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The diary entries of a little girl in her 30s! ~ Part 2 - Page 1377  

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post #20642 of 21761
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Originally Posted by Oregonian View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by jgray91 View Post

This is bad. I'm really getting used to a trackball, and I want a more modern one with scroll wheel and two more buttons for changing tabs......


You'd love the Logitech M570 wireless. 

No, not really. For one, it's a thumb driven trackball, whicj admittedly I was yearning for the first 10 mins when I was using the Orbit. But a few hours later I got pretty comfortable now with finger trackball. Sure I still want to try a thumb trackball though, just to compare.
www.43rumors.com/ft5-first-images-of-the-new-olympus-lenses/

Mmmmmmm. Loving that compact new kit zoom. That's what m43 is, IMO, being compact as ****. To bad olumpus can't manage to bring out a zoom starting with 24mm fullframe equivalent. 28mm equiv. is a bit too narrow I find for a surprisinv amount of occasion.
post #20643 of 21761
Thread Starter 

Building on what you're saying RGD, I think Beats are a signifier for a larger phenomena: a type of headphone consumerism that many head-fiers consider inferior, second-rate. One based on giving in to mass marketing hype rather than doing 'genuine' research. The irony being that plenty of head-fiers make their purchasing decisions based on similar criteria: people they don't know say it sounds good, it has an appealing design in their eyes, and most importantly it's compatible with their self-image. I also think the warm and fuzzy sensation people feel buying stuff is the same.

 

Whatever the reasoning people employ or don't employ though, it's the reaction to those perceived facts that is of interest to me, specifically the stabilizing effect a mutual distaste for Beats has on this community. It brings people together, it creates a sense of continuity in this forum's narrative. It's a data point the knowledge of which puts one in-the-know, a nod of the head from one enlightened chap to another while passing in the hallways. It's an avatar to which the ills of the hobby can be blamed.

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Right on MF, one side just spends a lot more to justify its spending.
Heck, after spending 5000 on a rig, they want to be acknowledged and validated by the tribe. Same motive, different paths.
post #20645 of 21761
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Originally Posted by ardgedee View Post
 

The other side of the coin, I guess, is that Beats are fashion and status items. For a lot of teens and twentysomething nerds/geeks/etc, Beats represent an inappropriate use of technology but also serve as symbols of particular insider/social caste that excludes them. So there's that resentment feeding into the dynamic too.

 

It gets hard to tease apart the emotional and logical aspects of Beats-hate.

 

That's an interesting idea, I never really thought of it in these terms. 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MuppetFace View Post
 

Whatever the reasoning people employ or don't employ though, it's the reaction to those perceived facts that is of interest to me, specifically the stabilizing effect a mutual distaste for Beats has on this community. It brings people together, it creates a sense of continuity in this forum's narrative. It's a data point the knowledge of which puts one in-the-know, a nod of the head from one enlightened chap to another while passing in the hallways. It's an avatar to which the ills of the hobby can be blamed.

 

This reminds me of Orwell's eternal war.

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Woooooooo https://soundcloud.com/coxncrendor/cox-n-crendor-the-nerdcast

High quality non content podcast is back! Too bad that they ran out of steam for a long time since I really like their stupid banter.
post #20647 of 21761
Quote:
Originally Posted by MuppetFace View Post
 

Building on what you're saying RGD, I think Beats are a signifier for a larger phenomena: a type of headphone consumerism that many head-fiers consider inferior, second-rate. One based on giving in to mass marketing hype rather than doing 'genuine' research. The irony being that plenty of head-fiers make their purchasing decisions based on similar criteria: people they don't know say it sounds good, it has an appealing design in their eyes, and most importantly it's compatible with their self-image. I also think the warm and fuzzy sensation people feel buying stuff is the same.

 

Whatever the reasoning people employ or don't employ though, it's the reaction to those perceived facts that is of interest to me, specifically the stabilizing effect a mutual distaste for Beats has on this community. It brings people together, it creates a sense of continuity in this forum's narrative. It's a data point the knowledge of which puts one in-the-know, a nod of the head from one enlightened chap to another while passing in the hallways. It's an avatar to which the ills of the hobby can be blamed.

