I was part of an audio club here in the Carolinas that started about 22 years ago. It’s still goes on today but founded by a different group. Most of the club members were older people who have been veteran audiophiles for many years. They had establish systems many of them were doctors and lawyers and other professionals who had built up fairly prestigious set ups over the years. We tried to recruit younger people and managed to get a few. Most of them were interested in multi channel systems and had receivers and more modest set ups. They found it interesting but was out of their reach, and many of the newcomers didn’t last long who were younger. I also think the advent of the iPod and other smaller systems has led to more personal listening then a room full of high-end equipment. I think your idea about a audiophile bar Is a great. But I can see many challenges with the partying crowd. A good way to attract people.. most people Who hear a good set up always comment that they never realized how good it can be.. a great way to expose people to high end
Too much background noise for audiophile type listening. No one wants to go to a bar / club and sit quietly. Live music is a better draw. Considering that most bands are running through the PA system now, the house could put together a very good system to run the band through. But in order to get optimum sound there would have to be lengthy sound checks which the local band might not be willing to spend the time, considering the $$$ most are paid.
Remember, the main objective of the business owner is to make a profit.. so many obstacles to conquer. It would have to be a labor of love.
I'm old but I remember my first time being exposed to a very hi-end system. I bought two $139 loudspeakers but my dealer loved to demo top systems so you could get a taste of what is possible. There are so few dealers with super hi-end sound today the task is much harder. Audio shows work but the sound can often be poor.
High end audio and booze?
Sounds like cats and dogs in the same cage.
With ONE food and water bowl, to boot!
hifi music and booze
i never ever considered that combination
i promise 🤞🤞🤞🤞🤞🤞
but i have heard others say that by the third goblet of aged ruby porto the snr of any system improves substantially... i have not personally verified...
It would never work.
Maybe in an Amsterdam coffee shop...
My neighbor plays art fairs, coffee shops, libraries, parks and bars. The only place that no one listens is....
you guessed it.
It seems to be a similar problem with golf. Everybody in the 90s ran around building golf courses and now a huge portion of them have failed. One of the funniest phone calls I ever got was from a guy who was the attorney for the land that a bunch of houses had for a golf course and they were going broke. The guy asked me if I could turn the golf course into a mountain bike park. I thought it was an awesome idea a lot of the homeowners weren’t so happy. It looks like that the greatest generation which they were very cool isn’t spreading around enough of the wealth to the grandkids to be able to afford to pay grounds fees and by balls and clubs. Now the whole industry is falling apart. I think audio is in a similar Situation. The young people love the staff but the best stuff is too expensive and they can’t afford it. Somethings Gotta give.
The younger generation today have no patience or interest in hi end or hobbies. I’m also into model railroading and the only people in the train stores are us older folks.
Concerning live music, my wife and I used to attend concerts at PNC Art center in NJ. The younger crowd would be standing and bullshitting instead of actually listening while the older folks got into the music.
Face it, most of the younger generation don’t care about quality music.
That is not true @ronrags my kids 3 of them have hobbies, dirt bikes, skateboarding, rock climbing,...All 3 are in their 20’s college graduates (one working on his PHD in ChemE) and all of them accomplished musicians.
One is into 2 channel audio and collects vinyl the other 2 are into extramarital sports.
Saying kids do not have hobbies is only your opinion as most do and they do not interest you.
While there are certainly some golf courses that should have never been built but implying that golf is overall on the decline is untrue. 2020 saw record rounds played. Bad golf courses and bad locations should fail, for many years golf course inventory continued to increase. It affects every business segment...respectfully, that could be akin to saying that restaurants are on the decline because 50% fail in the first year.
Additionally, there are alot of young people playing/picking up the game.
I would not put esoteric audio in the bar just a better sound system that my entice a younger crowd into the possibility of good sounding audio. Just like the listening bars that dill mentioned ( I was not aware of ). I agree it is a niche thing but I remember the first time I heard hifi I was quite young. That started a lifetime of audio. By today’s standards it was sh..
chicagoblue I’m in the suburbs of Chicago. If I’m right thank you for your service if not thanks to all the people on the front lines
Why don't audio stores have listening nights where music and equipment could be introduced. They may sell someone on a new lp or piece of audio gear.
