Jump to content

Why don't most people care about good sound anymore?


Kain
 Share

Recommended Posts

On 1/22/2018 at 6:49 PM, Dave A said:

Darned right I do and nope they are not for sale until I build a set out of 1" Baltic Birch to replace them with. You just bought a pair didn't you? Those K-43's make a huge difference and you are in for a real treat.

Been saying that for years. Also with an Eminence 15C

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My first portable setup was a pair of Koss headphones (big brown with 3 1/2" drivers inside plastic) back in 1968 wired mono to the earphone connector that came with my Zenith battery operated AM radio. My Dad told me I looked foolish doing this on my newpaper route..................all before Sony Walkman was even thought of with cassette player.

 

Then GE came out with the "sound experience" on-ear headphones, FM radio, and WOW, I could still hear the traffic and the music. It really was the same "experience" that iPods and iPhones now provide, so I can't blame society for having such portability and convenience with their music. It really does sound good, minus the gut shaking bass you get from home systems.

 

I still built speakers all the way up to using Altec Voice of the Theater Horns, 15" Woofers, and EV tweeters, until I could get a bank loan to order Khorns at 23, the year I got married.

 

Few youngsters today, unless they work in a used record store and discover Vinyl really care about speakers and what they can do.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 minutes ago, Emile said:

Check out Bob Latino's site ... http://www.tubes4hifi.com/bob.htm . Just got a ST70 from him and it is AWESOME! And affordable :) 

Cheers, Emile :) 

If you like BASS, go for the big one. Why? Because you really NEED the IRON to go down there. Otherwise, get the small one and use Solid State on a subwoofer, just like Saul Marantz himself taught me!! All the best to all!!

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Generations change as do tastes. If I was young and didn’t know better, I wouldn’t invest big money and time to listen to disposable crap. Name a Grammy winner from 2011. The music itself has become so Balkanized there is no common listening culture. Everyone doing their own thing by themselves. Music and serious listening seem to be going the way of the dodo. This may explain the rise of the crazy expensive boutique brands featured in Stereophile. If the segmented market that has enough money and interest exists, your business model will change to sell a thousand pairs of 30k speakers rather than risk fabricating and trying to sell 50k 1k speakers ( or whatever component), with ultra skinny margins. Next thing you know, blue tooth speakers are good enough.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 1/22/2018 at 2:53 PM, Kain said:

Back when I purchased my current speakers (2002), it seemed that many people where into good audio.

 

 You could replace the 2002 in your first sentence with:

 

1992

1982

1972

 

In the 50s and early 60s people working for the minimum wage, or a bit above, built amplifiers from a kit, built their own speaker enclosures, selected the speakers to go in them, set up their own tone arms and turntables on wood bases they made themselves, learning audio from the inside out.  People of high income bought McIntosh, and Marantz  tube amplifiers, Klipschorns, Bozak Concert Grands, JBL S8s up through Paragons, etc., or they asked their dealers to assemble their systems for them -- "nothing but the best -- and another 'set' for my vacation home!"   

 

A terrible thing happened in the early '60s, but it got better later -- solid state audio electronics came along.  The early solid state equipment sounded pretty bad.  Mac dealers had a little cardboard sign sitting on their counters, reading, "When will solid state amplifiers sound as good as tubes?  When McIntosh makes them."  They didn't, for several years.  Instead of buying a good power amp, a good pre-amp, and a passable tuner, people bought a vile little thing called a "receiver," with a minuscule power supply and a printed circuit board that would crack when the units overheated.  One channel of a stereo unit might be rated 15 watts RMS, but most people never saw that figure, and it was often never in any company literature.  Because the unit was stereo, the advertised wattage would be doubled, becoming a fictitious 30 watts, then it was doubled again, because some amps (a few) could produce double their power on very brief peaks ... the Mad Men (and they were almost all white men, then, thus the TV series) dubbed this "Music Power," so a 15 w.p.c. RMS receiver would become a 60 watt unit.  The imagined wattage could be doubled again by measuring it only at 1K, or at a high distortion level.  Inefficient acoustic suspension speakers, if played at a realistic SPL, would cause these amps to clip, so people would turn them down because they were to "loud."  Good, efficient speakers tended to be horns, that are quite revealing, laying bare all of the warts of those receivers.  In most homes, people didn't get to hear good sound, so they stopped pursuing it.  The FTC banned these practices in the mid 70s, but ... they're baaaaack!  Although, now, the real power in watts needs to be somewhere in the company literature, no matter how buried.  Where is the FTC now?

