Have we witnessed the death of the audiophile? ...

bykfixer

Flashaholic
Joined
Aug 9, 2015
Messages
20,579
Location
Dust in the Wind
I believe with the technology available these days, the lines have gotten so blurred it's easy to get away with less than audiophile sound quality. Computer generated algorithms provide sound not available before. With all of that I still prefer the sound my old B&O turntable over anything digital. In the meantime I can plug two wireless ear buds into my ears, turn on the pass through feature (or isolate) and listen to pretty good sounding MP3's from a little card the size of my pinky nail plugged into a device that fits into my shirt pocket. If I want improved audio quality I can switch the wireless transmitter out for nice wires.
 

idleprocess

Flashaholic
Joined
Feb 29, 2004
Messages
7,197
Location
decamped
+

I use them plugged into my laptop,
without incurring hearing damage, there is no way I could possibly turn them up (notebook volume) all the way.
No amp needed.

Impedance~ 32 ohm
Sensitivity~ 98 dB
Good to know. However I still need that isolation in the open office hellscape environment I most often use headphones in.
 

IMA SOL MAN

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
May 18, 2023
Messages
2,125
Location
The HEART of the USA.
I used to be an audiophile, but my tinnitus these days probably makes it a less practical thing. I don't even listen to music anymore that much.
^^^^
This.

I was all into audio when I was a teenager, poured over copies of Stereo Review magazine and other stereo rags. I had good ears then. Put a nice sound system in my car (Dolby capable!) and that was as far as it got. Got into guns, and my first acquisition I couldn't wait to shoot. Got to my shooting location, and I had forgotten my ear protection! Shot it anyway. Baaaad idea! Hearing messed up for over an hour. Tinnitus ever since. So, my audiophile knowledge kind of quit ca. 1978-1980, somewhere around there. Last real audio acquisition was probably a SONY boombox (what we called a ghetto blaster, back then) probably about mid-1980's, I guess. I still have it, the tuner and CD player still works, but the cassette deck doesn't, probably needs new drive belts and rubber wheels. Don't think it will get repaired by me.

I don't think that I am missing too much. I always wanted a nice setup, vertical turntable, Marantz, MacIntosh, Nakamichi, Teac, Bose, etc., but honestly, I doubt that I could hear the difference much now that I'm over 60. I have hearing trouble with words, and should get hearing aids--that will be the next "audio" purchase goal, not a stereo, unfortunately. In the meantime, there is youtube and my PC. I just turn up the volume, much to my family's dismay! Doors get shut more often, HA!
 

ampdude

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Apr 7, 2007
Messages
4,622
Location
USA
My tinnitus is from guns, explosions, and loud concerts. I still have copies of Stereo Review from the late 90's. And tinnitus was also from playing my stereo or car stereo way too loud. I had a .41 magnum ported snubnose I used to shoot at the firing range, that was basically a hillside, without ear protection. Bad idea.. But when you're 21 and young and dumb you do those things. I had to use an earpiece in my radio at work awhile back just to hear what was going on and had to turn it way up, now that ear is worse than the other.
 
Last edited:

bykfixer

Flashaholic
Joined
Aug 9, 2015
Messages
20,579
Location
Dust in the Wind
My left ear has some loss from years of driving with the drivrr side window cracked open for fresh air. I can hear a wrist watch ticking from 5 feet with my right ear. Left ear needs to be inches away. My father was near deaf from Korea and my brother from stupidity so I usually protected my hearing to one degree or another, even if it was only a crumpled up piece of paper.
 

orbital

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Feb 8, 2007
Messages
4,353
Location
WI
+

Also have tinnitus, to the severity I can hear 3 or 4 different frequencies at all times.
There is the loud overall hissing sound, then a couple different ringing frequencies I can pick out.

Also of last year, a lower frequency sound that is like liquid or gas flowing inside a pipe.
The lower frequency one was so bizarre to me I actually went outside to check there was something wrong with my gas line.
The only time I don't hear these is when I'm actually sleeping, which is rare.

Learned to live with it & still enjoy my music.
 

bykfixer

Flashaholic
Joined
Aug 9, 2015
Messages
20,579
Location
Dust in the Wind
IMG_0739.jpeg
 

bykfixer

Flashaholic
Joined
Aug 9, 2015
Messages
20,579
Location
Dust in the Wind
IMG_0756.jpeg

Here ya go.

What I had back in the day.
IMG_0757.jpeg

These went with a Denon amp/pre-amp, a B&O turntable, Technics tuner, Teac cassette player and eventually Yamaha cd player.

My current hi fi system
IMG_0759.jpeg

A smart phone and wireless ear buds
 

TPA

Enlightened
Joined
Aug 26, 2005
Messages
457
Location
Florida
Kind of chuckling that this thread is 15 years old now.
Compared to 2008, I'd say that decent sound has become MUCH more affordable, accessible, and compact. I was putting the full-size Amazon Echo through its paces the other day and was surprised at the range of sound it can put out, and that's ignoring its size. Is it audiophile quality? No. BUT, for $60 on sale, it's a heck of a deal. Of course there's the Devialet Phantom speakers which are ugly as sin, but through all sorts of electronic wizardry are able to put out a full-range powerful sound at a pretty decent price these days.

Even some portable Bluetooth speakers are quite good. I have a pair of the Anker Soundcore Motion+ speakers and they're quite respectable for the size and price. I have a buddy who spent $20k on a home theater setup with in-wall and in-ceiling speakers. For kicks, we set up the Motion+ speakers below the in-wall mains. I wasn't expecting much, but they really held their own. Lower and better bass response and a more detailed midrange from the home theater setup. Sure, there was a difference, but it wasn't as much of one as we were all expecting. I kind of felt bad for him after that.

