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Old 11-27-2007   #13
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Default Re: Helping Audiophile Dealers with the "Audio Room of the Future"

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Originally Posted by jtmjnow View Post
Tell me, how many times have you been completed involved with an ambiance, enveloping, transcending, all encompassing sound field, whereby you are so content with the psyco-acoustic enviornment that you wish only to remain there in the sound for hours on end?

I saw Pink Floyd at the Live8 Concert and felt that way...

In a homes, etc. one was the all Meridian system that Blockbuster HQ has. I had a pretty good system at one point myself. The Transparent Audio listening room is amazing, and being at Gale's house and listening to the Martin Logan Statement system is one of those moments.

I heard a VTL amp combined with Avalon Acoustics speakers that made me want that system more than anything. The Speakers were $35k, the amp was $20k, The VTL Preamp was $20k, and the Linn CD player was $10k.

So for $85,000 I could have sound that was just as amazing as that Pink Floyd experience. Just for an fyi the redbook CD I was listening to was Darkside of the Moon and it was breathtaking. So much so that I thought a decent SACD setup might be better, but it wasn't as enveloping.

Maybe someday I can get that setup for my own. I'm seriously considering putting a VTL S-400 ($10k), Avalon Acoustics Opus ($15k), and an old Wadia CD/Preamp off Audiogon if I can find one, in my new home. Just for music, in a room just for music (and acoustically designed for the purpose, this part has been done, the equipment not yet). So I may have a "cheap," version of that for around $27k.
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Old 11-28-2007   #14
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Default Re: Helping Audiophile Dealers with the "Audio Room of the Future"

Thx for your input. Pink Floyd is probably my most liked/enjoyed group of all time. As to the componets many of you speak of here, they are way out of my price range. Gee, what it in the interiors of these behemoths that constitute such a high price that do not exist in the mid fi's? Can the parts be that much better, and why have they not entered into the minds of the mid folks? With parts beings so inexpensive in Asia one would think it would be a snap. Perhaps the Blue Ray and HD systems will help bridge the deep canyon in sound between the two? For the average wage earner, something like this is not imaginable or even sensible; on the other hand I like great sounding equipment.

What do you think that Pink Floyd does in their music that moves folks so? They seem almost to be in a particular genre of their own whom others have not touched. Or perhaps one would know of others that also have done so? I have a difficult time and must fight an ADD type of experience when Pink Floyd often uses such long foreplay before entering into the meat of the sound and word melding together. But once they get there I am estatic! Who will carry the torch once Pink Floyd members pass on? The depth of their sound is wonderful. Can't think of the name of their release about a year or two ago; the one in blue, its a double dvd, and I believe it has two eyes on the cover. Anyway I sure enjoyed the experience. It was a particular concert they had given some time back; it was not in HD though.

jtmj
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Old 11-28-2007   #15
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Default Re: Helping Audiophile Dealers with the "Audio Room of the Future"

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Originally Posted by jtmjnow View Post
Thx for your input. Pink Floyd is probably my most liked/enjoyed group of all time. As to the componets many of you speak of here, they are way out of my price range. Gee, what it in the interiors of these behemoths that constitute such a high price that do not exist in the mid fi's? Can the parts be that much better, and why have they not entered into the minds of the mid folks? With parts beings so inexpensive in Asia one would think it would be a snap. Perhaps the Blue Ray and HD systems will help bridge the deep canyon in sound between the two? For the average wage earner, something like this is not imaginable or even sensible; on the other hand I like great sounding equipment.

What do you think that Pink Floyd does in their music that moves folks so? They seem almost to be in a particular genre of their own whom others have not touched. Or perhaps one would know of others that also have done so? I have a difficult time and must fight an ADD type of experience when Pink Floyd often uses such long foreplay before entering into the meat of the sound and word melding together. But once they get there I am estatic! Who will carry the torch once Pink Floyd members pass on? The depth of their sound is wonderful. Can't think of the name of their release about a year or two ago; the one in blue, its a double dvd, and I believe it has two eyes on the cover. Anyway I sure enjoyed the experience. It was a particular concert they had given some time back; it was not in HD though.

jtmj
The difference between true hi-fi and mid-fi is noticable, but there are some mid-fi systems that can blow you away. A Martin Logan electrostat combined with some inexpensive Bel Canto amps, and a Arcam Pre-Pro would be a heck of a combination.

The least expensive MLs are $2k, the Arcam Pre-Pro can be bought for around $1200 A stereo amp for the MLs will cost you $1400. A good Rega CD player I believe will set you back $1k.

So for $6k you could have an enveloping experience. Upgrade the Pre-Pro to a 7.1 capable and you'd add around $800. Then you'd have to buy amplification for that (I'd suggest Outlaw Audio) and some inexpensive surround speakers, and buy the new ML Motif center ($1300). Your fronts would match make movies amazing, and your stereo playback will floor you.
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Old 12-27-2007   #16
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Lightbulb Re: Helping Audiophile Dealers with the "Audio Room of the Future"

Jerry: You have made some excellent observations and suggestions regarding the actual sales of hifi gear in a B&M environment. However, I have long felt that the industry in general has moved away from some of the most basic marketing rules, and has suffered as a result.

