Isn't a wondeful time to be an audiophile?


With all the new lower or intro priced vs. performance gear coming out recently. And with choices of sources, CD/ Streaming. I'm just thinking of how it must be for the newly converted. I started out back in the mid seventies. Let's see,if I remember correctly - Phono, Linn. Ortophon Dynevector Audio Technica?  Reel to Reel, Cassette. Dolby filters. Ohm's F, Snell, JBL speakers. Just to name a few. But I am impressed with the performance vs. price ratio of some of the new gear I've heard. For which ever reason, technical, marketing, production. There are certainly I believe not only more products to choose from but the choices are more affordable as well.
joes44
@joes44  I 100% agree with you; I say this all the time myself. From the vastness of  music catalogs available to stream via great quality sources, to the low cost, high quality digital components, to the affordable high performing, efficient speakers that are now available, one can build a super system for a small outlay of $$… IT IS A GREAT TIME!
I preferred the 1970s, but I’m a music lover, not an audiophile, so that may come into play.

Hi end analog is still expensive, and I wouldn't give you 2 cents for low end analog, but they're still trying to turn a sows ear into a silk purse, or something like that.

It seems to me, everyone is trying to lure people into buying records and record players. Why did people who had records and record players go to CD in the first place?

That's a rhetorical question.
Not only can things get better, they are right here and right now.
So much great sounding equipment without the Uber stupid prices.
I don't care how much better a $20000 1.5m Inter connect will make my system sound, I would rather treat my good lady to a new car....

Blow it out your bagpipes!
I've been into audio since the '70s and think that it's been a great time to be an audiophile ever since.
Why did people who had records and record players go to CD in the first place?  orpheus10.
You know what the real shame of it is? after all the time and money they spent on those albums they literally threw them away for pennies on the dollar.
geoffkait13,981 posts02-22-2019 1:47pmBlow it out your bagpipes!
LOL


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what I'm enjoying is the quality and availability of current production tubes that match or surpass NOS
I got on board in the early 80’s, a very exciting time. The digital promise was on the horizon and the disco craze was pretty much dead. Stereophile was J Gordon Holt. Ah yes and Stereo Review loved everything! Yet the one thing that made time great for me, I was younger and my hearing was better.
Better CD players, better turntables, better amps, hi-res, streaming, many kinds of speakers to choose from. Music access anywhere and virtually anything. The comeback of tube amps......yes, YES it is a wonderful time to be an audiophile.
Another aspect - When I got started in the 60s, there was very little used equipment and no good way to become aware of any. You were forced to buy new. Today we have the internet and sales forums everywhere, as well as Ebay. So much great equipment at reasonable prices (especially speakers.) It is almost an embarrassment of riches.
I think that for the princely  sum of $500ish  even much less for any component can yield excellent results. Such as Elac, Schiit, Bluesound, Rega, Pro-ject, Audioquest, even the Magnepan MMGi's at  just $660 are seriously good value of the coin. Need more bass? get a Rythmic sub, or SVS etc.
Hyperbole systems? ya can stick 'em, up yer jacksie.......lol
 
New technologies and circuit advancements have really empowered gifted designers to create equipment that enables our music. A new technology such as the concepts employed by Tim Mrock at PerfectPath Technologies are revealing a new, previously obscured detail in music for those using TC contact enhancer, E Mats and E Cards.  "The Gate" is coming soon.  Anticipation! 😮 Yes, these are good times to be an audiophile!

Joe, after a number of parties over the years, some of those albums were not in the best shape; I'm still replacing old albums with new ones, plus, older audiophiles are well aware of the fact that only a "hi-end" analog rig can beat their digital, and they also know how much that can cost.

We're not talking about new kids on the block.
It is an amazing time to be into audio.  I am not certain what makes an audiophile, but I bought my first system with separate amp, tuner, 3 way speakers, reel to reel about 50 years ago.

That was the move from the record player with cheap cheesy speakers to what I considered serious audio.

It has bee a long journey since, and about 15 years ago I had some success with my rare coin hobby and some real estate that turned out well and I got back into quality audio gear.

The choices available today are amazing.  While the highest end has gone crazy in terms of cost, serious stuff is out there that can make Eva Cassidy sound like she is standing in the room singing to you and it can be acquired over time.  Used equipment is a great value if you know what you are buying.   

And the great part is that you can upgrade one piece at a time as funds permit.  I ran thru a number of amps before getting my “keeper” pair of mono blocks.

My only regret is too many live concerts and the high end of my hearing is shot - hint, ear protection when it is LOUD.
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It is a great time to be alive if you're a music lover. There is soooo much music out there available to us. New & used. 

I concur. Have been into music and equipment since the early/mid 70’s, (well, buying it for myself), and it seems the quality of equipment vs the relative cost can be much easier achieved today. 


