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Common Ground - What Personal Audio has that High End (Stereo) Doesn't

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

Hey Everybody,

 

I wasn't sure where to post this, and I didn't want to bug Jude about it.  The response to my HRT microStreamer review thread (in computer audio) has been overwhelming (thanks to ALL of you for that), and it sparked this essay I just wrote for Audio Head:

 

Common Ground

 

I sincerely hope you guys enjoy it.  I focus, as somebody who came up in the high end audio press, on the fact that personal audio has obvious advantages over the high end world when it comes to common-ground with would-be future devotees!  

Also: I believe high end audio doesn't really grasp the potential for growth here.

 

PLS leave a comment if you'd like, or, lets start a conversation here!

 

I'll be focusing on Head-Fi in my next installment of the series

(I've been using every opportunity to expose people to Head-Fi in other articles).

 

 

Yours in Sound,

 

Michael Mercer


Edited by mikemercer - 5/28/13 at 3:20pm
post #2 of 8

Thanks for the link.

post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by nick n View Post

Thanks for the link.

I'm psyched you dug it.

Thanks for responding!

post #4 of 8

Gosh I hope notbiggrin.gif (Love the article though)

 

Counterpoint or Why I have little interest in monolithic speakers or a room full of cables and separates anymore.

 

You make some very brilliant points and tap into an almost primordial function of the lizard brain. On a low level we want to hear better because it was a vital tool to stay alive in the past. It is a natural phenomena for humans to gravitate toward a higher res sound. You want to find a critical listener, look for a hunting guide with 10 - 20 years in the bush. He will tell you stuff about your rig you never even conceived of.

 

Easy sell for the Firestone in your case.Most folks have never even heard (oops) of a headphone amp and are just tickled at the idea when they first hear one..  Ever thought of being a travelling salesman?:)

 

I believe congested living may well be a factor in people getting out of the house a little more and taking your audio with you is a real bonus these days. I can see that market growing and growing.  I do not see precious living space being given over to audio hardware. If the high end wants to tap into that market they are going to have to do a remarkable job of making it unobtrusive. A much better job than has been done to date.

 

 I would like to believe that the shut in tvholic, xbox junkies et all are about to be woken up to the fact that there is a world out there waiting. I really would hate for audio to be used as yet another tool to get people to remain in their nests and avoid the world in general. We have pizza delivery and pay per view for  that.

 

 All things point to movement to mobility being the new rule here and I fully support that. We have wifi hot spots everywhere it is almost a challenge to not be connected when you are out and about. I sure hope the audio industry sees that as well. I hope they are looking closely and see that the once scorned headphone is now the number one listening device for any kind of music worldwide.

 

 So power down the tube amp, strap on a DAP and go for a walk, jog, ride or whatever. When you see someone coming the other way, ask them what they are listening to.

 

 Now that is an experiencewink.gif
 

post #5 of 8
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hutnicks View Post

Gosh I hope notbiggrin.gif (Love the article though)

 

Counterpoint or Why I have little interest in monolithic speakers or a room full of cables and separates anymore.

 

You make some very brilliant points and tap into an almost primordial function of the lizard brain. On a low level we want to hear better because it was a vital tool to stay alive in the past. It is a natural phenomena for humans to gravitate toward a higher res sound. You want to find a critical listener, look for a hunting guide with 10 - 20 years in the bush. He will tell you stuff about your rig you never even conceived of.

 

Easy sell for the Firestone in your case.Most folks have never even heard (oops) of a headphone amp and are just tickled at the idea when they first hear one..  Ever thought of being a travelling salesman?:)

 

I believe congested living may well be a factor in people getting out of the house a little more and taking your audio with you is a real bonus these days. I can see that market growing and growing.  I do not see precious living space being given over to audio hardware. If the high end wants to tap into that market they are going to have to do a remarkable job of making it unobtrusive. A much better job than has been done to date.

 

 I would like to believe that the shut in tvholic, xbox junkies et all are about to be woken up to the fact that there is a world out there waiting. I really would hate for audio to be used as yet another tool to get people to remain in their nests and avoid the world in general. We have pizza delivery and pay per view for  that.

 

 All things point to movement to mobility being the new rule here and I fully support that. We have wifi hot spots everywhere it is almost a challenge to not be connected when you are out and about. I sure hope the audio industry sees that as well. I hope they are looking closely and see that the once scorned headphone is now the number one listening device for any kind of music worldwide.

 

 So power down the tube amp, strap on a DAP and go for a walk, jog, ride or whatever. When you see someone coming the other way, ask them what they are listening to.

 

 Now that is an experiencewink.gif
 

Excellent and astute response sir!

Well played indeed.  Thank you so very much for your incisive outlook on things too.  We are on the same page in many ways.

It looks like you are totally feeling the fact that living real estate is shrinking, and having gear you can take with you 

seems better conceptually as we progress.  Plus: It allows you to take the joy of great sound with you.  Which, for me, wasn't available 

until this year!

 

This year was the first time I could take a system with me that I loved just as much as my home system!

 

Which is what I'll be touching on for the next installment of the series.

 

Everyday life is become more and more portable.  I mean, I'm streaming music 40% of the time today (via MOG and Spotify Premium)!

The other 10 to Amarra/iTunes, and other 50 to vinyl!  So I'm on both extremes.

