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AudioRigger
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Joined: Nov 20 2009 - 3:08pm
"Dazed and Confused" over formats

I have to say that this is the most frustrating time in the 30 years spent on this hobby. Finally, after 30 years, CD playback has reached a maturity level that I thought would never come. The quality of music coming from my system is the best it has EVER been.

Now, however, everyone is cutting back there CD inventory. It is essentially disappearing. Borders has reduced their inventory to almost nothing. Virtually every company has cut back drastically.

So, like a good audiophile I jump back into vinyl, only to find that as soon as I buy an album, a 180 gram version is released at $30-$35 (which I buy for better sound) only to learn that a 200 gram "ultimate version" is available a few months down the road at $50. Then, much to my "delight", an ultimate supreme (or other optional adjective) 45 version is released. What makes it worse is fact that I experienced many an album with pressing flaws that effected one track or another.

I essentially "give" my Music Hall 7.1, Dynavector 17D3 cartridge, Simaudio LP5.3 phono section, album collection and VPI record cleaner to a friend in total frustration.

Now, I decide, downloads are the future. Wow, what a "jacked up" state computer audio is in. USB DACs, USB converters, MACs with mini toslinks, firewire DACs, sound cards with coaxial output, servers that store data (like the AppleTV I own), audio equipment you can stream through and mega thousand dollar "ultimate" systems that store data on their own proprietary hard and software. All this to back, ummmmm HD Tracks. How special must they feel. And to add insult to injury, my credit card was compromised twice through them (that is not a joke, they notified their customers by email and sent me 2 free SACDs, one used!, for my trouble).

This on the heals of owning SACD player #1 that I find converts high res to PCM, player #2 that directly decodes DSD, player #3 that does not pass SACD in the digital domain over HDMI and player #4 that finally does. And the DVD Audio player paperweight.....

This hobby that I have such a passionate love for is at the mercy of complete idiots.

Poor Audiophile
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Joined: Feb 14 2006 - 7:35pm
Re: "Dazed and Confused" over formats

"This hobby that I have such a passionate love for is at the mercy of complete idiots." Yes indeed!!!

clarets2
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Joined: Nov 22 2006 - 9:58am
Re: "Dazed and Confused" over formats

Your post is well and truly echoed in the chambers of the Linn forum. There you find Sondek LP12 obsessives who have given up vinyl in favor of their DS (Digital Stream) product line only to find that if their internet connection is down they can't play music as they need Twonky!

Linn is placing so much faih in DS that they have promised not to make any more CD players.
Note they still intend to produce the LP12 and all its myriad tweaks.

I find the vinyl solution is to never upgrade an album I aready own unless it is unlistenable. I also don't subscribe to the 45rpm trend as I tend to refill my wine glass after each side.......

dbowker
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Joined: May 8 2007 - 6:37am
Open your Ears and your Mind will follow

Honestly, take a closer look at your own perspective. It's the best it's been for music because of the choices you have, not the worst. But getting your pants bunched because there is always "something better" down the road is a sure way to hell in any hobby. You can't find perfection! Ever. But that doesn't at all preclude growing, learning, or evolving--- and still being happy along the way.

Buy an album in a decent format, LP, CD, high-res download, and ENJOY it. It's about music man- not the "best" sound or format. Who cares anyway about format except for the one(s0 that work for you right now!? I for one love LPs, but I still have plenty of CDs around, and also enjoy both as uncompressed files on an iPod for mixes, the office, whatever. And yeah, my TT is better than all of the other formats in my system, and better LPs can sound better. But if you are second guessing each and every purchase you're using the wrong side of the brain for listening.

A good friend of mine is all about high-res files and a nearly all digital system; from source, to digital cross-overs and to powered speakers. We each can share what we enjoy about our choices but I don't think have ever argued one or the other was better. Forget the trying to define or find "the ultimate". Instead: Listen, let the music be what it's all about. Because it is, right?

There are still a zillion copies in all formats right now (OK, maybe not SACD). What happens later is... unknowable. I've seen LPs go- and mean really GO for years. Now they are back and better than ever. They say CDs are dying. There is a lot of future sayers out there and I don't think any know much more than what's happening next week. Today though, music is more available and sounds better than at any time in recoding history, for less money. SO I'd quit worrying so much and embrace it. Your ears and mind will thank you for it.

andy_c
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Joined: Dec 25 2007 - 12:48pm
Re: "Dazed and Confused" over formats


Quote:
Now, however, everyone is cutting back there CD inventory. It is essentially disappearing. Borders has reduced their inventory to almost nothing. Virtually every company has cut back drastically.

Nope. Brick and mortar CD retailers have reduced their inventory to almost nothing. Who cares? Online CD retailers don't seem to be affected at all. Not only that, prices of CDs at the online vendors are decreasing and selection has never been better in my experience. In fact, selection is far better than any brick and mortar CD seller I've been to, even when CD sales were much higher than they are now.

JIMV
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Joined: Jan 31 2008 - 1:46pm
Re: "Dazed and Confused" over formats

AR, I feel your pain...I cannot afford top flight digital so I make do. My vinyl rig is almost entirely used to play used records not ever converted to CD as the new stuff is way pricey and sometimes has the same problems I left vinyl over almost 30 years ago (my new Diana Krall distorts on both sides). I dip a toe into computer based sound and buy Media Monkey and have spent more time on their help forums than I have playing the music (the latest was the disappearance of my entire library of WAV files after I did a routine registry cleaning using CCleaner)

I still consider CD's THE media as it always works, is not subject to all the horrors that are PC based sound, and is not as tweaky as vinyl...

Actually, I hope more folk head for computer based systems as then perhaps I can find that $3K transport for $500 someday.

JIMV
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Joined: Jan 31 2008 - 1:46pm
Re: "Dazed and Confused" over formats


Quote:

Quote:
Now, however, everyone is cutting back there CD inventory. It is essentially disappearing. Borders has reduced their inventory to almost nothing. Virtually every company has cut back drastically.

Nope. Brick and mortar CD retailers have reduced their inventory to almost nothing. Who cares? Online CD retailers don't seem to be affected at all. Not only that, prices of CDs at the online vendors are decreasing and selection has never been better in my experience. In fact, selection is far better than any brick and mortar CD seller I've been to, even when CD sales were much higher than they are now.

I was at Borders yesterday...their CD listening capability has gone from broken to missing entirely. I almost always buy from Amazon as I can at least hear the music (poorly) through my computer before I buy.

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