Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Are We Living in the Golden Age of High-End Audio?

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Are We Living in the Golden Age of High-End Audio?

    Not if you read some comments on the internet.

    But I just got done talking to someone who just returned from the Winter CES show who was so hyped over over the new NOLA and ELAC speakers among other things that it just got me to thinking. If you haven't heard the little~$560/pair ELACs, you are in for a treat. There are now speakers easily up t o $5000 pair including say the little stand mounted Evolution Acoustics that will give a lot of speakers from not so long ago a run for the money. The little Maggies are exceptional performers given the right space committment. Little Vandys and so on.

    I know thinking can sometimes get us in trouble but in reality today we are experiencing unprecedented levels of performance at all price points in audio today. In fact, some entry level components might do things better than what was considered SOTA not so long ago. Probably the one area we see this the most is in digital though other areas aren't far behind. There are DACS sporting DSD or PCM at under 1000 dollars that would give SOTA from a couple of years ago as serious run. And as Mike Lavigne and I talked about, we may not have gotten everything there is off RBCDs either. Me hearing the Baetis server/Pacific Microsonics HDCD DAC and MikeL with his Trinity DAC. None of that skeleton like sound so often associated with red book CD. Eventually what Trinity is doing will filter down too.

    But even more than that, improvements in materials science has resulted in huge changes in speaker design, components, xover design, etc. More is less now (like we used to joke about ARCi n the early years that each new version was taking parts out. ) Machining that was impossible just a couple of years ago or only available to the military is now available to ordinary companies. That machining and parts also has made possible huge improvements in turntable design, bearings, motors, tonearms ad so on. At the upper level, whatever your source material, whatever your choice of electronics and whatever your choice of speakers, the sound today allows us to as JGH once pointed out, more glimpses of reality than ever. So much of this improvement is related to reducing the noise floor in the system allowing more of the music through; in the case of speakers, it's improving their settling time, resulting in less coloration, less blurring of the music and allowing the drivers to operate in a better atmosphere. Just as the function of a tonearm is to hold the cartridge motionless over the record groove, the same thing can be said for the speaker cabinet. The function of the cabinet is to hold the drivers still and allow them to operate properly.

    I'd also say the industry has matured in the fact that consumers are no longer beta testers. All of the equipment gotten in, has functioned flawlessly. Huge difference from years ago. Even to the point of withstanding the shipping.

    And we had nothing like this ever on the music side. Music available to us on reel-to-reel tape, RBCD, hi-rez digital files and LP. When in the history of audio have we had that many choices. Not to mention the quality of the LP reissues has never been better with QRP producing near perfect, ultra-quiet vinyl; and Pallas and RTI aren't far behind. And 4X DSD right off the master tape or now directly recorded in that format offers unprecedented sound quality for digital recordings.

    I'd say for the industry to support all these choices, things are healthier than you'd think reading many naysayer's posts.
    Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
    Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
    ________________________________________

    -Magico S5 Mk.2 speakers with SPod feet
    -Goldmund Telos 280 stereo amp
    -Goldmund Mimesis 37S Nextgen preamplifier
    -Doshi V3.0 phonostage
    -VPI Vanquish direct-drive turntable
    -VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy dual pivot tonearm, VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy gimballed and SAT LM-12 arm
    -Lyra Atlas SL Lambda, Fuuga, vdh Colibri Master Signature, MutechHayabusa, MOFI Master Tracker, Sumiko Songbird cartridges
    -Technics RS1506 with Flux Magnetic heads, Doshi V3.0 tape stage (balanced)
    -Assorted cables including Transparent XL Gen. 5, Skogrand, Viero, Kubala-Sosna, Audience Au24SX, Genesis Advanced Technologies and Ensemble Power Cords
    -Accessories including Stillpoint Aperture panels, Cathedral Sound panels, Furutech NCF Nano AC receptacles; Silver Circle Tchaik 6 PLC, Symposium ISIS and SRA Craz racks, Audiodharma Cable Cooker, Symposium Ultra and assorted SRA platforms.

