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01-01-2018 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,486
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 1
Post ID: 24614
Reply to: 24614
The essence of High-End Audio industry
I was reading a few days back Altec audio forum that had a thread “GoodSoundClub owned by an idiot”. In the thread a bunch of “confident about themselves” audio folks discussed what kind crazy idiot I am and what might be underlying reasons for my insanity. There was a long list of justifications and testimonies provided by the posters who with the same conviction as they feel that Altec is the “greatest company in the world” instead that the reasons for my idiocy is progressing Asperger syndrome, alcoholism, feeling misery about myself, being pissed by my incapability to get good sound, a marketing attempt to game system and using the gained publicity to produce my own products, low IQ and many other “lucid” explanations. I need to admit that I LOVE to read those commentaries but not only because wicked entertainment I get from it. Those people do not understand that fantasizing about an abstract subject that they are not familiar with they are quite publicly exposing their own subconsciousness motivations. I very much assure you that the fool who diagnosed me with Asperger one way or another touched the Asperger spectra, the fool who feel that I am an alcoholic dealt with alcoholism of his own, the fool who fell that I am stupid has IQ no higher then size of own shoe and the fool who feel that I run “smart marketing campaign” is dreaming to sell his stupid audio cable elevators. I hate to sound like cliché but over the years I more or less socialized with audio mob I have seen them all. 
 
There is in all of it one subject that I find interesting. Unquestionably my condescending and neglecting attitude toward high-end audio industry and most of high-end audio people very much and very publicly expose my own subconsciousness. So, lately I was thinking about it, trying to debug my own Pavlovian reflexes.   
 
Activating the whole 10 points of my residuals IQ and looking at the darkest corners of my soul I do think that at the very bottoms of me (as far as audio concern) there is a sentiment that the entire High-End Audio concept and the industry that derives from it are based upon a very erroneous ground. It is not that I deny that belter quality sound might serve human benefits, I am fine with it. However, the High-End Audio concept as we have it since the second part of 20 century very much failed on human level. We produce “better” sound by our playbacks utilizing belter audio machines by our manufactures but in most of the cases the human benefits from consuming audio are absolutely disassociated from our audio reproduction techniques.   The classical “successful” high-end audio person, and in my estimation, it would be good 80% of audiophiles out there, is a man with extensive ability to of high-end fermiology, a set of current industry-popular expensive sound solutions and a collection of “high-quality” recordings of 23 concertos for kazoo and hot jazz.  Do not get me wrong, there are many musically-sane high-end audio people but their sanity and their musical interests has absolutely nothing to do with their high-end audio involvement, would be a hobby or occupation. 
 
 
So, this dissociation between audio benefits and the benefits to the thin levels of human awareness (aka musicality) is the main reason why I feel that high-end audio is a huge fake and nothing but a stupid deception. This is also (in partial) a reason why 100-year-old 78 disks substantially overperform the best today audio methods in terms of musical impact. You can put a pretty mask over a corps in morgue and make the mask to have a sensational smile. It would not make the dead person to be alive. Following this metaphor, to me the whole high-end audio industry, with all its greedy manufacturers, with all its pompous reviewers, with all its “professional” editors, with all its “experienced” participants is nothing more than a herd of morgue’s mask painters.


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
01-02-2018 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Arno P
Posts 18
Joined on 06-10-2011

Post #: 2
Post ID: 24616
Reply to: 24614
My 2cts
Well said. In all communication it is also a matter of reading between the lines. Direct communication is often perceived as rude but even though the wording can be rough, it saves time and drives towards getting facts accross. Having to correct in some cases (while staying open to do so) is the most efficient to my opinion and above all the preference compared to long fuzzy story lines, not getting to the point or hiding that people can not get to the point due to lack of sufficient knowledge/experence or a clear line of thought.

Having said this....it's a long line of text ;-). To shorten it. Romy is direct, does have the audio experience and above all willingness and humbleness to keep on learning. Communication, could it be more average or more tactfull? Could, but it is a matter of style and if someone has to make a trade-off between creating beautiful sentences all the time and converting the actual fact or moment of passion into fluffyness....Don't go there and stick with WYSIWYG.
I come from a country where it is not a exception to be direct and clear.