Relax, most of this is simply due to the fact people early in life tend to be relatively poor, and with other more pressing needs. I was a total audiophile my whole life long, and yet hardly bought a thing or set foot in a store for a solid 15 years from 1976 until about 1991. If that is me, a dyed in the wool stone cold bona fide audiophile then for sure a lot more less determined are doing something like that. For the same reasons: getting married, finding a house, buying furniture, getting settled in a good job- are all way more important than having some good tunes. So remove the blinders, and relax.
Then if you still want to give serious consideration to the problem of interesting more and sooner, how about we talk a little turkey? Audiophiles are their own worst enemy. Time after time we focus on the equipment. And not all the equipment either but only the big items the retailers push at us.
What we should be doing, if we are serious about getting more people interested, is helping them learn to listen and appreciate whatever music it is that they now are listening to, in whatever format or with whatever equipment. In other words we should stop being an extension of the audio marketing complex and start acting like actual audiophiles.
In this I am not about to hold my breath. It would mean accepting the fact that everything matters. It takes zero money to try and hear the difference between speaker cables on the floor vs elevated above them. To try a book or ball or whatever under a component. There’s dozens of free or nearly free things everyone can try and when you do this you become both a better listener as well as an audiophile with a better system.
But yet when people like myself or mahgister do this we are attacked and mocked and held up to scorn and ridicule. So you want to do something positive? Attack and scorn and BAN the NON-audiophile loser wanna-bees who go after audiophiles for the "crime" of being genuine, sincere, and serious audiophiles.
On that score, cue Col Jessup: https://youtu.be/5j2F4VcBmeo?t=9
Why so angry? Its just a hifi site.
So you want to do something positive? Attack and scorn and BAN the NON-audiophile loser wanna-bees who go after audiophiles for the "crime" of being genuine, sincere, and serious audiophiles.
I agree with many things you say....BUT the agressive part not so much....
I would not have reacted to your post but you named me in your post and i must say that i disagree to ban or attack anyone, especially those with which i disagree...
I like to discuss, sometimes even if it is a bit rude, with ability to recognize my own defects and errors and at least be polite with all.... For sure sometimes harshness or stupidity ask for my answer and these answers are not always the best part coming from my soul but i try to be nice without being complacent to what appears wrong to me ....
My best to you and to all....
I don't think this is such a bad idea, but it needs to start with the bar-owners and bartenders. They are the ones who have to listen to what their system is spewing every night, and if they think a better system matters, they are more likely to influence customers that it's worth it to keep the better product in the bar. Maybe have a contest to see who can tell the diff between system A and system B? Nah, good luck with that...
I did not mean to diss the waitresses (or waiters); they are definitely in the category of "influiencers".
#OnlyFans of listening bars in Asia and LA / NY
I do not think it would get much traction in bars of, for example, U.S.A. Maybe caffes would be a better choice. There are places called "bars" in their localities around the world where the atmosphere may be a little different from what I have seen in the U.S.A. I have been to such a place named Vinyl and one named Hi-Fi or something along those lines. (I am almost, but not entirely, certain about that name). Both focused on serving drinks and whatever else in a heavily audio-themed environment. I doubt any patron went to the store, literally accross the street, and bought new equipment.
I used to go to a place, neither of those two mentioned above, where owner installed very decent system. Higher level Bowers and Wilkins speakers in all the rooms, whatever was "finer than what you expect in a caffe/bar" electronics, etc. He told me he spent so much time at work that he did it for himself so he could listen to finer sounds. Not for the crowd. Once the place filled up, you could not hear yourself thinking, much less nuances of mids or bass.
@millercarbon when it comes up, I tell the partner in the conversation that being an audiophile doesn’t have to cost a lot of money and if you want, you don’t need any equipment. If all you want to do is go to live shows and listen carefully and appreciate the music you are an audiophile in my book. But if you want to listen to Tidal or Qobuz red book with good but inexpensive chifi IEMs, and a AQ dragonfly on your iPhone and appreciate music and music discovery, then that person is also an audiophile. Of course, if your budget allows and you want a wiz bang system for the purpose of optimizing the reproduction of your music to the best of your abilities and wallet and enjoy music discovery and appreciation, then that person is also an audiophile. There are as we know, many variations around the above and in between. Heck, one might argue that sitting outside and carefully listening to the birds sing is something an audiophile would do.
