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 Posted:   Sep 28, 2013 - 11:36 AM   
 By:   mastadge   (Member)

Possibly of interest to some:

http://www.cnn.com/2013/09/27/tech/innovation/death-stereo-system/

For many years, it was a rite of fall.

You moved into your dorm room or new apartment. You started unpacking the car. And the first thing you set up in your new place was the stereo system: receiver, turntable or CD player, tape deck and speakers.

The wires could get tangled, and sometimes you had to make shelving out of a stack of milk crates. But only when the music was playing on those handpicked CDs, mix tapes or (geezer alert!) vinyl records did you move in the rest of your stuff.

Daniel Rubio wouldn't know.

To the 23-year-old, new dorm rooms and new apartments have meant computers, iTunes, Pandora and miniature speakers.

"All I had to bring was my laptop. That's pretty much what everyone had," says Rubio, who attended Emory University in Atlanta and now works for a local marketing and communications firm. "It was actually pretty good sound. It would get the job done."

"Get the job done"? That sounds like the white flag for an era that used to be measured in woofers and tweeters, watts per channel and the size of your record collection.

 
 
 Posted:   Sep 28, 2013 - 11:41 AM   
 By:   Mr. Shark   (Member)

He wishes more people knew what they were missing. At its best, he says, audio reproduction has "a religious aspect."

"There's a primacy to audio," he says. "It's a form of magic."


roll eyes

 
 Posted:   Sep 28, 2013 - 11:42 AM   
 By:   OnlyGoodMusic   (Member)

I remember an era, not so far back, when it was OK that when you walked into a living room the first thing you noticed were the floorstanding speakers. Not any more. Today, in a "living room friendly" environment (probably some feng shui there, too), the speakers must be invisible. No matter what the sound is like, who cares about sound? The wifey certainly doesn't.

Reclaim the right to get yourself the best quality sound for your money, not the least visible sound!

It's one of the great ironies of the digital age. In the age of the least distortion, the least noise, the greatest dynamics, the greatest clarity, more often than not we're being confronted with inferior sound because of restrictions that have to do neither with lack of opportunity nor lack of funds: but with lack of taste, lack of judgement, lack of intelligence.

 
 
 Posted:   Sep 28, 2013 - 11:47 AM   
 By:   eriknelson   (Member)

Could it be that, with iPods and blaring ear buds, most 23 year olds have hearing that has deteriorated to an extent that they can no longer perceive good sound quality?

 
 Posted:   Sep 28, 2013 - 11:56 AM   
 By:   Ron Hardcastle   (Member)

I've been addicted to audio components since I was a teen, and bought some of my first components in Japan just after turning 20, and never looked back. 7 of my 8 speakers in my present system are from Klipsch, with 2 of these 90 pound towers in front and 4 only slightly smaller towers on the sides and rear, along with the center and subwoofer, with only the subwoofer not Klipsch, and with enough power to be heard a block away, although I've stopped playing them that loud! Indeed, I use my headphones a lot more than the speakers, and except when watching movies through the surround, use the system increasingly less each year. I'm just grateful that I didn't burn out my eardrums when Sony came out with their first WalkMan sooooooooooooo many years ago!

 
 Posted:   Sep 28, 2013 - 12:04 PM   
 By:   OnlyGoodMusic   (Member)

Just remember that modern recordings are optimized for speakers, not headphones. There's a big difference. All stereo recording set-ups, like e.g. the Decca Tree or XY, or A-B, are geared towards a set of equal-standard stereo speakers, set up in the room to form an isosceles triangle with the listener at one end. It's like when you play a violin: the impression you get as a player, with your ears close to the instrument, is completely different from the one you get as a listener, 2, or 3, or 5 meters away.

 
 Posted:   Sep 28, 2013 - 12:13 PM   
 By:   Cvalda   (Member)

Could it be that, with iPods and blaring ear buds, most 23 year olds have hearing that has deteriorated to an extent that they can no longer perceive good sound quality?

No. I can easily tell the difference between CD, vinyl, and lossy encodes, and analog and digital recordings, etc. It's just a matter of actually listening to the music in private and being passionate about it. The decline of audio quality is a cultural thing, unfortunately. Music is mostly life's wallpaper to a lot of people my age, who especially view portability as paramount. My generation is also much worse off than yours was financially, and is often constantly moving from crappy apartment to crappy apartment and can't afford a lot -- especially expensive sound systems.

That said, even though I'm a poor twentysomething, I have stumbled upon a fairly decent and economical jury-rigged sound system set up for CD playback: Blu-ray player hooked up to $60 2.1 computer speakers with a $2 input jack converter. Not amazing, but very solid for the cost.

 
 
 Posted:   Sep 28, 2013 - 12:36 PM   
 By:   Kevin Costigan   (Member)

I'm 38 y.o. and the less perfection experienced makes enjoyment of everything else more substantial. Viva la iPod!

 
 Posted:   Sep 28, 2013 - 12:39 PM   
 By:   Basil Wrathbone   (Member)

As a youngster, listening to an all-in-one record player with built-in speakers was my idea of great. I liked the sound best when the lid was closed and I'd lay my head on it and listen to the bass vibrating through it. Fantastic bass, I'd tell myself.
I had the best transistor radio in my class at school too. Much richer sound than the other kids' radios. And when cassettes came out, I was convinced everything moved up to super-audio level. My recordings from FM radio were as good as the originals, so long I was "serious" about my sound quality and used Dolby and chrome tapes.

