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Missing the days of No Nonsense Hifi

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AlbaBrown's picture
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Is it just me or have ALL Hifi and AV mags just become extensions of Gadget mags?

 

I can remember the days of equipment being compared on purely performance grounds. If a CD player, reciever or amplifier failed to get the 5 star/Editors Choice/BestBuy treatment etc, it was down to it not performing to an expected standard. If the quality came at the expense of having remote control, or only getting 5.1 rather than 9.2, then so be it.

 

But now we get AV amps being grilled for not having Bluetooth/Spotify/WIFI/control apps, or TVs not having Lovefilm/Netflix/BBC iPlayer/Facebook, or CD players not not acting as DACs for ipods.

 

None of this junk adds to the quality of reproduction achieved (sends it barreling the other way!). Plus these features like low quality streaming (spotify, iplayer etc) are handled much better on a something with decent computing grunt to keep the UI slick anyway.

 

 

At this rate we'll be seeing turntables losing a star because they don't have an app to lift the arm up at the end of the record!

 

 

 

As you may have guessed, I am bored this afternoon!

 

 

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MajorFubar's picture
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RE: Missing the days of No Nonsense Hifi

I see where you're coming from, but people expect their HiFi to do more than it used to.

For some people it really is the end of the world if their new amp can't stream music from their iDevices via Airplay, irrespective of how well it sounds.

Me? Discounting my Mac as a source, I use ancient equipment where the most hi-tech part of it is my tuner which actually has a remote control.

Changing times.

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chebby's picture
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RE: Missing the days of No Nonsense Hifi

MajorFubar wrote:

For some people it really is the end of the world if their new amp can't stream music from their iDevices via Airplay, irrespective of how well it sounds.

And it sounds very 'well' indeed Smile

I just wish hi-fi could have been this much fun 20 years ago.

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chebby's picture
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RE: Missing the days of No Nonsense Hifi

I noticed (from his signature) that the OP's hair-shirt wasn't so tight that it stopped him reaching his wallet to pay for a Naim DAC and one of those new-fangled networked/streaming/wireless all-in-one UnitiQute devices that enable one to exploit all the infernal stuff he is railing against. (Naim apps for iThings, internet radio, streaming Spotify etc etc.)

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John Duncan's picture
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RE: Missing the days of No Nonsense Hifi

But then there's the dual concentric 15" Tannoys... Smile

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John Duncan's picture
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RE: Missing the days of No Nonsense Hifi

AlbaBrown wrote:

I can remember the days of equipment being compared on purely performance grounds.

However, performance of equipment has got closer for various reasons (primarily that producing good quality hifi is cheaper and easier than it used to be), so it is now features that differentiate, to some extent.

AlbaBrown wrote:

None of this junk adds to the quality of reproduction achieved (sends it barreling the other way!).

I disagree.

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MakkaPakka's picture
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RE: Missing the days of No Nonsense Hifi

It's called What HiFi

The most populated seciton on the forum is  HiFi

 

Front cover of the magazine always seems to be AV-oriented  with a particular focus on TVs. When was the last time the front cover was HiFi?

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RE: Missing the days of No Nonsense Hifi

MakkaPakka wrote:

It's called What HiFi Sound and Vision

 

Fixed!

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John Duncan's picture
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RE: Missing the days of No Nonsense Hifi

MakkaPakka wrote:

Front cover of the magazine always seems to be AV-oriented  with a particular focus on TVs. When was the last time the front cover was HiFi?

March?

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davedotco's picture
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RE: Missing the days of No Nonsense Hifi

I kind of get where the OP is comming from but to my mind it is purely a matter of semantics.

I am old enough to believe that Hi-Fi means hi-fidelity and that serious equipment is required to this end. Most of what is discussed on this forum is not hi-fi, in my world anyway, and occupies the market space filled with radiograms, music centres and boom boxes in times past, in the words of the OP, it's just another gadget.

Though such equipment can sound perfectly good it often doesn't, usually because of indifference or ignorance by the user, but then that has always been the case with non enthusiasts.

Personally I think we need to differentiate between the term hi-fi as used to describe TVs, Phones and hi-fidelity which is something else entirely, at least we can then have discussions where everyone knows what is being discussed.

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We do so many shows in a row,

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We just pass the time in our hotel room

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Till the lights come up, and we hear that crowd,

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John Duncan's picture
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RE: Missing the days of No Nonsense Hifi

davedotco wrote:

Most of what is discussed on this forum is not hi-fi, in my world anyway

oooOOOooo.

(by the way, don't google 'oooOOOooo' to try to find an appropriate image)

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The_Lhc's picture
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RE: Missing the days of No Nonsense Hifi

davedotco wrote:
Personally I think we need to differentiate between the term hi-fi as used to describe TVs, Phones and hi-fidelity which is something else entirely, at least we can then have discussions where everyone knows what is being discussed.

So, you can't simply tell what's being discussed just by reading the discussion, you need it labelled? I don't think anyone else has that difficulty. At least I've certainly never noticed.

SiUK's picture
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RE: Missing the days of No Nonsense Hifi

You're a brave man coming out with that! You really must have been bored excellent!

