Jump to content
joelha

Article: Guest Editorial: Why did audio stop being about audio?

Rate this topic

Recommended Posts

1 hour ago, pkane2001 said:

 

Why do you keep bringing up major corporations? These rarely cater to the tiny audiophile market. Mass consumer-oriented companies rarely care about improving SQ, about getting better, more realistic sound reproduction. Give the masses an iPhone with MP3 playback, with some wireless ear-buds and they'll be happy. 

 

Exactly - major corporations rarely cater to our tiny market. Yet virtually every component that goes into our present DACs, amps, etc., is made by a major corporation. Tiny audiophile companies aren't making their own DAC or ADC chips. The same will be true of chips for better multichannel audio (and that's without even thinking about how much more affordable speakers would have to be; that would have to come from economies of mass production, it seems to me).

 

We can get there through software now (HQPlayer at least; there may be others I don't know about), but it requires top of the line CPUs and GPUs to do the processing, so that's not realistically going to be available even to the wider audiophile market. Either computing will have to continue to get cheaper (major corporations), or we'll need chips (major corporations).

 

We'll also need agreed on standards for end to end interoperable recording and playback, if you feel those for current multichannel won't suffice. That means standards bodies, usually staffed and/or aided by, yes, major corporations.

 

So that's why I keep bringing it up. Do you see an alternative path to better multichannel affordable to most audiophiles with workable standards that proceeds through tiny custom operations?


One never knows, do one? - Fats Waller

The fairest thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and true science. - Einstein

Computer, Audirvana -> wi-fi to router -> EtherREGEN -> microRendu -> USPCB -> ISO Regen (powered by LPS-1) -> USPCB -> Pro-Ject Pre Box S2 DAC -> Spectral DMC-12 & DMA-150 -> Vandersteen 3A Signature.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
19 hours ago, The Computer Audiophile said:

Or @crenca!

 

I just discovered this editorial and thread a few minutes ago!  Are you ready for me to go all crenca on you good folks!?!? 😋

 

I confess that I have background in the subjects (graduate work in the humanities, I have been to seminary and back, an interest in audio, was a network/systems "engineer" for years, and I enjoy the sport of OCD driven comment box jui-jitsu 😉), and while I welcome @joelhaeffort, I don't really have anything good to say about it.  His editorial is a confused and confusing mish-mash of negative sentiment and poorly used/understood ideas such as "subjectivism", religion, science, etc.   Positively (I am trying! ;) ) I will say that such an editorial is "naturally" the result of the two Big Ideas that weave through our western civilization and culture since the High Middle Ages and which are in fundamental tension:  "scientific" methodological materialism on the one hand, and the Cartesian "self" on the other.   Subjectivists vs. Objectivists in audio is but a very minor backwater in this grand cultural "dialectic".  

 

Beyond this, I am interested in the culture of Audiophiledom and "the industry" because I think this is the best way to contextualize the hobby and issues such as civility and the like.  Want civility?  Then I think @Rt66indierockand others are correct when they point to the voodoo/confidence game/radical subjective poison pill that lives in the center of the hobby.  Want the status quo?  Then do as @joelhadoes and write the equivalent of my kids exclaiming "stop touching me!" in the back seat...

 

 


Hey MQA, if it is not all $voodoo$, show us the math!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 minutes ago, ted_b said:

I ask this question:  do any of us also partake in other technically complex hobby's forums (automotive, astronomy, etc etc) that act significantly poorer than their older days counterparts used to?  I would guess a big YES.

 

For astronomy forums, that's a big NO. In fact, it's gotten much better since the end of the century. But then, I run a number of them, so I guess it's all due to my amazing moderator skills ;) The reality is I don't need to moderate any of my forums, I may jump in a few times a year to get a discussion back on track, but that's about it. 

 

Audio forums didn't get better, I'm afraid, but I wouldn't say they got much worse from around the same period. I recall similar fights and arguments, just as heated, from the 90s.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, The Computer Audiophile said:

I believe facts are facts and opinions are opinions. The issue I usually have is when facts or data are used in a manner that uses opinion to justify use of the facts and when conclusions are reached that don't follow the facts. In this way the conclusions are opinions based on facts, but the facts don't add up. 

 

I have no data to back up my opinion, but I'm willing to bet most people here understand the facts as presented by those smart enough to know them, but they disagree with the application of the facts and conclusions reached. 

 

In the absence of knowledge or understanding of the subject matter, any fact can sound like an opinion. There's nothing to distinguish one from the other except for the support and agreement from a like-minded group or from some questionable authority figure. The reason I say 'questionable' is that in the absence of knowledge or understanding, there is little basis for deciding who is and who is not a real authority.  And that's how opinions become facts in the minds of many. Science defines a different process for determining facts. As I said much earlier in the thread, not all opinions are the same. How you arrive at the opinion matters.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 minutes ago, crenca said:

 

 

If there is real desire on the part of some to move beyond good and evil, subjective vs objective, and to see the hobby, "civility", etc. with fresh eyes, then pay attention to what Samuel is saying here.  Starting with yourself as consumer, and then looking at the hobby as consumeristic, might be the mental wedge you need...

 

Talk about patronising ...


Disclaimer! I have not in the past, I do not now, and I am not likely ever to stream music from the internet.

System: here

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, The Computer Audiophile said:

There's the doubling down we expected.

 

So Chris, you believe audiophilia is something more virtuous than consumerism?  If so, how do you reconcile this virtuousness with the inescapable consumer aspects?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 minutes ago, The Computer Audiophile said:

When I go out to eat, sometimes I just want to eat a good meal without worrying about how the lettuce was grown, if the workers are paid well, etc... It's all about having a time and place for everything. 

 

So, the wait staff don't tell you the name of the chicken you are served?

 

(Portlandia joke)


"The overwhelming majority [of audiophiles] have very little knowledge, if any, about the most basic principles and operating characteristics of audio equipment. They often base their purchasing decisions on hearsay, and the preaching of media sages. Unfortunately, because of commercial considerations, much information is rooted in increasing revenue, not in assisting the audiophile. It seems as if the only requirements for becoming an "authority" in the world of audio is a keyboard."

-- Bruce Rozenblit of Transcendent Sound

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now



×
×
  • Create New...