Just came back from the RMAF 2010 show and, frankly, it reminded me of visiting a museum that was featuring postmodern works of art. Many of the museum 'halls' had some really nice looking artwork. There was a nice variety of turntables, reel-to-reel units and even tube amplifiers. It was a living, breathing version of those suave Playboy articles on what audio system you must have to be cool in your bachelor's pad ... circa 1966. The only thing missing was hearing every room playing Herb Alpert's Whipped Cream & Other Delights.
While the above might piss off a few people both in and out of the industry, and in fact my show report did enflame one manufacturer, c'mon people this is almost 2011 and are we still using the same outdated and truly hideous RCA connectors? Sure tubes are cool, yet after many decades maybe solid-state devices have finally at least come close to emulating that nice tube sound. And for the record yes i still love tubes and no, my Wavelength Audio Cardinal X1 300B monoblocks are not for sale. But really folks, let us wake up and take a fresh look at our 'high-end' audio gear. It is really high-end or just technological hold-overs (alcohol-induced hangovers or LSD flashbacks) from the 1960's?
Who really needs an analog preamplifier in this day and age of NAS drives and 32-bit/384kHz DACs? Ok, if you still love analog sure you might need a separate preamplifier; that is if the DAC does not have an analog input or offers some other ADC/DAC conversion thus enabling volume control from the DAC to your amplifiers. And as for speakers, what happened to all that promise of new technology i read so much about as a child? You know, flying cars, transporters instead of airplanes to get to a destination... and instant hot and great tasting dinner by only pressing a few buttons. Where is my limitless enjoyment of music with every song available by simply asking to hear it?
Where Did We Go Wrong?
Stop The Ranting