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Old 20th November 2019 | Show parent
Lives for gear
DirkP's Avatar
Originally Posted by jimjazzdad ➡️
Isn't it a paradox that, as the fidelity of the recording gets better, the equipment choices of the target listener (music consumer) become worse and worse? I was recently auditioning some late 1960's state-of-the-art stereo gear - Tannoy Gold monitors, Sugden Class A amplifier and a Thorens TT with SME arm, V15 Mk II etc. I was impressed by how good it sounded on recently recorded material. But we who listen to music on speakers bigger than the ones in laptops or tablets are outliers in a world where the majority of music consumers prefer MP3 through earbuds. Makes you wonder why we bother to record serious musical performances with good equipment ...
Depends a lot on the earbuds used...
If you have a look at the amount of money, people are willing to pay for earbuds these days, this is much more than ever before. And we don't just have overpriced trash products like BEATS. I see a lot of people here in Germany walking around with good Sennheiser, AKG etc. earbuds conected to their smartphones.

I guess a part of the problem is space and size. The speakers in contemporary iPhones for example are incredible good in relation to their size. The iPhone 11 really shocked me. It's the same with cameras: smartphones have small size sensors that are much worse than APS or Full Frame sensors, even than the 1" sensors in compact cameras. But the AI, the computational power in smartphones is better than in even 5.000,- Full Frame cameras.

If you want to live in a big city today, rents are enormous, you only have limited space and you have neighbours. A lot of younger people don't even buy TVs these days and watch Netflix or Amazon Video on iPads, Notebooks or Smartphones. Even Notebooks become a kind of rarity - I know a lot of younger doctors with a relatively high income, who only use computers at work and only have a Smartphone or a Pad at home.

On the other hand, if younger people go to clubs or to a cinema or to concerts, they are confronted with incredible audio quality. Much better than ever before. This could lead to something good. Don't stay at home, go out, meet other people, if you want to really experience music. Young people who are into music go out nearly every weekend. Isn't it really crazy to install a Dolby Atmos System in a 15 square meters living room?
Live music has a kind of renaissance, at least in Berlin where I live. And the clubs are still there.

I get your point and I often beg my younger bandmates or other musicians to at least buy a pair of active speakers for 200,- or 300,- to listen to music at home. I'm a bassplayer and I'm pretty aware of the physical aspects of listening to music that you simply don't get with earbuds or small speakers.

But esp. younger people can spend their money only once. When I was young - a stereo was the most important thing you wanted to have, the coolest thing on planet earth - maybe besides a first car or a motorcycle. But you can spend your money only one time. If you were young today and had to decide between a good smartphone with all the possibilities and a stereo with large speakers, what would you buy? I would buy a smartphone and later some decent earbuds. And then some decent active speakers. I'm just dissapointed that many leave the active speakers part out.