 

And the truth is: I see a serious lack in the connection between analog and personal audio at shows!  I wanna see more turntables!

I absolutely love listening to my VPI Traveler turntable (not too expensive) and my tube phonostage and E.A.R HP4!!!!  The music 

comes ALIVE.

 

But that's the exception, and you are SPOT ON THERE.

 

It's about how slick it is when it goes in your pocket, or sits in your hand (well, aside of sonic integrity of course).

Because people are living their lives digitally and in analog on the road, and constantly interconnected!

 

and, SWEET exit on the experience tip!

That's what I'm all about.  It's how I learned to write music reviews from Harry Pearson at The Absolute Sound magazine.  Explore

the journey, the sound of the MUSIC through the componentry...  I love it.

 

Thanks again for the killer response. L3000.gif

post #6 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by mikemercer View Post

Excellent and astute response sir!

Well played indeed.  Thank you so very much for your incisive outlook on things too.  We are on the same page in many ways.

It looks like you are totally feeling the fact that living real estate is shrinking, and having gear you can take with you 

seems better conceptually as we progress.  Plus: It allows you to take the joy of great sound with you.  Which, for me, wasn't available 

until this year!

 

This year was the first time I could take a system with me that I loved just as much as my home system!

 

Which is what I'll be touching on for the next installment of the series.

 

Everyday life is become more and more portable.  I mean, I'm streaming music 40% of the time today (via MOG and Spotify Premium)!

The other 10 to Amarra/iTunes, and other 50 to vinyl!  So I'm on both extremes.

 

And the truth is: I see a serious lack in the connection between analog and personal audio at shows!  I wanna see more turntables!

I absolutely love listening to my VPI Traveler turntable (not too expensive) and my tube phonostage and E.A.R HP4!!!!  The music 

comes ALIVE.

 

But that's the exception, and you are SPOT ON THERE.

 

It's about how slick it is when it goes in your pocket, or sits in your hand (well, aside of sonic integrity of course).

Because people are living their lives digitally and in analog on the road, and constantly interconnected!

 

and, SWEET exit on the experience tip!

That's what I'm all about.  It's how I learned to write music reviews from Harry Pearson at The Absolute Sound magazine.  Explore

the journey, the sound of the MUSIC through the componentry...  I love it.

 

Thanks again for the killer response. L3000.gif

 

 Thank you.

 

 I say this time and again. It boggles me that for a species which only ever really owns it's experiences and memories, we obsess over accumulating materiel.

 

I have been listening to portable audio since it existed and really love the way things are evolving for the most part. I am less thrilled with the trend of late of outrageously pricing an item on release to get the "high end" whatever that is, adopters to endorse them.

 

 There are so many terrific solutions for high res playback on the go right now that it makes one fell privileged to be around for this. The possibility of carrying a complete music collection in your pocket wherever you go and being able to share that is simply awe inspiring. Being able to do that within a budget that even a student working part time can afford is even more so.

 

 I really wonder what effects the whole experience is having on the generations who grow up with this ability. The idea of an album or cd collection and it's required listening gear filling a room must be completely alien to them. It really is an amazing opportunity to experience music on a scale that would have taken a decade previously, in a fraction of that time. I think with that level of access we are going to see a much more enlightened audience of aficionados emerging.

 

 Let's see where they drive the market.

post #7 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by mikemercer View Post

Hey Everybody,

 

I wasn't sure where to post this, and I didn't want to bug Jude about it.  The response to my HRT microStreamer review thread (in computer audio) has been overwhelming (thanks to ALL of you for that), and it sparked this essay I just wrote for Audio Head:

 

Common Ground

 

I sincerely hope you guys enjoy it.  I focus, as somebody who came up in the high end audio press, on the fact that personal audio has obvious advantages over the high end world when it comes to common-ground with would-be future devotees!  

Also: I believe high end audio doesn't really grasp the potential for growth here.

 

PLS leave a comment if you'd like, or, lets start a conversation here!

 

I'll be focusing on Head-Fi in my next installment of the series

(I've been using every opportunity to expose people to Head-Fi in other articles).

 

 

Yours in Sound,

 

Michael Mercer

 

Interesting read and thanks for the writeup.

 

For me personally, biggest advantage for personal audio is that I can own a vast number of sounds without needing a basement to store them.  I can quickly switch from a lush midcentric phones to a cold flat analytical one to a exciting and bright treble or rock something with rumbling subbase almost in no time.  This is even more important for those who lives in Asia where living space is at  a premium.

post #8 of 8
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by kkcc View Post

 

Interesting read and thanks for the writeup.

 

For me personally, biggest advantage for personal audio is that I can own a vast number of sounds without needing a basement to store them.  I can quickly switch from a lush midcentric phones to a cold flat analytical one to a exciting and bright treble or rock something with rumbling subbase almost in no time.  This is even more important for those who lives in Asia where living space is at  a premium.

thats a splendid point!

 

and - as a young guy who's been in an old guys industry so long (audio and the music biz) I love the relative newness of all this (compared to two-channel in-room stereo gear).

I'm having FUN - discovering new ways to connect to the music - which is everything to me.

 

I get just as much satisfaction from my personal audio rigs now as I do from my reference system.

 

Becoming a part of this great community through my boy Jude has also meant a great deal to me.

I've learned alot from you guys.

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