 Yeah, I've been thinking along those lines as well. That's one of the downsides to following a FOTM product, right? Falling for the mass psychosis...

 

Another thing I've been thinking about is how most people keep saying that there are better headphones out there. I wouldn't have a problem with that statement if it wasn't for my suspicion that they don't actually mean better, but more in line with their own taste. I've seen people recommending better headphones such as Denons, UIltrasones, Grados, Sennheisers and so on. See a red line between those headphones other than them being head-fi darlings among their own enthusiasts and possibly less popular than Beats? Me neither. Those brands are quite different in their approach to sound, which makes me question, what exactly do they mean by better?

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A better headphone is one that is more suited to my tastes, no matter how idiosyncratic it is.

 

There are some generally very good headphones. They're safe recommendations because they fulfill the range of expectations that many head-fiers have regarding headphones. They meet all-but-a-few features so well that it's up to any individual to decide which features are most important and which shortcomings are easiest to ignore. (eg, LCD-2: Sounds great, does a lot of things well, but is heavy and feels kinda' stifling. HD-800: Sounds great, is light and incredibly comfortable, but does... something... with the tonal balance that feels offputting to some people without investing effort into modding and component matching.) If anything, the extensive discussions about the shortcomings of canon equipment and how we consider them*, deal with them, and try to work around them consume some measurable percentage of the summit-fi forum. heh.

*(which includes "that thing you think is a problem isn't really a problem, maybe you're not capable of appreciating it" type arguments.)

 

Beyond the headphone canon, the idiosyncrasies become more pronounced or the compromises are greater. There are more models to choose from, more camps to join, the arguments are the same but the vehemence is not backed with the same self-assurance of status. "Maybe you're not capable of appreciating it" arguments don't crop up as often, because the adherents usually know their headphones are best only at some qualified thing or some limited way. There is still a relatively short list of name-checkable headphones you can cite which will identify you as part of the head-fi in-crowd.

post #20649 of 21761
Quote:
Originally Posted by Coq de Combat View Post
 

 Yeah, I've been thinking along those lines as well. That's one of the downsides to following a FOTM product, right? Falling for the mass psychosis...

 

Another thing I've been thinking about is how most people keep saying that there are better headphones out there. I wouldn't have a problem with that statement if it wasn't for my suspicion that they don't actually mean better, but more in line with their own taste. I've seen people recommending better headphones such as Denons, UIltrasones, Grados, Sennheisers and so on. See a red line between those headphones other than them being head-fi darlings among their own enthusiasts and possibly less popular than Beats? Me neither. Those brands are quite different in their approach to sound, which makes me question, what exactly do they mean by better?

 

Interesting video:

 

 

Funny thing is I see the same kind of beats bashing on the other side of the counter.  I don't really see myself being overly sympathetic to Beats but it is good to see that they are taking steps toward at least doing doing half decent fartcannons.  You are right that even the head-fi darling brands put out some less than stellar headphones, I remember the first pair of over-ears I bought were Sennheiser HD515's, and I probably don't need to tell you what miserable headphones they were.  Following that I bought Sony MDR-V700's, again pretty awful headphones from a head-fi approved brand.  BUT this still doesn't mean that Beats and Bose should be considered equal to Sennheiser or AKG.  The main difference as I see it is that Sennhesier and AKG have produced some incredible headphones that have pushed the boundaries of hi-fi audio.  Beats and Skullcandy are purely consumer grade, they offer barely anything to enthusiasts.

 

Reminds me, whatever happened to AKG's new flagship, hype seems to have faded fast.  I think Tyle has done some measurements - seems they have pretty poor time domain performance.  If there is any brand that deserves to be demonised, IMO it's AKG who time and again disappoint head-fi.  Beats and Skullcandy, on the other hand, seem to be mamking better and better headphones, and as has been mentioned elsewhere, are probably doing more for headphone enthusiasm than many of the niche brands head-fi loves.

