I guess I'm what you'd call a "cheapskate audiophile". I enjoy vintage equipment, some of it purchased years ago but some of it bought in recent years at thrift stores and yard sales.McCharley wrote:I recall when people spent hundreds of dollars on a phono cartridge. I worked in a stereo store when CDs first came out -- wow, all of a sudden, good sound was cheap. Mind you I was a snob (and still am) -- those analog recordings had something that the CDs didn't: they sounded less harsh (hard to describe). But they also had clicks and pops and hiss -- OK, win for CDs........Now, though, it seems that people download music, and it is almost all MP3s. Granted, you can fit thousands of these on your iPod but the sound quality is really terrible. We would have sneered at these in my stereo store days. But this seems to be what music is now. Am I missing something?.........Where do you go to download high quality music (not pirated, hopefully)? Or do you just buy CDs and burn FLAC files?........Luckily as I get older my hearing gets worse so those MP3s are sounding better and better!
Vinyl albums still can sound quite impressive, but over time I've come to appreciate the virtues of the CD format. Although I have used Pandora and other online services, I can't see any efficacy in purchasing MP3 downloads because you don't really have a physical media copy which can hold up over time. Burned CDs from online files have a life expectancy of perhaps five years.... I have printed CDs from 30 years ago which still play well, and vinyl LP records from 50 or even 60 years ago which play great.
Ultimately, the consumer marketplace spending patterns have shifted. The discretionary consumer spending which, 35 years ago (1979), was spent on traditional 2-channel consumer home audio component systems and LPs/CDs/tapes, is today being spent on different forms of recreational technology such as: home video systems (Blu-Ray and DVD hardware and software), video game systems and software, home theatre surround sound systems, Internet service, smartphones, tablets, Sirius XM satellite radio, ever-expanding cable and satellite TV packages, Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu Plus, and other recreational technologies and services.
The downside of all these changes is that many Americans no longer really enjoy simply listening to music for its own sake. The notion of actually sitting and listening to an entire album all the way through - without conversation, without answering incoming phone calls or text messages - has been lost. Do you know many young people who recently have listened to Sgt. Pepper's, Abbey Road, Crime of the Century or Dark Side of the Moon all the way through as an album??