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

letschat7

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When I was a teen I ignored my father's advice to wear ear pros when shooting and I would listen to loud music when I played computer games. Well now I don't hear so well. I can hear of course but if their is background noise say a machine at or exceeding the level of people talking I can't hear what is being said.

Stay safe out their bros. Don't play the music too loud and don't be afraid to wear ear protection at concerts or when working with loud machinary. Surefire even makes some ear plugs and 3M 'no-touch' is really nice. Peltor is great also.
 

TPA

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In my defense, I was considering a typical home's 240V split-phase supply rather than something more industrial.
I actually have 208 3-phase power at my condo. I took advantage of that and have a separate 100A subpanel in my listening room. No issues with voltage drop in there, and yes, there's an audible difference when you're pushing some heavy watts, such as listening to a pipe organ.

Yes, some music just needs to be listened to at full volume.

Still, audio health is a must. Trust me. When you're in your later 60s and the wife whispers - "Make sweet love to me." You're gunna want to be able to hear her.
Some music is so good your neighbors need to hear it!
 

desert.snake

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It is advisable for us to protect our ears. I discovered this when I realized that I could no longer hear mosquitoes. I recently found this article and have since decided to protect my hearing and wear earplugs. I calculated that the greatest impact on me occurs inside the tram, near highways and near large machinery. It's quite strange to use earplugs at first, everything becomes a little quiet, but after a couple of months I hear better. This happened before when I left the city for the village for 1-2 months

I already shared this link on another forum, but many did not understand me correctly. They say they will decide for themselves how to live their lives with shooting and loud cars, lol


The creator of the site unfortunately died in 2021, so I don't know how much longer site will be alive, so I saved it with Offline Explorer Enterprise 5.9.3374 SR5

Audiophiles won't disappear. Technology is improving and vinyl is back in fashion, but because of the economy, manufacturers continue to churn out bad devices so that in a year or two they can release a new model of headphones "with improved sound" and sell it for the same $24.99. And the upper segment, where the best technologies are used, is also preserved. Because there are some people who want better and they have money. This will continue as long as these groups of people and social inequality continue to exist. Perhaps until the moment music begins to be broadcast directly into the brain using neuroimplants. But even there there will be ordinary neuroimplants and "audiophile" or higher class ones

Fortunately, can find flagship or just high-quality models from previous years at flea markets for a fairly low price, for example Beyerdynamic DT 550 / 880 / 990 from the 80s or AKG K240df (I only use headphones, I've never had speakers, so I'm only talking about headphones)

By the way, if the house is an apartment building, you can use vibration speakers against bad neighbors.


If you attach them to the wall, isolating them on your side, then you can turn on sounds like crickets, and if they come to you to complain, then you will be quiet, and on their side there will be a disco of crickets, or meowing kittens
 

bykfixer

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One thing I don't miss is the more faithful the equipment produced music the more flaws in the medium presented themselves. So the price to pay for superior equipment was not for the sound it could produce. It was for what sounds it did not produce while still providing acurate fidelity. Direct drive turntables for example were more acurate at rotating correctly for but in many cases a rumble could be heard through the stylus as it rubbed the vinyl. A belt drive turntable could often absorb the resonance but at the expense of acurate rotation. My old plasic belt drive B&O turntable was really good at both. But the stylus was $3000!!!!! I'd go into a salon and ask "how much....per month for that?" lol.

Another thing I don't miss, well kinda.... is speaker placement. The sweet spot. Man, if you found that it was like nirvana. You could hear stuff only you and the recording engineer knew existed. A keyboard playing a solo and you hear the sound drifing right to left, back and forth in Peter Frampton "do you feel like we do" live. The soundstage was so realistic if you closed your eyes you could almost see the musicians. My ex-wife and I used to go round and round about where my speakers went in the living room. It was ridiculous, but it was as if she was taking away my oxygen every time she'd want to just stuff them in some random location to fit the decorum. I always, always, always rearranged a room around the speaker placement. I sure don't miss moving the sofa right or left 6" because it affected the reflectivity of high notes. Even pictures on the wall came into play at times.

Nope, a decent set of ear buds playing 320mps MP3 is about as good as it gets for me these days, but I can live with that. My work truck has a cd player and that definitely sounds better than bluetooth. Yet it's the cab of a pickup truck so there really isn't a sweet spot, or at least that I can find. Everything being digital there's no way to fine tune to L to R, F to R to my liking because there's no knob to twist. Just presst incriments that either move it too far or not far enough. So I just use the "all passengers" setting and enjoy the slightly better sound of a CD vs bluetooth or 😱the FM radio.
 
