.

  5. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by moparfan View Post
    High-end is difficult to get into as the only entry is through dealers who seemingly are anti-social.

    Except for those amiable, affable gents at Design Interaction… Of course, that only helps if you are within a few hundred miles of SF Bay.
    In.

  6. #36
    Administrator Robh3606's Avatar
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    Except for those amiable, affable gents at Design Interaction… Of course, that only helps if you are within a few hundred miles of SF Bay.
    To bad for the rest of them. I used to just about hang out in my local shops. I was in them at least once a week for a chat in the day. They are all gone and the ones I have been in just aren't to friendly.

    Rob
    "I could be arguing in my spare time"

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    If pursueing all the wonderful products of James Bullough Lansing,Sidney Harman..

    And a host of other pioneers from the golden age of audio isn't audiophilia, I don't know what is. I didn't partake of these masterpieces on the first go round in the 60's and 70's, so I'm doing it now. Obviously, sites like this keep introducing newbys to the best the golden age had to offer.

  8. #38
    Senior Member tomt's Avatar
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    must be a generation type thing.

    from the article -

    Listening to music used to be a plop-down, stay-still event.
    Now it's something people do while doing something else,
    like eating while driving or chatting on a phone while walking.
    frank zappa said -

    music has now become wallpaper

    for peoples lives ...




  9. #39
    RIP 2013 Rolf's Avatar
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    He is one of my favorites. (FZ). He was ahead of his time. And as you stated, he is right! To bad he put down his sword so early.


    Quote Originally Posted by tomt View Post


    frank zappa said -

    music has now become wallpaper

    for peoples lives ...



    It's really all about music.
    Rolf

  10. #40
    Senior Member Ducatista47's Avatar
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    I think this is the number one reason why sound quality has declined in importance, in more ways than one. No need for high fidelity with background/multitasked music. Parties too. A room full of people talking with a Bose Wave radio in the background usually generates lots of compliments about the sound of the radio.

    Quote Originally Posted by tomt View Post
    must be a generation type thing.

    from the article -


    Listening to music used to be a plop-down, stay-still event.
    Now it's something people do while doing something else,
    like eating while driving or chatting on a phone while walking.



    frank zappa said -

    music has now become wallpaper

    for peoples lives ...



    Information is not Knowledge; Knowledge is not Wisdom

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