Nope sitting here thinking how good Miles Davis is sounding and wondering what's made you so grim this evening my friend? I say either have a drink......or stop drinking, but whatever you do stop thinking so damn much!
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We will not vanish without a trace. Some younger people do appreciate good music and analog equipment, including big speakers, amps, turntables and even RTR decks. Not many but they are there.
Often those younger people, and not so young for that matter, simply don't have space and that kind of money. I don't have space for big monoblocks even if I could find a few thousands to get those older Rowlands, Gryphons or Lamms used. I can't just put either speakers or those monos in the middle of the living room. I might be able to accomodate a big stereo amp, barely.
However, yeah, most are wired digiheads spending a lot on car stereo instead of tuning their cars and get performance suspension, brakes and tires.
So, it's not that gloomy. Yet.
I think you're right. The audiophile fascination with 300lbs plus loudspeakers and 100lbs amplifiers has no appeal to the general population, particularly younger people. On-line audio forums are something of an echo chamber which can lead some participants to believe their behavior and attitudes are widely shared.
Most of the comments here are about how the commenter feels. And rightly so. I'm sure most of you think it' absurd to give up your expensive toys, so do I. But that's not what's in question here.
The OP has a point, and a good one at that. Millenials aren't going to give two s*&ts about high performance audio. Especially the big, expensive stuff.
When I make changes in my system I rely in part on the ears of my 28-year-old son. He can hear well in every sense. I like to think that when he has the bucks he'll invest in a good system. We'll see (of course, when I was his age I had gone through countless Mac pre-amps, a few amps and several pairs of speakers).
If audio had the advertising budget of modern day electronics (iPhones, laptops, etc.) we'd all be talking a different tune. One can't count the number of TV, radio and print ads we see and hear on a daily basis that hawk those goods.
We forget we live in our own little universe, dwarfed by a much bigger one that has the resources to bombard these 'kids' with the benefit of their wares.
All the best,
Kids with advanced educations may find themselves too much in debt from loans for such frills.
Good for them for finding new workable ways to listen to music. It does not take much these days really especially if earphones suit you.
One the bright side a major breakthrough with my 14 year old daughter who loves her iPhone and shows 0 interest in my hifi. I played Michael Jackson for her on one of my setups and she took notice. Having the album art up on the big screen hdtv helped. 👌
I recently assembled a vintage system for my son and daughter-in-law. 40 year old Pioneer integrated and tuner, Sonograph CD and Fried speakers. He is thrilled, his wife even more so. So there's hope. Assembled a system for my daughter and son-in-law as well with Classe integrated, Theta CD, and NHT speakers. She listens to her ipad instead and her husband doesn't listen to anything. So there's no hope there. Kids these days-who knows what they want? They can do whatever they want with my systems when I play the last note.
Mapman, I suspect that you are wrong. I would guess that your daughter really likes your hi-fi. She just knows too well that it can't be hers.
By the way, I don't know about iphone but Samsung Galaxy4 phone sounds better than ipod and at least equal to ipad-mini with Grado sr225e phones. No, I don't use either of those, my relatives do.
It's a big world and audio does not necessarily revolve around the U.S.A.. There will always be a niche for the ultimate in anything. Physics dictate that some aspects of audio reproduction must be of a certain size for it to function properly. I'm not overly impressed by a Chevy Suburban, but it may be the most logical choice for my next vehicle.
The audiophile hobby attracts a different breed of cat. It's not for normal people. If you don't believe me, just go to an audio show and take a good look around.
We're also a fairly tightly knit group. Many of us have like minded friends all across the country that we keep in touch with on a regular basis.
One question .... where are the women?? See what I mean? Not for normal people.
Okay, don't shoot the messenger. Anyone interested in facing the fact that the catalyst or driving force in the development of the technology has come to fruition? In fact it's way past it's due date. I'm being as gentle as I can here...been there, done that. If American Idol was premiering in 1968, who and what would they be showcasing?
It's over, folks.
They used to call it the "generation gap." Life simply moves much faster today than during the golden age of hi-fi. If you have children, you understand what I mean. The younger generation has had to make choices on balance in their lives and there isn't time for sitting in the sweet-spot, admiring the sound quality of their audio system. Music has been relegated to ipods and downloads while surfing the web. Don't hold it against them! Personally, I'm spending a lot more time listening to my Stax 009s than my main system, due to time constraints. The best proof that this phenomenon is not unique to me is the rise in popularity of headphones.
Tonykay nailed it. However I do think there are many young folks who would get into this if they had the money but lets face it guys the price of admission is getting higher and higher. Thats not to say that that there isnt alot of good entry level gear being made these days but to get a taste of what the upper end has to offer is just plain out of reach for not only young people but even for those in their middle ages and beyond.
It's interesting to me that when I used to go into certain hifi shops in minneapolis where the systems set up costs tens of thousands of dollars, the demographic was usually older white successful men discussing cables and tubes vs solid state etc with the sales staff. But everytime I went into the needle doctor where the systems set up were much more affordable, the staff and clientele were much younger and the topic of conversation was usually music and live shows that were happening in the metro area.
To me thats what this is all really about the enjoyment of music by any means one can afford. As dpatterson said who cares about how big the boxes are, hell I wish I had an Ipad and some beats back in the day bet it would of sounded better than the crappy sound design stereo I saved up all summer to buy.
It's not just younger people. In 2003 I reunited with an old friend I hadn't seen since '79, and upon seeing the pair of Infinity RS-1b's I had at the time he said "Ya know, people don't have big speakers anymore". To which I replied "They never did". He's a typical musician, having listened to cassette tapes on a boombox in the old days, and to CD's and You Tube videos on his computer now.
Because "cassette" is more difficult to pronounce than "ipad". Principle of simplicity, sort of.
I also remember my $100 Technics direct drive turntable, that despite all its flaws could get you into the recording. And I didn't even bother to clean the records then.
It's ridiculous how those i-devices sound - they can't get a single note right. Or rhythm, for that matter.
... Innocent question: why did vinyl LPs go by the wayside? Please remind us.
The primary appeal of CDs over LP was convenience. The CD is compact, and the players are plug 'n' play.
A secondary appeal was price. Compared to a fine turntable/pickup arm/cartridge/phono preamp combo, even the first CD players were inexpensive.
On a related topic I find listening to YouTube on Mr. IPad the sound can be quite good actually, but a function of whether the video is HD or whatever. Check out for example the Slash/Ron Wood (note slash after the name Slash) rendition of Stay with Me, the old Faces chestnut. Or Live Beck doing Loser at some huge outdoor venue. AC/DC live in Paris is pretty awesome, too.