I've had the luxury of being in the audiophile, broadcast, and live audio world. As such, my setups have been a mix of equipment over the years. My main listening room is (still) down due to Hurricane Ian. BUT, back in the day it wasn't uncommon to have friends come over and just listen to music. They weren't audiophiles per-say, but clearly enjoyed listening to music in that much detail. I also was the engineer at a concert venue and used the venue as my personal boom-box when it wasn't being used. Being able to go into the venue, fire up the sound system, and play back recordings we made off the console's direct outs was good fun. My own personal concert. These days if I want loud music, I drag PA speakers out to the airport and let 'er rip. No one cares out there compared to the noise of a bizjet.

At one time I had superior hearing. I could clearly hear palmetto bugs (roaches) walking in a quiet room. At a few places we'd use 25kHz-35kHz cue tones for me. I'd hear it but the broadcast chain / speaker processing gear would filter it out. Then I made the mistake of taking vancomycin and lost half of my hearing in one ear, about 25% loss in the other, along with a substantial reduction of highs and lows. I also developed nasty tinnitus. Even driving on the highway with the window open, the tinnitus is still louder. The hearing loss happened over the period of one day. It's been a decade now and it still hasn't returned.
 

turbodog

Flashaholic
Joined
Jun 23, 2003
Messages
6,425
Location
central time
... Then I made the mistake of taking vancomycin and lost half of my hearing in one ear, about 25% loss in the other, along with a substantial reduction of highs and lows. I also developed nasty tinnitus. Even driving on the highway with the window open, the tinnitus is still louder. The hearing loss happened over the period of one day. It's been a decade now and it still hasn't returned.

Holy F.
 
  • Like
Reactions: TPA

turbodog

Flashaholic
Joined
Jun 23, 2003
Messages
6,425
Location
central time
My tinnitus is from guns, explosions, and loud concerts. I still have copies of Stereo Review from the late 90's. And tinnitus was also from playing my stereo or car stereo way too loud. I had a .41 magnum ported snubnose I used to shoot at the firing range, that was basically a hillside, without ear protection. Bad idea.. But when you're 21 and young and dumb you do those things. I had to use an earpiece in my radio at work awhile back just to hear what was going on and had to turn it way up, now that ear is worse than the other.

Mine is from explosions (don't ask), guns, loud music, small engines, and compressed air. (also know as the 80's)

I'm throwing this out as many don't realize air is that loud. For those that use compressed air, use hearing protection. Also, there are blow nozzles that are as powerful as whatever you're current using, but MUCH quieter.

Can't recommend this one enough.

1695075676484.png



That said, I do appreciate a decent stereo. It would not be considered much years ago, but nowadays nobody seems to have a stereo. Nice little kenwood receiver/amp 4x140 watts with some old school 15's. Can still bring sheetrock down from the ceiling upon occasion. It's run, literally, 24x7 since 1992. I just leave it on all the time. Currently has inputs from TV and an airport express.
 
Last edited:

turbodog

Flashaholic
Joined
Jun 23, 2003
Messages
6,425
Location
central time
In the interests of 'interesting' events I will now tell a story that I witnessed personally. It's quite specific and runs the risk of personally identifying me, so let's keep that part confidential in case you know the parties involved.

Years back, around early 90's I was at a friend's house. They were pretty well off. While kicking around, all of a sudden the house shook. I mean _really_ shook, windows, stuff on shelves, structure itself.

I asked what that was. Buddy said it was his dad's stereo in the basement, that a guy was working on it as only one channel was working. This I _had_ to see.

So down we go. In the basement I find an ultra-geek with pocket protector. Turns out he works for Peavey (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peavey_Electronics). He's working on the system.

The system, was built by hand by him personally. The fit/finish were extremely good, but it was clearly a custom piece of equipment. He built the stereo tuner, the amp, and pretty much all else. We are talking board-level design & mfg. The speaker cables were as thick as my wrist and the speakers themselves were 6-7 feet tall and probably 5 feet wide.

I wish I had hung around more, but got distracted and left. In current verbiage, it was a "unit". I asked my buddy not all that long about about it... was sold off and the guy that designed/built it is dead.

Edit: shout out to the designer,TL. I actually had some classes with him. He was the type of guy that would attend college classes for fun at age 50+.

1695078683618.png
 
Last edited:

idleprocess

Flashaholic
Joined
Feb 29, 2004
Messages
7,197
Location
decamped
The speaker cables were as thick as my wrist and the speakers themselves were 6-7 feet tall and probably 5 feet wide.
So ... I'm thinking that needed some serious 240V power to properly oscillate not only one's abdomen but even one's nethers?
 

turbodog

Flashaholic
Joined
Jun 23, 2003
Messages
6,425
Location
central time
So ... I'm thinking that needed some serious 240V power to properly oscillate not only one's abdomen but even one's nethers?

Wish I knew. I don't see this thing running on 120.

I'd pay cash money just to have a picture of this thing today. It was a real piece of art, and badass also.
 

TPA

Enlightened
Joined
Aug 26, 2005
Messages
457
Location
Florida
So ... I'm thinking that needed some serious 240V power to properly oscillate not only one's abdomen but even one's nethers?
240 volts? That's for amateurs... The Crown MA10,000 amplifier requires 208v 3-phase @ 20A per phase. PDF of the user guide here.
 

idleprocess

Flashaholic
Joined
Feb 29, 2004
Messages
7,197
Location
decamped
240 volts? That's for amateurs... The Crown MA10,000 amplifier requires 208v 3-phase @ 20A per phase. PDF of the user guide here.
In my defense, I was considering a typical home's 240V split-phase supply rather than something more industrial.
 
  • Like
Reactions: TPA
Top