OT The death of the home stereo system


M

Metspitzer

(CNN) -- For many years, it was a rite of fall.

You moved into your dorm room or new apartment. You started unpacking
the car. And the first thing you set up in your new place was the
stereo system: receiver, turntable or CD player, tape deck and
speakers.

The wires could get tangled, and sometimes you had to make shelving
out of a stack of milk crates. But only when the music was playing on
those handpicked CDs, mix tapes or (geezer alert!) vinyl records did
you move in the rest of your stuff.

Daniel Rubio wouldn't know.

To the 23-year-old, new dorm rooms and new apartments have meant
computers, iTunes, Pandora and miniature speakers.

"All I had to bring was my laptop. That's pretty much what everyone
had," says Rubio, who attended Emory University in Atlanta and now
works for a local marketing and communications firm. "It was actually
pretty good sound. It would get the job done."

http://cloud.feedly.com/#subscription/feed/http://rss.cnn.com/rss/edition.rss

I don't have the know how to make this happen, but I could see a home
stereo could be saved if you could program it with your computer.

I have been reading for long time that in the future even car tires
will have IP address. If stereos had the technology to be controlled
by the computer they would still be useful.

I can see moving into a dorm with the laptop first, but you are most
likely going to have a wireless router. If the stereo could be
connected to the laptop wirelessly and given a password then I could
see where big stereo speakers would move in next.

You really wouldn't even need a laptop. You could control the stereo
with a cellphone. It would be nice, in a dorm environment, where the
stereo would play play lists from more than one phone/laptop at a time
in a round robin configuration.

This could also work with bluetooth in the car.
 
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M

Michael Black

(CNN) -- For many years, it was a rite of fall.

You moved into your dorm room or new apartment. You started unpacking
the car. And the first thing you set up in your new place was the
stereo system: receiver, turntable or CD player, tape deck and
speakers.

The wires could get tangled, and sometimes you had to make shelving
out of a stack of milk crates. But only when the music was playing on
those handpicked CDs, mix tapes or (geezer alert!) vinyl records did
you move in the rest of your stuff.

Daniel Rubio wouldn't know.

To the 23-year-old, new dorm rooms and new apartments have meant
computers, iTunes, Pandora and miniature speakers.
My "computer speakers" are a pair of small bookshelf speakers, fed by a
full blown stereo receiver I got at a garage sale for $7.00. The speakers
were bought at some other sale for about the same amount. My bedside
system is about the same, though smaller speakers.

I get way more value for the money. And yes, MP3s mean not that great
sound, but I'd never put it through the tiny tinny speakers that are in
most 'docking stations".

It's amazing, one can see small stereo systems tossed out when the
students leave, likely replaced with something smaller that has smaller
speakers and is magically labelled a 'docking station".

Michael
 
D

DK

You really wouldn't even need a laptop. You could control the stereo
with a cellphone.

It's all just status games. Stuff not really far removed from "my
dick is bigger than yours". Where it was big-ass HI-FI system
before, it is the gold-plated iPhone now. It's not about function,
it's about status.

That said, the idea that mp3 on any of those teeny-tiny audio
"systems" produce a sound comparable to the well-built
analog setup is completely laughable. They are just good
enough for masses and the hi-fi craze of the 1980s was a
huge overkill for that same masses.

DK


It would be nice, in a dorm environment, where the
 
F

Flasherly

That said, the idea that mp3 on any of those teeny-tiny audio
"systems" produce a sound comparable to the well-built
analog setup is completely laughable. They are just good
enough for masses and the hi-fi craze of the 1980s was a
huge overkill for that same masses.

Decent headphones and FLAC over MP3 and it should be somewhat better
in magnitude, than Thomas Edison recording of his dog barking on wax.
Of course The Lone Ranger exclusively recorded for radio station
broadcast playback to a nation with radios is somewhat different from
Nine Inch Nails' _Closer_, which garnered the some greater popularity
recently, along with perhaps what NIN is known to offer by way of
direct downloads. . .

