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OCCUPY HI-FI - about Head-Fi (in relation to High End Audio) - GLOVES ARE OFF - Page 4

post #46 of 147

AKG K1000, Ergo AMT, Jecklin Float.

post #47 of 147
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by georgelai57 View Post

I am 56 and have been a hobbyist since my 20s and naturally have moved from speakers to headphones. Back to an earlier post about manufacturers of high end systems not coming down from their lofty perches, it is refreshing to see certain head-fi manufacturers like Centrance seeking the participation of their end users.

However when it comes to headphone manufacturers they seem less willing. You can buy a car and choose the color, the engine capacity, the trim and fitting levels etc. But not headphone manufacturers with their one size fits all philosophy.

Let me digress a moment. I have a large head and long (vertical length) ears. We Chinese believe that long ears mean good fortunes so ...

And here I'm talking of over-ear headphones, not on-ears, IEMs custom or otherwise, none of which suits me. To me, comfort first, audio quality second, heresy though it may sound (pardon the pun).

Anyway manufacturers claim their headphones suit x% of the population but what about the others. Is it so difficult to design ear pads with different sizes for the same model? By all means, qualify in your marketing brochure what a smaller or larger, or deeper or more shallow ear pads means to the sound. But give us a choice. Is that so difficult? I can live with only one size if driver housing but for Pete's sake (sorry to all Peters) give the people the choice.

The countless headphones I've owned and given away, all because of the too small for me earpads, include Beyer DT880 (comfy velour notwithstanding), Philips L1 (small), Sony MDR1R (shallow), AKG K550 (huge ear pad but small ear cavity), Audio Technica ATH AD700 (I can live with the purple), ATH-M50, etc

So right now all my headphones have larger ear pad cavities (LCD2, HD600/750, Denon D2000 to name a few).

Hope this is not off topic, Michael. It's a pet peeve of mine.

I'm contemplating a HE-500 but due to the earpad size, I'm trying to see what effect on the sound there is if I use LCD2 pads on them. The quite well rated original Momentum doesn't even get me excited when normal sized reviewers keep on mentioning the small ear cups. C'mon, different color trim is for dem young 'uns.

Great article, Mike. Including the earlier one re Personal Audio. I alsways pay attention to your posts on almost every thread on head-fi or elsewhere. Keep them coming

Thank you!!  I wholly appreciate the kind words.  Yeah you raise an interesting point, and NO worries on being off-topic.  I think we may see that change coming - where more headphone manufacturers offer more options, following the CEntrance model - which is where we are.  The user is king today.  It's why user reviews are so popular.  People tend to trust the guy who chose to share about something they bought strictly because of their excitement over it - they're not being paid to say they like it or not.  Once more manufacturers realize this - the sweeping change will roll through.  Now, many pro audio writers are scared of this concept - they think their experiences put them on another level from the end user - but they forget: They ARE an end user!  I think one of the greatest things that has come from this collective is the cooperation between manufacturers and the users.  Lets hope headphone builders follow suit.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Argyris View Post

I think a lot of people have this idea that the difference between hi-fi and consumer cheapos is subtle and only something those "audiophile people" would hear. Some people even regard the whole thing as dubious and believe that there actually isn't a difference at all. Then, when they actually hear it for themselves and realize that they can hear the difference and it's not subtle, that's when the lightbulb goes off.

 

It's up to us to keep lighting those bulbs.

 

EXACTLY! We just keep lighting up the world with better quality music playback, and we'll get em: One listener at a time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MD1032 View Post

Good article, thanks for posting. In the age of "personal audio" really starting to truly take over, I am still very surprised that more young people like some of my coworkers have never heard of this place or even thought about high-end audio. I have been doing hi-fi for so long that it's baseline at this point and it's hard to think that I can throw cheap Grados at someone and blow their mind anymore, but it happens all the time.

YUP!

and don't you LOVE the look on their faces when they are blown away by those Grados??  Knowing you can take them to a whole other level.

There's nothing like opening the mind of a music lover to the art of fine music reproduction - because it only enhances their listening experience!

 

I think the problem is SO many established audio scribes just write for the already-converted, using all this jargon that only the initiated can discern!

I think that's what my next essay will be about - how more of us audio writers should let our passion come through - and not be so dry and editorial

about EVERYTHING!  I can't help but share my enthusiasm, and to be a part of a collective where enthusiasm is everywhere, well, we're building

what Harry Pearson always had in-mind!  And he's told me so...

