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The future of High-End Audio?

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Anonymous
June 1, 2005 4:34:01 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

If we completely ignore the technology issues, and just look at what's
happening in the electronics marketplace, then the picture is somewhat
bleak...

The "pie of available discretionary spend" is being divided up between a
greater number of "munchers" and we are seeing the result of newish markets
opening (such as home theatre) as they devour more and more of the pie.

I have no supporting evidence - just what I have noticed in discussions with
importers, dealers and other interested parties, as well as the shift in
focus of advertising and other marketing activities.

The essence distilled from all this is that more and more of the "total pie"
is going on home theatre purchases, leaving an ever-decreasing "slice" for
two-channel audio.

The total two-channel audio market has always been polarised between those
that want "background music" (and buy "consumer-fi" or "designer-fi") and
the serious and discerning listener (aka "audiophile").

The audiophile section has always been small in terms of the number of
persons (but not necessarily that small in value terms).

So, are we seeing a small - and shrinking - portion of a decreasing "slice"
surviving as purist two-channel afficionados? I believe we are...

In a communication from George H. Middius, he told me that the number of
contributors to RAO/RAHE had shrunk since I was last involved. If true,
this supports the contention that - like cigarette-smokers - we are a dying
breed.

Take a peek into home-theatre forums and compare their frenzied
activity-levels and then take a jaundiced look at what is happening in those
forums devoted to two-channel audio...

Firstly, the overall input to RAO/RAHE appears to be dropping.

Secondly, the proportion of serious contributors (as opposed to those that
are there for "Mortal Kombat" - in verbal sense) is also shrinking. There
are few committed "lifers" who also probably skew the results (such as
George, Stewart, etc). This is obviously more prevalent in RAO than RAHE due
to the effect of "Moderation" in RAHE.

Another indicator is the changes in focus for new product development by
typical high-end audio manufacturers. Take a look at their websites and
cast your mind back 10 years and you will see a definite shift towards home
theatre - its only natural; they too have to survive.

Finally, there has been much debate around the future role in audio
reproduction of the personal computer, the iPOD, etc. Just how much of the
abovementioned "pie" is being hived-off to fund acquisitions in this area is
not known, but - at a guess - I would say it IS having some effect.

The bottom line: there are too many overlapping areas of "appetite for pie"
and these are, in fact, in competition with each other for "more of the
pie".

The future looks somewhat bleak for two-channel, and those of us committed
to it, had better keep a watchful eye out for possible new sources of
either; one, two channel equipment; or two, other areas of interest.

PS: Having just had some audio gear stolen and having had to do some
research into replacements, I've begun to see early signs of demise. :-(

More about : future high end audio

June 2, 2005 4:08:14 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

In article <d7ivpp01mfh@news1.newsguy.com>,
"Dave de Villiers" <devilldv@telkomsa.net> wrote:

> If we completely ignore the technology issues, and just look at what's
> happening in the electronics marketplace, then the picture is somewhat
> bleak...
>
> The "pie of available discretionary spend" is being divided up between a
> greater number of "munchers" and we are seeing the result of newish markets
> opening (such as home theatre) as they devour more and more of the pie.
>
> I have no supporting evidence - just what I have noticed in discussions with
> importers, dealers and other interested parties, as well as the shift in
> focus of advertising and other marketing activities.
>
> The essence distilled from all this is that more and more of the "total pie"
> is going on home theatre purchases, leaving an ever-decreasing "slice" for
> two-channel audio.
>
> The total two-channel audio market has always been polarised between those
> that want "background music" (and buy "consumer-fi" or "designer-fi") and
> the serious and discerning listener (aka "audiophile").
>
> The audiophile section has always been small in terms of the number of
> persons (but not necessarily that small in value terms).
>
> So, are we seeing a small - and shrinking - portion of a decreasing "slice"
> surviving as purist two-channel afficionados? I believe we are...
>
> In a communication from George H. Middius, he told me that the number of
> contributors to RAO/RAHE had shrunk since I was last involved. If true,
> this supports the contention that - like cigarette-smokers - we are a dying
> breed.
>
> Take a peek into home-theatre forums and compare their frenzied
> activity-levels and then take a jaundiced look at what is happening in those
> forums devoted to two-channel audio...
>
> Firstly, the overall input to RAO/RAHE appears to be dropping.
>
> Secondly, the proportion of serious contributors (as opposed to those that
> are there for "Mortal Kombat" - in verbal sense) is also shrinking. There
> are few committed "lifers" who also probably skew the results (such as
> George, Stewart, etc). This is obviously more prevalent in RAO than RAHE due
> to the effect of "Moderation" in RAHE.
>
> Another indicator is the changes in focus for new product development by
> typical high-end audio manufacturers. Take a look at their websites and
> cast your mind back 10 years and you will see a definite shift towards home
> theatre - its only natural; they too have to survive......

I'm afraid that I would have to agree with much of what you have written
here. I was away from high end audio for about 10 years until recently,
and upon returning and moving back to fairly near L.A. where I was
living when I was in the hobby before, the first thing that I noticed
was how many fewer stores there were that catered to our interests.

Along with this topic, I must say that I also fear for the future of
what got so many of us interested in the hobby to begin with: acoustic
music, and classical music in particular. The two main contributors to
this problem are, in my view:
1. The music programs in public schools in most of the country are
suffering greatly. Due to budgets and scheduling issues, there are FAR
fewer programs in the schools, particularly in the elementary schools.
2. (Perhaps this is related to #1) In our society, music is more and
more becoming background noise rather than something people go out and
hear, or listen to intently in their homes. Kids are more and more
visual in their intake of entertainment and information. Look, for
instance, at the cable news stations: one can barely see the people on
the screen due to the amount of space taken up by various graphics!
Everything has to look like a video game. Our lifestyles, our
schedules, etc. don't motivate us to actually GO to a concert, or at
least sit and LISTEN at home without visual bombardment also taking
place. The great John Philip Sousa once said that "the phonograph will
cause the demise of concert-going. I'm beginning to believe that he
was, in some way, right.

I'll say again what I've said once before here: if you are interested
in this hobby, and if you are interested in having good music in the
future, PLEASE write to your school board in support of music programs,
GO to concerts, BUY recordings. If we don't, it could all go away.
Anonymous
June 3, 2005 4:06:15 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

This may be a bad time to be into 'high end audio' but it's
a great time to be into audio. You can buy moderately
priced gear that's likely to perform sonically *identicallY*
to 'high end' gear; digital audio is essential mature as a
recording and playback medium;fantastic progress in digital sound
processing such as Dolyb Pro Logic II; increased connectivity between
players of various formats , computers, and video equipment.
And encouragingly, there's far more expression of audio
*skepticism* of high end claims, thanks to the internet.
ONe small aspect of the decline of the high end may be the
spreading realization that the emperor not only has no clothes,
but is something of a bad joke.

