BBC says Hi Fi is dead in the US

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av_phile

Senior Audioholic
<font color='#000000'>Nice article there.

Just a few thoughts I wish to share.

(1) &nbsp;These days, appreciating music has gone beyond having a &quot;Tower&quot; of players and equalizers and amps that you can only enjoy at home. &nbsp;It has become a MOBILE hobby. &nbsp;It started with those Walkmans and Discmans. &nbsp;Now thanks to compressible formats and the internet, we have downloadable MP3 files that can deliver hundreds of music titles in your palm. &nbsp;And small compact headphones that deliver &nbsp;high quality &quot;hi-fi-ish&quot; sonics contributed to make that possible.

Moreover, &quot;hi-fi&quot; sound has become more affordable to more people than before, thanks to the diigitalization and miniturization of music storage and their playback gears, the humbling of cost and the spread of accesibility via the internet. &nbsp;No longer is the audiophilic pursuit the realm of the rich. &nbsp;It's now for everyone. &nbsp;Are they truly hi-fi? &nbsp;Maybe not in the strickest standards, but I must say the sounds on those miniature earhones on cellphones playing MP3 often sound a bit better than the walkmans of the past. &nbsp;

(2) &nbsp;From SINGLES to ALBUMS was a way for corporate America to earn profits from 1 or 2 hits from artists. Never mind if the rest of the songs in an album are crap. &nbsp;It's the 1 or 2 hits that sell the album whose production cost is about the same as that of a single. &nbsp; Consumers have learned it doesn't give them value to pay for a costly albums when all they wanted to hear was 1 or 2 titles. &nbsp;Now with the internet, the consumers are given the option to compile and pay only for the titles they want to hear. &nbsp;The consumer then makes his/her own digital album of compilation. &nbsp;Very personalized. &nbsp;The age of micro-marketing in music is reaching its peak, if not already.

This is a wake-up call for the music industry. &nbsp;Either they slash their CD album prices or go the way of the dinosaurs. In many parts of the world, music pirates are making sure the masses get a taste of what 'Hi-Fi&quot; sound is like via recompiled copies of albums played on cheap generic players. &nbsp;It's a revolution of sort. &nbsp;

(3) &nbsp;The pursuit of HI-Fi will always be there, though not as widespread and fact-based as before. It will become personalized as well, embracing all forms of disciplines and beliefs, whether founded on fact of myth. &nbsp;Thus, you now have a growing market for exotic and expensive tube gears, speakers and cables, limited or preowned LPs, &nbsp;etc. &nbsp;Whether these are hi-fi or not, it doesn't matter, there will always be people who will buy want they want to hear and believe. At the other extreme, you have a generation of music lovers who just want to hear their favourite aritsts with the least amount of ceremonious hassle anywhere anytime. &nbsp;Are the gears they use HIFI? &nbsp;Again, it doesn't matter, as long as they enjoy what they listen to.</font>
 
Yamahaluver

Yamahaluver

Audioholic General
<font color='#0000FF'>av_phille, nicely written, I would just like to add that the current trend in getting the micro system is pretty dangerous. It is way more prevalent here in Asia than anywhere else. Many a times my gullible friends would invite me to check out their latest Tokyo by night micro system with an astonishing 6000W of power which they bought at 1/10 of my system cost. To them it is an acheivment and they would have that smug look when they would show me the wattage and ask how come your 72lb Yamaha power amp only develops a measly 260W.

Also more and more people who go into the hi-fi stores across the globe are being steered into HT system. Now this man with his limited budget could have bought a moderately good quality amp and good quality speakers, instead he or she is forced to stretch their budget and compromise and buy cheap multiple speakers as well as a low end receivers and this system never satisfies them.</font>
 
A

av_phile

Senior Audioholic
<font color='#000000'>No doubt about that Yamahaluver,

I've seen a TV ad about a 10,000 watt HT system where cars and motorbikes get blown out of the road everytime they pass by the house playing one such gear.  Even the house is shown shaking while playing one.

It may really be difficult convincing &quot;less informed&quot; consumers that what their are buying is bogus stuff and the vendors and manufacturers are really playing-up on consumer misguided impressions.  A 1,000 watt PMPO stereo set is actaully no more than around 40 watts RMS per channel.   PMPO has no technical meaning or relevance.  It is more a marketing hype.  What's worse, these sets use IC power chips on the audio output stage and is rich in odd-ordered THDs and IMs and is not considered audiophile-grade.  That is why i hardly consider gears from companies with a line of products advertised with PMPO ratings.

The next time you meet your friends touting their 6000 watt gears, ask them to check the rear of their system to find out what is stated there as the maximum electrical power consumption.  I doubt if it goes beyond 300 watts total.  A sound system cannot and will not give out  audio power more than what it takes in as electrical power.  And it is always less than the stated power consumotion to account for heat losses as well as power headroom for transient peaks.  If the total audio power is about the same as the electrical power consumption, it is certain the amplifier does not have good transient response or dynamics.  My Onkyo receiver consumes 560 watts of electrical power to give out 70 watts RMS each into 5 channels.  A Rotel multi-channel amp model eats around 700 watts of electrical power to give out only 60 watts RMS each into 6 channels.  </font>
 

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