 

Things got better later, for a while.  Then the CD was introduced.  Many were harsh, on good equipment.  They seemed to get better, later, of is it my imagination?  Some SACDs or DVD-As, or Blu-rays were better.  But this trashy medium called MP-3 was marketed to the unsuspecting.   These cycles provide us with the worst aspects of both The Eternal Return and, in regard to the sweet sounds of the best of the vintage equipment, The Unbearable Lightness of Being.

 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, garyrc said:

Then the CD was introduced.  Many were harsh, on good equipment.  They seemed to get better, later, of is it my imagination?  Some SACDs or DVD-As, or Blu-rays were better.  But this trashy medium called MP-3 was marketed to the unsuspecting.   These cycles provide us with the worst aspects of both The Eternal Return and, in regard to the sweet sounds of the best of the vintage equipment, The Unbearable Lightness of Being.

Since I was one of 3 people in Michigan to get a SONY cd player (only one available at the time) to play on my Khorns/LaScala center channel, one of the first CD's I got was Donald Fagen's "the Nightfly." It was a full digital recording and was available on LP first (which I had also). Bob James/Earl Klugh "One on One" was also one of the early ones. Things just got better. I can clearly say that the worst recording I own is on CD and the best recording I own is on CD. When it's done well, it's far better than vinyl in every way  and almost as good as 24/96 digital of the same excellent recording (Patricia Barber's "COOL").

 

That being said, a really good MP3 from a good recording, using 320 VBR, with the LAME encoder (DB Power Amp in my case) sounds nearly indistinguishable from the CD in A/B testing.

 

My Hypex Monoblocs make everything else, except First Watt Class A stuff sound anemic in comparison. I refuse to go back to tube amplifiers with all their gradual deterioration (tube replacement, bias etc.), , flabby bass, capacitor deterioration from high voltage operation, etc.

 

However, with these kids, the downloads are what will produce the shortest path to the money from the content providers, which means reducing resolution to 128 Kilkobits. The better players like FiiO, Pono, etc. all have Sabre DACs and can play files of any resolution. The rest is up to the room and the speakers or the headphones.

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree most with YKs sentiments.

 

I grew up in the 70s through 90s and feel lucky I did.  I was born just early enough to be able to go see the greatest rock bands on earth....in some cases at the tail end of their careers and in the case of the titans like Jimi and the Doors of course I never got to see them.

 

But I did get to grow up hearing the transition from the 50s through 70s birth of rock....and then experience the transition to 80s and 90s hair bands.  Im not knocking jazz blues classic country or anything else.  I went to Opera, Musicals, and other live performances.

 

i also grew up where...on the weekends on ghe radio, an amazing techno jam, what became club music started.  It was cool and different.  And then Rap was born....it started early with James Brown but really became popular with the hits from the Sugar Hill Gang, Run DMC and then blew up with NWA and 2 Live Crew.  I was in Gainesville when they were arrested for their music.

 

But then something else happened.  First, I got "old", which I think is part of what really happened to us all.  But the evolution has gone to EDM and bandless megastars....megarich DJs who remixed things and on rare occasion have an innovative sound.

 

Thr cult of personality took over. 

 

Kids today go to a show and get excited at records being spun, the party is the experience, the music is not.  Feed them sand they dont know better.  I watch halftime shows there are no bands and the singer is lip synching and doesnt even pretend to be live....he or she simply knows they are "it".  Sure there is some major talent and bands today but for the most part kids dont know better.  