 

I appreciate ALL the support fellas.  It means more to me to have the support here than ANYWHERE else.  The time of writing in your ivory tower

is OVER.  The secrets out!  The paradigm is blown apart - and we get to rebuild it!  TOGETHER

post #48 of 147

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ all of the above^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

 

 

YUP !!!!!!
 

post #49 of 147

don't you just love it when a paradigm shifts !

post #50 of 147

OT sort of, but Grado SR125's got me started in the hobby.  Well, those and and iPod, and knowing that there were better headphones than the iBuds.  Those were the days - a $300 iPod and a $150 or so pair of Grados that I could just barely justify.  Now I have 2 portable rigs worth over $1,000, and my stuff qualifies as small potatoes!  Of course, compared to what a speaker rig of the same quality would cost, my stuff is very small potatoes.

post #51 of 147
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by aamefford View Post

OT sort of, but Grado SR125's got me started in the hobby.  Well, those and and iPod, and knowing that there were better headphones than the iBuds.  Those were the days - a $300 iPod and a $150 or so pair of Grados that I could just barely justify.  Now I have 2 portable rigs worth over $1,000, and my stuff qualifies as small potatoes!  Of course, compared to what a speaker rig of the same quality would cost, my stuff is very small potatoes.

and thus the Paradigm shift!

 

When I played my CEntrance HiFi-M8 and Audeze LCD3's for some friends at a party on Saturday night - ALL of them asked me how much money would they have to spend to get the same level of fidelity and engagement in a stereo system!  My answer: At least 25k!  And I told them I wasn't kidding!

 

That's the incredible thing: Many of us (and I love my Grado 125i's BTW) have small-scale personal audio rigs that BLOW AWAY many entry-level in-room two-channel rigs!  Now I'm generalizing here - but think about it: The velocity of the transient attack on your headphone rig, it's dimensionality (spacial qualities - the space betwen instruments/sounds) and overall dynamic punch.  Think of how big the equivalent stereo system would need to be!

 

Plus: We get to carry our reference systems with us!

BIG bucket of win right there.

post #52 of 147

i come from the land of "Hi-Fi"

i'm spending a lot less money, and having a lot more fun !
 

post #53 of 147
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jaywillin View Post

i come from the land of "Hi-Fi"

i'm spending a lot less money, and having a lot more fun !
 

My sentiments echoed precisely!!!!

post #54 of 147

I remember Sam Tellig (in an article on Stereophile on a product review of the HD600) saying that if you want the same sound quality in speakers you need to add a zero to the price tag.

post #55 of 147
Quote:
Originally Posted by wink View Post
 

I remember Sam Tellig (in an article on Stereophile on a product review of the HD600) saying that if you want the same sound quality in speakers you need to add a zero to the price tag.

That has been my experience with my HD600's.  I recently completed a stereo-amp project and have been using Pioneer bookshelf speakers with them.  When I listen to my speaker-setup for a while, then go to my HD600's, it's revelatory.  I get increased dynamics/details/imaging from the HD600 that are hardly there with my speakers.

 

Prior to owning the HD600's, I was perfectly happy with my speakers; now they sound muddy and imprecise.  Sigh, time to save up for some Heresy's or some Orcas...:confused_face: 

 

(@ morserotonin  I did give the Maggies some serious thought though!)

post #56 of 147
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by wink View Post
 

I remember Sam Tellig (in an article on Stereophile on a product review of the HD600) saying that if you want the same sound quality in speakers you need to add a zero to the price tag.

YUP!! I remember that piece, and was PSYCHED that Tellig had the nads to say that!!

post #57 of 147

A couple of thoughts came to mind last night about all this. One is that the paradigm shifts have come about from things outside the hobby that have become part of it as a result. The iPhone is the most obvious one. The Beats "audio jewellery" is another. Maybe not dissimilarly headphones, being on the edge of the world of high-end audio are causing the paradigm shift there, slowly. 

 

Part of the problem with high-end audio I think comes from a combination of a loss of the old-style hi-fi stores that, with the experience of their owners, could match awesome-sounding systems whatever one's budget. Those that are still around in many cases have trouble moving from spinning media to computer or personal audio, maybe because they'd have to learn a lot of things from scratch.