-S.
listening to properly bass-managed, time-delayed multichannel
audio with his new firewire-connected universal player.
Related resources
Anonymous
June 3, 2005 4:12:00 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

Russ Button <russ@button.com> writes:

> > In a communication from George H. Middius, he told me that the number of
> > contributors to RAO/RAHE had shrunk since I was last involved. If true,
> > this supports the contention that - like cigarette-smokers - we are a dying
> > breed.
>
> I agree completely.

I would not view the reduction in the number of contributors to RAHE
or RAO as an indicator of reduction in the number of audiophiles
extant. Speaking for myself, I rarely post to RAHE these days because
there is hardly any worthwhile thread that doesn't get hijacked by the
DBT crowd... after the first 100 times the mantra gets tiring. So,
while I don't disagree that audiophiles as such are probably a dying
breed, I would not view RAHE/RAO activity as a strong indicator.


rsi
--
<rsi@panix.com> a.k.a. Rajappa Iyer.
Absinthe makes the tart grow fonder.
June 3, 2005 4:58:04 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

Dave de Villiers wrote:
snip lamento
> The total two-channel audio market has always been polarised between
> those that want "background music" (and buy "consumer-fi" or
> "designer-fi") and the serious and discerning listener (aka
> "audiophile").
>
> The audiophile section has always been small in terms of the number of
> persons (but not necessarily that small in value terms).
>
> So, are we seeing a small - and shrinking - portion of a decreasing
> "slice" surviving as purist two-channel afficionados? I believe we
> are...
>

I think there are more "audiophiles" than before, because good sound has
become more affordable.

> In a communication from George H. Middius, he told me that the number
> of contributors to RAO/RAHE had shrunk since I was last involved. If
> true, this supports the contention that - like cigarette-smokers - we
> are a dying breed.
>
>
> Firstly, the overall input to RAO/RAHE appears to be dropping.
>
It is not so IMHO, seems more traffic than before.

> Secondly, the proportion of serious contributors (as opposed to those
> that are there for "Mortal Kombat" - in verbal sense) is also
> shrinking. There are few committed "lifers" who also probably skew
> the results (such as George, Stewart, etc). This is obviously more
> prevalent in RAO than RAHE due to the effect of "Moderation" in RAHE.
>

You should do something about and offer to be moderating this group. That
would be a decent contribution of yours.

> Another indicator is the changes in focus for new product development
> by typical high-end audio manufacturers. Take a look at their
> websites and cast your mind back 10 years and you will see a definite
> shift towards home theatre - its only natural; they too have to
> survive.
>
> Finally, there has been much debate around the future role in audio
> reproduction of the personal computer, the iPOD, etc. Just how much
> of the abovementioned "pie" is being hived-off to fund acquisitions
> in this area is not known, but - at a guess - I would say it IS
> having some effect.
>
I wonder what is wrong with a multiple speaker setup? You can always listen
to just two speakers in the corresponding mode on your receiver. We have
learned that the amplifiers are transparent, so why use a two channel only
setup, when for the same money or less a 5+1 AV-amp with 3 times the power
can be bought? And concerning the Ipod, it only has a two channel output
BTW.

>
> The future looks somewhat bleak for two-channel, and those of us
> committed to it, had better keep a watchful eye out for possible new
> sources of either; one, two channel equipment; or two, other areas of
> interest.
>
> PS: Having just had some audio gear stolen and having had to do some
> research into replacements, I've begun to see early signs of demise.
> :-(

Dave, it is good like it is. Our lives are not static and changes happen. go
with them! The worst in this life are the complainers. Don't be one of them,
enjoy a good 5+1 setup, it is fun.
--
ciao Ban
Bordighera, Italy
Anonymous
June 3, 2005 5:12:43 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

Russ Button wrote:
<snip>
: I'd like to ask a question of everyone here. How many two-channel
: audio
: enthusiasts do you personally know who are under the age of 40?

Well, I've been a lurker here for a while and I thought it an appropriate
time to de-cloak :) .

I'm 31 and a 2-channel audiophile - I actually don't watch much TV/many
movies at all, prefering to listen to my hi-fi and I have another 32 year
old friend who is also into 2-channel but he has also embraced multi-channel
cinema but still much prefers 2-channel for audio. In the last month I've
bought a Nick Drake SACD, 4 Acoustic double albums and the soundtrack to
Captain Corellie's Mandolin. I enjoy a wide range of music from Arabic to
Country but I especially enjoy female vocalists like Amy Winehouse, Diana
Krall, Carla Bruni, Sarah Mclachlan, etc. I also love folk music and do
enjoy some clasical music too. I don't enjoy heavy metal, dance (although I
used to) or ska/punk but probably have a good selection of other genres. My
friends also have similar tastes although theirs would not be quite as
varied.

I have a third friend who is 34 and appreciates good 2-channel audio but
prefers to spend money on his other love (a car) most of the time so he
probably doesn't count but has potential but overall I think there is some
hope yet.

<snip>
: http://www.bethcuster.com/downloads.html
:
: (Listen to "Echos of Harlem")

Very mellow, I liked it!

<snip>
: disappointing to me. Young people today aren't just listening to
: electric
: music. They're listening to stuff which is hard to even call music,
<snip>

LOL I am a teacher in a technical college (16+ age group) and I certainly
agree although I've been surprised by a few students each year who certainly
have audiophile potential :) . My own audiophile days began when I met an
audiophile at university and ended up spending an (summer job) industrial
injury claim on a set of Wharfedale speakers (I still use them today) and a
Micromega CD player (recently changed after 14 years). I had to wait
another year to work up the cost of an amp though :) .

: and
: they're doing it on their iPods. I can't tell you how many people
: I've met
: whose only speakers for stereo listening are those connected to their
: computers.

Or those they plug into their ears from their IPods etc. But there still is
hope and I try to promote 2-channel audio as much as possible to my
students.


--
Ivan Hanley.
eBay:- Scooby-Shack
BSW:- Scooby-Shack

[excessive sig deleted -- deb]
Anonymous
June 4, 2005 12:00:31 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

There is one other factor in this debate around 2-channel audio versus the
gamut of multi-channel options - that is the "sound quality achievable for a
given budget" aspect.

Assume a budget of $10,000 and select - within that budget - the "best
systems"; one, 2-channel (source/amps/spkrs); the other, multi-channel
(source/amps/spkrs).

Now consider the implications:

a. Source (Units = 1 in both cases) - cool
b. Controller (Units = 1 in both cases) - cool
c. Amps (2 vs 5/6/7/8...) - not so cool
d. Spkrs (2 vs 5/6/7/8...) - less & less cool

The divisor in the equation is much higher for multi-channel (by
definition), so the funds available per item are less.

Assume the choice process is equivalent in both - ie both purchasers focus
on real value for money (same criteria) - the probability is that the
2-channel result will outperform the multi-channel option in all areas
except, possibly, those involving spatial info.

