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Death of the stereo?

Death of the stereo?
September 28, 2013, 04:12:57 AM
"What's happened in the marketplace, the midmarket for audio has completely been obliterated," he says. "You have this high-end market that's getting smaller all the time, and then you've got the convenience market, which has taken over -- the MP3s, the Bluetooth devices, playing on laptops."

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."

http://www.cnn.com/2013/09/27/tech/innovation/death-stereo-system/index.html?hpt=hp_t3

Re: Death of the stereo?
September 28, 2013, 05:27:58 AM
There's two converging trends here:

1. The average person never really cared about music for music's sake, so they don't have a reason to spend substantial time and money on a high quality audio system

2. Miniaturization is making low end audio equipment better. A smartphone with a cheap pair of earbuds and access to online radio, while not exactly great, still provides better sound quality than what options we had even 10 years ago (higher bitrates, better psychoacoustics, more consistent access to the internet).

For now, all I can really say is that even audiophiles should expect big changes to how they consume music in the future.

Re: Death of the stereo?
October 02, 2013, 11:14:51 PM
There's two converging trends here:

1. The average person never really cared about music for music's sake, so they don't have a reason to spend substantial time and money on a high quality audio system

2. Miniaturization is making low end audio equipment better. A smartphone with a cheap pair of earbuds and access to online radio, while not exactly great, still provides better sound quality than what options we had even 10 years ago (higher bitrates, better psychoacoustics, more consistent access to the internet).

For now, all I can really say is that even audiophiles should expect big changes to how they consume music in the future.

To paraphrase:

1. Consumersism
2. The purists (upgrading without selling out)

Re: Death of the stereo?
October 03, 2013, 02:27:38 PM
The tools to listen to much, much like the music itself, is an afterthought to most people. Convenience has been a driving factor, but plenty of people would turn on the radio or MTV in the past to hear music out of convenience. "Shuffle" allows people their own personal radio station without listening through an album in full.

There is still a fair amount of now inexpensive home stereo equipment for those of us who want it, I'm glad for that. There are also inexpensive speaker setups to hook up to a TV, computer, or CD player that sound good - easy to identify if you just use the wealth of information out there to figure out what the marketing crap is and what actually sounds good.

Re: Death of the stereo?
October 03, 2013, 02:43:04 PM
Music used to be a centerpiece event in the home or automobile. People would sit down, shut up and listen. Now it is more commonly just another special effect in the background among many and less often shared due to our isolated, permabusy lives. Death of stereo is another symptom of overall decline.

Maybe there is a sort of karmic balance where we have to pay some price for undertaking a rapid tech level ascent. There is no free lunch. Like a sine wave, there is a peak on the gain side but a corresponding nadir on the negative side below the median.

Re: Death of the stereo?
October 04, 2013, 04:29:25 AM
Most people only listen to the vocals, anyway.

That's all they need to hear to enjoy the music.

Re: Death of the stereo?
October 04, 2013, 06:06:49 AM
The thing you have to understand is, back in the heyday of high end stereo equipment(70s/80s), even then, people didn't buy that equipment because they were serious music fans. They bought it because 5foot tall speakers and a component system that took up half their living room made them feel cool and rich.

Re: Death of the stereo?
October 05, 2013, 05:33:22 PM
Maybe there is a sort of karmic balance where we have to pay some price for undertaking a rapid tech level ascent. There is no free lunch. Like a sine wave, there is a peak on the gain side but a corresponding nadir on the negative side below the median.

The false music gets falser.
The real, more real?

An equal or opposite action and reaction

Re: Death of the stereo?
October 05, 2013, 05:51:14 PM
There are also inexpensive speaker setups to hook up to a TV, computer, or CD player that sound good - easy to identify if you just use the wealth of information out there to figure out what the marketing crap is and what actually sounds good.

If you have the time, would you list some?

I've got a spare parts stereo that works really well. At some point, it may need to be upgraded to something with fewer features and more raw power, which would then be connected to four studio monitors in a large room.

That, I've found, produces the best sound. Bass-box optional, if you need the extra blast it's great.

