Written by 10:42 pm News

Wired’s View of High End Gear

Having been a commercial photographer for more than twenty years during the bad old days of film I can appreciate well-executed product photography. But why showing photographs of premium-priced gear upsets some people so much I’ll never fathom…

AR-wired2.jpgWired’s pictorial from the California Audio Show was very
pretty, and their dialog was witty, but the comments at the bottom of the page
turned surly pretty darned early.

A “professional recording engineer” chimed in right at the
get-go on how most studios use $99 Shure mics and Yamaha NS-10 monitors and
most music is recorded like crap so why bother trying to make a 16-bit/44.1 Red
book standard recording sound good? Why indeed?

Unfortunately 16-bit/44.1 Red book standard music files are going
to be with us a long time. Well after the time when CD’s are mentioned in the
same sentence with Laser Discs and Beta video cassettes we’ll still be
listening to 16-bit/44.1 files, so we might as well try to make them sound as
good as possible rather than merely accept their inherent mediocrity.

I won’t deny that some “ultra-fi” designs are over the top with
equally stratospheric price tags. Do they deserve to rival fine automobiles or
investment-grade art? Obviously, not a lot of any of the components in the
survey will be made or sold. At this level of audio each component is a limited
production art object.

But that’s the point. Customers aren’t merely purchasers of
goods and services, but patrons of the art of audio – partners who are
absolutely necessary so the search for audio perfection can continue to
progress. God bless anyone with the means and passion to purchase a D’Agostino
power amplifier or any of the other gear shown in the Wired pictorial…you
help make the audio world go around.

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