Whatever happened to the audiophile

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Re: Whatever happened to the audiophile

Post by Snoop65 » Sun Aug 07, 2011 2:12 pm

It's funny how since CD's first came out there has been a quest to make them sound more like analog. A lot of people fell into the initial "perfect sound" hype of cd.
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Re: Whatever happened to the audiophile

Post by BillD » Sun Aug 07, 2011 2:33 pm

In theory the CD (or SACD, or DVD) could have been the perfect medium. The problem is in the details (the practice). CDs need a brick wall filter to block the symmetrical overtones centered around 22.05kHz. This knocks the air out of music found on vinyl (which rolls off gradually). All suffer from the mechanical devices employed to extract the music (as does vinyl in its own way). But DVD-A and SACD are certainly a step in the right direction. I do believe that direct to digital, with no intervening mechanical devices other than pickups is the next thing. My vision would be for it to go to the mixing console analog (from the instruments/microphones), each track converted to digital and saved as a file (for later re-mixing). These files would be mixed down digitally and saved to a master file. That master file would be digitally copied for distribution to users, either downloaded or on a thumb drive. You could choose your format (for different prices) from MP3 to WAV/FLAC/Apple Lossless/WMA lossless, etc.
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Re: Whatever happened to the audiophile

Post by OconeeOrange » Sun Aug 07, 2011 4:13 pm

Excellent thread Dan -

I was just reading a similar article. Here are some comments to it that caught my attention:

Keep in mind that, when mastering a recording, that monitoring of a mix is performed and evaluated on a range of what is called a "reference monitor". Contrary to popular belief, a reference monitor is often NOT designed for the highest fidelity (some are, but most are not). More often, they are designed to reproduce the sound you get out of the typical stereo. So, the guys doing the mix-down are trying to make it sound good on the average stereo, not on the $15k+ super mega ultra high-fidelity stuff like you and I spend our money on

Spending the extra money on really accurate gear is wasted if you're just listening to pop/rock/etc. There's a "good enough" level of quality that will reproduce what the artist/engineer intend, and you don't need to break the bank to get there. If you're a jazz or classical kind of guy, it's a completely different story.

My brother is a professional musician and music teacher, and he's always had so-so audio equipment. Some of that is due to affordability for sure, but quite honestly if he had to decide between spending $1500 on a new stereo component or on a new guitar, I know exactly which choice he'd probably make.



Yes, I know I just picked out the ones that champion the thoughts I have put up here before -> but I believe it. No one here on Carver would say I am an audiophile. still, unlike when I joined, I now do have better equipment to hook to my life long lust for tunes. Actually, I have better gear than many real audiophiles and thanks to all yall, it fits together. I have read and learned here on CARVER, and that got me to into many other areas that lean on being a homo. I don't just mean equipment, but learning about the music as to time, notes, etc. I don't know much, but I know more than some, and I learn each day.
I suspect all on CARVER do. Every time I stumble on something, I find ten things I need to check into. Making great beer is the same.

I do love the equipment and learning how to mix it for better sound.
Still, I can never be an audiophile as I like the tunes too much. Some poorly recorded crap rock my boat. Maybe I am a tune-0-phile.


Dan, great thread.
Not to be a hog, will just steal one sentence from the article: "Listening to music used to be a plop-down, stay-still event."
Here on the lake it still is. Bob suggests darkness as it creates the best stage for recorded music. I agree.

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Re: Whatever happened to the audiophile

Post by OconeeOrange » Sun Aug 07, 2011 4:24 pm

Snoop65 wrote:It's funny how since CD's first came out there has been a quest to make them sound more like analog. A lot of people fell into the initial "perfect sound" hype of cd.
Not true as in the day, CDs and the new CD players were so much better than most had heard, and many heard that.

In my opinion, there are more audiophiles now than at any other time. Back in the 50's, 60's, 70's, 80's, (well not so much the 80's) people were playing good tunes but the really good equipment was out of the reach of most. Still, we happily rocked on since we knew not. Still, now that you look back and play some of that old gear, it was OK, and not as lame as you might think. Beemer is bringing a classic, average receiver to CarverFest I just won on a charity auction. People will be surprised.