  • #2
    Yes, I agree we are living in the most golden period of audio with so many SOTA choices in hardware and software options such as HD files and master dubs...also having Internet sure helps us exposure to new things to learn and chances to obtain the unobtainable stuff compared to pre Web days, IMO. What would've been the chances that anyone would hoard all these studio master tape recorders just thirty years ago?

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Ki Choi View Post
      Yes, I agree we are living in the most golden period of audio with so many SOTA choices in hardware and software options such as HD files and master dubs...also having Internet sure helps us exposure to new things to learn and chances to obtain the unobtainable stuff compared to pre Web days, IMO. What would've been the chances that anyone would hoard all these studio master tape recorders just thirty years ago?

      I think the one neat thing about music servers and CA is the internet connectivity and for instance, having the ability at your fingertips to pull up all the information, music videos, etc. about the musician, group or whatever you are listening to.
      Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
      Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
      ________________________________________

      -Magico S5 Mk.2 speakers with SPod feet
      -Goldmund Telos 280 stereo amp
      -Goldmund Mimesis 37S Nextgen preamplifier
      -Doshi V3.0 phonostage
      -VPI Vanquish direct-drive turntable
      -VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy dual pivot tonearm, VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy gimballed and SAT LM-12 arm
      -Lyra Atlas SL Lambda, Fuuga, vdh Colibri Master Signature, MutechHayabusa, MOFI Master Tracker, Sumiko Songbird cartridges
      -Technics RS1506 with Flux Magnetic heads, Doshi V3.0 tape stage (balanced)
      -Assorted cables including Transparent XL Gen. 5, Skogrand, Viero, Kubala-Sosna, Audience Au24SX, Genesis Advanced Technologies and Ensemble Power Cords
      -Accessories including Stillpoint Aperture panels, Cathedral Sound panels, Furutech NCF Nano AC receptacles; Silver Circle Tchaik 6 PLC, Symposium ISIS and SRA Craz racks, Audiodharma Cable Cooker, Symposium Ultra and assorted SRA platforms.

      Comment


      • #4
        *Bump.*
        Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
        Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
        ________________________________________

        -Magico S5 Mk.2 speakers with SPod feet
        -Goldmund Telos 280 stereo amp
        -Goldmund Mimesis 37S Nextgen preamplifier
        -Doshi V3.0 phonostage
        -VPI Vanquish direct-drive turntable
        -VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy dual pivot tonearm, VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy gimballed and SAT LM-12 arm
        -Lyra Atlas SL Lambda, Fuuga, vdh Colibri Master Signature, MutechHayabusa, MOFI Master Tracker, Sumiko Songbird cartridges
        -Technics RS1506 with Flux Magnetic heads, Doshi V3.0 tape stage (balanced)
        -Assorted cables including Transparent XL Gen. 5, Skogrand, Viero, Kubala-Sosna, Audience Au24SX, Genesis Advanced Technologies and Ensemble Power Cords
        -Accessories including Stillpoint Aperture panels, Cathedral Sound panels, Furutech NCF Nano AC receptacles; Silver Circle Tchaik 6 PLC, Symposium ISIS and SRA Craz racks, Audiodharma Cable Cooker, Symposium Ultra and assorted SRA platforms.

        Comment


        • #5
          I have stated this before but it's worth a second shot. In 1996 I attended the first Stereophile Show at the Waldorff Astoria. There was a huge turnout of vendors. Unfortunately half of the rooms sounded pretty weak. My last show was RMAF last year. It was difficult to find a really bad sounding room because of equipment. Acoustics was another story but the shows have become so excellent in terms of equipment that we are definitely in a very sweet audio spot these days.
          TW Acustic TT with Ref motor & controller; Tri-Planar Arm; Ortofon Windfeld-Ti Cartridge, Harmonix-Combak platter matte & weight; Arcam R Phono Preamp; KLAudio Ultrasonic Record Cleaner.