 

I sometimes visit one such place here in Fukuoka (Artcrew) where the owner not only knows his way around hi-fi but is very good at modifying components as well. When I was there last he had a SET-amp + horns set-up that was awesome to behold the sound of, even in the inadequately-sized room at the shop (It is currently pictured on their web site).  The regular hi-fi store nearby with its usual rack of regular components and speakers all hooked up to a switch box doesn't feel the same. Now I just wish I could win the lottery and own such a set-up. 

post #58 of 147
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Currawong View Post
 

A couple of thoughts came to mind last night about all this. One is that the paradigm shifts have come about from things outside the hobby that have become part of it as a result. The iPhone is the most obvious one. The Beats "audio jewellery" is another. Maybe not dissimilarly headphones, being on the edge of the world of high-end audio are causing the paradigm shift there, slowly. 

 

Part of the problem with high-end audio I think comes from a combination of a loss of the old-style hi-fi stores that, with the experience of their owners, could match awesome-sounding systems whatever one's budget. Those that are still around in many cases have trouble moving from spinning media to computer or personal audio, maybe because they'd have to learn a lot of things from scratch.

 

I sometimes visit one such place here in Fukuoka (Artcrew) where the owner not only knows his way around hi-fi but is very good at modifying components as well. When I was there last he had a SET-amp + horns set-up that was awesome to behold the sound of, even in the inadequately-sized room at the shop (It is currently pictured on their web site).  The regular hi-fi store nearby with its usual rack of regular components and speakers all hooked up to a switch box doesn't feel the same. Now I just wish I could win the lottery and own such a set-up. 

First, I'll be back to respond in depth (been a CRAZY week so I've been outta the HeadFi loop for a few days) - but I wanted to say quickly that I'm PUMPED to have your insight here @Currawong!!

You're absolutely right!  

 

I'll be back ASAP...

in the meantime - I was PUMPED to see my editor at The Daily Swarm posted up the article on Friday!!

http://thedailyswarm.com/headlines/occupy-hi-fi-revolution-will-crush-audio-elitism/

post #59 of 147
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Currawong View Post
 

A couple of thoughts came to mind last night about all this. One is that the paradigm shifts have come about from things outside the hobby that have become part of it as a result. The iPhone is the most obvious one. The Beats "audio jewellery" is another. Maybe not dissimilarly headphones, being on the edge of the world of high-end audio are causing the paradigm shift there, slowly. 

 

Part of the problem with high-end audio I think comes from a combination of a loss of the old-style hi-fi stores that, with the experience of their owners, could match awesome-sounding systems whatever one's budget. Those that are still around in many cases have trouble moving from spinning media to computer or personal audio, maybe because they'd have to learn a lot of things from scratch.

 

I sometimes visit one such place here in Fukuoka (Artcrew) where the owner not only knows his way around hi-fi but is very good at modifying components as well. When I was there last he had a SET-amp + horns set-up that was awesome to behold the sound of, even in the inadequately-sized room at the shop (It is currently pictured on their web site).  The regular hi-fi store nearby with its usual rack of regular components and speakers all hooked up to a switch box doesn't feel the same. Now I just wish I could win the lottery and own such a set-up. 

 

Your last sentence says it ALL!  High end audio segregated itself so far from the common consumer electronics user that when they actually walked into one of those dealers there was nothing they could relate to!

As I wrote in a small essay for Audiohead entitled Common Ground  - with personal audio that issue is shattered.  Almost anybody walking in has an iPhone, iPod, or Android phone!  Now, if they (the dealers) are up on high end personal audio they can relate to their would-be customers instantly - AND show them how to enhance the experience of a product they interface with everyday!  That's a HUGE difference.

 

I also agree with you in that I believe many old school established dealers not only have trouble migrating from spinning media to computer/personal audio - but many of them don't consider it because it's attached to "youth culture".  I've heard numerous dealers say they don't care about the youth because they "have no money".  Well, we've proved them wrong haven't we?  Also: They forget - we all started somewhere!!

post #60 of 147
I'm 54. I don't have CD player. I rip all my CDs to ALAC and stream via Apple TV to my stereo. If that's a youth activity, good for me! Of course, my stereo is a well researched bang for buck system, and certainly not a mega buck status symbol. Heck, my system costs less than high end cables. I'm probably a lousy hi end audio customer.
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