Why do we seem to be seeing less audiophiles?

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rustydoglim

Re: Why do we seem to be seeing less audiophiles?
« Reply #100 on: 19 Jan 2018, 09:10 pm »
Mcintosh was sold. Devialet is funded by a billionaire and I doubt they will ever get a return on investment. My comment is on the economics of this business not about their sound quality.

Wind Chaser

Re: Why do we seem to be seeing less audiophiles?
« Reply #101 on: 19 Jan 2018, 09:17 pm »
Exposure to product is what is needed.

That might be part of the problem. Too many people who are not into this hobby have been exposed to nothing more than expensive mediocrity due to a proud owner of some very nice gear so poorly set up it fails to make a positive impression.
« Last Edit: 19 Jan 2018, 10:27 pm by Wind Chaser »

Freo-1

Re: Why do we seem to be seeing less audiophiles?
« Reply #102 on: 19 Jan 2018, 09:24 pm »
Mcintosh was sold. Devialet is funded by a billionaire and I doubt they will ever get a return on investment. My comment is on the economics of this business not about their sound quality.


No doubt the economics is a tough road to hoe.   The point I was trying to make is that the high end market will survive in some form, as there will still be a market (however it evolves). 


One could argue that the market always will have upheaval.  What happened to the higher end market during the golden age (Fisher, H.H. Scott, Leak), or the likes of Dynaco, which upper mid fi for the masses?


Personally, I'm just happy that products like Devialet exist in the market today, as they provide a benchmark for others to provide comparison.     

rustydoglim

Re: Why do we seem to be seeing less audiophiles?
« Reply #103 on: 19 Jan 2018, 10:00 pm »
Personally, I'm just happy that products like Devialet exist in the market today, as they provide a benchmark for others to provide comparison.   

Normally I don't challenge such a statement but you are in Nuprime circle, so I beg to differ. Devialet is an engineering marvel (I bet everyone loves to see the woofer moves), but as far as a great amp is concerned, it is not.  It is still playing catch up. I have customers who wrote to me that they sold their $4000 Devialet after discovering NuPrime amp. But if you are referring to engineering (hardware, software, system, industrial design) achievement as a benchmark, that I totally agree. And they have a complete system where you can pair and group speakers. It takes hundreds of engineers and in excess of $100M to create this.

Freo-1

Re: Why do we seem to be seeing less audiophiles?
« Reply #104 on: 19 Jan 2018, 11:33 pm »
I was referring to the engineering achievement of creating a complete package in their enclosures.  I was not referring to which particular unit has better sound.  Keep in mind that replacing a Devialet requires a a preamp/power amp/DAC combination, not just a amp. 


Nuprime does indeed have a excellent reputation for providing gear with great sound quality.  I have no doubt your latest mono amp sounds outstanding, and I'm always game to listen to excellent equipment.   

FullRangeMan

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Re: Why do we seem to be seeing less audiophiles?
« Reply #105 on: 20 Jan 2018, 12:25 am »
I was referring to the engineering achievement of creating a complete package in their enclosures.  I was not referring to which particular unit has better sound.  Keep in mind that replacing a Devialet requires a a preamp/power amp/DAC combination, not just a amp. 


Nuprime does indeed have a excellent reputation for providing gear with great sound quality.  I have no doubt your latest mono amp sounds outstanding, and I'm always game to listen to excellent equipment.
The STA-6 seems suited to a fullrange driver or two-way OB, the site feature says:
STA-6 is designed with enhanced even-order harmonic circuitry that produces sonic characteristic similar to NuPrime STA-9, but leaning toward neutral with a slight hint of warmth
Question:
The STA-6 have the same even-order harmonic circuitry from the STA-9 circuit or a different?
In view of the current tube prices and related short time life this circuit is a very interesting option.