Don't get me wrong! I have nothing against multi-channel - I have a 2.1
configuration right above my head and playing as I speak (Denon
UD-M31+Tannoy) and a 5.1 configuration in the TV room (Denon DHT500-SD).

But, for serious "active listening", its off to the lounge...

The concern about the decline in live concert (classical) attendance in the
"youth demographic" is as valid in South Africa as anywhere else, although
perhaps not as marked.

Finally, we all react to change in different ways - resistance, tolerance,
acceptance - and with difference levels of "enthusiasm" - passive, moderate,
active, violent.

The original post was more of an observation with a hint of potential
nostalgia and was intended to seek out like-minded individuals - while
guaranteed to produce a spectrum of viewpoints.

If I were to try to "pigeon-hole" myself in the terms above: "a tolerant
moderant" with an excessive tendency to look back at "when we were yoong"
(and you try and tell the yoong people of today that and the won't believe
ya) Apologies to MPFC
Anonymous
June 4, 2005 12:09:00 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

Stewart Pinkerton wrote:

> There are many serious audiophiles who feel that *well made*
> multi-channel is the next genuine step forward, especially since
> modern 'minimonitors' can combine with a sub to give top-class sound
> by any standard.

I think that multi-channel is entirely appropriate for home theatre.
Movies are made for multi-channel sound now, so to recreate that
experience at home you need at least 5.1.

I used to own an Audiopulse Model One (remember those?). That
was back in 1982. I ran Magnepan MG-IIs that I had modified by
adding a ribbon tweeter. The surround stuff was fun, but it really
didn't add a whole lot so far as it seemed to me. Surround sound
meant a lot more complexity, more speakers, more cabling, more
amplification and a lot more expense for what seemed to be a
pretty marginal effect.

One of the other problems with 5.1 and 7.1 setups is that they truly
have to dominate the room they are in. My stereo system has always
been located in the living room and has had to peacefully co-exist with
the living room's primary function as a place to sit and have conversation.
We have our TV in the basement family area where it belongs. I really
can't stand homes where the TV is located in the living room and is
on all the time, even with nobody watching. Ewwwwww...

> Regrettably, concert audiences also seem to be ageing rapidly. I
> notice very few young people these days at classical concerts, and
> even jazz clubs seem to be populated by over 30s.

The world is a changing place. There are many more entertainment
options today than there were even 25 years ago, let alone 50. I have
a good friend who's a great trumpet player. John Coppola used to play
lead trumpet with Stan Kenton, Woody Herman, Charlie Barnett and
Billy May. Back in 1945 when he was 16 years old, he worked with
local dance bands in Oakland, California and made good money doing
it. There were a lot of bands and any half-decent trumpet player could
make a living just playing his horn. John happened to be a natural
monster and made a lot of money for someone his age. He was on the
road and playing lead trumpet with Charlie Barnett by the time he was
19 years old. That sort of thing doesn't happen any more.

Back in the 1940's, if you wanted entertainment, you had a choice of
going to a movie theatre, listening to your radio, going to a ball game
or going to hear live music. There just wasn't much else to do, and
so there was a lot more work for live musicians. People were used to
listening to live music as a primary source.

Today the kids listen to mp3 files on their iPods. They play video games.
They go to movie houses with 20 screens. They can rent any of hundreds
of movies. They have cable TV with a hundred channels. We have the
endless draw of the Internet. In major American cities, people have
a large number of professional sports teams they can follow. The entertainment
options are enormous. People don't have to make their own music anymore.
They now just go out and consume.

> You can hardly believe it, but in the UK, the top of the singles chart
> is basically a *ring tone* called Crazy Frog, based on the Axel F
> 'music' from Beverley Hills cop!

Well that's the UK for you. I have an mp3 of something equally
infamous from the UK at:

http://www.button.com/Russ/sounds/singing_sheep.mp3

Does this have something to do with English cooking?

Russ
June 12, 2005 7:57:59 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

One item that I forgot to mention in this discussion is the effect of
synthesis on today's listeners, especially younger ones.

Today we are bombarded with imitations of acoustic instruments, via
synths. In music schools, students have to learn MIDI along side their
acoustic instruments.

It's little wonder that careful listening on good equipment and
software is increasingly discounted, given the poor quality of those
imitation instruments, IMO.
Anonymous
June 12, 2005 7:58:39 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

Dave de Villiers <devilldv@telkomsa.net> wrote:
> There is one other factor in this debate around 2-channel audio versus the
> gamut of multi-channel options - that is the "sound quality achievable for a
> given budget" aspect.

> Assume a budget of $10,000 and select - within that budget - the "best
> systems"; one, 2-channel (source/amps/spkrs); the other, multi-channel
> (source/amps/spkrs).

> Now consider the implications:

> a. Source (Units = 1 in both cases) - cool
> b. Controller (Units = 1 in both cases) - cool
> c. Amps (2 vs 5/6/7/8...) - not so cool
> d. Spkrs (2 vs 5/6/7/8...) - less & less cool

> The divisor in the equation is much higher for multi-channel (by
> definition), so the funds available per item are less.

> Assume the choice process is equivalent in both - ie both purchasers focus
> on real value for money (same criteria) - the probability is that the
> 2-channel result will outperform the multi-channel option in all areas
> except, possibly, those involving spatial info.

No, that doesn't follow from the evidence you present. It's a *belief*,
not a deduction.

If you can provde *evidence* that $1000 spent on an AVR will tend to give
audibly inferior two-channel performance to $1000 spend on a 2-channel
amp/preamp combo, please feel free to do so.


--

-S
It's not my business to do intelligent work. -- D. Rumsfeld, testifying
before the House Armed Services Committee
Anonymous
June 12, 2005 8:07:19 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

In message <d7qcsv014hi@news2.newsguy.com>, Dave de Villiers
<devilldv@telkomsa.net> writes
>But, for serious "active listening", its off to the lounge...
What about Binaural sound, its the nearest thing to the way we actually
hear sound with the human body. One hearing position, , two mikes either
side of a disk, (just like the human head with our two ears either
side), and then (ideally), listen with good headphones and its the most
realistic (surround sound/two channel), you will ever experience. I was
involved with this system in Ireland over Twenty years ago and produced
an LP of a live concert we staged with a military band, you should hear
the surround sound realism. My engineering friend had done an
experimental broadcast recorded in Binaural sound of a river journey,
when listened to with Headphones you could "feel" the water running down
the back of your collar, how much more realism do you want?
--
Derrick Fawsitt
Anonymous
June 12, 2005 9:53:14 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

In article <d8hm3f01e7t@news3.newsguy.com>,
Steven Sullivan <ssully@panix.com> wrote:
>Dave de Villiers <devilldv@telkomsa.net> wrote:

>> Assume the choice process is equivalent in both - ie both purchasers focus
>> on real value for money (same criteria) - the probability is that the
>> 2-channel result will outperform the multi-channel option in all areas
>> except, possibly, those involving spatial info.
>
>No, that doesn't follow from the evidence you present. It's a *belief*,
>not a deduction.
>
>If you can provde *evidence* that $1000 spent on an AVR will tend to give
>audibly inferior two-channel performance to $1000 spend on a 2-channel
>amp/preamp combo, please feel free to do so.

