High End Audio-Gaining Higher Ground?

This is a spin off from a meeting held by audio designers where the primary discussion was about high-end audio and how to get the younger generation interested & involved in high-end audio. One of the speakers mentioned that his son was not the least bit interested in his rig and if something was to happen to him, his son stated it all would be put up for sale on Ebay.

I thought it would be interesting to put this discussion forth to this audio community and to get opinions on the above subject. Are audiophiles a dying breed and what could rekindle this hobby for all new generations.
However, I have no idea what the sound recording engineer actually recorded or how that person intended the recording to sound. So, I am using my judgement in listening to the recordings. But, it would be interesting to have the acutal recording engineer sit in one's home and listen to the playback of their actual recording and see and talk about their reaction. That would be interesting. I have been in live unamplified concerts in large venues in great seats and the music was unfocused, and I couldn't place the performers with my eyes closed. So, live unamplified music can also be the wrong metric. So, my point is that it depends on the intent and ear of the recording engineer, the venue, and most especially, what the listener is actually doing and what they want.

Exactly, it's a guessing game. The sound we get out of our systems might be totally opposite of what the engineers and artists wanted. Like you, I go by the sound of real instruments and compare and contrast. Again, like I said in the old post of mine, we're listening to imperfect recordings for the most part, especially, and I hate to say this, rock and pop stuff. And let's not fool ourselves, no matter how much money you throw around, there's no such thing as an absolutely perfect system, imo. You can get pretty close however, at usually quite a chunk of change. However, there are more modest systems out there that can and have slayed the 6 figure "holy grail" rigs. In my opinion, the spending limit on an ultimate state of the art holy grail system (with discounts new or used stuff) should be around $50k, no more no less. Yes, that is crazy in real world terms, but isn't the high end more about aspirations more than reality? lol.

I was listening to a pair of $29 Audio TEchnica headphones today off my standard issue HP computer at work. Source were my lossless FLAC files on my music server at home. The cymbals sounded amazing good even on those, as they do as well at home. The only thing missing was soundstage and imaging, which for sure most people could care less about.

If its true that young people today have no interest in how music sounds, then that does not bode well for high end audio. But I suspect there is more to it than that, that what they have ready access to these days can easily sound pretty good, if they even just care a little.

Neither of my teenagers care a lick about home audio, but are very particular about what earbuds or phones they use.
I too echo Response34.

On the other hand, if you want to really feel like a duck out of water you've got to check out 1-2-3-4 GO Records (mostly LPs) on 40th Street in Oakland CA, They sell mostly Heavy Metal, Punk, and other genre I'd rather not dis because I've stopped keeping up. They've recently moved to a larger location because their business is growing.

It seems their customers priorities for purchasing vinyl has more to do with supporting the artist because the download industry is what it currently is and because owning the LP is a more tactile fruit of that art. The sound quality is often mentioned but it's not the primary reason for owning the LP.

Those stalwarts of brick and mortar new and used LP sales, Amoeba and Rasputin, are not jumping into this direction with both feet.

The owner of 1-2-3-4 GO suggested some selections an old fud like me might enjoy and I was pleasantly surprised. Not only by the contemporary-ness of the music but that I still had some attitude left in me to enjoy it. As a Draft dodging anarchist I've been back twice, your results may vary! Interestingly, because of this current state of the music industry and its unchecked digititus, many of these contemporary LPs were recorded digitally. I know what your thinking, "this music doesn't need to be recorded well." I'm a working Musician and I say it does qualify for the full treatment.

After listening to the recent testimony by recording artist before Congress about the issues that surround the run away download industry, it seems this is another contributing element to the increase in low quality production and an uncontrollable drain on artist royalties.

So, where are we going?

I feel it's incredibly important that the high end community (analog and digital) make this issue more than reminiscing the way it was because that's just not going to happen. We need to discuss the beginnings of a solution that benefits the artists so they receive their royalties. The producers to get back into the studio environment, and to somehow fairly regulate the distribution of the art.

So, if you must reminisce, reminisce about what our part had to do the resurgence of the LP and every time you told a mass market loved one, "yeah, the difference is amazing!"
It's an interesting paradox that commercialism is generally considered a bad thing for music, yet that is how a musician would get paid for making music.

On the flip side, a true artist and music lover does it because that is what they like to do. They might make some money playing live on the side still, but how many can make a living just being a musician? Not many, ever!

Music/record companies are becoming almost irrelevant these days, except as a way to make money by hyping lowest common denominator pop stars that are more about sex appeal, visuals and pop culture as they are about anything having to do with serious music.
I think we are too caught up in our ideas of what good sound means and thus what the high end is about. I think audio is being repositioned in the minds of many consumers, especially young people. Its why Apple bought Beats. They see the opportunity in a way other companies don't. Check out vox.com and look for the article on the music industry written in response to an op eds piece in the WSJ by Taylor Swift (yes, that Taylor Swift). I read it today. Embedded in it is a video with Jimmy Iovine and Ed Cue from Apple... Between the lines you can figure out why this deal happened. Its fascinating to me as a marketing guy who started out selling audio 40 years ago. I am not sure the opportunity is truly for a high end user base yet...but most consumer markets segment out ultimately to have a 10-20% component that is premium oriented whether that means luxury,performance etc. Why couldn't that be the NEW Hugh end uuser? Check out the discussion. Its not just about streaming music...there is more there. Apple has lots of consumer analytics data. I think they are looking to disrupt audio more. After all, that's what the iPod did...now maybe they will fix or alter more if what they broke!