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What's changed in 50 years (equipment)

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by Fast996, Feb 4, 2019.

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  1. samurai

    samurai Step right up! See the glory, of the royal scam.

    The period when early transistors started replacing tubes produced some awful sounding stuff.
    Doctor Fine likes this.
  2. Thorensman

    Thorensman Forum Resident

    Audio is a business.
    Every year progress must be made so profits are preserved.
    After all manufacturers have to provide
    For their families.
    I have been interested in audio since 1962
    Since picking up a soldering iron and
    Modifying/ restoring my equipment
    My understanding is much better than at any time in my life.
    The truth is that equipment and recording was at its zenith in early 50,s
    As a matter of perspective mono
    Recordings have a more natural " feel"
    Than its successor.
    Loudspeakers even in 50,s were superb

    Things are made to a price today , a sign
    Of economic necessity.
    I recently rewired a pair of Leak Sandwich speakers from 1965.
    These were designed in 1958.
    Construction is exemplery
    A 3" cone tweeter and 13" alimininlum
    Skinned polystyrene filled drivers.
    The result was so impressive that i have to say we have not come far nowadays

    My ampa are Leak TL12's plus
    Again sound quality makes 70% of whst i hear today very harsh and coloured.
    Oh, modern systems go loud.
    Right through the audio chain even to turntables my td150 and 401 provide
    Faultless sound quality.
    As , has been pounted out recording engineers were technical technicians who knew how to get the best fron their
    Recording gear

    " off the record" by the late John Culshaw
    Is a fascinating insite to recording during Decca s hey day years
  3. Chris Schoen

    Chris Schoen Rock 'n Roll !!!

    Maryland, U.S.A.
    Ya, stupid is as stupid does. Still holds true... :laugh::sigh:
    Uglyversal and timind like this.
  4. SandAndGlass

    SandAndGlass Twilight Forum Resident

    Back then, they were less preoccupied with how they can change the music than faithfully recording it.

    Back then, they thought that the midrange, being the frequencies where vocal's live, was of primary importance to overall sound.
  5. musicera1969

    musicera1969 Member

    The reason recordings were superior then. The stereo sound was obvious !

    Now you can detect the playing with the tone controls - wish my grandmother was there to smack their hands.
    SandAndGlass likes this.
  6. rodentdog

    rodentdog Forum Resident

    I think streaming equipment like the Bluesound (and others) have made a real change in how people listen to music, whether from their own music libraries or from streaming services/internet radio.
    The ease of accessing through an app and hearing the song/album in seconds is really great.
    Mike-48 likes this.
  7. Doctor Fine

    Doctor Fine Meat and Potatoes all day long

    I am an industry professional and I asked THAT VERY QUESTION about 50 years ago because it bugged me.
    I mean---Hollywood movie theaters had Altec A2 speakers as big as a truck to listen to.
    The recording studios I worked in in the 60s all had wonderful playback sound.
    Big rooms.
    Big Altec A7s.
    Big tube amplification everywhere.
    Everything needed to record the entire range of human hearing was already being used by studio professionals by the mid to late 50s.
    What bugged me was why it didn't sound "studio quality" over at MY house back in the 50s.
    Or at my friend's homes.
    Even if we had great McIntosh AR3 stuff---it still wasn't set up near as good as what I heard over at the studio.
    We stuck the speakers anywhere IT LOOKED GOOD.
    Our systems at home barely played back what was on the tape and we had no clue WHY?
    If you wanted to hear "real" playback you had to go to a club or to a movie theater to hear it!
    So I quit the HiFi business and went to work over at the recording side.
    I learned about setup!
    I learned what they knew about THE ROOM.
    I learned about SOURCES and how to keep the signal chain "pristine".
    Here we are 50 years later.
    And we consumers now know which speakers to trust.
    We didn't know much back then as consumers.
    We didn't even know the wattage of most amps because the manufacturers LIED back then.
    A 10 watt RMS amp was described as hoaving 300 watts!
    At least today we consumers can buy what we need for accurate "studio" reproduction at this point.
    NOW we can all hear how good the early "fresh" stuff really was.
    After 50 years we are finally doing a decent job of being "studio professionals."
    Why do you think we are all over HERE on a "mastering forum" trying to learn the secrets of better HiFi?
    My two cents.
  8. WMTC

    WMTC Forum Resident

    They don't make 'em like this anymore. Looks wise, at least! Nothing like wood & chrome. Panasonic had some truly ~Groovy~ systems coming out int the early 70s. Technically, 48 years, since this stereo was made around '71, but still...
    Fruff76 and SandAndGlass like this.
  9. SandAndGlass

    SandAndGlass Twilight Forum Resident

    Back then, the production in the control room was simple and straightforward.