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TPA

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My first listening room was absolutely amazing. Completely happened by accident. I turned one of the bedrooms into a den and just tossed spare furniture in there and somehow, without math, it worked. The room was a long-ish rectangle, with the wall behind the speakers being 3 panels of glass with built-in bookshelves in front of the glass. Speakers were B&W DM602 Series 2. Amplifiers were 2x Crown D-75As. The sound staging and bass extension was just amazing. No matter who I bought in there, everyone went looking for all of these surround speakers which didn't exist. Similar experience to what bykfixer was noting.

My second listening room was a compromise. Much nicer equipment, but it lived in the living room. Not ideal at all for placement and acoustics, but the equipment more than made up for it. I remember one night listening to a CD and wondering why there was a large truck pulling in my driveway at 1:30am. I paused the CD and went outside -- no truck. I hit rewind and played the track again...there was the truck! It was driving past the studio when the recording was made.

Some of my favourite recordings are "amateur" / live recordings because they don't do all of the filtering and "sweetening" that the pros use. Just raw audio, and with good equipment it comes alive. Cowboy Junkie's Trinity Sessions was always amazing. As are a ton of bootlegs I made over the years at my venue. It kills me that most "pro" recordings severely cut out bass, especially the lower frequencies. When someone's plucking away on a double bass, I want to be able to feel it like I would sitting in front of it.

My car has a pretty good sound system, which is a bit of a problem. I've been working on our wedding and things which sound great in the car just aren't cutting it on regular speakers...Probably going to end up with a strange 4.2 setup of high-end touring speakers at the wedding venue. (Left effect, Left Main, Left Sub -- Right Sub, Right Main, Right Effect).. so there goes the wedding budget. At least my fiance agrees. Even listening to the soundtrack in her car with Bose speakers isn't cutting it.
 

IMA SOL MAN

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I somewhat sympathize with you bykfixer. When I was into audio, it was the late '70's, early '80's and Dolby was big, and I think they had just come out with a Dolby 2? Not sure. Also, there was some experimenting with I think hardware that would process out the pops, clicks and basic rice krispies you would get on vinyl.

The best headphones that I had were a pair of Koss Pro 3AA or 4AA. Loved them! No speaker moving required.

An audiophile CB radio acquaintance I had had high end stuff. He even had one of the rare quadraphonic setups in his house! Funny thing was, this guy had hearing loss and had hearing aids. I just hope he was getting his monies worth of value, but I kinda doubt he could discern much difference, but he was sure trying his best to hear music the best he could. I had a lot of new vinyl at the time, and he used his high end audio equipment to put it on cassette tape for me. Most of my music listening was on my Dolby equipped car stereo, so that helped me out a lot. If you get a chance, befriend some teenagers, and help them out like that. I miss the guy, who is probably pushing up daisies by now. Hope things went well for him.
 

TPA

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Irony of ironies... My new pair of Sony 7506 headphones just arrived an hour ago. I bought my first pair in 1994 when I went into broadcasting. I'd replaced pads and parts a few times on them, but saw a good price and figured I'd get them again... and forgot about it since they got stuck in UPS for awhile. I'm needing them for mastering the wedding soundtrack since I'll be working with multiple people remotely who I've never worked with before. Now we'll all be hearing the same thing.

My main cans are a Sennheiser HD580. Very well-loved. When I'm feeling very audiophile-y, I'll connect them up to a Crown D45a amp... 25 watts per ear(!). If you want clarity in sound, that's the setup for it. All those watts whip those diaphragms to exactly where they're supposed to be. No sloppy/muddy sound anywhere in the spectrum with it.

Update: Had to hook up the HD580s to the Crown for fun. It's been awhile since I've sat down with it. and I forgot just how much detail there is in the recordings you normally don't hear. Even something like Daddy Yankee's Limbo has massive amounts of noise gating going on and you can hear the gates opening/closing almost painfully loud on headphones compared to in the car or workout-style earbuds.
 
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TPA

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Last night I was thinking about how listening habits have changed.

I've got a lot going on in life these days (too much). I did something I haven't done in ages: Listen to an entire album, uninterrupted. No displays, no phones, not even a book. I just put the album on, turned down the lights, and enjoyed the experience. It was well worth the 70 minutes.

It's been ages since I've done that. Most of my listening these days is done with something else going on. In some respects it was like having a friend I've not seen in decades come over.