Now, let's move forward with the music and audio passion (instead of clinging onto any hype, brand or commercial devine entities ;-) )
01-02-2018 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
rowuk


Germany
Posts 222
Joined on 07-05-2012

Post #: 3
Post ID: 24617
Reply to: 24614
A generation of indignants?
I too often wonder why people feel challenged on the internet. I see Romys site as primarily his diary on events around building his system. His very lucid descriptions show a deep level of thought about things before getting the soldering iron, saw or checkbook out. His constitutional right to look at the rest of the world obviously holds a mirror up that many are uncomfortable with. I notice that social media has turned the latent asshole into a priest of indignance. They obviously feel "protected" by the anonymity of the web - in fact they are broadcasting their intimate sphere. This site gives them plenty of things to be indignant about - in Germany we call this "Zwergsyndrom". I really have no good translation for it but it sort of means that their own smallness makes them aggressive.

I certainly agree that high end audio is not about advancing the human state. I would not credit most of the practitioners with enough intelligence to deliberately fool the masses. I think that like many gurus, they get a following because they feel good about decisions that involve no perceived compromise. They really want to hear what the cable elevator does as a proxy for what they cannot hear.
One thing I would disagree on is about the 78 outperforming todays offerings. Yes, every generation has had their brilliant performances and it is surely pure luck that definitive renditions even get recorded. I can think of many personal references in every era of recorded music. Being in Germany, I think that I could find definitive live music that tickled my fancy every day as we really do not need more than 6 hours to get anywhere else.
Pavlov was right. We are what we repeatedly do...
 Romy the Cat wrote:
I was reading a few days back Altec audio forum that had a thread “GoodSoundClub owned by an idiot”. In the thread a bunch of “confident about themselves” audio folks discussed what kind crazy idiot I am and what might be underlying reasons for my insanity. There was a long list of justifications and testimonies provided by the posters who with the same conviction as they feel that Altec is the “greatest company in the world” instead that the reasons for my idiocy is progressing Asperger syndrome, alcoholism, feeling misery about myself, being pissed by my incapability to get good sound, a marketing attempt to game system and using the gained publicity to produce my own products, low IQ and many other “lucid” explanations. I need to admit that I LOVE to read those commentaries but not only because wicked entertainment I get from it. Those people do not understand that fantasizing about an abstract subject that they are not familiar with they are quite publicly exposing their own subconsciousness motivations. I very much assure you that the fool who diagnosed me with Asperger one way or another touched the Asperger spectra, the fool who feel that I am an alcoholic dealt with alcoholism of his own, the fool who fell that I am stupid has IQ no higher then size of own shoe and the fool who feel that I run “smart marketing campaign” is dreaming to sell his stupid audio cable elevators. I hate to sound like cliché but over the years I more or less socialized with audio mob I have seen them all. 
 
There is in all of it one subject that I find interesting. Unquestionably my condescending and neglecting attitude toward high-end audio industry and most of high-end audio people very much and very publicly expose my own subconsciousness. So, lately I was thinking about it, trying to debug my own Pavlovian reflexes.   
 
Activating the whole 10 points of my residuals IQ and looking at the darkest corners of my soul I do think that at the very bottoms of me (as far as audio concern) there is a sentiment that the entire High-End Audio concept and the industry that derives from it are based upon a very erroneous ground. It is not that I deny that belter quality sound might serve human benefits, I am fine with it. However, the High-End Audio concept as we have it since the second part of 20 century very much failed on human level. We produce “better” sound by our playbacks utilizing belter audio machines by our manufactures but in most of the cases the human benefits from consuming audio are absolutely disassociated from our audio reproduction techniques.   The classical “successful” high-end audio person, and in my estimation, it would be good 80% of audiophiles out there, is a man with extensive ability to of high-end fermiology, a set of current industry-popular expensive sound solutions and a collection of “high-quality” recordings of 23 concertos for kazoo and hot jazz.  Do not get me wrong, there are many musically-sane high-end audio people but their sanity and their musical interests has absolutely nothing to do with their high-end audio involvement, would be a hobby or occupation. 
 
 
So, this dissociation between audio benefits and the benefits to the thin levels of human awareness (aka musicality) is the main reason why I feel that high-end audio is a huge fake and nothing but a stupid deception. This is also (in partial) a reason why 100-year-old 78 disks substantially overperform the best today audio methods in terms of musical impact. You can put a pretty mask over a corps in morgue and make the mask to have a sensational smile. It would not make the dead person to be alive. Following this metaphor, to me the whole high-end audio industry, with all its greedy manufacturers, with all its pompous reviewers, with all its “professional” editors, with all its “experienced” participants is nothing more than a herd of morgue’s mask painters.



