How NFTs & Art Can Teach the Stagnant World of HiFi A Lesson About the Future

gene

gene

Audioholics Master Chief
Administrator
Is the high end audiophile world dying while the NFT, tech savvy, cryptocurrency movement is forging ahead without impunity? In this editorial we are challenging audiophiles to think differently about the status quo, and that is a good thing. Take some time to think about what comes next for the hobby. Where is the value? How could it be different and more enjoyable instead of being a closed-off group of baby boomers?

vinyl.jpg


Read: How Art Can Teach the Stagnant World of HiFi A Lesson About the Future
 
ryanosaur

ryanosaur

Audioholic Warlord
Perhaps it is because I’m still half-asleep, but I have yet to feel anything positive about NFTs and why I might want to start caring about them.
On the other hand, I completely agree that so much of the audio world is stuck in the past, worshipping idiosyncrasies…
And somehow preying on the foolish [phoolish?] with promises of magic (cables, DACs, etc).
That said, the art world and the music world both focus on what has been done… a recorded event… in stone, oil, watercolor, 5-piece combo, brass choir, symphonic wind ensemble…. And let’s not look beyond everything but stone or wood: all of the “information” is passed on through means of a way to keep that information and access it such as canvas or black velvet or vinyl, magnetic tape and compact disc. Even digital downloads are still about something that happened the other day (or last year, decade, etc).

I get the point, though, I think. How do we in the audio world move forward? Keep it alive and pass the love of high quality sound on to more and more people?
A big part starts with not belittling the person that can’t afford to buy an original print of your favorite artist… or an original pressing of the White Album. Even here we see people still talking about needing expensive gear with little to no return on the investment or that which still promotes lower quality audio through means of distortion.

In short: dogma.

I come back to that theme, often.
Even here, dogma can still run (and ruin) the day. “If not this way, then you are wrong and can’t have good sound!”
That’s what we need to move beyond, in my opinion. And more people will feen much more comfortable with exploring an audio future.

I should go back to bed, I’m certain, but it’s time for my morning swim.
 
BoredSysAdmin

BoredSysAdmin

Audioholic Overlord
I describe NFT in simple terms: Imagine if the original Mona Lisa painting had a price tag. So buying the Mona Lisa's NFT, you're buying only the price tag. Except for NFT, in reality, it is even less than that since you get nothing physical here, just a string of numbers.

I think this whole NFT idea is idiotic and has nothing to do with audio, which to stay relevant in the future should be both easier to get great-sounding in the room and more affordable. We had some progress on both fronts, but we still have LOTS of work, especially on the first point. We live in an age where AI is almost no longer science fiction. We surely could do better using modern technology than do Subwoofer crawls and completely dark Voodoo arts, what acoustic room treatments are.
 
Last edited:
SithZedi

SithZedi

Audioholic General
Interesting questions indeed. NFTs seem more suited for "content" than anything else. Its not easy to see how the audio experience, passion, hobby can be monetized in the same way. To hook the younger generations, two things would help. More emphasis (maybe less snobbery by some) on selling entry level equipment to get them interested and hooked. Also, it would help if today's popular music was not the same monotonous rhythms and processed vocals that make little use of the audio ranges of a high end system. Maybe more focus on selling old music content that does make good use of a high end system to the younger crowd. Then they might think the purchase of audio equipment is worth it.
There are many other factors at play too. Different attitudes to real estate, higher living costs, smart phone use, etc., makes it complex.
 
ryanosaur

ryanosaur

Audioholic Warlord
More emphasis (maybe less snobbery by some) on selling entry level equipment to get them interested and hooked. Also, it would help if today's popular music was not the same monotonous rhythms and processed vocals that make little use of the audio ranges of a high end system.
Careful… you said “maybe less snobbery…” only to proceed being snobbish about another persons preferred “art.” ;)

It’s tricky. The Lady listens to stuff I can’t stand most of the time (99.995% :eek:), walking around the house with her iPhone speaker blaring…
But then she asks to hear it on my rig. Sure I roll my eyes, but I give her the request happily so she can hear what it’s supposed to sound like.
And some of it had been surprising (Snow The Product, a Latina MC).

Anyway, it’s not about the music itself, it’s about why anybody should care to have a better means of reproducing it. But not just music, either, rather the whole story of home entertainment, whatever that may mean to a person. The catch is in having it make sense and be accessible.
 
SithZedi

SithZedi

Audioholic General
Careful… you said “maybe less snobbery…” only to proceed being snobbish about another persons preferred “art.” ;)

It’s tricky. The Lady listens to stuff I can’t stand most of the time (99.995% :eek:), walking around the house with her iPhone speaker blaring…
But then she asks to hear it on my rig. Sure I roll my eyes, but I give her the request happily so she can hear what it’s supposed to sound like.
And some of it had been surprising (Snow The Product, a Latina MC).

Anyway, it’s not about the music itself, it’s about why anybody should care to have a better means of reproducing it. But not just music, either, rather the whole story of home entertainment, whatever that may mean to a person. The catch is in having it make sense and be accessible.
Yeah, a lot of subjectivity there!
 
ryanosaur

ryanosaur

Audioholic Warlord
Yeah, a lot of subjectivity there!
Don’t misunderstand: I agree about what passes as music, now. Auto-Tune and those gimmicks are so overdone it’s beyond nauseating, yet producers and artists are still using them!
*throws up a little in my mouth

:)
 
RGuasto

RGuasto

Audiophyte
Wow. Did you just compare steely dan aja to Kpop? I think I just vomited in my mouth.
 
M

mns3dhm

Enthusiast
It seems like the modern (read younger) audio consumer is interested in and buying DACs, headphones, and powered/portable speakers. They want to be able to listen to music while doing other things and\or take it around or transmit it around to wherever they are. There is a lot of enthusiasm for this approach and systems like this can be assembled for a fairly reasonable cost. All you need to add is a PC or phone containing a music library and you're in business. Sound quality can vary greatly but systems carefully built can sound excellent. For those reasons I'm somewhat enthusiastic about the future of audio. It will be digital, portable, and far more communicative and interactive than what we experience today.

Other products I am less certain about include high end components associated with 'sitting and listening to music' as an activity. They may be destined for niche markets and possibly obsolescence as the audience for this ages and dwindles. Things like AVRS, separate power amps, preamps, large passive tower speakers, physical media players, etc. will probably have smaller markets in the long run. This will not mean the end of high-end audio but there will be a change of the guard so to speak.
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Jedi
While a bit of a stretch between an NFT and audio, I totally agree the old audio guard is not helping the new in many ways.
 
Mark A

Mark A

Enthusiast
I remember purchasing my first CD player in what I believe was 1985 ( I’m 57). All the discs I could find were expensive imports, but I was SOLD. No more pops, clicks or rumble. No more energy stealing warped vinyl. It was change and I believed in it. I still do.

My friends did not share my enthusiasm.

Change is often hard for folks. Especially when they have already committed to having spent no small amount of money on, for lack of a better phrase, legacy equipment.

But what has always struck me as odd about audio is how completely different it is to it’s compatriot: video.

No one pines away for Standard Definition video. Or DVD vs. Blu-Ray.
 
newsletter

  • RBHsound.com
  • BlueJeansCable.com
  • SVS Sound Subwoofers
  • Experience the Martin Logan Montis
Top