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Kain

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

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Not a priority and lack of disposable income.  Phones, computers come first.  Raising a family that requires time for sports, band and other activities puts sound systems pretty far down list of where funds are spent.  I've had a younger audience at my house on occasion and they have appreciated the experience in my theater.  Appreciation and the willingness to spend money on good equipment are two different things.  Perhaps when they reach an age with more disposable income, they'll think back on how nice it was to experience a nice system. 

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On 1/22/2018 at 4:53 PM, Kain said:

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

 

This is debatable.  I'd place that date farther back, to perhaps 1991, the year that the Loudness War started in CDs.  Before that, the only way that the mastering folks had to increase the loudness of tracks was to attenuate bass and boost upper midrange (just like on vinyl, only they had a lot more playing room with CDs), thus effectively making the tracks louder.  This "equalization for louder tracks" was done from the introduction of CDs in late 1983 to the widespread introduction of digital multi-band compressors in 1991. Before that, phonograph records had an extremely limited technical ability to increase their loudness.

 

But I understand what you're saying--there were still a lot of people that wanted good sound that weren't aware of what was occurring to their music CDs--that were still buying CDs, thinking that they were getting fidelity...and in some genres, they were getting relatively uncompressed CDs.

 

On 1/22/2018 at 4:53 PM, Kain said:

You would see home theater demo setups at electronics stores and whatnot.

I agree here...as the beginnings of better audio for HT were just taking hold before the introduction of HD televisions in the early-mid 2000s.  This was also the time of some of the worst dynamic compression in CDs, however (speaking in population averages, year by year). 

 

There has always been a separation of CDs into two groups since 1991: those with a lot of compression, and those that don't.  I've seen the actual data on these two groups, and it fairly well divides into those preferring music originally recorded before 1991 and those that don't.  Certain genres are over-represented in the "compressed genres". See the figure below from a 1996 JAES report on the subject of average music spectra and dynamic range:

 

Ave Dynamic Range by Genre.PNG

 

On 1/22/2018 at 4:53 PM, Kain said:

Now, people either listen through their built-in TV speakers or, at most, have a soundbar. I also don't see home theater setup demos at regular electronics stores either. What happened?

 

Lots of stuff happened, some of which has been discussed above:
 

  1. Loudness war practices were made the "standard" on CDs and music download files (as I stated above).  The record companies at which these corporate cultural practices of the Loudness Wars reside--produce not only CDs in stereo, but also music multichannel recordings, which failed to meet the sales goals of these money-hungry music company giants.  So what did they do?  They basically canned the multichannel hi-fi music format.  Only the movie industry (the MPAA) controls its fidelity assiduously in its movies, so the hi-fi nature of multichannel music setups was basically left high-and-dry.  Only movies are hi-fi now, and television has never been a real proponent of quality like the MPAA has been.  So the lowest common denominator for broadcast TV is most often stuck in analog broadcast stereo terms.  Few really hi-fi audio shows appear on broadcast TV now.  So most people just listen with soundbars or TV speakers.  This segment of the consumer population has never really been "hi-fi". 
     
  2. Two major economic recessions occurred (~1999-2002 and 2008-present) that seriously affected the disposable income of young audiophiles (mostly late Gen-Xers and now Millennials) that removed that extra cash that at least two generations before them come to take for granted.   This takes away the money that people have for not only hi-fi and better HT audio/visual gear, but also removes the ability to place those setups in larger and better listening rooms. 
     
  3. The "iPod" happened, and the birth of lossy format digital downloads really occurred.  These formats were even further abused by the distributing record companies to have a certain "sound" that further attrited the values of hi-fi (IMO).  The shift to earbuds haven't been nice to hi-fi in general-because all the distributed stereo music tracks have been downselected to music that sound good on earbuds over the needs of others (in other words, "one size fits all", like all rock records produced in the 1960s being mastered to sound good on really poor car mono speakers).  Before that time, much better over-the-ears and on-the-ears headphones were used by most people listening to hi-fi music.  Earbuds just don't have anywhere near the same fidelity. People watching on their smartphones and tablets aren't HT hi-fi proponents, by definition.  This culture of "earbud fidelity" has spread to all music-only formats.
     
  4. The "new" wore off, and the early adopters of HT hi-fi setups were overcome by the later adopters that accepted much lower fidelity as the norm, compounded by factors 1-3 just above.
     
  5. There has been a turning toward other technologies, like smartphones and gaming, that also have diverted the budgets of those that would otherwise become HT hi-fi enthusiasts into other purchases.  The rise of smartphones and Facebook culture has also homogenized the buying psychology of these same young folks into those that have accepted a "less-is-more" philosophy in terms of hi-fi equipment in favor of "everything has to be mobile and media either free or very cheap".