Whenever I feel blue, I start breathing again.
01-04-2018 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,486
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 4
Post ID: 24626
Reply to: 24617
About mediumX
 Newtohorn wrote:
Hi, my question remains, if the sound that Olympian achieves is something your home system is doable?
  
 rowuk wrote:
One thing I would disagree on is about the 78 outperforming todays offerings.

 
I presume that Newtohorn might consider this response appalling but I promise that it is not intended to be. Still I do not want to risk it and do not post it in his thread. In fact, what I feel that the view introduced in this response superbly important, probably the most important then whatever was written about audio before. 
 
Newtohorn feel that sound that Olympian produced moved him, which is perfectly fine. The biggest question he needs to ask himself is following: was he moved in fact by the Sound or by some other medium that was just shaped by Sound? I am not taking about music, that is a separate subject, I am taking about pure machine-human communication protocol. 
 
If we presume that it was not Sound that moved him but other medium, let call it mediumX, then would it be that a loudspeaker that produces “better” or “more” mediumX be more preferable that a loudspeaker that produce better Sound but “less” mediumX? This question is in the very core of my vision of entire audio and this is why I’m posting it in this thread.  The high-end audio is not a discipline about people but a discipline about subjects. Each and single high-end audio gate-kipper acts like an autistic child, preferring a company of subjects instead of company of inspirations, spirituality and human experience. Not that they are bad people, they are just handicaped by the nature of High-End objectives, which are to sell more things that produce more endless iterations of Sounds and less mediumX. Why less mediumX? Because the mediumX is not a tradable commodity. 
 
Anyhow, returning back to the example with Olympian. It produces a wonderful Sound and let pretend that some it does a high amplitude of mediumX. Let presume (juts the numbers off the wall) that it uses 97% of it’s efficiency to Sound and 3% of the efficiency to mediumX. Then we have a phonograph, the 78-record player with a nice pressing of pre-1924 recording. What I claim, is that a phonograph spends let say uses 60% of it’s efficiency to Sound and 40% of the efficiency to produce the mediumX. If my claim is correct, then a phonograph might be considered more capable audio devise then Olympian because it has less output of less irrelevant Sound and more output of more relevant mediumX. 
   
Rowuk, I do not advocate phonographs and I do simplify the things quite a bit. The only reason why I bring this argument is because over year the stupid High-End industry never asked itself a question “why” more then 2-3 levels deep. They invented “sound quality”, they attributed this “sound quality”, 320536 fake properties and they shuffle the deck of the properties in front of pre-lubricated brainless audio consumers. The pure Newtohorn will never get his answers in realm of audio and I assure you that Kevin who designed the Olympian did not use his audio only knowledge to get his Olympian to sound as it presumably is.
 


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
01-04-2018 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Arno P
Posts 18
Joined on 06-10-2011

Post #: 5
Post ID: 24629
Reply to: 24626
Strip the Olympian and Enjoy the Journey!
In order to answer the question if the sound of an Olympian is doable at home, it can be answered in a couple of ways. Using the same components and configuration, you get the same sound (for the doable part, how much money can you invest?). With this in mind you should be stripping the Olympian from all needless aspects, needless for sound I mean. Cut the bling, wood work etc etc. With a minimalistic version like that, can you affort the components and can you maintain "listening in the dark" without the interest of the looks.
Now to the thing that really matters, it's not the Olympian but it's what gives you the goosebumps when listening to what music. Is the emotion of the people playing the music fully transferred to your brain/feeling to experience the similar deep emotion?
Listening a lot to audio systems and building them you may discover that experiencing the ultimate musical emotion is not up to the investment of a system but it is linked to the right balance of all elements. Eg. listening jerry mulligan 50's vinyl record on my DIY horn/valve system sucked me into it and I could not get it. Old recording, mono, lows and highs cut off but the coherence of the performance and recording made it work...goosebumps (what a waste to build the over-the-top audioo system over 30+ years ;-)).
Now if someone could affort an instant purchase of an Olympian set, it can be appreciated to listen to but frankly I think you would be missing a lot of the story of enjoying small steps of improvements having your system grow with you and above all with how you listen to and experience music. A huge leap doesn't give you a reference you can compare with, small steps are still digestable to notice and merge into your audio-gene-experience. A too big chunk will not reveal the details of all excellent micro-areas of excellence since you never learned to recognize these.
All in all, think in terms of experiencing musical emotions and what ever works for you now (and is affordable) will show it's flaws and you want to make the next very enjoyable upgrade, whether it is a new component or a simple tweak of the loudspeaker placement.

Enjoy the Journey!
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