First, marketing begins at an early age, not once the target is already established and able to afford the items being sold. Remember the golden age of hifi? Every kid was at least curious about building a kit radio or even a Heathkit amp. Heck, my own father built his first real speaker (Utah coaxial driver in an open-backed cabinet). I am not suggesting an emphasis on DIYers, but rather that these kits were aimed at teenagers and were a gateway to better-fi. Once they realized that to achieve even better sound they had to buy factory-built gear from Mac or Marantz, they moved on. It was also natural for them to seek out high quality gear that was factory-assembled as they became too busy with life to build their own.

Second, any marketing major knows that you have to create a need for your product by telling your audience that they are lacking something, and that your product will fix their problem. Hence the images in the old days of the beautiful living room with the hi-end gear and speakers in it one used to see in ANY magazine or newspaper - not just hobbyist rags. That's why Bose is so successful: Look at their ads - beautiful people, well-dressed and hip, using Bose products in real-world, yet idealized homes and cars. And these ads aren't only in A/V magazines, they're everywhere! Expensive? Sure. But they work. And so it is with the iPod. Ask any teenager: If you don't have an iPod (or at least a very cool MP3 player), you're not among the cool and popular kids. And that's the key - every kid wants to be cool and popular. Why is vinyl experiencing huge growth among younger, non-audiophile buyers? It's become COOL! A new generation of kids, desparate to be liked, cool, popular, are seeing turntables as a way to be all of those things. At my last record show, I was stunned by the number of young people buying vinyl, and I highly doubt they were taking them home to play on their SME 'table with Koetsu pickup, Conrad-Johnson electronics and Focal Utopia speakers. Advertising has the power to do that with hifi, if only the tried and true rules of marketing are applied to this industry.

So, what should be done? The MP3 generation is more-or-less lost. Sure, we can convert a handful with careful demonstrations of hi-end audio systems, but this generation will never be like the last, when your home just wasn't complete without a big honkin' Pioneer receiver, turntable and speakers (and if you lived in a tonier suburb, a Mac rack). I say, focus on the next generation, and build a future for the industry. Do so with slick product placement in film and TV. Celebrity endorsements of hi-end manufacturers seemed goofy when they were in the pages of TAS or Stereophile, but they would work well in mainstream publications like the New York Times Sunday Magazine or Esquire. Like the glory days of Hugh Hefner in his mansion, you can slowly build up the idea that no successful person would be caught dead without a quality hifi rig in his living room (OK - or Audio Room if you prefer). And put these ads on general, non-hobbyist websites that teenagers use, too!

Lastly, the industry should not shy away from telling the truth about MP3s. The visuals for ads explaning how MP3s leave you with less than 10% of the original music could be startling and attention-grabbing. Surely ads like these would peak the curiousity of teens who've never heard resolution of more than 128 kbps. Again - these ads need to preach to the unconverted: Placing these ads in hobbyist mags is a waste of money. They belong in general publications, radio, TV and the web, all with that younger demographic in mind.
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Old 12-27-2007   #17
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Default Re: Helping Audiophile Dealers with the "Audio Room of the Future"

jtmjnow: Have you ever sat through a complete Porcupine Tree album? PT can mesmerize in much the same way that Pink Floyd does. Just my $0.02.
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Old 12-27-2007   #18
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Smile Re: Helping Audiophile Dealers with the "Audio Room of the Future"

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Originally Posted by Lotus View Post
He was clueless. To suggest that a high end Onkyo can compete with separates from even NAD is ludicrous. I myself have heard side by side A/B comparisons and while the Onkyo might have some things going for it, it can not compare with the sound from the separates. There are many reasons for this.

I know well respected members of this business who think that there is no audible difference between lamp wire or $20K worth of Transparent, Kimber, Acoustic Zen, etc.

I've been told I'm hearing what I want to hear for years.

I know differently and have been involved with many double blind tests. There is a difference in sound through out, but rest assured if you spend big money on a system from say Theta, Meridian, or Mark Levinson you will be getting brilliance.

Personally, I think Meridian is the best sound you can get right now. However I'd settle for Theta at 2/3rds the cost.
Lotus and Enoch,

First, this was not to start a debate. My point was, at this moment in time, right now, with the HD DVD and BLu-Ray war at its height (Ridiculous), receivers by are midfi brethren have been on point with all the HDMI inputs and outputs, codecs, connections, etc. And even power, when you consider the Sunfire and Denon flagship receivers.

Add in room correction on some, and ease of operation and flexibility, these units offer I believe everyone a great gateway to home theater. Now as far as comparison to the upper level. In some cases, midfi to high end, you are not giving up too much. Now when you go what I call Esoteric Level, Wilsons, Krell, Mark Levinson, Meridian, then obviously, you need the best. Especially since the speakers you will be using at this level are power hungry.

However, the Esoteric level is way behind right now, with the current inputs and outputs, especially for HDMI and what our HD and Blu-ray units bring to the game.

I agree with JTMJNOW, that a bridging of the gap, would be great for all of us. We are all at a point now where all this equipment must be functional. What good is it, if you can not even connect it, or use all the technology to its fullest?? Its time for snobbery at the high end level and Esoteric level to end, and move forward.
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