Genez

Re: Why do we seem to be seeing less audiophiles?
« Reply #106 on: 20 Jan 2018, 01:45 am »
Normally I don't challenge such a statement but you are in Nuprime circle, so I beg to differ. Devialet is an engineering marvel (I bet everyone loves to see the woofer moves), but as far as a great amp is concerned, it is not.  It is still playing catch up. I have customers who wrote to me that they sold their $4000 Devialet after discovering NuPrime amp.

The ST-10 has set a standard.   It is everything I ever wished my past tube amps to be.  They never could achieve what the ST-10 produces.    One of them was a McIntosh MC275.

Genez

Re: Why do we seem to be seeing less audiophiles?
« Reply #107 on: 20 Jan 2018, 01:51 am »
Why? 

- We're snobbish in so many ways (budget, musical genre, brands, source formats)

- We're not open minded

- We're old and live in the past

- We hold on to old, fussy technologies that few under age 50 relate to (vinyl, tubes, separates)


Technically..   Classical music lovers live in the past, well beyond their own past.   

Quality music tends to make you into a fan no matter what era its came from. The more open minded and the more mature someone becomes,  the more he can welcome various types of music that was not simply geared for his time of adolescent hormonal blossoming. 

Elizabeth

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Re: Why do we seem to be seeing less audiophiles?
« Reply #108 on: 20 Jan 2018, 03:05 am »
I enjoyed Classical music since a teen. But it took me until I turned 40 to begin to enjoy Jazz.
When I was young I just did not like Jazz, it made me feel annoyed and frazzled. The best I could do was Brubeck, Time Out.
A while after Ken Burns Jazz came out I watched it on DVD. Suddenly I 'discovered; what Jazz was about'. and started to listen to it all the time.

So I can relate to the 'not being mature enough' comment.
I did not like Jazz mainly due to not having a clue as to what it was about. Once it became clear what was going on, how it worked... I am sad I left it out of my life all those years.

JLM

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Re: Why do we seem to be seeing less audiophiles?
« Reply #109 on: 20 Jan 2018, 12:01 pm »
One of the challenges I see for audio manufacturers is to provide a truly user friendly computer source for typical audiophiles, who are approaching or at retirement age.  Something high-end that doesn't require working in IT.  Far to few IT folks have sensitivity to this.  This has the potential to reach a huge market but so far no audio solution is available to compete with price/ease of use with say Netflix.

I'm still waiting for the technology to mature.  We're about 110 years behind the automobile.  The earliest cars were hardly driver friendly, they were barely reliable, and almost no roads outside of cities existed that could be easily traversed.  Even the basic technology hadn't been settled upon.  We are at a similar stage of development for computers in general.  We still require typing skills to operate.  Computers crash all the time for unknown reasons.  The internet is a hodge-podge.  Our software changes monthly.

Vinyl fans live in their own world as they celebrate sales that are increasing from microscopic market share to slightly larger microscopic market share.  That's not the future.  The vast majority want convenience and immediate gratification before quality.  Herein lays one the challenge for attracting the younger market - most audiophile gear is neither convenient (learning curve) or inexpensive enough to allow for immediate purchase.  Most of the world perceives audio as a commodity where quality means nothing.  To them good enough is indeed good enough.  Yet audio manufacturers focus all their attention on marketing $$$$$ gear to a tiny percentage of the population - an obvious strategy perfectly suited for dinosaurs.

Our Cheap and Cheerful, and Headphone circles are on the right track for reaching future audiophiles.  Compromised sound, yes.  But within immediate reach, fits into modern lifestyles, and usually simple enough to be accessible to all.  The small NuPrime integrated amps make for a great next step when coupled with affordable monitors, laptop, and subscription service like Tidal.  Integrating into the TV would be another gateway, perhaps supporting a 2.1 system.

