What is Hi Fi sound?

the sound of Tao

Well-Known Member
Jul 18, 2014
1,196
652
113
#41
Lol
 
Dec 20, 2014
243
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#42
Unfortunately, due to some of the "issues" with artifacts produced by modern gear, HiFi has come to mean the opposite of what was originally intended. Some of these issues include cone breakup produced by hard membrane drivers, accentuated leading edges often caused by electronics and/or cables, a hard and glassy sound that can be caused by SS amplification devices, silver or silver plated wiring. Also, unnatural forwardness of presentation and emphasis on uppder midrange and lower high frequency ranges. And pretty much any artifact that produces listening fatigue.

However, it's also not clearly defined and some will call a good system with full frequency extension at the high end "HiFi" when it's simply not rolled off enough for the individual's personal tastes. Some have damaged hearing that includes a general reduction in high frequency hearing with the exception of sensitivity at certain frequencies, so they call anything that irritates their particular hearing issues as "HiFi". Folks with hearing damaged by headphone use or going to high-SPL concerts often enough perceive a more forward and aggressive presentation as more natural when others will call it "HiFi".

Personally, I don't think "HiFi" is a good term for any of this as it's being misused, but "the industry" is also partially to blame for selling a lot of gear that is, for better or worse... "HiFi". ;)
Great answer IMHO

If I recall rightly Hi-Fi derives from 'high fidelity' and as such highly faithful to the original source.
So in terms of the original true meaning it means 'natural and true to the original source material'

However

In modern speak it is, rather paradoxically, the opposite of true HI Fi. What's that:
compressed?
uneven equalisation of sound such as mid bass hump or overly forward treble that its ear catching in the short term but fatiguing in the long term.
 

RogerD

Well-Known Member
May 23, 2010
3,404
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BiggestLittleCity
#43
Anybody that grew up during the Age of Aquarius and the psychedelic 1960’s and early 70’s would have a hard time convincing me that music doesn’t relate to Social trends and Music producers don’t push the envelope of artistic license.
A great example was the Moody Blues 1967 album...Days of Future Passed. Many examples of music to enhance the experience of mind blowing whether natural or drug induced.
Was it HiFi? No way...just a new way of expression. When I first heard the Moody Blues..now that was a Wow moment:)
 

Folsom

VIP/Donor
Oct 26, 2015
3,493
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Eastern WA
#44
Anybody that grew up during the Age of Aquarius and the psychedelic 1960’s and early 70’s would have a hard time convincing me that music doesn’t relate to Social trends and Music producers don’t push the envelope of artistic license.
A great example was the Moody Blues 1967 album...Days of Future Passed. Many examples of music to enhance the experience of mind blowing whether natural or drug induced.
Was it HiFi? No way...just a new way of expression. When I first heard the Moody Blues..now that was a Wow moment:)
The sub-topic wasn't the music, it was the engineers of the gear.
 

RogerD

Well-Known Member
May 23, 2010
3,404
85
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BiggestLittleCity
#45
The sub-topic wasn't the music, it was the engineers of the gear.
Ok, I can see that. I do think engineers played a small part in developing what music producers wanted and of course they were driven by social trends,because that was where the money was. In the days after Hi Fi when multi tracking came of age...music was a driving force both socially and politically. Artistically we shall never see that time again.
 

Folsom

VIP/Donor
Oct 26, 2015
3,493
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Eastern WA
#46
Yes, it's sad how watered down certain things are. The lack of ability to capture some of the really special information in music is a very bad thing. There are good bands today, but sometimes the magic just isn't there in the album even though it's really good in every other way. And worse yet is the mechanics of money making don't help record labels promote the best bands. Now it's promote the easiest stuff by the biggest labels.
 

DSkip

Industry Expert
Aug 26, 2013
262
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Arlington, TX
www.audiothesis.com
#47
The sub-topic wasn't the music, it was the engineers of the gear.
All I can think about is Reverb machines now. Then you had the multitude of digital sound enhancements in the early 90s receivers. Seems though these types of products fit the mold but did these cultural phenomenons really influence major component design? Seems it’s always been driven by technological advancement more than anything, but I could be too young to speak on that.
 

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