Sunday, October 9, 2011

30-Year-Old Stereo System Sounds Better

30-Year-Old Stereo System Sounds Better

Gizmodo: Why Your Dad's 30-Year-Old Stereo System Sounds Better than Your new One:

"C|Net's Steve Guttenberg sheds light on this interesting development that over the years, actual sound quality became a secondary selling point since most people started buying their equipment either online or from big box retailers. People started caring more about the number of connections and wireless interfaces and wattage of systems. As a result, there was less money in R&D budgets to spend on advancements in sound."
Sound Quality, or back panel connectivity?

Moment of (Personal) Sadness

My Concept 7.5D is now considered "vintage". For those of you that spend a lot of times on planes, have you noticed that engine roar has changed from high-pitched whines to a mellower, smoother tone? The market wanted quieter engines and companies responded. And, the market wants multiple connections (input and output) with less emphasis on sound quality. And really, when you are playing an MP3 or steaming low bit-rate music, quality is not key. My Sony and Sherwood just don't measure up to the old Concept.

Sit Down and Listen:

To see the difference, put a CD into an older system, sit down, and turn up the volume.

Bottom Line:

Steve Guttenberg is correct, sound is secondary. Too bad, because an acoustic guitar (Petty, Orbison, Clapton), or grand piano (Glass or Mozart), or a classical piece featuring a harp streamed on the new equipment sound a lot like a 20 year old jet engine. Bit rate and connectivity are more important than depth and emotion.


Full disclosure: I've been friends with Anna for a long time, her CDs are amazing.

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