Design, manufacture, and cost out an amplification circuit for a
single channel of audio that gives you the best price/performance
ratio. Package two of them in a box, sell them for a reasonable
markup, and you now have the Hypothetical Ideal Stereo amplifier.
Package five (or seven) of them in a box and you now have the
Hypothetical Ideal Multi-Channel amplifier. For the exact same
performance, you're going to end up paying two and a half times more
for the five channel version. (Well, not quite, as I'd assume that
certain bits of it wouldn't be duplicated no matter how many channels
there were, but as a rough estimation, it seems reasonable.)

--
Mike Kozlowski
http://www.klio.org/mlk/
Anonymous
June 12, 2005 11:21:25 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

Mike Kozlowski <mlk@klio.org> wrote:
> In article <d8hm3f01e7t@news3.newsguy.com>,
> Steven Sullivan <ssully@panix.com> wrote:
> >Dave de Villiers <devilldv@telkomsa.net> wrote:

> >> Assume the choice process is equivalent in both - ie both purchasers focus
> >> on real value for money (same criteria) - the probability is that the
> >> 2-channel result will outperform the multi-channel option in all areas
> >> except, possibly, those involving spatial info.
> >
> >No, that doesn't follow from the evidence you present. It's a *belief*,
> >not a deduction.
> >
> >If you can provde *evidence* that $1000 spent on an AVR will tend to give
> >audibly inferior two-channel performance to $1000 spend on a 2-channel
> >amp/preamp combo, please feel free to do so.

> Design, manufacture, and cost out an amplification circuit for a
> single channel of audio that gives you the best price/performance
> ratio. Package two of them in a box, sell them for a reasonable
> markup, and you now have the Hypothetical Ideal Stereo amplifier.
> Package five (or seven) of them in a box and you now have the
> Hypothetical Ideal Multi-Channel amplifier. For the exact same
> performance, you're going to end up paying two and a half times more
> for the five channel version. (Well, not quite, as I'd assume that
> certain bits of it wouldn't be duplicated no matter how many channels
> there were, but as a rough estimation, it seems reasonable.)


That's not necessarily how it works. There are economies of scale that
the big AVR makers can enjoy that the little stereo unit ones can't. And
consider that performance doesn't increase linearly as design and
manufacture and price improve/increase. Have you comapred the specs of a
$1000 AVR to that of a $1000 stereo amp lately? Do you really think you'd
hear that difference?
Anonymous
June 13, 2005 4:18:09 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

In article <d8i1vl01rhq@news3.newsguy.com>,
Steven Sullivan <ssully@panix.com> wrote:
>Mike Kozlowski <mlk@klio.org> wrote:

[Is surround cost-effective, compared to stereo?]

>> Design, manufacture, and cost out an amplification circuit for a
>> single channel of audio that gives you the best price/performance
>> ratio. Package two of them in a box, sell them for a reasonable
>> markup, and you now have the Hypothetical Ideal Stereo amplifier.
>> Package five (or seven) of them in a box and you now have the
>> Hypothetical Ideal Multi-Channel amplifier. For the exact same
>> performance, you're going to end up paying two and a half times more
>> for the five channel version. (Well, not quite, as I'd assume that
>> certain bits of it wouldn't be duplicated no matter how many channels
>> there were, but as a rough estimation, it seems reasonable.)
>
>consider that performance doesn't increase linearly as design and
>manufacture and price improve/increase. Have you comapred the specs of a
>$1000 AVR to that of a $1000 stereo amp lately? Do you really think you'd
>hear that difference?

That's why I phrased things like I did above. If the $1000 AVR has
what you consider to be the right price/performance ratio, then a $400
stereo amp should (again, ignoring tedious details of marketing and
popularity and so forth) have the same level of performance in two
channels. And this conjecture isn't wildly off-base, either: An
integrated amp like the NAD C320 BEE apparently retails for $399 and
will almost certainly not lag behind a $1000 AVR in two-channel
performance.

Your point is that spending $1K on two-channel amplification won't get
you appreciably better sound than spending $1K on surround
amplification, so there's no cost disadvantage to going surround; my
point is that spending 2 * $1K / 5 on two-channel amplification will
get you sound that's just as good for 40% of the cost, so there is a
cost disadvantage to going surround.

--
Mike Kozlowski
http://www.klio.org/mlk/
June 14, 2005 4:09:01 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

Mike Kozlowski wrote:
> In article <d8i1vl01rhq@news3.newsguy.com>,
> Steven Sullivan <ssully@panix.com> wrote:
>>Mike Kozlowski <mlk@klio.org> wrote:
>
> [Is surround cost-effective, compared to stereo?]
>
>>> Design, manufacture, and cost out an amplification circuit for a
>>> single channel of audio that gives you the best price/performance
>>> ratio. Package two of them in a box, sell them for a reasonable
>>> markup, and you now have the Hypothetical Ideal Stereo amplifier.
>>> Package five (or seven) of them in a box and you now have the
>>> Hypothetical Ideal Multi-Channel amplifier. For the exact same
>>> performance, you're going to end up paying two and a half times more
>>> for the five channel version. (Well, not quite, as I'd assume that
>>> certain bits of it wouldn't be duplicated no matter how many channels
>>> there were, but as a rough estimation, it seems reasonable.)
>>
>>consider that performance doesn't increase linearly as design and
>>manufacture and price improve/increase. Have you comapred the specs of a
>>$1000 AVR to that of a $1000 stereo amp lately? Do you really think you'd
>>hear that difference?
>
> That's why I phrased things like I did above. If the $1000 AVR has
> what you consider to be the right price/performance ratio, then a $400
> stereo amp should (again, ignoring tedious details of marketing and
> popularity and so forth) have the same level of performance in two
> channels.

Well, that's not necessarily true. Manufacturers may aggressively attack
cost for a given level of performance in an AVR receiver, because that
market is much more competitive and that potential sales are much
higher. The 2-channel stereo market is much smaller, and hence
manufacturers are less likely to maximize cost/performance for such
products.

> And this conjecture isn't wildly off-base, either: An
> integrated amp like the NAD C320 BEE apparently retails for $399 and
> will almost certainly not lag behind a $1000 AVR in two-channel
> performance.

The 1K AVR's may have features like advanced room correction
equalization that may never be put into 2-channel products, so even if
the power amps are the same, the AVR can give superior
performance/benefits. And the question is whether the $400 NAD can sound
any better than, say a $500 receiver that has useful 2-channel features
like an FM tuner, remote control, etc.

>
> Your point is that spending $1K on two-channel amplification won't get
> you appreciably better sound than spending $1K on surround
> amplification, so there's no cost disadvantage to going surround; my
> point is that spending 2 * $1K / 5 on two-channel amplification will
> get you sound that's just as good for 40% of the cost, so there is a
> cost disadvantage to going surround.