Years ago I used to subscribe to almost every hi-fi mag available. What Hi-Fi (Sound and Vision) seems to have always leaned towards 'the lot' really....well for as long as I can remember and I've been attending the What Hi-Fi Sound & Vision show in Bristol since the beginning of the 90s. I think you may be having a bit of temporary meltdown and it's brought out the luddite lurking in you (we all have it)...but you'll be glad to know you're not alone. I have regular episodes of emergent ludditis...about once a week in fact and then I calm down, realise it's probably my age and it'll all be over soon so what the heck, go with the flow. All that said, I really really don't like dedicated buttons on kit for specific services. It's not that I mind that the particaulr 'thing' is equipped to handle the lastest thing, I just don't want a redundant button on my remote reminding me how old and out of touch I'm getting. Same with uninstallable apps on TVs. That annoys me n'all. Great for all the folk that like to use their teles to chat and communicate to all and sundry but I prefer a bit of a basic feature set that doesn't attempt to get me to commiuncate with everyone in the known universe. When I watch tele I want it to be a non Orwellian affair Wink.

Anyhow, I'm sure you know it'll pass soon beauty, eh

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AlbaBrown's picture
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RE: Missing the days of No Nonsense Hifi

 

 

don't get me wrong Chebby. I LOVE technology, but only if it improves quality as well as adding convenience!

 

That's why I went for the UnitiQute/DAC as I ripped all my CDs into WAV bit-accurate in DBpoweramp and the result sounded better than playing the CDs via a CD5x/DAC (with all the disc reading errors and correction that entails). Plus it also gave me 24bit replay to boot. Hardwired to the network naturally.

 

My main beef was with streaming compressed content (like spotify, lovefilm and the like) getting such prominence in what is supposed to be reviews of High fidelity equipment. 

 

Plus I've had my afternoon cuppa so I'm less stressed now Smile, but it's beginning to wear off..........

 

I use Spotify, I use iPlayer, I use Wifi (and the words I and use it seems) frequently, but on equipment that actually benefits from it's inclusion!

 

If I want to buy a CD online but have a quick preview of a few tracks first then that's why Spotify is on my PC. BBC iPlayer is fantastic for catchup but running on a tv with barely enough processing power to drive it's own GUI? That's where the PS3 and Xbox 360 are such better suited to the task (or the Galaxy S3 for when I'm out and about - yes I do get out!)

 

And how anyone can say they'll watch a HD stream (hahahaha) of a film over LoveFilm/Netflix and say that can't see/hear a difference when compared to playing the Bluray on proper BD deck either means they have a very poor display or are as blind as I am after having my glasses punched off my face! (this doesn't happen as often as you may think!)

 

I suppose in a very long winded way (cue the violin), I feel that actual absolute enjoyment is being slowly hampered by increased connectivity and convenience.

 

 

I must admit I did have a grin on my face when the Naim SuperNait 2 was reviewed. Take out the originals digital inputs (and so-so DAC) and replace them with a better power supply and further upgrades (and keeping the same RRP) and the performance level improvement is fantastic.

 

Just the sort of amp to replace my little Nait! 

 

 

 

Anyway, just stuffed a piece of coffee cake down my neck now and all is well in the world!

 

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Naim Unitiqute, Naim DAC, Naim Nait5i, Tannoy HPD385/8 15" Dual Concentrics in Amesbury cabinets. TQ Black Speaker cable. Fujitsu P50XHA58EBb (AVM-II), Oppo BD95EU, Sky+HD, Wireworld Ultrviolet HDMIs, PSB M4U 1 Headphones.

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RE: Missing the days of No Nonsense Hifi

The_Lhc wrote:

davedotco wrote:
Personally I think we need to differentiate between the term hi-fi as used to describe TVs, Phones and hi-fidelity which is something else entirely, at least we can then have discussions where everyone knows what is being discussed.

So, you can't simply tell what's being discussed just by reading the discussion, you need it labelled? I don't think anyone else has that difficulty. At least I've certainly never noticed.

Well I have, many times.

For example, I mention something that I think is important in hi-fi terms and get told that it doesn't matter one jot as long as the owner likes it. 

Whilst personal preference is a perfectly acceptable way to choose an enjoyable (to the user) music playing system, it is not sufficiant to select a hi-fidelity playback system. I think this is self evident but others do not, simply because the words 'hi-fi system' means something very different to me than it does to them.

Just one simple example.

__________________

We do so many shows in a row,

And these towns all look the same,

We just pass the time in our hotel room

And wander 'round backstage,

Till the lights come up, and we hear that crowd,

And we remember why we came.

Jackson Browne

Bigsounds's picture
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RE: Missing the days of No Nonsense Hifi

Magazines pander to the needs of the greater public, and lets face it if your a manufacture and you don't include all those gubbins you're not going to shift many units, HiFi of 20 years ago is different to today's buyers demands, of course there are still purists, but if you want a magazine with high circulation figures for your advertisers to see the benefit of advertising with you, then you go with the flow and put things in a magazine that are currently in vogue and people want to read about and help them buy, because buyers today struggle to chose for them self and need their hands holding and to be reassured about what they are going to buy.