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   Home » Playback Listening » The “Inverted High End Audio” ™ (31 posts, 2 pages)
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  »  New  How audio started…...  Clarifying...  Audio Discussions  Forum     18  93517  01-21-2005
  »  New  TAS article: start of the Hi-End Industry..  ....binaural.......  Audio Discussions  Forum     8  60595  03-18-2006
  »  New  About destiny of “High-End Sound”...  Got today via email....  Playback Listening  Forum     6  44800  01-19-2007
  »  New  Beethoven IX and Fürtwängler..  Holy Crap! (Music and Arts transfer)...  Musical Discussions  Forum     2  17720  08-11-2007
  »  New  The high-end audio, as it should be...  My prediction about it in 2020....  Off Air Audio Forum     3  32208  03-15-2008
  »  New  The Absolute Sound of Audio Idiocy...  Different ways of listening...  Playback Listening  Forum     13  63959  08-06-2008
  »  New  The decentralization and multi-polarization of audio...  The decentralization and multi-polarization of audio....  Audio Discussions  Forum     0  11229  10-01-2008
  »  New  Sound is like a proverbial Fruit...  Sound is like a proverbial Fruit....  Playback Listening  Forum     0  8296  04-04-2009
  »  New  About reviewer’s qualifications and disqualifications...  Sad thing....  Audio Discussions  Forum     1  20228  06-21-2009
  »  New  The Truly High-End Amplification. Does is really exist?..  The Elusive Point of Reference...  Melquiades Amplifier  Forum     1  18182  12-16-2009
  »  New  The industry-embraced audio and classical music...  Listening to/for What?...  Playback Listening  Forum     5  24620  12-24-2010
  »  New  Who has best sound in High-End Audio?..  We can be Guilty aswell...  Playback Listening  Forum     6  31005  12-25-2010
12-03-2007 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,535
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 21
Post ID: 6007
Reply to: 6003
Audiophilism and sex
Although I am violently oppose the “dancing around the room “idea but I would pay a lot of money to see those audiophilism-wiped people dancing around their listening rooms inspired by the tunes of Shostakovich string quarters. Truly a girlfriend of my youth was right where she was trying to convince me that the “observation of an observer” is the most “interesting” sexual activity.

The caT


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
12-03-2007 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Geoff


Edmonton, Alberta, CANADA
Posts 6
Joined on 12-02-2007

Post #: 22
Post ID: 6023
Reply to: 6004
Possible solution?
 drdna wrote:
But I am worried what all my friends and neighbors will say if get up and start to dance to Lutoslowski!


Grab one of your kids and do it. Looks perfectly normal then! Big Smile


Endeavoring to convince my family that I'm not nuts!
12-03-2007 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Geoff


Edmonton, Alberta, CANADA
Posts 6
Joined on 12-02-2007

Post #: 23
Post ID: 6024
Reply to: 6007
?!?
 Romy the Cat wrote:
...that the “observation of an observer” is the most “interesting” sexual activity.

The caT


Still got her number? LOL


Endeavoring to convince my family that I'm not nuts!
09-21-2009 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Paragon
Posts 6
Joined on 09-13-2009

Post #: 24
Post ID: 11792
Reply to: 2951
Interesting post
fiogf49gjkf0d
Romy,you said a mouthful,and your 100% right...
04-26-2014 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Stitch


Behind The Sun
Posts 226
Joined on 01-15-2009

Post #: 25
Post ID: 20727
Reply to: 11792
We've lost our direction....
fiogf49gjkf0d
Next month I will visit the High End Show in Munich and of course, I am ready for a sonic experience which is 45x better than live (sonic revolutions written about in our mags) butI found an interview with Gordon Holt from the year 2007. I'll copy it below. I think, it is quite interesting. It started to change my mind when I did read it the first time, later, 2009 I found the Good sound Club and that gave me probably the most influence to think about everything in audio ...

Differences.jpg

To celebrate Stereophile's 30th anniversary, Gordon gave a speech at a dinner the magazine hosted at the 1992 Consumer Electronics Show in Chicago. The text of that speech was reprinted in our September 1992 issue, and it makes for disturbing reading:

"We seem to have come to a tacit agreement that it's no longer necessary, or even desirable, for a home music system to sound like the real thing. We speak in hushed and reverent tones about reproducing the ineffable beauty of music, when in fact much real music is harsh and vulgar and ugly. We design the all-important musical midrange out of our equipment in order to try—vainly, I might add—to recreate the illusion of three-dimensional space through what is essentially a two- dimensional reproducer. And whenever we hear a loudspeaker or a CD player that shows subversive signs of sounding more 'alive' or 'realistic' than most, we dismiss it out of hand as being too 'forward' or 'aggressive.' As if a lot of real music isn't forward and aggressive!

"The idea that all we are trying to do is make equipment that gives the listener some sort of magical emotional response to a mystical experience called 'music' is all well and good, but it isn't what High End is all about. In fact, high fidelity was originally a reaction to the gorgeously rich-sounding console 'boom boxes' that dominated the home-music market during the 1940s!