          Bluesound Vault-2 Music Server & Streamer

          VTL 6.5 preamp Series II
          Pass Labs 150.8 Amp

          Piega C711 Loudspeakers

          Symposium Osiris Rack; Symposium Platforms and Roller Blocks plus grade 2.5 Balls

          Acoustic Revive RR-888 Low Frequency Pulse Generator

          Shunyata Hydra 8; Shunyata AC Cords; Synergistic Research Level 3 HC AC Cord and Level 3 power cord, Synergistic Carbon fiber wall plates & Blue Outlets, Furutech NCF Booster Brace, Audio Art Ref balanced ICs, MIT Oracle IC and Magnum Speaker Cables

          Sennheiser HDV 650 Headphone Amp; Sennheiser HD1200s Headphones.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by 1morerecord2clean View Post
            I have stated this before but it's worth a second shot. In 1996 I attended the first Stereophile Show at the Waldorff Astoria. There was a huge turnout of vendors. Unfortunately half of the rooms sounded pretty weak. My last show was RMAF last year. It was difficult to find a really bad sounding room because of equipment. Acoustics was another story but the shows have become so excellent in terms of equipment that we are definitely in a very sweet audio spot these days.
            Great point there Marc!

            And I'll add the sound of entry level high-end audio equipment has never been better.
            Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
            Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
            ________________________________________

            -Magico S5 Mk.2 speakers with SPod feet
            -Goldmund Telos 280 stereo amp
            -Goldmund Mimesis 37S Nextgen preamplifier
            -Doshi V3.0 phonostage
            -VPI Vanquish direct-drive turntable
            -VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy dual pivot tonearm, VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy gimballed and SAT LM-12 arm
            -Lyra Atlas SL Lambda, Fuuga, vdh Colibri Master Signature, MutechHayabusa, MOFI Master Tracker, Sumiko Songbird cartridges
            -Technics RS1506 with Flux Magnetic heads, Doshi V3.0 tape stage (balanced)
            -Assorted cables including Transparent XL Gen. 5, Skogrand, Viero, Kubala-Sosna, Audience Au24SX, Genesis Advanced Technologies and Ensemble Power Cords
            -Accessories including Stillpoint Aperture panels, Cathedral Sound panels, Furutech NCF Nano AC receptacles; Silver Circle Tchaik 6 PLC, Symposium ISIS and SRA Craz racks, Audiodharma Cable Cooker, Symposium Ultra and assorted SRA platforms.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by MylesBAstor View Post

              Great point there Marc!

              And I'll add the sound of entry level high-end audio equipment has never been better.
              Isn't that the truth Myles! So much gear today with performance characteristics of much more expensive gear.
              TW Acustic TT with Ref motor & controller; Tri-Planar Arm; Ortofon Windfeld-Ti Cartridge, Harmonix-Combak platter matte & weight; Arcam R Phono Preamp; KLAudio Ultrasonic Record Cleaner.

              Bluesound Vault-2 Music Server & Streamer

              VTL 6.5 preamp Series II
              Pass Labs 150.8 Amp

              Piega C711 Loudspeakers

              Symposium Osiris Rack; Symposium Platforms and Roller Blocks plus grade 2.5 Balls

              Acoustic Revive RR-888 Low Frequency Pulse Generator

              Shunyata Hydra 8; Shunyata AC Cords; Synergistic Research Level 3 HC AC Cord and Level 3 power cord, Synergistic Carbon fiber wall plates & Blue Outlets, Furutech NCF Booster Brace, Audio Art Ref balanced ICs, MIT Oracle IC and Magnum Speaker Cables

              Sennheiser HDV 650 Headphone Amp; Sennheiser HD1200s Headphones.

              Comment

              Working...
              X