@chicagoblue1977 and @schmitty1 I am in Chicagoland too. 😀
As far as putting books under the equipment, I have never thought of it as a sign of anything worth mentioning. I am proud to report that it seems that I used to do that before other posters in this thread set foot in an audio store. I used to have a tower (x2) of phone books as my speaker stands for years. Not because of cost (they were free), but because I could not find stands I would have liked. By the way, there was no difference in sound once I installed real stands. It was only harder to dust around them.
"I am in Chicagoland too."
It seems that the place to try the idea would be Chicago. Now it makes sense that AXPONA is there.
Just invite more younger folks (family members..friends with younger kids) over to hear your system. Play their music. Don't push the equipment...let them ask and keep it simple.
I have played listening sessions at places like this all over the world. It’s certainly not a new nor novel idea.
Bar Bridge, Tokyo
Brilliant Corners, London
Giant Steps, London
Potato Head, Hong Kong
Dynamic Range, Amsterdam
Jazz Blues Soul, Tokyo
Here’s a friend’s photo diary of some of them in Japan: https://instagram.com/jazz_kissa?igshid=1re7cyt5jesq7
At Shelter, all the people basically lied on the floor and watched a light show on the ceiling while I played trippy Jazz and ethereal music. System was JBL Everest, Accuphase, room treatments were exquisite. It’s my longtime favorite.https://youtu.be/qe5W7zvw10I
Aside from “bars” there is the obvious one, The Loft that began in 1969 and still goes on today (RIP David Mancuso) - he used a 4 corner Klipschorn set-up with Levinson amps, Mitch Cotter B1 turntables, Fidelity Research arms snd Koetsu styli.
One way NOT to encourage people about audio is to send them over to millercarbons house! lighten up Francis!!
I really appreciate the OPs spirit of wanting to introduce young people to great sound, and putting out an idea to consider.
My Insta-Tik Tok loving teenage daughter and her friends are fascinated by my record player. Whenever she has friends over I make it a point to put something on they’ll like, and CRANK it. Dr. Crankenstein!
A couple weeks ago my daughter asked for a turntable for her birthday, and her friends are bugging their parents for turntables. Yes they like the retro cool thing, but they LOVE the sound. You should see these girls drop their cell phones and sit perfectly still for 30 minutes, unprompted, listening to DSOTM, D2D Vivaldi Four Seasons, Arcade Fire, and weird Afro Beat stuff. It’s a joy.
On the bar idea, what comes to mind is Dim making farting noises at the woman in the Korova Milk Bar after her pure moment of the old Ludwig Van. I can imagine endless variations of that scene if someone tried to make a general-use bar into a high end listening space. And we all know how that turned out!
A dedicated listening bar could work but might be very tough to market and draw a crowd. And, if I’m going somewhere to explicitly listen, then I (and I think most people) would prefer to hear live music. Otherwise I’d think in a general use bar setting the music is more about atmosphere and maybe dancing, and isn’t really the main focus of the whole bar experience.
I mean, what’s not to love about a massive Peavey PA amp and some rockin QSC monitors?!
In Cambridge in the UK the Mill pub last year always had a 60s/ 70s stereograph (?) (didn't recognise the make but the SQ was very good and I think it had an Audio Technica cart) playing vinyl all day- there was a stack in the unit and the staff would keep it fed- great choice of tunes as well- I don't think many people appreciated it for me sitting there with a beautifully kept pint sitting next to it looking out over the river was close to perfection.
Perhaps it is the technology and the vast choices that are competing for their leisure time. Photography is suffering much the same fate with iphones replacing cameras and preset replace postprocessing.Times they are ah changing er ah have changed.
Music bars seriously not here no way unless you set them up in pot smoking lounges now your talking stoners and music pass the bong and turn up Santana.