With our modern, "always connected" lifestyle, I don't think we take enough time to just settle down and focus on one thing, or more importantly, truly relax. Even as I type this, I'm in the car (DrivePilot's on duty), I'm checking emails on the car's screen, I have music playing, a news ticker at the bottom of the screen. This would normally be the extent of my "relaxing" normally.

Last night was a complete break. I'd encourage everyone to try it again. It's something we all used to do back in the day.
 

raggie33

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Sony rules audio omg I recall saving and saving for my first Sony Cassie Walkman lol. Omg it sounded so good them 7506s are great I think studios still use them.
 

3_gun

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My 2 cent, the under 30 crowd has never heard good audio. It's all ear buds & mp3 files or speakers the size of an egg roll. A clean recording of an oldie played on a good system BLOWS their mind
 

raggie33

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My 2 cent, the under 30 crowd has never heard good audio. It's all ear buds & mp3 files or speakers the size of an egg roll. A clean recording of an oldie played on a good system BLOWS their mind
But a digital file can sound better then a cd or album . A course if it's from the master. And the files are huĝggggggge.. I forgot what they call this file format
 

sajohnson

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Last night I was thinking about how listening habits have changed.

I've got a lot going on in life these days (too much). I did something I haven't done in ages: Listen to an entire album, uninterrupted. No displays, no phones, not even a book. I just put the album on, turned down the lights, and enjoyed the experience. It was well worth the 70 minutes.

It's been ages since I've done that. Most of my listening these days is done with something else going on. In some respects it was like having a friend I've not seen in decades come over.

With our modern, "always connected" lifestyle, I don't think we take enough time to just settle down and focus on one thing, or more importantly, truly relax. Even as I type this, I'm in the car (DrivePilot's on duty), I'm checking emails on the car's screen, I have music playing, a news ticker at the bottom of the screen. This would normally be the extent of my "relaxing" normally.

Last night was a complete break. I'd encourage everyone to try it again. It's something we all used to do back in the day.

Excellent comment, TPA. Well said!

When I bought this place almost 40 years ago, not only was there no internet (obviously) -- I had no TV. When I got home from work I'd listen to music. CDs were just coming out, and I was buying a bunch of them -- mostly from BMG. I had a decent budget system with an EQ that I was constantly adjusting. :cool:

As time went by, I got better and better gear, but ironically, started listening less and less. Primarily because the local cable company finally ran cable up our small rural road. So then I had TV, and a few years later, the internet. When I'm reading and writing online, music distracts me, especially music with vocals.

So in recent years I rarely listened to music, until a few months ago, when -- after turning off my laptop for the night -- I began using our cable box to go to YouTube (YT) and listening that way. Lately I've been listening to live covers of songs I like, for something different. It's more enjoyable watching bands play live (rather than just listening), and while it can be hit and miss, if they are done well, cover versions of songs I've listened to for 40-50 years can be a refreshing change.
 

sajohnson

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In case there is any confusion -- FLAC is good. It uses lossless compression, so the resulting file sizes are smaller than the original (often WAV files) but when played back they should be a bit-perfect duplicate.

WAV files are the CD standard. Unless a FLAC file came from a source that's higher quality than the WAV file on the CD (like SACD or DVD-audio)), it should sound the same.

All are objectively better than vinyl records/LPs: S/N ratio; dynamic range; frequency response; stereo separation; distortion are all better with WAV files (CDs) or lossless compression like FLAC. Subjectively, there are people who prefer the sound of records. There is no point in debating that -- it's like arguing over whether broccoli tastes good. People like what they like. Some people like tube amps even though the 'warm' sound they refer to is distortion. To each their own.

FYI:

"WAV (Waveform Audio File) retains all the original data, which makes it the ideal format for sound engineers. "WAV has greater dynamic range and greater bit depth," creative producer and sound mixer Lo Boutillette says of her preferred format. "It's the highest quality," Berry agrees. "It can be 24-bit, 32-bit, all the way up to 192kHz sample rate and even higher these days." If you're collaborating and sending files back and forth, WAV holds its time code. This can be especially useful for video projects in which exact synchronization is important.":
 

Genna

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I worked in a Car-Hifi & Home-Hifi Shop in my mid-20s and have heard the pleasure that a high-quality system can reproduce.
After a few set-ups fot customers, I also wanted to really feel and experience the music instead of just hearing it. I started with InEars and portable Flac-Player, later headphones, headphone amplifier und music streamer. Now , mid-40s, I have a humble music system.
 
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