 

There are of course more factors that have added to the current situation. There have also been a rather bazaar looking backward that has pushed nostalgia back into the picture (e.g., tubes, vinyl, older music from the 1970s-80s, etc.) that has tended to hold the "new audiophiles" in the past, not allowing them to move forward into the new technologies that bring actual better hi-fi.  A survey from a 2-3 years ago showed that as much as 50% of all those buying phonograph records didn't own turntables to play them on.  This is just pure unadulterated nostalgia. 

 

6787291206_0a16953db3_z.jpg

 

Chris

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On 1/23/2018 at 11:00 AM, Mallette said:

Hadn't considered that.  It would be interesting to study the spread of legal weed against audio equipment and music sales.  

 

Dave

Back when I was at CU around 2008 I would frequently go over to my buddies room with his gas mask and record player. Some good times I can barely remember. :D  Im surprised that my Slightly Stoopid 'Chronchitis' album still plays for how many nights ended with that and a few bowls.

 

I think part of it is knowledge and younger people not knowing how to get a decent setup put together ie DACs and good computer outputs. I did have an interesting experience a few months ago when I bought some Epic CF-4's in Denver for my Mom's significant other. I showed up at the apartment expecting it to be some old guy but it was a kid in his mid 20s that was selling them to make room for his RF-7 II's. We were talking and him and all his buddies all had high end Klipsch gear they frequently sold and traded between each other. His setup was 90% geared toward music and not HT as well.

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On 1/24/2018 at 4:14 PM, twk123 said:

We were talking and him and all his buddies all had high end Klipsch gear they frequently sold and traded between each other. His setup was 90% geared toward music and not HT as well.

In any society, stereotypes (pun intended) are created by statistical behavioral observation of a given grouping, but one must realize that there are ALWAYS exceptions to the subsequent majority "rule."

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On 1/24/2018 at 3:51 PM, Chris A said:

Lots of stuff happened, some of which has been discussed above:

I find it VERY interesting that, for Symphonic Music, in your Bar Chart, the CREST FACTOR is 17 db!...............This is the exact number told to me by Paul W. Klipsch himself when I was at his house and asked the question.

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On ‎1‎/‎24‎/‎2018 at 3:14 PM, twk123 said:

Im surprised that my Slightly Stoopid 'Chronchitis' album still plays for how many nights ended with that and a few bowls.

 

One of my Pink Floyd albums has a "seed burn" on it from the early 70s...

Dave

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On 1/24/2018 at 3:51 PM, Chris A said:

 

 

Ave Dynamic Range by Genre.PNG

 

 

 

 

6787291206_0a16953db3_z.jpg

 

Chris

I guess I belong in group "F." I can hear that is sounds like $hit on my reference systems and keep looking for great recordings of Jazz from 50's and 60's or modern music from obscure artits that is not popular with the kids.

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13 hours ago, dwilawyer said:

Paul Jacobs, president and CEO of.Klipsch sits down with a comedian for an imterview. A talk about Klipsch, specifically Heritage, the Museum,  audio of 70s and what the vinyl resurgence has done.

 

For.sure worth a listen.

 

The interview starts about the ten minute mark

 

 

https://m.soundcloud.com/deandelray/380-paul-jacobs-ceo-of-klipsch

 

 

On 1/23/2018 at 1:00 PM, Mallette said:

Hadn't considered that.  It would be interesting to study the spread of legal weed against audio equipment and music sales.  

 

Dave

listen to it at the 40 minute mark..

 

 

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Part of this discussion have been debated before.  One thing, is the way we listen.  We listen in the car, bus, train, shower, on the fly, etc.  I use the Echo and it is just so easy to say, Hey Google, some jazz or piano music.

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On 2/1/2018 at 3:23 PM, John Chi-town said:

Simple, yet to the point............

 

Image result for 1950's Walmart

Nailed it.

 

 

 

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On ‎1‎/‎23‎/‎2018 at 7:30 PM, dirtmudd said:

ever listen too what's played on the 

radio..

 

 

 

OK, 20 seconds in, I like him even less, which isn't saying much

 

Mark

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The question isn't so much "any more" as it the answer is that always there are some that do and some that don't.

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8 hours ago, ZEUS121996 said:

OK, 20 seconds in, I like him even less, which isn't saying much

 

Mark

 

That's pretty awful. I didn't make 20 seconds.

JJK

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I think iTunes, iPods etc... get a bad rap in this debate. People may have been spinning vinyl back in the day. But a lot of it was spun on stuff like this.

 

1280x720-Wzm.jpg

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The loudness wars pre dates CD. They used compression to make records louder on AM radios in cars.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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This could still work as I'm sure some of us had these when young - even though you may be reluctant to admit it.

:lol:

 

 

5a78ced68edf0_ScreenShot2018-02-05at4_36_50PM.png.50099fca9de141603c2a7e3f39d38c39.png

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56 minutes ago, oldtimer said:

We had to operate it manually.

 

My father warned me against that.  Now . . . where did I put those glasses?

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