"We've lost our direction....The High End in 1992 is a multi-million-dollar business. But it's an empty triumph, because we haven't accomplished what we set out to do. The playback still doesn't sound 'just like the real thing.' People, let's start getting back to basics. Let's put the 're' back into 'reproduction.' Let's promote products that dare to sound as 'alive' and 'aggressive' as the music they are trying to reproduce."

Strong stuff. Fifteen years later, Gordon is comfortably retired in Boulder, Colorado. I e-mailed him Labor Day to ask him about that 1992 polemic. My questions are in italics, followed by Gordon's unexpurgated answers (footnote 2).

Do you still feel the high-end audio industry has lost its way in the manner you described 15 years ago?

Not in the same manner; there's no hope now. Audio actually used to have a goal: perfect reproduction of the sound of real music performed in a real space. That was found difficult to achieve, and it was abandoned when most music lovers, who almost never heard anything except amplified music anyway, forgot what "the real thing" had sounded like. Today, "good" sound is whatever one likes. As Art Dudley so succinctly said [in his January 2004 "Listening," see "Letters," p.9], fidelity is irrelevant to music.

page1image43992page1image44152page1image44312page1image44472page1image44632page1image44792page1image44952

Since the only measure of sound quality is that the listener likes it, that has pretty well put an end to audio advancement, because different people rarely agree about sound quality. Abandoning the acoustical-instrument standard, and the mindless acceptance of voodoo science, were not parts of my original vision.

I remember you strongly feeling back in 1992 that multichannel/surround reproduction was the only chance the industry had for getting back on course.

With fidelity in stagnation, spatiality was the only area of improvement left.

As you were so committed to surround, do you feel that the commercial failures of DVD-Audio and SACD could have been avoided?

I doubt it. No audio product has ever succeeded because it was better, only because it was cheaper, smaller, or easier to use. Your generation of music lovers will probably be the last that even think about fidelity.

Judging by online forums and by the e-mail I receive, there are currently three areas of passion for audiophiles: vinyl playback, headphone listening, and music servers. Are you surprised by this?

I find them all boring, but nothing surprises me any more.

Do you see any signs of future vitality in high-end audio?

Vitality? Don't make me laugh. Audio as a hobby is dying, largely by its own hand. As far as the real world is concerned, high-end audio lost its credibility during the 1980s, when it flatly refused to submit to the kind of basic honesty controls (double-blind testing, for example) that had legitimized every other serious scientific endeavor since Pascal. [This refusal] is a source of endless derisive amusement among rational people and of perpetual embarrassment for me, because I am associated by so many people with the mess my disciples made of spreading my gospel. For the record: I never, ever claimed that measurements don't matter. What I said (and very often, at that) was, they don't always tell the whole story. Not quite the same thing.

Remember those loudspeaker shoot-outs we used to have during our annual writer gatherings in Santa Fe? The frequent occasions when various reviewers would repeatedly choose the same loudspeaker as their favorite (or least-favorite) model? That was all the proof needed that [blind] testing does work, aside from the fact that it's (still) the only honest kind. It also suggested that simple ear training, with DBT confirmation, could have built the kind of listening confidence among talented reviewers that might have made a world of difference in the outcome of high-end audio.

Yet you achieved so much, Gordon.

I know I did, and my whole excuse for it—a love for the sound of live classical music—lost its relevance in the US within 10 years. I was done in by time, history, and the most spoiled, destructive generation of irresponsible brats the world has ever seen. (I refer, of course, to the Boomers.) 




Kind Regards
Stitch
04-26-2014 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Paul S
San Diego, California, USA
Posts 2,143
Joined on 10-12-2006

Post #: 26
Post ID: 20731
Reply to: 20727
When It Was Still Fun
fiogf49gjkf0d
Back in 1962 it was still fun to try to make "real" sound from hi-fi. Oddly enough, I was soon into horns...
JGH went from (A-7) horns, to big Fultons, to mid-field monitors (Tannoys, the last time I spoke with him...), and his own version of 5.1 sound. I followed along as far as the Fultons because I either heard what he was talking about, or I thought I could hear it.

Gordon does not go into it in the shared Q/As, but he also for some time championed better recording, and he himself mostly followed his own edicts when he recorded symphony orchestras. I mention this not as an historical anecdote but because (as Gordon said, and I agree) good recording is indeed "the missing link", and problems with recordings are partly responsible for disparate efforts at sound "re"production. It's ironic to think that recording itself took such a long drop, starting about the time JGH picked up the gong, in the early 60s.

In the minds of many, JGH will be "remembered" as something like "The Father of Subjective Audio". This is actually sort of funny to me, because I know it would drive Gordon nuts! Although I am not such an empiricist, JGH certainly fancied himself as such, and he went to great lengths to codify pretty much all of his audio ideas. While he was hardly an enigma, I can see that it might be a stretch for those encountering his ideas out of context to equate the early anti-Hirsch/"anti-measurement" diatribes with his relentlessly "scientific" approach to hi-fi, including plenty of "empirical" testing and an entire "lexicon", along the lines of an Audio Esperanto, to try to keep audio discussion under control (and therefore relevant). The reader might enjoy knowing that the Art Dudley quote JGH so lightly touches on in the shared QAs was in fact a source and "cause" of much consternation and ire for Gordon, who (as far as I know) never did give up on the idea that Music could be "realistically" recorded and played back in the home.