FWIW, I think audiophiles obsess too much about the lack of new young blood in our hobby. Think about your own audiophile history. How old were you when you first subscribed to TAS or Stereophile? How old were you when you bought your first piece of genuine high end gear or speakers? In my case, all I knew was Stereo Review and mid fi gear until I was in my 30s. My first real speakers were purchased when I was 40. By then, I had a little more time and money, and the ability to learn about the hobby from the internet.
While the internet isn’t new to millennials, they are marrying later, buying their first homes later, and having kids later than my generation. So maybe it’s a wash. But when a person’s lifestyle changes from running around all the time to relaxing at home, they might begin to ask themselves, as I did when I hit 40, why not start to build a good system?
I saw some people like that when I worked briefly at a large audio and camera store in NYC. They were usually not that young and were clearly buying a home stereo system for the first time. I had little to offer beyond mid-fi, but they wanted something to listen to besides headphones. It made me think that our hobby will always be mainly for middle aged and older, mostly male, folk.
Hi end audio… all my life hi end audio was having the best system I could afford. And still is.
Moved out of the house at 18 and bought a Nikko receiver, Realistic speakers and a Garrard turntable. Worked at a gas station as a mechanic.
Been getting better slowly but surely.
Getting youth involved is letting them know you don’t need a Ferrari to enjoy a passion.
Enjoy the music. Oh yea Sly’s song “Sex Machine” got played a lot when I was that age… and sound stage was meaningless.
Small doses of alcohol makes your senses sharper. Booze even considered to be doping in such sport as shooting and archery... so if time to time you want a little boost of your hearing or perception nothing wrong with it. Some times a drink or two while listening could have effect similar to tube rolling :)
How old were you when you first subscribed to TAS or Stereophile? And the ability to learn about the hobby from the internet?
16 - early 2000's
To be an audiophile is not to own expensive components with great SQ but to have taste and ability of great music perception... both of my kids are audiophiles cause when they non intentionally listen to some of my music (most recent one is Sixteen Tons by The Platters and Handbrake by Micatone) they both was very curious who’s that singers and bands. The kids are 13 and 19 years old and they was very pleased with what they heard.
@dill I noticed the LA Bar photo has McIntosh equipment.
Last time I was in San Francisco I went to a wine bar / Tapas place right down near the ferries because the write-up about them talked about them having McIntosh in the place. It was true, but they were having a private gathering at the time. Hollow victory, but I'll be back to patronize the place.
I have yet to see a pair of stereo speakers in a home.
Dealers and manufacturers should chip in together to do some direct marketing. Direct mail and not email marketing. Invite people to an open house to discover music as a new entertainment platform. When is the last time you saw a TV commercial promoting hi-fi stereo. Sony, Samsung sure advertises on TV.
No matter why this hobby is not going anywhere. I sometimes wonder if people are allergic to music?
Not knew but it might be in your area and might be well accepted because most of them are but i would be afraid of ruining a high quality system in a bar setting for sure.
How many young people, like 27 and under, care about what bourbon they get when they go to a bar?
I just read about this gold bar in LA that has 8,000 albums and has a dj spin them on a nice system. Maybe the thinking needs to be shifted to coffee shops. I hear musicians playing in coffee shops and even Potbelly sandwich shops. Bring in some really nice speakers like KEF Reference 1 with a Kef KF92 sub and a killer integrated amp with some streaming. You could do a lot. With the NAD M33 you could do a quick Dirac setup for the location. It could sound amazing in almost any location. Like an Audiophile DJ. It could work. Maybe an art gallery. The artists could even pick tracks to stream that go with the theme.
No one has mentioned the DJ phenomenon, which has been around for awhile. Massive crowds listening at rock concert sound levels through (I assume) accurate, full-frequency systems.
I believe most young people value mobility, and they switch jobs frequently, so a bulky audio system is a liability.
My system is much-admired by the youth of today, but not one of them has ever asked how much or where to get something similar. Additionally, the availability of music is astonishing…I had to scrape money to buy ONE LP, agonizing over which one. Nowadays almost ANY song/album is merely a click away….which fits the instant gratification mindset currently common. The trade off in sound quality is easily forgotten.
I believe us audiophiles are and always will be a subset of society, and they’ll seek out the best they can afford.
Postscript: bars are frequently robbed and a high-end audio system would certainly offer a temptation.