The point is that NOTHING has changed for the worse. Kids now are listening to BETTER sound than kids were in the past. The issue of mp3 and casual-level audio has nothing to do with audiophiles. If the "stereo system" is dying, so what? The stereo system they're talking about is the current equivalent of my old record player – cheap crappy stuff that is used for music, TV and video games that any "audiophile" would not go near in any case. A few years ago they announced the death of the all-in-one stereo system with built-in record player, cassette deck and speakers. How did that affect people who called themselves "audiophiles"? It had no bearing on their listening at all.

For people who want to pay the price for top quality audio, the equipment and recordings are still there and will continue to be.

 
 
 Posted:   Sep 28, 2013 - 12:41 PM   
 By:   Michael24   (Member)

I still have a stereo. It's not a huge top-of-the-line one, just a simple system with a CD player, radio and even a tape deck! I use it to listen to all of my CDs when I want to play music at home. No music on my computer (unless I'm in the process of burning audio CDs or some other kind of audio project), and my iPod is really only used in the car.

 
 Posted:   Sep 28, 2013 - 12:47 PM   
 By:   Ron Hardcastle   (Member)

I had to chuckle at some of the above. In my case, my 6 Klipsch towers are pretty much equal, with the 2 mains in front just slightly larger than the other 4, and a good sized (but smaller) center and subwoofer. But not at all in the triangle configuration shown. But it sounds great (sometimes even staggering) and friends have been knocked out by it. I never want to feel that I've compromised, but am not the sort of fanatic who may spend more for one component than most of us spend for all of ours. But with speakers that each weigh more than 90 pounds, they are definitely not what one would use for a computer! Just stating the facts and not trying to boast that "My speakers are bigger than yours!" Please.

 
 Posted:   Sep 28, 2013 - 12:52 PM   
 By:   Francis   (Member)

Nowadays people just hook the laptop/iphone/ipad up to their little portable speakerset and are content with the sound that produces. Unless you go for an expensive stereo system, it seems to have become the norm that the sound installation you have can't take up much space.

 
 Posted:   Sep 28, 2013 - 12:54 PM   
 By:   Ron Hardcastle   (Member)

So I'm lucky to have a pretty large living room to set up those big speakers ... and cringe at the prospect of ever having to move! But I've had the shock this week of my parents, after moving out of their roomy house into a retirement center 3 or 4 years ago and then, as each of them became increasingly infirm, moving into a place providing them greater care, and, in just the past couple of days, finding that my mother's dimentia has increased alarmingly. So that brings home the inevitability of one day having no choice but to move from this spaciousness myself. Something we all have to think about.

 
 Posted:   Sep 28, 2013 - 1:07 PM   
 By:   Jim Phelps   (Member)

I'm 42 and I've never owned any kind of stereo system larger than a three-CD-changer "boom box." I've never gone in for the audio fetish that music aficionados have worshiped for so many decades. Besides, a lot of what I listen to is from the 1920s to early 1950s, when monophonic sound "got the job done." Mono is another great enemy of the gizmo worshiper, so I guess it's all part of how one "swings." So much about music isn't about the music, but rather the OCD collector and audiophile mentality.

 
 Posted:   Sep 28, 2013 - 1:08 PM   
 By:   Maleficio   (Member)

I just can't fathom how people can just settle on listening to music on laptop/mini/cell phone/ speakers and ear puds, but then again with the quality of music put out these days and the way it's mastered, I guess it doesn't really matter.

I have a pair floor standing speakers, klipsch wf35, bi-wired to a decent Yamaha RS700 receiver which is fed a standalone DAC signal (Audio GD Ref 1)which is connected to either Squeezbox or Laptop as source.

It may not be top of the line but I every time I sit down to listen, it is quite an experience. An experience that I cherish and can't do without.

 
 
 Posted:   Sep 28, 2013 - 1:15 PM   
 By:   Clark Wayne   (Member)

The weird thing is most true audio equipment fanatics have the WORST taste in music-they invite you 'to have a listen to the bass on this' and put on Pink Floyd Dark Side of the Moon' or Dire Straits 'Brothers In Arms' or a Phil Collins album. Even in the specialist stereo shops. The set-up is key.

Whereas I know true vinyl fanatics who don't even HAVE a record player!

 
 Posted:   Sep 28, 2013 - 1:18 PM   
 By:   judy the hutt   (Member)

I am still using my late husband's big speakers that he built in 1978.

good enough for me

 
 Posted:   Sep 28, 2013 - 1:29 PM   
 By:   Miles (MerM)   (Member)

WORST taste in music [...] 'Pink Floyd Dark Side of the Moon'

Uh... excuse you. That's an amazing album.

 
 
 Posted:   Sep 28, 2013 - 1:32 PM   
 By:   nerfTractor   (Member)

The weird thing is most true audio equipment fanatics have the WORST taste in music-they invite you 'to have a listen to the bass on this' and put on Pink Floyd Dark Side of the Moon' or Dire Straits 'Brothers In Arms' or a Phil Collins album. Even in the specialist stereo shops. The set-up is key.

Whereas I know true vinyl fanatics who don't even HAVE a record player!


I missed the memo that Floyd and Dire Straits aren't great. And both those records are world class engineering jobs, too. Phil Collins isn't my jam but you have to respect the talent.

 
 Posted:   Sep 28, 2013 - 1:45 PM   
 By:   Ron Hardcastle   (Member)

I can't believe that I even did this. I looked at the back of my speakers and receiver -- there are the 2 tall black Klipsch RF82 in front, 4 of the slightly smaller black Klipsch RF62 in the middle and rear, along with a black Klipsch center and sub, all fed into my also black Onkyo TX-NR906 THX 7.1 Receiver, so I've always felt that even when played at low to moderate volume there's considerable beauty to the sound. But I guess I'm showing my colors as an audio fanatic. But with good taste in music! (Doth I protest too much?)

 
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