Paul S
04-26-2014 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
clarkjohnsen
Boston, MA, US
Posts 297
Joined on 06-02-2004

Post #: 27
Post ID: 20733
Reply to: 20731
About Art Dudley
fiogf49gjkf0d
Or anyway about that quote by Gordon.
There are two epigrams I've often quoted in this connection. The first is from conductor Roger Norrington:
Music is not about sound.
The second is my own:
Audio is a damn distraction from the music.
c
04-26-2014 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Paul S
San Diego, California, USA
Posts 2,143
Joined on 10-12-2006

Post #: 28
Post ID: 20735
Reply to: 20733
More on Audio or Sound vs Music
fiogf49gjkf0d
Clark, there is much about sound that delights me, including the sounds involved in Music, and I also enjoy at times the hi-fi, especially as I fancy it to be a "vehicle" for Music. Of course the audio does not necessarily render Music, and I can only hope it still holds some interest as a nerd-ish hobby in the absence of Music. Between the bad electricity, source and equipment boredom and nonsense, and my own bio-rhythms, I have survived some looong audio droughts to respond to your post!

Best regards,
Paul S
04-27-2014 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
steverino
Posts 302
Joined on 05-23-2009

Post #: 29
Post ID: 20736
Reply to: 20735
Sounds of silence
fiogf49gjkf0d
In the past people only occasionally heard music unless they were high enough nobility to have a stable of musicians at their beck and call or made music themselves. Let's be thankful that we have a simulacrum of music available that easily allows us to distinguish not only different pieces of music but also different performances of the same music performed by the world's best musicians. We also can preserve music for that far future time when people will know how to correctly restore it. Whether they too will be dancing to Lutoslawski or scintillating their 2000th point of light to Xennakis is not an important issue to me. So there.
04-29-2014 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
rowuk


Germany
Posts 225
Joined on 07-05-2012

Post #: 30
Post ID: 20743
Reply to: 20736
A historical perspective?
fiogf49gjkf0d
In the past, there was different types of music. The masses NEVER were without music. They had their invention instruments and folkmusic even when the upper class was into "other things". That basic honest folk music was even present in the US. Unfortunately the urbanisation of America changed a lot of that. Sprituals became "gospel". Jazz became crossover, school marching band for the masses became organized drum and bugle corps or fancy choreographed half times.


Still - in spite of all of this, the basic honest low level folk music is still alive and well - but only for people that have the luxury of "free time".

I would say that the listening time has gone down - not due to lack of opportunity, rather the listener being on TX rather than RX..........


Whenever I feel blue, I start breathing again.
05-20-2016 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Amir
Iran Tehran
Posts 158
Joined on 02-11-2009

Post #: 31
Post ID: 22621
Reply to: 20743
God is in the Nuances
fiogf49gjkf0d
This is an article from Markus Sauer about High-end audio and Jürgen Ackermann Research:

http://www.stereophile.com/features/203/#aWXwEiAdSsQVocY1.97

Page 2 of 2 (31 items) Select Pages:  « 1 2
   Target    Threads for related reading   Most recent post in related threads   Forum  Replies   Views   Started 
  »  New  How audio started…...  Clarifying...  Audio Discussions  Forum     18  93517  01-21-2005
  »  New  TAS article: start of the Hi-End Industry..  ....binaural.......  Audio Discussions  Forum     8  60595  03-18-2006
  »  New  About destiny of “High-End Sound”...  Got today via email....  Playback Listening  Forum     6  44800  01-19-2007
  »  New  Beethoven IX and Fürtwängler..  Holy Crap! (Music and Arts transfer)...  Musical Discussions  Forum     2  17720  08-11-2007
  »  New  The high-end audio, as it should be...  My prediction about it in 2020....  Off Air Audio Forum     3  32208  03-15-2008
  »  New  The Absolute Sound of Audio Idiocy...  Different ways of listening...  Playback Listening  Forum     13  63959  08-06-2008
  »  New  The decentralization and multi-polarization of audio...  The decentralization and multi-polarization of audio....  Audio Discussions  Forum     0  11229  10-01-2008
  »  New  Sound is like a proverbial Fruit...  Sound is like a proverbial Fruit....  Playback Listening  Forum     0  8296  04-04-2009
  »  New  About reviewer’s qualifications and disqualifications...  Sad thing....  Audio Discussions  Forum     1  20228  06-21-2009
  »  New  The Truly High-End Amplification. Does is really exist?..  The Elusive Point of Reference...  Melquiades Amplifier  Forum     1  18182  12-16-2009
  »  New  The industry-embraced audio and classical music...  Listening to/for What?...  Playback Listening  Forum     5  24620  12-24-2010
  »  New  Who has best sound in High-End Audio?..  We can be Guilty aswell...  Playback Listening  Forum     6  31005  12-25-2010
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