mav52

Re: Why do we seem to be seeing less audiophiles?
« Reply #110 on: 20 Jan 2018, 01:05 pm »
Whats happens. life happens. things change the young crowd is driven by mobility not setting in a single spot listening to music.  Their smart phones have the capability to provide them music anywhere they want either via ear buds or a simple plug into a USB port in their car or on their TV to a AVR.  The future is the young crowd and right now they cannot set still without their smartphone up in front of their face.  case in point, we were at the movies and looking around people had their faces stuck to their smart phone texting, playing games.   The culture is moving in another direction and its taking High End Audio with it and its driven by mobility.  IN the many years of CES the "audio side with its high price show items, has pretty much died while the mobility side is improving year after year.  Smart this and that, voice recognition in so many product offerings running your life is shown and that is the direction the industries are going.  Cranking out $50k speakers and amps ain't going to cut it for the young crowd.  Sure headphones will work for some, if they can put down their smartphone long enough to listen to music LOL.   The old Audiophile guard is dying, hell I'm 65 and my gear I guess will be sold off as my kids or grandkids are not interested, but they will take my OLED TV and ipads and cars in a heart beat.

Technology is already here to support mobility

geowak

Re: Why do we seem to be seeing less audiophiles?
« Reply #111 on: 20 Jan 2018, 01:30 pm »
All good points, from what I read. As much as I like audio and enjoy listening to quality hi-fi, it is in the end just some insanely priced box of wires (out of reach for the average reasonable consumer) to buy. To me, the comments about audio priced for the young crowd and budget minded are keeping it going along with the rich or semi-rich who have $100k invested in their system. Mags like The Absolute Sound and Stereophile really drive home that point. I have seen some UK mags and the prices are more down to earth but not by much. The IPOD made the audio world change because it was mobile and affordable.

Elizabeth

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Re: Why do we seem to be seeing less audiophiles?
« Reply #112 on: 20 Jan 2018, 01:44 pm »
When I was young, Every kid listened to AM radio. In the car, and at home.
Audiophiles only existed as rare animals.
Now the kids have earbuds and a small player or use the computer or their smartphone.
Same difference.
Still audiophiles only exist as rare animals.

Never did audiophiles rule the World. We have always been marginal.

Doublej

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Re: Why do we seem to be seeing less audiophiles?
« Reply #113 on: 20 Jan 2018, 02:06 pm »
One of the challenges I see for audio manufacturers is to provide a truly user friendly computer source for typical audiophiles, who are approaching or at retirement age.  Something high-end that doesn't require working in IT.  Far to few IT folks have sensitivity to this.  This has the potential to reach a huge market but so far no audio solution is available to compete with price/ease of use with say Netflix.


If someone asked me for a computer friendly source I would tell them to get a Spotify Premium account at $10/month. If they were of retirement age I would also tell them to check out Concert Vault for live content that might interest them, $4/month.

Seems pretty easy to me.

What I am missing?

S Clark

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Re: Why do we seem to be seeing less audiophiles?
« Reply #114 on: 20 Jan 2018, 02:50 pm »
When I was young, Every kid listened to AM radio. In the car, and at home.
Audiophiles only existed as rare animals.
Now the kids have earbuds and a small player or use the computer or their smartphone.
Same difference.
Still audiophiles only exist as rare animals.

Never did audiophiles rule the World. We have always been marginal.
Well said Elizabeth.
For the vast majority, a high end system was a Pioneer receiver and a Dual turntable.  When I moved up to a Teac RTR and Advent speakers, that was as good as it was going to get for a young married guy.  I didn't even know anyone with separates. 
Audiophiles have always been <.01% of the listening public.  I doubt if our numbers have significantly changed.

kaka89

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Re: Why do we seem to be seeing less audiophiles?
« Reply #115 on: 20 Jan 2018, 03:16 pm »
I'm a 28-year-old dude who just joined this club last year. I can share some of the difficulties when I started this hobby.

