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CNN Cripples High-End Audio

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by Josh Ray on November 17 '05

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The planets aligned for a brief moment and CNN covered the world of high-end audio. And yet, sometimes no press is better than any press and, in this case, anyone who reads the CNN article will leave thinking high-end is filled with uber-expensive gear, impossible to discern sonic differences and rabid followers completely isolated from the real world. Oh, wait...there's some truth in there but, seriously, what's up with this:

"However, say the experts, even if you invest in one expensive hi-fi item, unless you have the right accompanying equipment and position it correctly, you might as well spend your cash on a pair of ear plugs."

God, stick a stake in my heart! Way to drive away anyone whose interest was piqued. Follow that up with:

"These people have a tremendous love of music. They aspire to get uniqueness -- the same pride of ownership that you would get out of owning an Aston Martin or a Ferrari. They are driven with a passion."

How hard would it be to mention that you can get a killer system for a fraction of the price of the $112k Continuum Caliburn, $150k Krell Evolution Series or $215k Wilsons? Sigh, the travesty article ends with this little gem:

While such prices and passions may seem unfathomable to the dedicated MP 3 listener, Fairclough believes the iPod revolution may have a knock-on affect for the world of high-end hi-fi.

"The thing the iPod has done is get more people listening to music which, in generational terms, is a very good thing. People who are enjoying music now will be asking themselves how they can enjoy it even more in the future."

And, yet, where does the article link to find out more about audio? HiFi News, an effing site that makes you pay $6 for a single review! The humanity...CNN, talk to me and I'll set you straight on where the high-end revolution is happening. Just a hint: it ain't on the high end, but on the low, where awesome manufacturers are putting out gear with killer sound at surprisingly low prices. There is a news-worthy revolution taking place, but with articles like this, iPodders will forever consider Bose the limit of their audio-aspirations.

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