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why not? Why can't bose or monster at one time be on the same level,or at least near the level of senn or akg? To date,the best implementation of noise cancelling headphones is still that bose quietcomfort thing. Sure itbmight seem trivial considering its main feature,but if someone's priority is the NC, why not. Or Beats, it singlehandedly made the $200 to $400 headphone segment viable for a lot of other headphones manufacturers, and giving us more headphones to choose from. Okay so maybe that's not enough but bose thing though. That is still valid for bose to be an "okay " brand.
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Bose did achieve a lot with noise cancelling, but I would still argue that that is something of a sidenote in the audiophile search for hifi nirvana, something pragmatic, consumer freindly and easy to sell. It's good that they put so much r&d into making the best noise cancelling headphones, but they probably made all that r&d money selling mediocre hifi systems. I guess Bose arent really trv kvlt enough, they have the noise cancelling niche covered but they arent interested in challenging Senn or AKG etc. flagship headphones.

To a lesser extent i guess Senn and AKG also sell mediocre gear, as my first two heaphones..
Edited by drez - 1/18/14 at 5:46am
post #20652 of 21761
Thread Starter 

I've actually been writing about AKG quite a bit lately. In recent years they've no doubt suffered from stagnation, topped off with something of an identity crisis due to Harmon simultaneously trying to capitalize on their studio reputation while making rather questionable concessions to whatever perception of street culture some marketing director has somewhere behind closed doors. Yet by and large I think the assertions of their decline are exaggerated, and when I see talk of the disappointment they've sown in this hobby, it strikes me as a rather selective interpretation of the last decade.

 

Granted there was disappointment. The K701 was regarded by many as a step back from the K501, and AKG continued to release new versions of it rather than something wholly new. Supposed rumors of a new K1000 got peoples' hopes up on a biannual basis. That creative spark of old that resulted in beloved designs like the K340 seemed to have evaporated under Harmon's watch and was instead replaced by a propensity for lime green and celebrity affiliations.  Really though, their decision to use Quincy Jones and Tiesto was not a bad one in and of itself; there are names synonymous with music production and mainstream DJ culture respectively, and they speak to the creative / generative side of headphone usage that AKG has presented to consumers since the days of the Sexttet. Even so, there was nothing particularly noteworthy behind the packaging for a lot of folks. It seemed like AKG was running on the fumes of past creativity. 

 

However I think AKG has been slowly coming back to a position of relevance. They're still got some ways to go---especially in today's landscape---but these last few years have seen successes and positive steps in the right direction:

 

~> Say what you will about the K3003's value, but it's got solid engineering behind it and shows AKG can still innovate. It inspired a number of imitators and charted the direction on an entire industry after its release. Oh, and I actually think it sounds better than the K1000 in some respects too.

 

~> The K550 has been quite popular since its release and has developed something of a following.  I really didn't care for the way it sounded initially, but AKG ironed out some of the biggest issues with its sound on subsequent batches. Its fit and finish are top notch in its price range, and it was at the forefront of this current closed headphone renaissance. 

 

~> Sure, they've been milking the K701 for all its worth, but the new versions of it---the Anniversary and the K712---are a definite improvement over the original and have been garnering quite a bit of praise from folks.

 

~> Hype for the K812 was bound to level off at some point, especially as it was mostly perpetuated by a handful of people who got to audition it early. Right now things seem a bit quiet because Tyll more or less said he wasn't excited enough by how it sounded to bother reviewing it (uh.. which was in and of itself something of a review I guess?). It measured well in some areas, not quite as well in others. Just going by those things and some of the early impressions (including Tyll's) it seems to do the things that matter most to me well. Of course I wont know for sure until I actually give it a listen. Many retailers still don't have stock of them, and of those that do they only just recently got them in, so I imagine the discussion will pick up in the coming months as people get a chance to actually experience them

 

~> The most intriguing thing AKG has been doing in recent years, to my mind, is the research with Dr. Olive into ideal target response curves. Basically they've been looking into commonalities of what makes a headphone sound good to people. This is research that has a lot of potential for future applications, and if I'm not mistaken it's already been applied to a degree in the tuning of the K812. This is one of the main reasons as to why I'm excited about the K812, personally.

 

 


 

Returning to Beats, I honestly think sound has a very small part to play in all of this. 

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I completely forgot about the K3003!  I can talk a lot of Schiit.

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