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Re: Whatever happened to the audiophile

Post by Snoop65 » Sun Aug 07, 2011 6:46 pm

OconeeOrange wrote:
Snoop65 wrote:It's funny how since CD's first came out there has been a quest to make them sound more like analog. A lot of people fell into the initial "perfect sound" hype of cd.
Not true as in the day, CDs and the new CD players were so much better than most had heard, and many heard that.

In my opinion, there are more audiophiles now than at any other time. Back in the 50's, 60's, 70's, 80's, (well not so much the 80's) people were playing good tunes but the really good equipment was out of the reach of most. Still, we happily rocked on since we knew not. Still, now that you look back and play some of that old gear, it was OK, and not as lame as you might think. Beemer is bringing a classic, average receiver to CarverFest I just won on a charity auction. People will be surprised.
People fell in loved with the dynamics. When you really listened to early CD's and CD players they were harsh sounding. That's why you started seeing CD players and digital to analog converters with lots of oversampling to smooth out the sound. By the way OO where you been hiding the past few days? I missed you posting.
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Re: Whatever happened to the audiophile

Post by OconeeOrange » Sun Aug 07, 2011 7:39 pm

Snoop65 wrote:
People fell in loved with the dynamics. When you really listened to early CD's and CD players they were harsh sounding. That's why you started seeing CD players and digital to analog converters with lots of oversampling to smooth out the sound.
Damn, I hate to keep disagreeing with you as all your post is so relevant. You might be my favorite poster.

CD players came to most not that long ago, say the early 80s. That is yesterday for a guy like me. They cost a lot and there were few CDs. I had a decent low-fi system at the time. I was a music junkie and it sounded quite good to me.

At the time, CD was mostly compared to cassette which had the market at the time, not LPs.

CD was much more convenient than cassette, but for most sound quality was not an issue.
Yes, the marketing was heavy on sound, but at the beginning, CD players were high, as were the CDs. I got my first one (still have it) from a pawn shop very cheap.

What broke the CD market open was not quality but Sony with the cheap Walkman stuff. Think of it as the first ipod. It was not high end or harsh, just affordable. CDs were just like itunes.

To that end, many albums were released to play to that boom market.

It took a long time for audiophile CD players to kick in, and they were left with trying to decode crap CDs put together originally for the ipod crowd.

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Re: Whatever happened to the audiophile

Post by Chauss » Sun Aug 07, 2011 8:02 pm

Snoop65 wrote:
OconeeOrange wrote:
Snoop65 wrote:It's funny how since CD's first came out there has been a quest to make them sound more like analog. A lot of people fell into the initial "perfect sound" hype of cd.
Not true as in the day, CDs and the new CD players were so much better than most had heard, and many heard that.

In my opinion, there are more audiophiles now than at any other time. Back in the 50's, 60's, 70's, 80's, (well not so much the 80's) people were playing good tunes but the really good equipment was out of the reach of most. Still, we happily rocked on since we knew not. Still, now that you look back and play some of that old gear, it was OK, and not as lame as you might think. Beemer is bringing a classic, average receiver to CarverFest I just won on a charity auction. People will be surprised.
People fell in loved with the dynamics. When you really listened to early CD's and CD players they were harsh sounding. That's why you started seeing CD players and digital to analog converters with lots of oversampling to smooth out the sound. By the way OO where you been hiding the past few days? I missed you posting.
OconeeOrange wrote:
Snoop65 wrote:
People fell in loved with the dynamics. When you really listened to early CD's and CD players they were harsh sounding. That's why you started seeing CD players and digital to analog converters with lots of oversampling to smooth out the sound.
Snoop- back then the audio world did not know as much about room acoustics as they do now nor were there as many audiophile recordings available. Usually when highs are too "bright" it is more than likely the room acoustics- although sometimes it can be a bad engineering job on the mixing. Some CD's are made for the mass market....as OO stated there are a bunch of monitoring systems that are just average home gear that the mass market is likely to purchase being used to lay the tracks down so it sounded good to the masses (they do outnumber us). I have never heard a Telarc CD or a Chesky CD that was over mixed as they are made to play on audiophile systems. I can remember back in the 80's going in to high end stores to demo gear and handing them a CD to play and they were usually dumbfounded at the quality of the recording and almost always asked where they could get one! That is part of the problem with owning high fidelity gear....the recordings you play do influence your enjoyment of the gear you strived to obtain.
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Re: Whatever happened to the audiophile

