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golden age of hifi coming ?

plus 1

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Dec 5, 2019
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with all the new formats, ways of now listening to music in the home and with bars and clubs being closed due to covid, is there now a golden age of home listening upon us ?
 

12th Monkey

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Aug 31, 2015
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Even though many of us are enjoying that aspect, I doubt that anything enforced will be viewed as golden by many. And so little listening seems to be done on what I'd consider to be hifi that I'd have to disagree with the thread title anyway.

Now, if you'd asked whether people are listening to more music at home rather than elsewhere the answer is yes, but that's rather starting the obvious during lockdown.
 
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Even though many of us are enjoying that aspect, I doubt that anything enforced will be viewed as golden by many. And so little listening seems to be done on what I'd consider to be hifi that I'd have to disagree with the thread title anyway.

Now, if you'd asked whether people are listening to more music at home rather than elsewhere the answer is yes, but that's rather starting the obvious during lockdown.
golden age as in for the hifi industry and home entertainment in general.

more time at home due to music clubs etc closed combined with more ways / choices of listening to music was my point hence a pick up in hifi sales...
 

knaithrover

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Nov 24, 2013
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Unfortunately most people nowadays wouldn't even consider buying hifi separates in fact I'm sure most don't even know what they are....
A Bluetooth sound bar or Sonos speakers are most people's choice.
 
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MrBee

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Sep 19, 2020
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with all the new formats, ways of now listening to music in the home and with bars and clubs being closed due to covid, is there now a golden age of home listening upon us ?
Er... Sadly nope! Problem here is musical genieuses! There are fewer and fewer of these genieuses being created! Children today are so well brought up compared to 50-60 years ago the great talent from misfit children has completely diminished. Children today are more like drones of sickly goody too shoes types. They look at us old farts and think were weird. Yes that's because we were beaten, abused used and violated. That's where gratuitus geniuses came from. Total misfits fighting back. That's not happening so no fantastic music from the depths of despair. Also copyrights go on forever so no way of being creative with old sounds. So modern music is borderline.....You know hat I mean!

So great ways of making music today but nothing worth making on it! Truth be told we should have a 5 year limit on all music.... Then every recording except for a few mesters should be deleted so as to give the kids a chance to be creative again without being blocked by copyrights!
 

PlastermanOG

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Sep 2, 2020
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I agree with much of what's already been said, and it's probably the reason why the most ubiquitous streaming service Spotify has no plans to introduce a hifi/hires to it's service.
They'll know that most of their customers use their phone for streaming.
 

sonic1

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Dec 27, 2019
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Golden ? I don't see it.

I purchased a P3 in January, my bother in law say's " nice, I fancy some of that and gets Pro Ject all in one system, father in law says " brings back memories and gets a P2, Cambridge AMP and some B&W's. People love something tangible and the more we get it out there the better.
 

Simon 13th note

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Jul 27, 2020
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Unfortunately most people nowadays wouldn't even consider buying hifi separates in fact I'm sure most don't even know what they are....
A Bluetooth sound bar or Sonos speakers are most people's choice.
i think dealers have to get much more invloved in the music scene in their respective areas. Do more pr, Facebook etc. They rest on their laurels waiting for someone to turn up because the music is almost incidental to why they do it. and they need to stock reasonable price gear rather than going for the linns of this world etc. Align music with hifi more , get artists and musicians turning up etc, sell tickets for concerts etc.

that way music and buying hifi wont just be about self listening in the living room but part of the bigger music picture. Not a rant about hifi dealers but I think the new hifi scene has to absolutely not be about middle aged men like me or old farts listening at home. We need young blood.

I’m amazed how looking at some manufacturers sites they have less followers than my site, but have been going a lot longer. There is complacency too get the message out there. id have dealers doing a lot more.
 

record_spot

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May 30, 2015
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Definitely. Spoilt for choice with products, availability, internet connectivity, new era for turntables and quality is right up there for hifi, home cinema and portable audio. These days, you'd need to screw up pretty badly to get a system that sounded like junk. And all that's been true for a few years now. The golden age is very much here.
 
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plus 1

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Definitely. Spoilt for choice with products, availability, internet connectivity, new era for turntables and quality is right up there for hifi, home cinema and portable audio. These days, you'd need to screw up pretty badly to get a system that sounded like junk. And all that's been true for a few years now. The golden age is very much here.
and that was my point !

lots of ways now of listening (different formats) plus kit choices meaning you no longer need multiple boxes to get a great sound.

i spend many evenings listening to all types of music via youtube and its free. i can then purchase the albums as downloads, vinyl, cd or sometimes cassette tape !
 
