Brainstorm Thursday. Are we approaching the Audiophile Singularity?


With how advanced computers, materials and manufacturing processes are becoming are we heading toward a time when everything will sound great but kind of the same? In pursuit of chasing measurements on paper and computer screens are we forcing sound into anemic territories? Or is flat is flat is flat is flat? 
Nothing to get serious about this is more for s's and giggles. Feel free to add any other brainstorming audio thoughts that could be fun to discuss! 

Measurebators and scope jockeys are indeed quite good at reducing everything they touch to into a sort of bland mediocrity.
Yes we are in the sense that vanilla is the most popular flavor,  but that doesn't mean there is no room for others.  Variety is the spice of life.   I prefer to leave it to the recording and room to provide my listening variety, not so much the gear.   Good is good, right is right and the rest is just off somehow.
NoEverybody hears differently and enjoys divergent sounds. 
A pox upon sameness.
There's Us and Them, and then there is THEMUS!

That's right, a little of this, and a little of that, makes me a happy old fellow.

I love garlic, not everybody does.. :-)

Some people likes Twiggy, some people like Raquel Welch! Some people like BOTH and a FEW that don't like either.. Their loss..

Regards
We're past it with DACs and amplifiers. Speakers the next frontier. 
With how advanced computers, materials and manufacturing processes are becoming are we heading toward a time when everything will sound great but kind of the same?

I can point to a number of brands which have lost their color in recent memory, but I can also point to a number which have not or which are pushing the envelope for distinctive sound signatures.

Speaker driver technology, subwoofers and better automatic room correction are not making things flat, but glorious, enabling modest systems to sound like giants.

I think there will always be some neutral point equipment dances around, and a variety of solutions especially in the speaker arena. I'm not worried about a singularity vanquishing variety any time soon.

Yup soon it will be like HD TVs. Except some will find all the detail and contrast irritating. Then digital signal processing options will take care of that as well. A little blur here, some softness there, some extra nice harmonics or contrast/dynamics and look ma, no tubes!
Even planting the best chip in our heads the brains would have different processing.

G
As long as there is a market for high end audio we will continue to see companies developing equipment that brings us closer to the "live" experience. I don't see that going away anytime soon since there are many people who appreciate that "live" experience in the comfort of there own homes. That said, the attack on the advancement of high end audio will continue by those who can't afford it or choose not to. It's been going on for a very long time. 

All the best     
I agree with djones51. Preamps/amps/DACs have achieved equivalence. Speakers remain the largest source of distortion and "coloration".
I agree with djones51. Preamps/amps/DACs have achieved equivalence.”

I prefer to see these as “solved problems”. The business of Hi-Fi should be faithful reproduction. Distinctive flavors and personal tastes can always be added at the end with DSP. My favorite ice cream is Rum Raisin but I got to admit, it is just vanilla with a serving of rum and raisin added. So let us start with the best vanilla and add whatever we prefer at the end.
Measurements shmezurements....I can care less, as long as it sounds good to me. Too many of these measurement geeks appearing on you tube and else where. Constantly trying to debunk sound differences people claim to hear. It is predominantly catered to speaker cables and interconnects etc...they are hell bent on proving there is no difference and that we are all stupid and wasting our money. 
I’m not really a measurement guy because:
  • I cannot afford the technology to investigate the measurements
  • I trust my ears
But there are a couple of measurements that I have come across which allowed me to explain the why’s of a couple of aspects of this hobby.

e.g.
why does one cable sound more dynamic than another
- "generally" because of the metals used, which translates to CONDUCTANCE - they simply convey the signal faster
why does one cable reproduce the image better than another
- "generally" because of the Geometry of the cable and the lower DIELECTRIC CONSTANT of the insulation material used - i.e. a well designed cables will convey a "cleaner" signal, which builds a more complete image

Combining these "discoveries" of Metallurgy, Geometry and Dielectric Constant allowed me to build some amazing cables.

But up until the last 4-5 years - I had not been clued in to these aspects of cable design and what they can do for a cable

Now it’s not quite "that simple", but it’s about 80% of "my cable journey"

So from my perspective - the "measurements guys" often provide a valuable contribution - even though they might not FULLY understand the full impact of the measurement.


Always brainstormin - Steve
@williewonka 

You’re absolutely right. Nothing happens without measurements. My problem with the measurement guys is that they think it’s the last word   But their problem is that they don’t know what they don’t know. I hope that one day we will be able to look at a specs sheet and know all that there is to know about a piece of gear but we are not there yet unfortunately. I want to know about the specs as much as the next guy but I also want to listen. My ears are the last and final arbiter. 
@millercarbon
 Measurebators sure created an influx of amazing ads, yeah baby yeah!

Regards,
barts
Years and years ago the default for most listeners was a poor quality and distorted sound, and the exception was revealing accuracy and low distortion.  The hobby was to push out of distortion and get as close as possible to accuracy. 
It seems what is happening now is a switch of the defaults. 
It is easy and cheap to get very very accurate, high quality, low distortion, revealing sound.  So of course the hobby has pivoted - it now chases its preferred distortion. The big money is spent on kit which deliberately distorts but in a way that some really like. 
The one area yet to pivot is speakers. This always was by far the most critical, and most inherently flawed, link in the chain. Differences between speakers still massively dwarf any choices made anywhere else in the chain. Nobody yet, I think, is deliberately selecting speakers to build distortions in like the way they select (for example) a tube amp, are they?
How about college football players that crush it in the combine,and flat out suck in the NFL? They sure "measured" well,but seem to be missing some intangible.  I think measurements can probably get you pointed in the right direction,but I think intangibles exist everywhere. Just my 1 1/2 cents. 
"are we heading toward a time when everything will sound great but kind of the same?"

Maggies and e.g. JBL speakers are both popular so little danger of that.
Wow I wish I knew what  your talking about.
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