#1 Space:
Space probably is the most expensive thing of being an audiophile in a big city like Hong Kong. My listening area, living room, is about 10 x 15 ft, probably worth 230K USD already. It is a luxury to have room to put a pair of speakers.
As you all know, room acoustic is one of the most important performance factors. And the market is really lacking solutions that can help overcome this room acoustic problem. (Dirac Live + MiniDsp is probably the only one)

#2 Store:
In general, it is very difficult to find a place that allow you to listen to the gadget you want, and compare it with others. And without enough comparison, you cannot truly be into this hobby, and find the sound signature that you are looking for.
One of the fun parts of HIFI is to continuously improve the sound. If you never heard a better sound, the systems will be just one of the many gadgets in one's home.

Head-fi is doing a much better job in the above aspects, and this is the reason why headphone is selling extremely well in my city. Everyone is talking about it.

Lastly, I think streaming service is a great area of opportunity. A newcomer like me don't have a music library with, and Spotify and Tidal is a great start for us. We have instant access to millions of song, allow us to explore different music with no cost.

roscoe65

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Re: Why do we seem to be seeing less audiophiles?
« Reply #116 on: 20 Jan 2018, 03:26 pm »
I am in agreement.  There was a momentary period of the Gold Age of Hifi in the 1950’s and 1960’s before television took over as the principal home entertainment device.  In those early days, radio was the most important source of media, and consumer bought radios and later receivers (and if they had more money, tuners).  This really persisted until the 1980’s when HT took over (and MTV took on the role of enabling music discovery).  As radio faded as the principal source of home entertainment, so did hifi.  At the same time, the quality of radio (and recording in general) took a nose dive.

For the majority of people, the only exposure they have to high end audio is in the local Magnolia section of Best Buy.  The days of spending Saturday’s wasting time at the local audio store are gone.  If I were entering the hobby today and was confronted with this I would likely stop at home theater.

However, while conventional audiophiles are dying on the vine, there has been an absolute explosion in headphone listening.  Today’s young listener receives his media from streaming (or piracy).  He has been watching “TV” and listening to music with headphones on his laptop or phone.  He didn’t have a TV in his room growing up and likely now is in college or sharing space with roommates.  Listening as an audiophile has always been a pretty solo thing, and headphones are a natural fit.

Young listeners today balk at spending more than $300 for desktop speakers, but will spend $3,000 for a headphone rig.

EDIT:  I wrote this post before the previous one was posted.  However, I am just as much in agreement with our friend from Hong Kong.

dB Cooper

Re: Why do we seem to be seeing less audiophiles?
« Reply #117 on: 20 Jan 2018, 04:48 pm »
Would anyone happen to have a link to the research referenced in the video? (I could only get 4 minutes into it before deciding it's basically schlock reporting.)

Here's what I was able to find: https://helix.northwestern.edu/blog/2012/08/science-agrees-pop-music-really-does-sound-same


SteveFord

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Re: Why do we seem to be seeing less audiophiles?
« Reply #118 on: 20 Jan 2018, 05:02 pm »
The times have changed since I was a kid in the 70s.  The record stores would have a stereo section and maybe even a head shop.  The owners were into it and you could hear all sorts of things you couldn't afford for yourself.

Recently this one woman listened to my stereo and her jaw dropped.
She said where could someone go to find stuff like this and my answer was you can't as there's no place that carries all of the stuff that I have.  The closest place would be maybe around Baltimore which is 50 miles away but in order to source all of the different components to put it together you'd be running all over the country.
That's what make sites like this so great - you find someone whose ears you trust and take it from there.

simoon

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Re: Why do we seem to be seeing less audiophiles?
« Reply #119 on: 20 Jan 2018, 11:45 pm »

Technically..   Classical music lovers live in the past, well beyond their own past.   

This is not true, for me anyways.

I listen to almost exclusively classical music composed in the mid to late 20th century, and contemporary (21st century) periods, and a little early 20th century. So, most of the classical I listen to, the composers are probably still alive.

I do not listen to anything composed earlies than about 1920.  Music from all earlier periods does nothing for me.

For me, classical is an evolving art form.