I like the little satellite speakers for the high end wheedly-wheedly sounds but studio monitors do OK on those too.

Re: Death of the stereo?
October 06, 2013, 11:54:58 PM
There are also inexpensive speaker setups to hook up to a TV, computer, or CD player that sound good - easy to identify if you just use the wealth of information out there to figure out what the marketing crap is and what actually sounds good.

If you have the time, would you list some?

I've got a spare parts stereo that works really well. At some point, it may need to be upgraded to something with fewer features and more raw power, which would then be connected to four studio monitors in a large room.

That, I've found, produces the best sound. Bass-box optional, if you need the extra blast it's great.

I like the little satellite speakers for the high end wheedly-wheedly sounds but studio monitors do OK on those too.

Sure, just keep in mind that they won't match up to buying old/used stereo equipment. This is mostly for desktop/office/bedroom use without a subwoofer, I've never bothered with a separate subwoofer as I've had two big Pioneer speaker cabinets and a proper stereo for the cave for over a decade.

Harmon Kardon made some speakers that came with Dell computers which you can get for around $20-30, they're small but have a pretty good range and sound. These are good if you don't want any boom from the bass that can be heard in other rooms. I don't think these were sold in retail and I'm not sure the original price from Dell, but there are plenty of them around. I have used these more often than not for smaller speakers for many years.
http://www.pcplan-it.com/harmon_blk_speakers.jpg

Logitech has decent, cheap speakers but they tend to rely on subwoofers for bass so they're a bit lacking for most death metal. Altec Lansing has been similar for their retail line. I wouldn't touch anything from CA (cyber acoustics) or Bose.

As far as any speakers that require an amp, thrift stores are the best way to go to get good speakers cheap, though I've heard good things about the Micca MB42 and Monoprice's speakers. Haven't heard them myself that I recall, or haven't paid much attention if I have.

Re: Death of the stereo?
October 07, 2013, 02:34:33 AM
What's a good brand for studio monitors. I just use a 20 year old pair of TEAC speakers (which are starting to fizzle out)or otherwise headphones. I rarely listen to music on computer, only to get a general impression of a piece, if it's good then I'll track down a physical copy.

Re: Death of the stereo?
October 08, 2013, 05:02:29 PM
What's a good brand for studio monitors. I just use a 20 year old pair of TEAC speakers (which are starting to fizzle out)or otherwise headphones. I rarely listen to music on computer, only to get a general impression of a piece, if it's good then I'll track down a physical copy.

I don't own a set of monitor speakers but I've used a bunch and talked to others enough to have a decent idea of what's available.

It depends on your price range, but Alesis and KRK have been good at the lower end of monitor price ranges. I have loved the Mackie monitors and other gear I've used, but it wasn't mine and I'm pretty sure the price tags were quite steep as it was higher end stuff. Behringer's less expensive monitors (even in the $100 range) color the sound more than most actual monitor speakers, they seem more like computer speakers than monitors. M-Audio pushes their stuff pretty hard through major stores but their monitors are crappy and unreliable.

Re: Death of the stereo?
October 11, 2013, 02:26:49 PM
I invite everyone to visit my third world, here is delay in reaching technology, is still used jukebox for vinyl. or radios to stack, maybe find what they want?

Re: Death of the stereo?
October 13, 2013, 02:01:47 AM
What's a good brand for studio monitors. I just use a 20 year old pair of TEAC speakers (which are starting to fizzle out)or otherwise headphones. I rarely listen to music on computer, only to get a general impression of a piece, if it's good then I'll track down a physical copy.

I don't own a set of monitor speakers but I've used a bunch and talked to others enough to have a decent idea of what's available.

It depends on your price range, but Alesis and KRK have been good at the lower end of monitor price ranges. I have loved the Mackie monitors and other gear I've used, but it wasn't mine and I'm pretty sure the price tags were quite steep as it was higher end stuff. Behringer's less expensive monitors (even in the $100 range) color the sound more than most actual monitor speakers, they seem more like computer speakers than monitors. M-Audio pushes their stuff pretty hard through major stores but their monitors are crappy and unreliable.

Thankyou. I think I will save up and get the Mackies.