Your argument depends on price scaling: i.e. selling price is
proportional to number of channels. That assumption may not be valid for
receivers. What is happening is that multi-channel receivers with the
same per-channel power appear to be selling at the same price as stereo
receivers with the same per-channel power.
Anonymous
June 14, 2005 6:25:11 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

In article <d8l76t0tdf@news4.newsguy.com>, Chung <chunglau@covad.net> wrote:
>Mike Kozlowski wrote:

>> [Is surround cost-effective, compared to stereo?]

>> That's why I phrased things like I did above. If the $1000 AVR has
>> what you consider to be the right price/performance ratio, then a $400
>> stereo amp should (again, ignoring tedious details of marketing and
>> popularity and so forth) have the same level of performance in two
>> channels.
>
>Well, that's not necessarily true.

It's not _necessarily_ true, but there are plenty of good reasons for
it to be true; and empirically it really does look to be a reasonable
approximation of actual pricing.

If you think Denon's AVR-3805 is a great deal at $1199 MSRP, well,
their DRA-685 offers similar specs in two-channel for $499. You like
the NAD T753 for $999? The C320 is very similar in two-channel for
$399. The prices don't quite scale linearly, because there's a
certain fixed cost just for having a box and shipping and what-not;
but accounting for that, it's pretty close.

We don't need to hypothesize about how markets might or might not play
out; the actual prices tell us that you still pay significantly more
(a titch more than double, it turns out) for surround than for stereo
at the same quality level.

>And the question is whether the $400 NAD can sound
>any better than, say a $500 receiver that has useful 2-channel features
>like an FM tuner, remote control, etc.

Again, that's not the question. If you think a $500 Sony surround
receiver is going to give you the same sound that you get off a $400
NAD two-channel amp, then just buy the $150 Sony stereo receiver
that's similarly specced but only in two channels.

Also, of course, nobody's touching the real elephant in the living
room with surround pricing, which is speakers. With surround, you
need five speakers instead of two, and speakers _do_ scale pricing in
direct proportion to how many of them you buy. (Admittedly, you can
fudge this by buying cheaper rear speakers, but it's still inevitably
going to be substantially more expensive than two channels.)

I'm not saying surround isn't good, and I'm not saying it's not worth
the money; I'm just saying it _is_ more expensive than two-channel,
and if your priority is to buy a good system for listening to your
hundreds of stereo CDs and you're working on a finite budget[1],
you're going to be better off buying a two-channel system.

[1] For reasonable definitions of "finite". If you've got $100K to
spend, I'd actually expect the surround system to end up better than
the two-channel system. But for $1K, which is the price range I hear
most often when people are looking to step up to a high-quality
system, there's simply no way that surround will even be competitive.
My suspicion is that it's not until somewhere between $5-10K total system
price that you'd start to see the price/performance curve flattening
out enough that the benefits of surround would outweigh the benefits
of increased two-channel performance.

And, obviously, if you want your system primarily for surround
purposes, as in a home theater, the threshold is going to be
substantially lower. I still think it's way above $1K, though.

--
Mike Kozlowski
http://www.klio.org/mlk/
June 15, 2005 3:51:57 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

Mike Kozlowski wrote:
> In article <d8l76t0tdf@news4.newsguy.com>, Chung <chunglau@covad.net> wrote:
>
>>Mike Kozlowski wrote:
>
>
>>>[Is surround cost-effective, compared to stereo?]
>
>
>>>That's why I phrased things like I did above. If the $1000 AVR has
>>>what you consider to be the right price/performance ratio, then a $400
>>>stereo amp should (again, ignoring tedious details of marketing and
>>>popularity and so forth) have the same level of performance in two
>>>channels.
>>
>>Well, that's not necessarily true.
>
>
> It's not _necessarily_ true, but there are plenty of good reasons for
> it to be true; and empirically it really does look to be a reasonable
> approximation of actual pricing.
>
> If you think Denon's AVR-3805 is a great deal at $1199 MSRP, well,
> their DRA-685 offers similar specs in two-channel for $499.

The specs are not similar at all.

Well, this is actually a perfect example that illustrates my point. The
3805 has a state-of-the-art room calibration system. It has multiple
digital inputs. You can power multiple speaker systems with it. It has
superior digital bass management for systems where there is a subwoofer.
It has video switching (which is handy even if you only listen to
2-channels). And it even has higher output power, and 7 channels, too.
The AVR-3805 can sound significantly better than the DRA-685 because of
the advanced DSP functions that are simply not available in stereo
recievers.

The DRA-685 is not a 2-channel version of the 3805 at all. The latter is
an excellent value, even if you only use it for stereo.

Clearly in this case price does not scale with the number of channels.
The point I am making is that even if you only are interested in
2-channel, often the AV receiver is a much better value.
Anonymous
June 19, 2005 8:28:21 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

Jenn wrote:
> One item that I forgot to mention in this discussion is the effect of
> synthesis on today's listeners, especially younger ones.
>
> Today we are bombarded with imitations of acoustic instruments, via
> synths. In music schools, students have to learn MIDI along side their
> acoustic instruments.
>
> It's little wonder that careful listening on good equipment and
> software is increasingly discounted, given the poor quality of those
> imitation instruments, IMO.

The problem for high-end audio today is finding good source material.
Most of the CD's available are highly processed.

The dynamic range is reduced to a only few dB (Would you believe 2dB?).
The sound is mixed down from several microphone sources, giving it a
pleasent but unrealistic sound. The frequency response is optimized to
be best for automobile sound systems. Every note of a vocalist is pitch
corrected, making the vocalist sound somewhat like a human synthesizer.


You said "Today we are bombarded with imitations of acoustic
instruments..."That is true. Unfortunately even real instruments (on
today recordings) sound like imitations.
June 20, 2005 7:23:30 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

In article <d946f501q7m@news1.newsguy.com>,
"R. Stanton" <therstanton@verizon.net> wrote:

> Jenn wrote:
> > One item that I forgot to mention in this discussion is the effect of
> > synthesis on today's listeners, especially younger ones.
> >
> > Today we are bombarded with imitations of acoustic instruments, via
> > synths. In music schools, students have to learn MIDI along side their
> > acoustic instruments.
> >
> > It's little wonder that careful listening on good equipment and
> > software is increasingly discounted, given the poor quality of those
> > imitation instruments, IMO.
>
> The problem for high-end audio today is finding good source material.
> Most of the CD's available are highly processed.
>
> The dynamic range is reduced to a only few dB (Would you believe 2dB?).
> The sound is mixed down from several microphone sources, giving it a
> pleasent but unrealistic sound. The frequency response is optimized to
> be best for automobile sound systems. Every note of a vocalist is pitch
> corrected, making the vocalist sound somewhat like a human synthesizer.