I’m a big fan of buying used and do not need, or can financially justify, the latest and greatest to be satisfied. And if I am not satisfied, flipping or selling or purchasing used quality equipment is so much easier today. I recently bought a pair of Vandersteen 2CE Sigs for $575. A steal, and personally the type of sound I enjoy. I easily flipped my used Adcom 545 for a used $220 B&K ST120.2 amp to gain a bit more power for the 2CE’s vs my previously purchased used Vandersteen 1CE’s (which I still have and bought for $435). I really like the B&K a lot vs the Adcom; for a little over $200, a very good deal and a ‘sweet’ amp. Bought a used Yamaha 1040 blue ray/CD player for a very reasonable amount which basically acts as my transport, as I run my CD’s (and also files and Tidal) through an almost mint older used PS Audio DigiLink III DAC; a very good purchase, and do not mind its age vs the overall quality of the unit. Much better than the internal Yamaha DAC. Most of my interconnects are from Blue Jeans, and cannot complain as the quality to cost is very good as well. 


I’m sitting here listening to one of the 14 CD’s from The Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Anthology #6 box set I bought ‘used’ for $60. It just came today, and turns out it is brand new and unopened. 14 brand new CD’s from one of the all time best orchestras for $60? Incredible deal. 


In total my main current set-up has cost me right around $2K, and am at times amazed by it’s overall sound quality vs my set-up in the 70/80’s. It wasn’t long ago I was looking to easily spend that much or more for new speakers alone, then came the opportunity for the 2CE’s and my search was over, for the time being. No, I haven’t hooked up my turntable in years, tempted, but haven’t. So I have boxes of vinyl which are still stored away. When you can pick-up used CD’s for a fraction of what they cost new in the 80/90’s, (let alone what good vinyl costs today), or the ability to check out a ton of undiscovered music via Tidal for $20 per month, along with the ability to get very good sound through the PS Audio DAC, I think I’m more than pleased overall with the music and the easily available and affordable quality equipment today than ever before.


It is a very enjoyable time to be an audiophile. There is really something for everyone and every budget. I started listening to music back in the late 60’s on a Panasonic AM radio with a single earphone listening to the AM top 40 hits as I was going to sleep. In the 70’s, I got, likely for a birthday present my first real audio setup from Tech Hifi. I had a Philips GA212 with those cool elevator light switches with a cheap AT cartridge. I had a Sansui 661 Receiver and a pair of EPI 120 speakers that sat on the shag carpet floor!  I worked a winter break steam cleaning cookie sheets to go back to Tech Hifi and buy a Technics cassette deck. We have seen vinyl and cassette replaced by CD and digital. CD is dying because digital cannabilized CDs making their product no different than the one you can stream. This made vinyl special again. I have a CD Transport now only to play the CDs I already have. But otherwise my music money goes either in streaming subscriptions or new/old vinyl. We now have systems that are audiophile quality and portable for streaming and the listening room equipment technology has advanced so much. I could go on and on, but, it is a great time to be an audiophile. Instead of the Sansui, I now have Bryston components. Instead of the EPIs, now I have Magnepans. No cassette deck. Now an NAD streamer ripper. No Philips. Now a VPI with Ortofon 2M Black and ADS. I am in love with my system and the music loving hobby is stronger than ever. 

joes44

It is a great time!  Happy Listening!

It's a terrible time to be an audiophile, only the most dedicated and stoic of us will remain true to the cause.
Everything is recorded in digital, really good equipment is very expensive new and used, no good new music, a lot of self-absorbed snobs buying up whatever looks good to them, equipment reviews are more useless than ever.
Most audiophiles start feeling their age and few are coming to take it over, though there are some, so there is hope.

Yes there is concern for the future of this hobby, but why worry about something you don't have control over. Truth is its a great time to be an audiophile.
There is so much great sounding equipment, Even a lot entry level equipment sounds better than ever.
Lets not forget about the wide choice of music and music formats available, which is the heart of this hobby, isn't i?  Whether you prefer old vinyl, reissues, CD, streaming or reel to reel, its all out there. BTW, lets stop arguing about which format is better people, life's to short.
As so many have said, it’s a good time to be an audiophile. With so many 60+ longtime audiophiles retiring, many are downsizing. They realize that they can’t take it with them and are willing to part with some great equipment at prices much lower than MSRP.
OK, Now all the yea sayers please collect your parting gifts and move over to the right if you please. As for the naysayers please move over to the left against the wall and stand perfectly still,,,,No really I'm glad of ALL of the responses I've gotten but I was trying to compare then from now. Back then as far as the equipment is / was concerned, the choices were fewer and you'd have to make a more of a stark decision either this or that, price vs features pick A or B. As far as the music is concerned . Back then, 1) I would have to listen to my favorite radio stations. Hear what I like and based on that ONE song, 2) go out to the record store, 3) buy the album and hope I liked more than that ONE song, $7.00 for one song or $7.00 for ten songs. Now with Tidal. I checked out Nora Jones for example. Listened to ALL of her albums and finally came down to 5 songs that I really like and listen to and will listen to again. All for the low low price of $20.00/month. And that just one artist. I don't have to go to the store in inclement weather, wait in line and hope I'll like the whole album.  More of my time is spent on listening and enjoying music. thanx again.
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My greatest jaw drop at last year's Axpona was Elac's entry-level system.  Sound per Pound/$ was off the charts.

