Is high-end audio dying, if not dead already???

Without sounding like the mad prophet of the airwaves, I think high-end audio is in its death throes. I would like to hear other opinions on this issue, but I think it is time to raise the question and also some hell as to what is happening to the high end audio and audio in general.

Here's why: Most of the major audio publications spend a great deal of time on romancing the "absolute" fidelity of computer audio and music that is digitally processed. On the other hand, you have critics, reviewers, celebrating the comeback of vinyl, analog, and turntables. The mantra goes: "it really does sound better, like real music", so chuck out your CD player, and buy a $5000 analog rig, and have fun again cleaning, preserving (a medium) searching record huts worldwide for pristine vinyl gems. Maybe, there are some shellac gems out there also

It seems the CD format has "OUTLIVED" its usefulness in the pursuit of the absolute sound because its technology and soft ware has never convincingly improved. It is like the BB King tune "the thrill is gone" or saying kids let's just change the channel for something more exciting and new.

High-end audio seems to now ( as the old joke goes)require a degree in engineering or rocket science to understand the circuitous (bad pun) route to audio nirvana. Equipment has gotten more expensive over the last 15 years, under the pretext that the electronic functions have increased and become more complicated. Take a look at the back of a 5 channel receiver or amp, or home theater receiver, a digital processor, etc. and you will see the future of audio. It might be easier to hook up a heart and lung machine.

Ironically, as high end audio and audio in general evolves, the music industry delivers more shit to the public's ears, Geez, I never knew that in order to really enjoy Shakira, JZ, Pharell, and the rest of the talentless trash discovered and pushed by American Idol, The Voice,and the popular Mega media, would require hearing it in absolute sound.
08-19-14: Zd542
The point I was trying to make is that there is a wide variety of places to deal with. Some suck, but there are some very good ones, as well. I wanted some examples just to see what type of retailer/brands you were dealing with. Quite often, manufacturers that are either new or not doing well lower their standards. Established brands in good health, are far less likely to allow low service, internet type sales. (not to be confused with retailers who are breaking their contract and getting away with it.)
TAD speakers, VAC and ARC components. I have no dealers in my area so purchasing local is not an option. All I need is a legit and honest business so I get what I paid for. Don't care about service ...

I guess a better question is, what can't you buy online these days? ... and can you stay in business with old business model? B&M are fading and malls evolving into HUGE food courts.

If you can't beat them, change the law. Proposing internet sales tax to keep local merchants competitive. At the end, we customers pay for inefficiency thanks to the politicians. IMO, if you can't compete, back to drawing board or quit and stop crying foul.
I like to add, with dwindling B&M, it's more difficult to find one that doesn't sook. With internet, you have the world at your finger tips.

Plus with big ticket items, why pay the sales tax plus their overhead (lease on bldg, staffing, utilities, interest on demo/display ...)

Several B&M told me majority of their revenue is from custom installations. Internet, technology and efficiency have commoditized goods so we've evolved into a service economy.
IMO its dead. Even I now would take a more budget on or in wall setup over the huge better sounding floor standers. Only way I have anothe floor stander setup is if I had a room on my house just for me. In a living room, family room, no way. You simply give up to much.

Gear prices are to high also. 1k speakers in todays market needs to greatly impress. Few speakers in that price range do at all unless wanting a small room stand setup.

Once I sell my current floorstanders someday, Im going all on or in wall, no question.
My favorite speaker company is still designing and building an outstanding product. I know there are high quality electronics out there. So IMO all is well--it's not a case of "audiogone."