This is certainly a large problem, IMO. We are losing a sense of what
is real, what is acoustic, what is human.
>
>
> You said "Today we are bombarded with imitations of acoustic
> instruments..."That is true. Unfortunately even real instruments (on
> today recordings) sound like imitations.

Agreed. If we value the sound of real, we had best support it.
Anonymous
June 21, 2005 4:04:19 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

"Jenn" <jennconducts@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:D 95cri0od9@news4.newsguy.com...
> In article <d946f501q7m@news1.newsguy.com>,
> "R. Stanton" <therstanton@verizon.net> wrote:
>
...
>
> Agreed. If we value the sound of real, we had best support it.

We can do that by buying more classical music and jazz, and differentiating
between those that are better-recorded (i.e. more natural). And whereever
possible, supporting those labels/reissues that do the same. Pop is another
story, although even here there are better and worse recordings.

We can also do that by stopping the dissing of hi-rez formats and starting
to support them. The companies issuing in this format by and large pay much
more attention to "natural" recording/mastering.

FWIW, I still use three direct-to-disk recordings for most of my
non-orchestral testing of new components. I have found nothing better for
"natural sound". These are: The Sheffield Drum Record (if your system can
handle this and sound natural at moderately loud volumes, it doesn't lack
for much), Sheffield's "West of Oz" featuring Amanda McBroom and some
wonderful songs, and Sheffield's "Confederation", probably the most
enjoyable bluegrass recording I own. Between them, they include female
voice, male voices, percussion, bowed strings (violin, bass, cello), plucked
strings (guitars, mandolin, banjo). Only the horns are missing. but I find
that if the equipment handles all else well, the horns fall into place. If
I need confirmation, then the SACD recording of BS&T and the DVD-Audio
recordings of Chicago can suffice.

Of course, the grand payback for all of this is a fine orchestral recording
that transports to the conert hall. Or the interplay of an extrememly
well-recorded chamber group, or jazz group that sounds like it is in the
room with you.
June 21, 2005 6:26:11 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

In article <d97li30mgs@news3.newsguy.com>,
"Harry Lavo" <hlavo@comcast.net> wrote:

> "Jenn" <jennconducts@hotmail.com> wrote in message
> news:D 95cri0od9@news4.newsguy.com...
> > In article <d946f501q7m@news1.newsguy.com>,
> > "R. Stanton" <therstanton@verizon.net> wrote:
> >
> ..
> >
> > Agreed. If we value the sound of real, we had best support it.
>
> We can do that by buying more classical music and jazz, and differentiating
> between those that are better-recorded (i.e. more natural). And whereever
> possible, supporting those labels/reissues that do the same. Pop is another
> story, although even here there are better and worse recordings.
>
> We can also do that by stopping the dissing of hi-rez formats and starting
> to support them. The companies issuing in this format by and large pay much
> more attention to "natural" recording/mastering.
>
> FWIW, I still use three direct-to-disk recordings for most of my
> non-orchestral testing of new components. I have found nothing better for
> "natural sound". These are: The Sheffield Drum Record (if your system can
> handle this and sound natural at moderately loud volumes, it doesn't lack
> for much), Sheffield's "West of Oz" featuring Amanda McBroom and some
> wonderful songs, and Sheffield's "Confederation", probably the most
> enjoyable bluegrass recording I own. Between them, they include female
> voice, male voices, percussion, bowed strings (violin, bass, cello), plucked
> strings (guitars, mandolin, banjo). Only the horns are missing. but I find
> that if the equipment handles all else well, the horns fall into place. If
> I need confirmation, then the SACD recording of BS&T and the DVD-Audio
> recordings of Chicago can suffice.
>
> Of course, the grand payback for all of this is a fine orchestral recording
> that transports to the conert hall. Or the interplay of an extrememly
> well-recorded chamber group, or jazz group that sounds like it is in the
> room with you.

Harry, I couldn't agree with you more. We need to support the labels
that offer good performance and sound, AND we need to GO TO LIVE
CONCERTS at every opportunity. And I'm speaking here about concerts at
every level: high school, college, community, professional. BUY a
ticket and GO to the concerts. I'm not crying wolf here my friends.
The reason for our hobby could very quickly disappear if we don't take
care of it. WRITE to the newspaper, WRITE to the school board; tell
them that school music is much more than just marching band and pop
choir. TELL them that it's about our cultural heritage and that music
education is BASIC education. If it doesn't happen there, it doesn't
happen at college, then it doesn't happen professionally, and then we're
screwed in so many ways.
Anonymous
June 22, 2005 4:09:38 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

"Jenn" <jennconducts@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:D 97ts3011ki@news3.newsguy.com...
> In article <d97li30mgs@news3.newsguy.com>,
> "Harry Lavo" <hlavo@comcast.net> wrote:
>
>> "Jenn" <jennconducts@hotmail.com> wrote in message
>> news:D 95cri0od9@news4.newsguy.com...
>> > In article <d946f501q7m@news1.newsguy.com>,
>> > "R. Stanton" <therstanton@verizon.net> wrote:
>> >
>> ..
>> >
>> > Agreed. If we value the sound of real, we had best support it.
>>
>> We can do that by buying more classical music and jazz, and
>> differentiating
>> between those that are better-recorded (i.e. more natural). And
>> whereever
>> possible, supporting those labels/reissues that do the same. Pop is
>> another
>> story, although even here there are better and worse recordings.
>>
>> We can also do that by stopping the dissing of hi-rez formats and
>> starting
>> to support them. The companies issuing in this format by and large pay
>> much
>> more attention to "natural" recording/mastering.
>>
>> FWIW, I still use three direct-to-disk recordings for most of my
>> non-orchestral testing of new components. I have found nothing better
>> for
>> "natural sound". These are: The Sheffield Drum Record (if your system
>> can
>> handle this and sound natural at moderately loud volumes, it doesn't lack
>> for much), Sheffield's "West of Oz" featuring Amanda McBroom and some
>> wonderful songs, and Sheffield's "Confederation", probably the most
>> enjoyable bluegrass recording I own. Between them, they include female
>> voice, male voices, percussion, bowed strings (violin, bass, cello),
>> plucked
>> strings (guitars, mandolin, banjo). Only the horns are missing. but I
>> find
>> that if the equipment handles all else well, the horns fall into place.
>> If
>> I need confirmation, then the SACD recording of BS&T and the DVD-Audio
>> recordings of Chicago can suffice.
>>
>> Of course, the grand payback for all of this is a fine orchestral
>> recording
>> that transports to the conert hall. Or the interplay of an extrememly
>> well-recorded chamber group, or jazz group that sounds like it is in the
>> room with you.
>
> Harry, I couldn't agree with you more. We need to support the labels
> that offer good performance and sound, AND we need to GO TO LIVE
> CONCERTS at every opportunity. And I'm speaking here about concerts at
> every level: high school, college, community, professional. BUY a
> ticket and GO to the concerts. I'm not crying wolf here my friends.
> The reason for our hobby could very quickly disappear if we don't take
> care of it. WRITE to the newspaper, WRITE to the school board; tell
> them that school music is much more than just marching band and pop
> choir. TELL them that it's about our cultural heritage and that music
> education is BASIC education. If it doesn't happen there, it doesn't
> happen at college, then it doesn't happen professionally, and then we're
> screwed in so many ways.