Also like the curated digital playlist, which is a great step forward from the record producer, disc jockey, and star-maker machinery.  But artists need to be compensated fairly.
With many components relatively cheap now, one can afford to take a chance without fear of losing to much money on passing it on if it does not suit one's taste. I bought an N150 Powernode for $299 and a Node N100 for $199 both on special and they are both very satisfying in sound quality and were well worth the gamble/risk. 
elizabeth  Music was only what was played on the AM stations.
Not true. maybe in the sixties but not in the late seventies. I listened to alternative rock stations  WBCN & WFNX. & WBUR  eg. .  punk was just starting out and at the time and especially WBUR Boston University would play demo tapes or record singles that a new band would come out with before the official release or even record contract. Blondie, Ramones, the Cars, Dead Kennedys, Black Flag, X Ray Specs. ect. ect. So at the time we would call each other or tape it and share it with friends waiting for the album, we were ahead of the curve.
it really helps to have a stuffed wallet.
Helps - yes, most important - no.
My system, the entire system, cost about ten bucks. Is that wrong? Actually, I have two systems, one analog, one CD. Total cost twenty bucks. Am I damned to hell? 😳
One thing I think may be a bit different today is that when I went to college, everyone listened to music.  Whether played on a cheap grind o matic stereo or a decent for the day component system, we all listened to each other’s favorites from 68-72.   

I was introduced to Jethro Tull, early Steve Miller while sharing Janis Joplin, Cream, Allman Bros, then hearing Roberta Flack, etc.  It went on and on as the men and women in my social circle all owned albums.  Everyone seemed to have a different favorite and we all grew as a result.   I am not certain that goes on as much these days.

I view the term audiophile as a lover of good music.  We all have different budgets and situations.  Now that the statute of limitations has passed, I have many funny and interesting stories from those times.

I also agree with Elizabeth about newbies and the information they receive regarding gear.   My system has been stable for a while, but there seems to be a proliferation of new equipment and technology in the past number of years.
The other thing about AM was the sound "quality" would frequently get fuzzy at night. Didn't stop me from making mixed tapes though. 
A great time to be an audiophile, and a seemingly bad time to be inna. From my KLH Model 20 I bought in 1970 or something (had a groovy portable Sears rig before that, as my income when younger generally went to poor musician needs), to the amazingly high resolution gear I own now, it's a straight line upwards in the quality of the musical experience. I own used gear that displays an astonishingly high level of musicality, and some newer bits here and there that are relatively inexpensive and sound amazingly good. If any young person is put off by the wealth of information displayed on this or any other hobbyist site, they must be very young or have been kept away from a computer by luddite-like forces, because that's how all things worth knowing about (and some that simply are nonsense) are these days. I'm in a prolonged late life beatnik phase that's led me to more serious jazz both as someone who likes it, and, luckily, someone who mixes live concerts and attends shows here and there. Listen to "Band Menu" by Bill Stewart and if you don't think it's amazingly well recorded stuff, there is simply something wrong with you, or you're unable to assemble a listenable system. Period. So keep grousing "innas of the world," and I'll happily keep enjoying the art that's there for everybody to be enriched by.
I could've mentioned positive points as well but I knew others would.
As for whether or not or both it is good or bad time to be inna, it is a fascinating subject but outside this discussion.
One thing is certain, you can be audiophile in any time period.
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As far as formats go....with some care taken with your choice of equipment they all can sound incredible. Alot of today's mid priced gear smokes the best of what was offered in the 70/80s. Endless music choices at our fingertips is a blessing and a curse. Part of the joy for me is getting off my fat butt and go hunting for the gems for a steal...music and gear. I'm thrilled with my carefully chosen 2.5k system that gives me chills and makes me smile everyday. P.S. speaker break in is a real thing as I have witnessed it with my jbl studio 590s after many hours of playing last week they suddenly came to life and opened....it was a real pants crapping moment...DH
DH----sorry about your pants.
I have collected quite a bit of gear and enjoy the newer and legacy formats. I still love my turntables and CD/SACD players! I also enjoy Tidal streamed over my Sonos Connects (CD Quality). I have several upgraded iPod classics that I play (IAFF lossless) through Wadia and Arcam docks. I know that I am way behind the digital/streaming curve, but enjoy my music nonetheless. It is a great time to be an audiophile, but I miss many of the stores that are no longer with us. When traveling, I used to visit so many stores around the country. I always tried to find something to buy. While I still enjoy my favorite local stores (few and far between), It has become difficult to see and hear the wide variety of equipment that used to be available.
OP:

Yes, yes it is.  When I also consider the quantity, quality, value and ease of transaction in the used, on-line market, I am like a kid in the candy store.
The biggest downside to sensitizing your ears via music is ambient noise. For example, diesel-powered street plows, coffee shops with bad acoustics, people speaking in shrill voices, etc. For these, there ought to be a law.
Plenty of laws already / Perhaps ear-plugs
Or at the very least new pants for our audio brother DH
The golden age for audiophiles began in the late 70’s and ended around 1981. There was only one focus: to make the most faithfully reproductive system in the analog domain. The digital age was only a distraction.