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Re: This Must Be a Candidate For....

Thanks for the kind words. I really enjoy this hobby and I can't see myself abandoning it at any point in my life. What gets depressing is reading time and time again how the music industry is dying, how this hobby is dying etc., etc., when there is ample proof to the contrary. It may not be the same as it once was, and it might not be in a better state, but it's not down and out. The folks at Head-fi, iPod Lounge and other hardware-centric sites have a healthy audience of music lovers looking to get the best out of their music. These are mostly people on a tight budget but are striving to max out the quality on what they can afford. These same people once they get into a good position, will invest in better gear and likely will have been exposed to a ton of great music that falls outside the genres targeted at their demographic.

The great thing is that at the same time, while the younger folks are receiving wonderful music recommendations, they in turn can do the same for those that may not be current. Todd you list some excellent bands and folks like you and Elrod Tom over at Head-fi are prime examples of people who just want to listen to good stuff, no matter what it is or when it was made, so long as it is good, they'll take it.

Another great artist is Steve Burns of...if one can believe it...Blue's Clues fame. He left the show to pursue his music career and his first album, which was very well received by the indie press, was produced by members of the Flaming Lips. There are plenty of sleeper albums and sleeper bands out there to be sure.

The net has been the best thing for younger folks because they are able to get exposed to music that is not pushed by the RIAA via ClearChannel. Places like MySpace are superb for finding new and up and coming bands. Sure 90% may suck, but the 10% that don't are wonderful! I suppose 90% of most genres suck pretty hard. Many people want to be musicians, few have the prowess to do it well.

Sites like Audio Asylum and Audiogon are awesome too. Like you, I've learned more about this hobby, the tech, music etc, than anywhere else. I come here daily, I read through a number of the boards and I'm an avid poster on Head-fi. Interacting with people who have far more knowledge and experience is a golden resource not to be overlooked. What is great too is the mix of people, those that have 30 years in the hobby and who have had the means to have a 6 figure+ system but have over time narrowed it to a just over 5 figure or below. Yet they achieve incredible sound. It means that even on smallish budgets one has hope! At the same time it is awesome to read about guys who have rigs costing more luxury homes in some areas of the world.

Many claim that this generation is bombarded with media and is therefore brainwashed. This may be true to a large extent but it happens in everything. Many claim the likes of Stereophile and TAS do nothing but harm the hobby. Certainly mainy bemoan their recommendations and fear that it is all advertiser driven. If true, that means the young and old alike have to worry about sifting through the muck here too. Reading posts gives a broader perspective and certainly in an ideal world a more balanced impression of the gear available.

Like anything serious, one has to work at it. This hobby apparently has more manufacturers now than at any other point in history. If true, this says something about how the hobby is growing or at least changing. Maybe the big big players have moved on but the cottage industry is healthy and offering some great value. This combined with all the new music available means there is a good future for the hobby. It might not be like it was in the golden age of high fidelity but hopefully it won't embarrass it either.

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