Your're preaching to the choir here, since several of my closest friends
are/were professional musicians. And I've seen their audiences age over the
years and then begin to die off. Despite wonderful efforts on their part to
bring in younger folk to chamber music (via a series of Musical Brunches and
a family-oriented Memorial Day Weekend Mozart Festival that went on for 15
years)..

But I do have one piece of encouragement, however. I took all three of my
kids to hear live chamber and orchestral music and to see ballet, up until
about age 11 or 12. Then they refused to go. Of course the schools did
nothing to promote music, other than to try to get my daughter interested in
the tuba because they needed tuba'sts for the marching band. However, my
oldest son (37) has become a baroque fan, my middle daughter (24) last year
requested I supply her with classical music as a christmas gift, and my
youngest son (the 21 yr old rock musician) has taught himself to play indian
and flamenco guitar. And occasionally to stop and listen to something I'm
playing that is classical or jazz on the audio system. So despite our
society's shortcomings, perhaps our involvement in home audio can rub off.
Not a good or an adequate replacement for an musically-literate culture,
perhaps, but at least a glimmer of hope.
Anonymous
June 22, 2005 7:04:42 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

"Harry Lavo" writes:>
> But I do have one piece of encouragement, however. I took all three of my
> kids to hear live chamber and orchestral music and to see ballet, up until
> about age 11 or 12. Then they refused to go. Of course the schools did
> nothing to promote music, other than to try to get my daughter interested
> in
> the tuba because they needed tuba'sts for the marching band. However, my
> oldest son (37) has become a baroque fan, my middle daughter (24) last
> year
> requested I supply her with classical music as a christmas gift, and my
> youngest son (the 21 yr old rock musician) has taught himself to play
> indian
> and flamenco guitar. And occasionally to stop and listen to something I'm
> playing that is classical or jazz on the audio system. So despite our
> society's shortcomings, perhaps our involvement in home audio can rub off.
> Not a good or an adequate replacement for an musically-literate culture,
> perhaps, but at least a glimmer of hope.
>
OTOH my two sons were taken to live classical music concerts as soon as they
were old enough to sit still causing no disturbance to others. They were
exposed to "high end" audio as long as they lived at home. They have no
interest in any type of music whatsoever, live or reproduced.
June 25, 2005 6:26:37 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

In article <d9fmcr026gd@news1.newsguy.com>, "Ban" <bansuri@web.de>
wrote:

> Jenn wrote:
> > I really can't tell you how
> > concerned I am about this topic. We well may have gotten to a place
> > where we will now see a decline in the quality of our art for the
> > next generation. The quality (overall) of music education in our
> > schools is terrible. <snip>


> All this started already 2 generations ago with the invention of the TV.

John Philip Sousa believed that it started with the invention of the
phonograph!

> A
> friend of mine calls it the idiot-box. What you observe in the classical
> music field, has happened in all disciplines. Ask a language professor about
> the proper use of grammar or a scientist or whoever, the brain has not
> developed more capabilities than to press buttons on the remote, any monkey
> could do it as well.

Yep.

> And then even in the good old times, music education has always been an
> elitarist hobby, I remember not too many of my classmates had lessons, and
> in the concerts I was the only one. Only seven years old I could know Mozart
> from Bach. And we were 52 pupils in the class at that time. It was the same
> with literature, I had boards full of books, but most classmates had not
> even one.
> So maybe your worry is not substancial, rather it will give the richer and
> educated people another opportunity to give their children an advantage...

But in this country, it hasn't been an elitist hobby since the 1950s at
least. During the last half of the 20th century, virtually all schools
had free teachers and free instruments to use.
As to your last paragraph, music should in no way be for the rich only.
Anonymous
June 25, 2005 6:29:51 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

"Ban" <bansuri@web.de> wrote in message
news:D 9fmcr026gd@news1.newsguy.com...
>
> All this started already 2 generations ago with the invention of the TV. A
> friend of mine calls it the idiot-box.

It needn't be any "idiot-box" if you tune it in to Leonard Bernstein's
"Young People's Concerts".
http://www.movie-pages.com/movie/leonard-bernstein-youn...
Anonymous
June 29, 2005 2:01:21 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

Jenn wrote:
>
>>The music schools still have plenty of students. They just come from
>>overseas now.
>
>
> Yes, they have plenty of students, but the quality is not what it was
> even 10 years ago, based on auditions, quality and depth of ensembles,
> etc.

I'm going to have to diagree with you on this point. At least so far as
it pertains to the serious music schools and the talent level of their
students.

My wife is a professional violinist. She plays both "modern" and baroque
violin. She works about 3/4ths of the season, as a sub, with the
San Francisco Ballet Orchestra. She also plays with the California
Symphony and does a lot of casuals here in the San Francisco area.
She plays baroque jobs with Magnificat and the San Francisco Bach Solists
organizations. She's also played and recorded with the Philharmonia
Baroque Orchestra.

For someone who's not a regular member of any orchestra, but only subs,
she works very steady. She probably works more than most any other
freelance player in the San Francisco area. As they like to say, freelance
players are members of the "Freeway Philharmonic".

Last year she auditioned for the SF Ballet Orchestra for a regular position.
Katie has been working professionally for about 30 years and is truly solid.
People know her work. But the two people who won the audition (there were
two openings) were both 25 years old and fresh out of school. A few years
ago the San Francisco Symphony had two openings in the violin section
and there were 450 applicants. The level of performance for even section
positions has risen drammtically over the past 25 years.

I agree that the general public is ignorant. Just look at who's getting
elected to office these days! But don't dispair. Great music is just another
form of Great Love, and Love is the most powerful and enduring force in
the world.

Coolness.

Russ
June 29, 2005 5:07:02 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

In article <d9shbh0jqq@news2.newsguy.com>,
Russ Button <russ@button.com> wrote:

> Jenn wrote:
> >
> >>The music schools still have plenty of students. They just come from
> >>overseas now.
> >
> >
> > Yes, they have plenty of students, but the quality is not what it was
> > even 10 years ago, based on auditions, quality and depth of ensembles,
> > etc.
>
> I'm going to have to diagree with you on this point.

No! You're not allowed! :-) Just kidding.....

> At least so far as
> it pertains to the serious music schools and the talent level of their
> students.

I'm making this judgement based partially on auditions at the Eastman
School, one of the two or three top conservatories in the country, and
at more "normal" places like state universities, etc.


>
> My wife is a professional violinist. She plays both "modern" and baroque
> violin. She works about 3/4ths of the season, as a sub, with the
> San Francisco Ballet Orchestra. She also plays with the California
> Symphony

Ah! My friend Barry Jekowsky!