CLOSER
You let me violate you
You let me desecrate you
You let me penetrate you
You let me complicate you
(Help me...)
I broke apart my insides
(Help me...)
I've got no soul to sell
(Help me...)
The only thing that works for me
Help me get away from myself,

I wanna **** you like an animal
I wanna feel you from the inside
I wanna **** you like an animal
My whole existence is flawed
You get me closer to God
 
M

Metspitzer

It's all just status games. Stuff not really far removed from "my
dick is bigger than yours". Where it was big-ass HI-FI system
before, it is the gold-plated iPhone now. It's not about function,
it's about status.
I don't think it is "ALL" about status. Having a set of speakers you
can listen too when you are in a group takes a stereo. A laptop or
cellphone just doesn't have the power. Lots of out door activities
(or....gasp......housework) are nice with a large set of speakers. You
should be able to play the mp3s you have on your phone over a large
set speakers without having to relinquish your phone.
 
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M

Metspitzer

Decent headphones and FLAC over MP3 and it should be somewhat better
in magnitude, than Thomas Edison recording of his dog barking on wax.
Of course The Lone Ranger exclusively recorded for radio station
broadcast playback to a nation with radios is somewhat different from
Nine Inch Nails' _Closer_, which garnered the some greater popularity
recently, along with perhaps what NIN is known to offer by way of
direct downloads. . .

CLOSER
You let me violate you
You let me desecrate you
You let me penetrate you
You let me complicate you
(Help me...)
I broke apart my insides
(Help me...)
I've got no soul to sell
(Help me...)
The only thing that works for me
Help me get away from myself,

I wanna **** you like an animal
I wanna feel you from the inside
I wanna **** you like an animal
My whole existence is flawed
You get me closer to God

 
D

DK

This is just weird, trying to turn this into an analog versus digital debate...

No, it's not. There wasn't much digital stuff in the 1980s, that's all.

The point is that whereas before every self-respecting male teen
pursued high audio quality (and many did possess pretty decent
setups in their homes), now finding a decent set of speakers is
near impossible among population of the same age.

Ergo, it's not about function/quality, it's about your peer consider
"good".

DK
 
F

Flasherly

I don't think it is "ALL" about status. Having a set of speakers you
can listen too when you are in a group takes a stereo. A laptop or
cellphone just doesn't have the power. Lots of out door activities
(or....gasp......housework) are nice with a large set of speakers. You
should be able to play the mp3s you have on your phone over a large
set speakers without having to relinquish your phone.

Ah, see where you're coming from ...

http://www.cnn.com/2013/09/27/tech/innovation/death-stereo-system/

(about the point where Google's 'most popular' is more relevant to me
than what the media touts for its esteem).

I researched sound engineers before selecting these, based on a regard
for even and faithful reproduction without coloration;- It's a little
different from the obsequious Polk Audio "experience." (Similar dome
tweeters to my Studio Reference Series Polks, the Alesis are more
overall accurately engineered, and if paired for a quad array, they're
complimentary.) Running a pro sound processor (Behringher rack
stuff), and have them EQ-d for a wet signal (another Behringer mixer
routing path) to duplicate Sony headphones, which characteristically
are received for a "Sony Sound" entailing emphasized upper
frequencies.

http://www.zzounds.com/item--ALEM1MK2

Fairly reasonable for a bill and some change (a discontinued sale,
apparently, as I saw some priced for $600 at the time of purchase).
Open fronts, though. (Recently pulled the wire mesh cage from a
vacuum amplifier, cut it in half and mounted it to the front of the
speakers for protection.)

Of course, then there's the other half - the amp. Picked up an ART
(East Coast engineering and make). Regular retail cost.

CNN would at times manifestly like to talk shit. Any kid paying $50K
for college tuition, these days, won't be long before figuring a
difference and advantage to classier studio-grade gear when leaving
dorm-room sound piping, to realize a commodiousness suited better
stations and equipment for non-restrictive listening.
 
J

Jon Danniken

There's a definite connection between the death of good home stereo systems and the
death of golden ears. Much of the public just doesn't seem to demand audiophile
sound quality anymore. They are perfectly happy with obviously reduced fidelity and
increased distortion just so long as it's loud enough. At a time when there has been
greater clamor for always better quality visuals, audio has been allowed to reverse.