    Today, they overproduce everything.
    Eigenvector, sturgus and Doctor Fine like this.
  10. SandAndGlass

    SandAndGlass Twilight Forum Resident

    One thing that I think they made a great deal of improvement in are bookshelf speaker's.

    Back then, a bookshelf speaker was just a speaker in a small box (not counting the English made monitors).

    Today bookshelf speaker's have came a really long way, sound quality wise.
    Eigenvector and WMTC like this.
  11. WMTC

    WMTC Forum Resident

    Absolutely! Those Panasonic speakers, while super ~Groovy~ looking, have pretty much zero bass. Heck, they just have a single driver, no sub nor tweeter. For what they are, though, they do sound quite warm. One thing that they do well that a lot of newer equipment does not do is fill the room with sound. They have a certain warm tone that just fills up the room - I don't know how else to describe it.
    SandAndGlass likes this.
  12. SandAndGlass

    SandAndGlass Twilight Forum Resident

    Which is why, being the audio heretic that I am, will run two and three separate systems off of the same source in the same room at the same time.

    I think you well understand why and get this!

    It is in storage right now, but I had bought a 2 or 3 CD collection in a box set that was, I think Henri Mancini. It had a booklet with it talking about Henri and there was a photo of Henri in his study leaking against his desk. In the background on a shelf, was on of those small stereo's with the inexpensive single driver speakers. It was an 8-Track player.

    Maybe some day, I will come across it and dig it out. I have been wanting to post a scan of that photo for some time now.
    WMTC likes this.
  13. WMTC

    WMTC Forum Resident

    There's something wonderful about a system that fills a room. It doesn't even have to get loud (though that Panasonic does). Console stereos also seem to have done a nice job of doing that (the Zenith we have sure does!)

    I'd love to see that shot of Mr. Mancini! It's an old adage that musicians often have the worst stereo systems...
    SandAndGlass likes this.
  14. SandAndGlass

    SandAndGlass Twilight Forum Resident

    We never had a Zenith stereo, but we had Zenith TV's, after a Motorola.

    I don't think that he thought of it that way. It was just a stereo for background music in this study. Not really unlike the stereo that you had.

    I have a very nice system, with a CD player and a coupe of turntables.

    See my system tour under my equipement profile, it have photos and descriptions.

    But I listen to streaming Pandora every day on my little $49 Sony streaming box.
    WMTC likes this.
  15. WMTC

    WMTC Forum Resident

    Definitely, most likely just to fill his room with whatever he was listening to. That's a lot of what I use the Panasonic for: playing Readers Digest box sets quietly while doing homework or whatever to have some nice background. For that, the lack of bass really isn't a problem. I connected up a small subwoofer, and really, it's not a bad sounding system. Mr. Mancini probably used his system in a very similar way. And like I said earlier, it's quite an eye-catching piece of equipment!
    SandAndGlass likes this.
  16. SandAndGlass

    SandAndGlass Twilight Forum Resident

    In my bedroom, I had a pair of Peachtree D5 bookshelf speakers. I had a Martin Logan Dynamo 300 sub. It is a small 8" 75-Watt sub, which works perfectly for the bedroom.

    So many people misunderstand the proper use for a sub. It only serves to provide a boost to fill in the lower bass frequencies. You never even know it's there, you just hear the music that you are supposed to.
    Mike-48 and WMTC like this.
  17. WMTC

    WMTC Forum Resident

    Exactly! I've just got an inexpensive powered RCA unit, but it does quite a nice job when paired with that stereo. Especially at low volumes. It fills out the bottom end of the sound almost perfectly!
    SandAndGlass likes this.
  18. Uglyversal

    Uglyversal Forum Resident

    More BS on all fronts, better selection of cartridges, better phono stages, stupidly priced cables, higher percentage of warped and faulty pressings.
    It is now easier to achieve decent quality sound for mortals but ironically there are less mortals that actually want to achieve better sound and prefer convenience.
  19. Doctor Fine

    Doctor Fine Meat and Potatoes all day long

    I don't know.
    There are an awful lot of people on HERE looking for better sound.
    So guess what, guys?
    I think we finally outlived "the fad" of HiFi.
    Now it's just us right here dedicated hobbyists left to defend the fort.
    I think we're doing pretty well myself.
    Look at all of us!
    SandAndGlass and billnunan like this.
  20. Ham Sandwich

    Ham Sandwich Forum Resident

    Sherwood, OR, USA
    This is a very good time in hi-fi for headphone audiophiles. Over the past 10 years there has been so much advancement in headphones and associated headphone equipment (amps). Both at the high-end and the more affordable end. The Sennheiser HD800 was released 10 years ago. A super big advancement in headphones, both in price escalation and performance. Audeze and HiFiMan were leading the planar magnetic headphone revival. More headphone amps came to market at both the high-end and more affordable end. It's just all around a good break-out period in headphones over the past 10 years.
    rodentdog and SandAndGlass like this.
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