> and does a lot of casuals here in the San Francisco area.
> She plays baroque jobs with Magnificat and the San Francisco Bach Solists
> organizations. She's also played and recorded with the Philharmonia
> Baroque Orchestra.

God, that's a kick ass ensemble! Great recordings on Harmonia Mundi.
>
> For someone who's not a regular member of any orchestra, but only subs,
> she works very steady. She probably works more than most any other
> freelance player in the San Francisco area. As they like to say, freelance
> players are members of the "Freeway Philharmonic".

Yeah, I know a lot of those SF players too...all great.
>
> Last year she auditioned for the SF Ballet Orchestra for a regular position.
> Katie has been working professionally for about 30 years and is truly solid.
> People know her work. But the two people who won the audition (there were
> two openings) were both 25 years old and fresh out of school. A few years
> ago the San Francisco Symphony had two openings in the violin section
> and there were 450 applicants. The level of performance for even section
> positions has risen drammtically over the past 25 years.

In the SFS, for sure. I think that they have to be in the top 5 in the
country now.

Yes, I agree; the competition is still plenty tough, to be sure. I
think that we are just beginning to see the problem. I hope that I'm
wrong, but I think that it's going to get much, much worse. We'll feel
the effects of those 6th graders who AREN'T playing in a few years.
>
> I agree that the general public is ignorant. Just look at who's getting
> elected to office these days! But don't dispair. Great music is just another
> form of Great Love, and Love is the most powerful and enduring force in
> the world.
>
> Coolness.

Right on. Best to you and your wife.
>
> Russ
Anonymous
August 1, 2005 7:39:54 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

"Harry Lavo" <hlavo@comcast.net> wrote in message
news:D 97li30mgs@news3.newsguy.com...
> "Jenn" <jennconducts@hotmail.com> wrote in message
> news:D 95cri0od9@news4.newsguy.com...
>> In article <d946f501q7m@news1.newsguy.com>,
>> "R. Stanton" <therstanton@verizon.net> wrote:
>>
> ..
>>
>> Agreed. If we value the sound of real, we had best support it.
>
> We can do that by buying more classical music and jazz, and
> differentiating
> between those that are better-recorded (i.e. more natural). And whereever
> possible, supporting those labels/reissues that do the same. Pop is
> another
> story, although even here there are better and worse recordings.
>
> We can also do that by stopping the dissing of hi-rez formats and starting
> to support them.

Even if they are in no audible way superior? What's the point of supporting
something that costs more and sounds the same?

The companies issuing in this format by and large pay much
> more attention to "natural" recording/mastering.
>
But do people hear it differently than they would the same recording done
with lower resolution, such as a standard CD? I know of no evidence that
says they do. In fact the evidence says that what's called "high rez" is
not audibly superior, or even different than the same recording in a lower
rez.
Anonymous
August 2, 2005 7:46:49 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

nyob123@peoplepc.com <NYOB123@peoplepc.com> wrote:
> "Harry Lavo" <hlavo@comcast.net> wrote in message
> news:D 97li30mgs@news3.newsguy.com...
> > "Jenn" <jennconducts@hotmail.com> wrote in message
> > news:D 95cri0od9@news4.newsguy.com...
> >> In article <d946f501q7m@news1.newsguy.com>,
> >> "R. Stanton" <therstanton@verizon.net> wrote:
> >>
> > ..
> >>
> >> Agreed. If we value the sound of real, we had best support it.
> >
> > We can do that by buying more classical music and jazz, and
> > differentiating
> > between those that are better-recorded (i.e. more natural). And whereever
> > possible, supporting those labels/reissues that do the same. Pop is
> > another
> > story, although even here there are better and worse recordings.
> >
> > We can also do that by stopping the dissing of hi-rez formats and starting
> > to support them.

> Even if they are in no audible way superior? What's the point of supporting
> something that costs more and sounds the same?

> The companies issuing in this format by and large pay much
> > more attention to "natural" recording/mastering.
> >
> But do people hear it differently than they would the same recording done
> with lower resolution, such as a standard CD? I know of no evidence that
> says they do. In fact the evidence says that what's called "high rez" is
> not audibly superior, or even different than the same recording in a lower
> rez.

So, if you want to get a version that is well-mastered, not overly
'clipressed', you have to buy into a new format that costs more too...even
though the well-mastered recording could have been released as a
plain old CD, with no audible difference.

Brilliant strategy, except it turns out that most people don't give that
much of a damn about whether a disc is 'well mastered' in this sense. So
SACD and DVD-A aren't succeeding on that basis.

Which leaves surround mixes...which can also be released on plain old DVD,
without most people noticing or caring about a sonic difference between
that and 'hi rez'. So SACD and DVD-A aren't succeeding on *that* basis
either.

--

-S
"You know what love really is? It's like you've swallowed a great big
secret. A warm wonderful secret that nobody else knows about." - 'Blame it
on Rio'
August 3, 2005 5:52:16 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

In article <dco4h901bf7@news2.newsguy.com>,

> In fact the evidence says that what's called "high rez" is
> > not audibly superior, or even different than the same recording in a lower
> > rez.

What evidence is that?
Anonymous
August 6, 2005 4:17:28 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

"nyob123@peoplepc.com" <NYOB123@peoplepc.com> wrote in message
news:D clfoa0mql@news3.newsguy.com...
> "Harry Lavo" <hlavo@comcast.net> wrote in message
> news:D 97li30mgs@news3.newsguy.com...
> > "Jenn" <jennconducts@hotmail.com> wrote in message
> > news:D 95cri0od9@news4.newsguy.com...
> >> In article <d946f501q7m@news1.newsguy.com>,
> >> "R. Stanton" <therstanton@verizon.net> wrote:
> >>
> > ..
> >>
> >> Agreed. If we value the sound of real, we had best support it.
> >
> > We can do that by buying more classical music and jazz, and
> > differentiating
> > between those that are better-recorded (i.e. more natural). And
whereever
> > possible, supporting those labels/reissues that do the same. Pop is
> > another
> > story, although even here there are better and worse recordings.
> >
> > We can also do that by stopping the dissing of hi-rez formats and
starting
> > to support them.
>
> Even if they are in no audible way superior? What's the point of
supporting
> something that costs more and sounds the same?


No hard evidence that they are audibly superior, or that they are the same.
Just judgements by people (the way most audio decisions are reached). And
there are a substantial number of us who believe it does sound more
analog-like than digital. As did the Sony engineers who made the original
decision to use it for archiving the catalog.


>
> The companies issuing in this format by and large pay much
> > more attention to "natural" recording/mastering.
> >


> But do people hear it differently than they would the same recording done
> with lower resolution, such as a standard CD? I know of no evidence that
> says they do. In fact the evidence says that what's called "high rez" is
> not audibly superior, or even different than the same recording in a lower
> rez.

No evidence either way...no definitive testing done. Why don't you just
state it as a hypothesis, rather than fact?
!