Well, at least most of the music they listen to wouldn't profit any from better sound
reproduction.

Most kids these days have suffered hearing damage as the result of being
exposed to the thumper cars which seem to popular, so it's no surprise
that they have no ability to discern the finer sounds of life.

Jon
 
H

Hench

On 9/27/2013 7:47 PM, Metspitzer wrote:
hout having to relinquish your phone.
I use a docking station when I cook/clean/renovate at home. When the
wife is gone I play sports talk on the docking station too. Fantasy
football and fantasy baseball talk shows!

For me they are perfectly fine and convenient. We have no stereo in our
house. in fact until last week we only ever use tv speakers, but i
bought one of those 5.1 home theatre in a box things from Walmart for $69.

I really don't give two flying fricks about sound quality so count me in
on that docking station craze fan list
 
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F

Flasherly

I really don't give two flying fricks about sound quality so count me in
on that docking station craze fan list

I can play, from a musical instrument, or record my own music. No
doubt your wife agrees, at 5.1 stereophonic standards, Walmart might
be receptive to consider advertising, at $59, what other lithely
resplendent wives of a veritable fountain might also worthily reflect
by life's passionate ardor. Last woman who recently danced for me, of
her own accord, quite taken by my stereo and library of music,
unfortunately, couldn't quite make up her mind to dance while I, then,
played, vacillating, it seemed to me, as whether to just as easily go
off and slam the bedroom door. Then, again, I'm apt to play material
from periods now distanced by hundreds of years -- something her cute,
jiggling little fanny might have felt vaguely estranged from.
 
M

Michael Black

On Fri, 27 Sep 2013 22:11:18 GMT, (e-mail address removed) (DK) wrote:

|
| >You really wouldn't even need a laptop. You could control the stereo
| >with a cellphone.
|
| It's all just status games. Stuff not really far removed from "my
| dick is bigger than yours". Where it was big-ass HI-FI system
| before, it is the gold-plated iPhone now. It's not about function,
| it's about status.
|
| That said, the idea that mp3 on any of those teeny-tiny audio
| "systems" produce a sound comparable to the well-built
| analog setup is completely laughable. They are just good
| enough for masses and the hi-fi craze of the 1980s was a
| huge overkill for that same masses.

There's a definite connection between the death of good home stereo
systems and the death of golden ears. Much of the public just doesn't
seem to demand audiophile sound quality anymore. They are perfectly
happy with obviously reduced fidelity and increased distortion just so
long as it's loud enough. At a time when there has been greater clamor
for always better quality visuals, audio has been allowed to reverse.

Well, at least most of the music they listen to wouldn't profit any from
better sound reproduction.
I wonder if the Walkman had something to do with it. It gave a good sound
by doing away with speakers. A pair of reasonable headpones against the
ears will sound better than some random speaker in a less than perfect
box. And since they were headphones, not much audio power needed from the
Walkman, so it likely was a decent amplifier.

So people got used to something small, and eventually not so expensive.
It also shifted them, "music is portable".

And around that time, the CD appears, "really high fidelity sound", and
expensive. But eventually CD players are everywhere, the quality of the
sound not so important, the portability of the CD more important.

And that followed, so The Big Stereos start disappearing. Some of it is
cosmetic, the wave of mini-stereos came along at some point, some awful
but the quality (at least other than the speakers) not a reflection of the
small size.

And then computers came along, everyone wants sound, but doesnt' want the
space. So instead of a decent sound system, they add horrible plastic
speakers with just enough amplification to get some sound out of them.
They aren't there for sound, they are there to get some sound.

So by the time people decided they didn't always want to have headphones
plugged into their ears, the notion that small was what counted was there.
I've seen cheap speakers that have no amplification that plug into mp3
players. The good thing is that if they want good sound, they can always
revert to headphones, which of course puts them back into portable mode.
It's just that if they want speakers, they won't do so well. Even a
boombox with auxiliary inputs have bigger speakers (relative speaking)
than many of these docking stations.