Post by Snoop65 » Sun Aug 07, 2011 8:09 pm

Excellent point Chauss =D>
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Re: Whatever happened to the audiophile

Post by Snoop65 » Sun Aug 07, 2011 8:15 pm

Disagreeing is cool OO. I like for people to speak there mind. That's why with some of my posts I really try to get people talking. You my friend are a open book. =D> =D> =D> =D>
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Re: Whatever happened to the audiophile

Post by OconeeOrange » Sun Aug 07, 2011 8:18 pm

No, back then the main thing in a young guy's mind was getting naked with a girl. That is the same today, not just for the young guys, but for the old ones.

HI-Fi is not new, but more common now.
Looking back one would think better audio would a female driven thing. It was not as it is all about the gear, and males always tend to want to show off how big their dick is if just by proxies.

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Re: Whatever happened to the audiophile

Post by jjptkd » Sun Aug 07, 2011 8:26 pm

There was a point in time, not long ago actually, that I would have never even considered spending $500 on an amplifier, let alone $1500 or more. I was curious about them but I didn't go out of my way to try and hear or sample anything that I couldn't afford. To me, it would be like test driving a Ferrari and comparing it to my Honda Civic. Of course it's going to perform better in just about every way but if I can't afford it? I'd just have to climb right back into my car, that up until that point has served me quite well and I've been very happy with, only to be ruined with the experience of what a car "should" be like. ](*,) ](*,)
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Re: Whatever happened to the audiophile

Post by Snoop65 » Sun Aug 07, 2011 8:31 pm

OconeeOrange wrote:No, back then the main thing in a young guy's mind was getting naked with a girl. That is the same today, not just for the young guys, but for the old ones.

HI-Fi is not new, but more common now.
Looking back one would think better audio would a female driven thing. It was not as it is all about the gear, and males always tend to want to show off how big their dick is if just by proxies.
LMAO!!!! You have a wonderful way of putting things!
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Re: Whatever happened to the audiophile

Post by Chauss » Sun Aug 07, 2011 8:37 pm

jjptkd wrote:There was a point in time, not long ago actually, that I would have never even considered spending $500 on an amplifier, let alone $1500 or more. I was curious about them but I didn't go out of my way to try and hear or sample anything that I couldn't afford. To me, it would be like test driving a Ferrari and comparing it to my Honda Civic. Of course it's going to perform better in just about every way but if I can't afford it? I'd just have to climb right back into my car, that up until that point has served me quite well and I've been very happy with, only to be ruined with the experience of what a car "should" be like. ](*,) ](*,)
Not when you factor in initial and extended operating costs! :D Ferarri's ain't all that....yes,,,,they are sexy, but I view them more as a phallic symbol. A new Viper or ZR1 vette will hang right with it at 1/3rd the cost! Put an underdrive pulley / tune on the Vette or twin turbo / fuel management on the Viper and you will probably hand that Ferarri it's a$$. 8)
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Re: Whatever happened to the audiophile

Post by BillD » Mon Aug 08, 2011 8:27 am

Neither can take a turn, though.
It should sound like it isn't there!
There is a difference between hearing and listening...
Making life enjoyable through expensive electronics.
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Re: Whatever happened to the audiophile

Post by TNRabbit » Mon Aug 08, 2011 9:00 am

BillD wrote:Neither can take a turn, though.
I don't know about that....A Corvette Z06 set a world record at Nurburgring last year....
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