Thursday, September 03, 2009

Audiophiles often bemoan the lack of a younger generation of audio enthusiasts. To be honest it's all a bit like Chicken Little claiming that the sky is falling. High end audio has always been a niche product and there is a good chance it always will be a niche product. However, the next generation of audiophiles are being created at this very moment by two completely different driving forces, the resurgence of the vinyl record and the iPod.

With records the kids are finding that they need help with turntables which leads them to stumble into the various on line audiophile forums and learn about much more than just how to properly set up a turntable and to care for vinyl. They are being indoctrinated on what to listen for in speakers, how to choose the proper amplification, and many more esoteric topics.

The iPod has made listening to music cool again and many of those kids are discovering the included headphones leave much to be desired and they are upgrading. When doing research on which new cans or ear buds they should get they are also learning about how to properly rip and encode digital music.

Below is a video about a young man that's fallen in love with records and reproduced sound. Hopefully this hobby will bring him many years of joy.

7 comments:

Great video said...

Great post

Anonymous said...

where can i foud it with sound

audioexplorer said...

Anonymous-

The sound works fine on my computer

halfcuban said...

Well, to be honest, I believe the lack of interest in audiophile stuff is also a result of the type of music we're listening to; as a young vinyl collector, my vinyl collection is almost entirely of 80's and early 90's punk and small label bands. There is no way I am going to spend more on my sound system then the bands in question spent on MAKING their records. That doesn't mean I have or want a crap system, but that I'm not buying a 80K monstrosity either. There is a law of diminishing returns here, where it makes no sense to continue to invest thousands into something that is not significantly different.

audioexplorer said...

Halfcuban-

A great system makes almost everything sound more accurate to the original (hence better) regardless of the quality level of the recording. Almost none of the music that I listen to is specifically recorded for playback on grand audiophile systems. My system even makes 1930's blues recorded direct to acetate records sound more enjoyable.

halfcuban said...

"A great system makes almost everything sound more accurate to the original (hence better) regardless of the quality level of the recording."

I disagree with this, and consider this an example of the kind of artifice that revolves around trying to achieve something "more accurate to the original". Most of the descriptions of sound "picture", of hearing the "air", and other such things are mostly a result of the electronics that they are played on, and are not representative of whether or not the original artist intended for there to be such elements in the mix.

Taking an album out of my collection for example, say Surfer Rosa, I can use my mixer to make Frank Black sound more prominent in the mix, etc. but that would defeat the purpose of the original mix, which was to stuff the vocals down. The Libertines second album is another example, where the lead guitar is far lower in volume then the rhythm and swings in and out of the mix wildly. Again, I could change some settings have it all more pronounced in the center, but that would defeat the original purpose.

People, obviously, can spend and do what they want. But the idea that having a better "picture" of the audio is, by definition, closer to the intent of the artist is not necessarily true.

audioexplorer said...

Halfcuban-

There are certainly those audiophiles that are looking to put together a system to make the music sound they way that they want. But some of us really want the most accurate presentation warts and all. After all the limitations of a recording are part of that recording. Personally, I don't want a system that apologizes or exaggerates them. Just present them and the rest of the recording.