Michael
 
F

Flasherly

The good thing is that if they want good sound, they can always
revert to headphones, which of course puts them back into portable mode.
It's just that if they want speakers, they won't do so well. Even a
boombox with auxiliary inputs have bigger speakers (relative speaking)
than many of these docking stations.

The WEB can provide anything with research and an ability to build a
multimedia computer. Everything I bought for a new audio system,
including the computer I built for streaming a red laser modulated
output audio carrier (S/PDIF) into a dedicated rack-mounted (pre-amp)
pro sound processor came from online musician's supply houses. Over
$500US, but well under $1000US, which is quite a good price
considering it'll deliver demanding stereophile quality grade
reproduction. Identifying and finding around a $150 sale on Alesis
speakers retailing for $600, at the time, was the hardest part, but
once added, they'll EQ-in well enough to reproduce the pro headphone
experience.
 
H

Hench

I can play, from a musical instrument, or record my own music. No
doubt your wife agrees, at 5.1 stereophonic standards, Walmart might
be receptive to consider advertising, at $59, what other lithely
resplendent wives of a veritable fountain might also worthily reflect
by life's passionate ardor. Last woman who recently danced for me, of
her own accord, quite taken by my stereo and library of music,
unfortunately, couldn't quite make up her mind to dance while I, then,
played, vacillating, it seemed to me, as whether to just as easily go
off and slam the bedroom door. Then, again, I'm apt to play material
from periods now distanced by hundreds of years -- something her cute,
jiggling little fanny might have felt vaguely estranged from.

my wife was happy with the 10 watt tv speakers and is now upset over the
addition of another remote that will never be used yet is kept nearby.....
 
F

Flasherly

my wife was happy with the 10 watt tv speakers and is now upset over the
addition of another remote that will never be used yet is kept nearby.....

Surprised those programmable LED models haven't dropped over the years
off a $100 mark;- unless she's very logically inclined, mention of
operating one of those should keep a lesser backup in good readiness.
 
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R

Robin Bignall

| And then computers came along, everyone wants sound, but doesnt' want the
| space. So instead of a decent sound system, they add horrible plastic
| speakers with just enough amplification to get some sound out of them.
| They aren't there for sound, they are there to get some sound.

Those tiny (and usually tinny) speakers don't interest me. The soundcard in my main
desktop feeds into a Technics digital receiver that powers a pair of floor-standing
speakers (old Wharfedales), a center channel speaker mounted in the backtop of the
desk kneehole and 2 surround speakers. That setup does a great job on audio
including CDs, DVD movies and TV.
I've got a similar setup using Celestion Ditton 25 speakers with a Nad
amplifier. This is stereo only but the sound is better then the modern
surround-sound system I have in another room. Speakers date from 1969.
 
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D

Don Phillipson

There's a definite connection between the death of good home stereo
systems and the
death of golden ears. Much of the public just doesn't seem to demand
audiophile
sound quality anymore. They are perfectly happy with obviously reduced
fidelity and
increased distortion just so long as it's loud enough. At a time when
there has been
greater clamor for always better quality visuals, audio has been allowed
to reverse.

Market forces have a role as well (speaking as someone who used to run
home-built woofers in cases 5 ft. high, weighing 75 lb. or more, and ribbon-
diaphragm horn tweeters. Each cost in the 1960s about $100 cash (one
week's salary in 1964) and uncounted hours to build the cabinets. We can
now buy ready-made speakers of similar performance for less than $500
i.e. half the price in PPP.
Well, at least most of the music they listen to wouldn't profit any from
better sound
reproduction.

Yes: the hi-fi listening community was definitely focussed 1920-70 on
classical
music, extending at the edges to jazz, but practically excluding current pop
music.
But official as well as private tastes have changed. One local reference
point is
music for government -sponsored open-air ceremonies for Canada Day, July 1.
In the 1970s this meant military bands and children's choirs. Nowadays it
means
the most popular Youtube act the sponsors can afford to hire (adjusted for
multicultural
or ethnic representation.)
 

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