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Friesiansam

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Feb 3, 2015
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and that was my point !

lots of ways now of listening (different formats) plus kit choices meaning you no longer need multiple boxes to get a great sound.

i spend many evenings listening to all types of music via youtube and its free. i can then purchase the albums as downloads, vinyl, cd or sometimes cassette tape !
Couldn't agree more. Back in the dim and distant I had a full system, Technics plus Hitachi speakers adn Beyerdynamic headphones and, I thought it was great. Now I have CD quality files on my PC feeding a DAC/headphone amp and a pair of headphones.

Thinking back to that old setup and, to what the sound was like from my PC during my first 18 years of owning one. That I can get sound quality that puts my old system to shame, via a PC, seems quite extraordinary and that's before you consider the try-before-you-buy aspect of free streaming with Youtube and Spotify. Oh, and even my little Fiio E10K, I use for general video and game sound, sounds remarkably good for a 60 quid box.
 

nn_in

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Feb 23, 2015
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with all the new formats, ways of now listening to music in the home and with bars and clubs being closed due to covid, is there now a golden age of home listening upon us ?
The tyranny of choice increases with many brands launching newer version's.
Guess within 5yrs high quality room correction DSP may become mainstream like tone control feature in all amps.
 

matthewpiano

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Nov 23, 2007
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I'm not sure 'golden age' quite describes it, but it's certainly a time of transition, not just for hi-fi but also for the music that is the reason for its existence.

Streaming platforms offer cheap access to a huge range of music, both newly released and from the past. The incorporation of these platforms into modern hi-fi has made them a serious source and to some extent this isn't a bad thing. It offers more people than ever a huge opportunity to explore music beyond what they know and to find new music to enjoy. However, the ease of access on phones and devices such as soundbars and the ubiquitous Amazon Echo means that mainstream listeners are less interested in the concept of dedicated hi-fi. At the same time, this has changed mainstream attitudes to music, with huge numbers of people now viewing it as something throwaway that they don't have to pay more than a nominal subscription for, and as something that doesn't require so much commitment.

This is having a serious impact on music in multiple ways. If the majority of the audience listens only on streaming services and never takes the step of buying the CD, LP or a hi-res download, the musicians can't earn a living from it. It is the record companies, agents and streaming platforms that are making the profits, and the creators are getting the breadcrumbs. This devaluing of music in wider society is also having a detrimental impact on music education provision, with many schools and even Universities squeezing it out of the curriculum. The only way forward in circumventing all this is for musicians to change the way they work, following the example of artists such as Fish, who for some years has promoted, recorded and distributed his music without middle men. Doing so is more accessible than ever before, and it means musicians retain the rights to their work instead of signing them over to a big corporation.

Those people who are interested in listening to music as an activity in itself, rather than as wallpaper to other activities, have some very capable equipment to explore, and that certainly is a good thing. There are more options than ever for putting together a minimalist system that offers good performance without completely dominating the room, and plenty of options for building more extensive multi-source set-ups. As noted in other comments above, hi-fi dealers and musicians do need to work together more closely, and the hi-fi industry has to be better at promoting what it can offer and making it feel more approachable to more people. Dealers certainly need the higher margin high end products to make business sustainable, but they need to more consistently offer the same level of service to those starting out. Without the budget hi-fi buyers of today, there will be no high-end buyers tomorrow.

In a world of increasing entertainment distractions across media there remains huge potential for music and hi-fi to thrive, but it requires more fight and determination than ever to attract the 'footfall' of new explorers.
 
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manicm

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May 1, 2008
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I may be in a minority, but it’s only really Sound United products (Denon/Marantz etc, and now including B&W) and surprisingly Naim that offer me USB drive inputs.

The more I think I want a NAS, the more I’m discouraged by the faff. I don’t need my entire CD collection on a stick, rather just the last 20 or new stuff I buy (I’m in the process of ripping my collection to hard drive). And while I’m a Spotify subscriber, I’m not really keen on going all in on Tidal etc.

I asked Q Acoustics why they didn’t include USB-A on their new Q Active hub - their reply was that they don’t see customers downloading anymore.

That was disappointing for me, and somewhat reinforces what Matthew says.
 
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