 

Who would sit around doing critical listening to edm or rap?  its clever and at times impressive but you never say:

>  thats the best voice ive ever heard

>  that sound is something never done before

>  together they may be the best group of talent ever assembled

 

 

 

 

  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I specifically recall listening to the Dave Clark Five on my Gould rechargeable pocket transistor radio while on my bike delivering newspapers in Spring Lake, MI,  circa 1964.  I can even recall the block I was on when I thought to myself, “I will never grow too old to keep up with popular music.”  Boy was I wrong.  My wife and I watch the Grammy awards show to get a sense of what’s popular; none of it is familiar.  Most of it isn’t the least bit appealing.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

My high school music teacher friend tells me the kids NEVER listen to an entire song when it's music appreciation day, and if it's not their thing, they immediately have their earbuds in masking the 'offending' track with something that is 'their thing'.   Heavy channel surfing, and a disinterest in anything outside their normal box.  As players of instruments, it's not about playing them in front of people either, it's about posting videos.  Many also have no idea why anyone would leave home to hear live music, when it's available online so freely.  It's a new universe.....

I don’t leave home to listen to live music because it’s to damned expensive. It costs upwards of three hundred dollars for two people to attend a concert. Can buy a lot of CDs and BluRays for that.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  • Like 2
  • Thanks 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

There is very little quality new music around these days that requires intent listening. In the past a record co. signed artist to extended contracts and allowed and encourage them to grow. Now they want an instant hit and then throw them away resulting in throw away music.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree most with YKs sentiments.
 
I grew up in the 70s through 90s and feel lucky I did.  I was born just early enough to be able to go see the greatest rock bands on earth....in some cases at the tail end of their careers and in the case of the titans like Jimi and the Doors of course I never got to see them.
 
But I did get to grow up hearing the transition from the 50s through 70s birth of rock....and then experience the transition to 80s and 90s hair bands.  Im not knocking jazz blues classic country or anything else.  I went to Opera, Musicals, and other live performances.
 
i also grew up where...on the weekends on ghe radio, an amazing techno jam, what became club music started.  It was cool and different.  And then Rap was born....it started early with James Brown but really became popular with the hits from the Sugar Hill Gang, Run DMC and then blew up with NWA and 2 Live Crew.  I was in Gainesville when they were arrested for their music.
 
But then something else happened.  First, I got "old", which I think is part of what really happened to us all.  But the evolution has gone to EDM and bandless megastars....megarich DJs who remixed things and on rare occasion have an innovative sound.
 
Thr cult of personality took over. 
 
Kids today go to a show and get excited at records being spun, the party is the experience, the music is not.  Feed them sand they dont know better.  I watch halftime shows there are no bands and the singer is lip synching and doesnt even pretend to be live....he or she simply knows they are "it".  Sure there is some major talent and bands today but for the most part kids dont know better.  
 
Who would sit around doing critical listening to edm or rap?  its clever and at times impressive but you never say:
>  thats the best voice ive ever heard
>  that sound is something never done before
>  together they may be the best group of talent ever assembled
 
 
 
 

How true your comment. Modern music does not stand on it’s own but is background music.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

"The reason most people don't care about good sound.." Is the same reason people eat fast food, it is convenient and meant for immediate consumption, they are cheap commodities, be they lousy burgers or the latest pop music drivel.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

53 minutes ago, Tony Whitlow said:


I don’t leave home to listen to live music because it’s to damned expensive. It costs upwards of three hundred dollars for two people to attend a concert. Can buy a lot of CDs and BluRays for that.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Yep, for $20 or less, I can have a Blue Ray, pause for another glass of wine or snack, and enjoy it many times. I can even turn off the video and listen to just the music in 2 channel if I want.

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On ‎1‎/‎22‎/‎2018 at 5:07 PM, oldtimer said:

They are too busy arguing politics?

Good one.

 

I was going to say a liberal amount of media and electronic technology convenience has trumped the drive for the old tried and true hardwire standard of signal excellence. 

 

No undertone intended:D

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...