dimanche 17 mai 2009

"Audio as a hobby is dying"

Sujet à réflexion, tiré d'une chronique de Stereophile...

J. Gordon Holt, fondateur de Stereophile, interviewé il y a 2 ans...
Do you see any signs of future vitality in high-end audio?
Vitality? Don't make me laugh. Audio as a hobby is dying, largely by its own hand. As far as the real world is concerned, high-end audio lost its credibility during the 1980s, when it flatly refused to submit to the kind of basic honesty controls (double-blind testing, for example) that had legitimized every other serious scientific endeavor since Pascal. [This refusal] is a source of endless derisive amusement among rational people and of perpetual embarrassment for me, because I am associated by so many people with the mess my disciples made of spreading my gospel. For the record: I never, ever claimed that measurements don't matter. What I said (and very often, at that) was, they don't always tell the whole story. Not quite the same thing.

Remember those loudspeaker shoot-outs we used to have during our annual writer gatherings in Santa Fe? The frequent occasions when various reviewers would repeatedly choose the same loudspeaker as their favorite (or least-favorite) model? That was all the proof needed that [blind] testing does work, aside from the fact that it's (still) the only honest kind. It also suggested that simple ear training, with DBT confirmation, could have built the kind of listening confidence among talented reviewers that might have made a world of difference in the outcome of high-end audio.


Encore plus intéressant, à mon avis, le même Holt, lors d'une conférence à Chicago en 1992:

"We seem to have come to a tacit agreement that it's no longer necessary, or even desirable, for a home music system to sound like the real thing. We speak in hushed and reverent tones about reproducing the ineffable beauty of music, when in fact much real music is harsh and vulgar and ugly. We design the all-important musical midrange out of our equipment in order to try—vainly, I might add—to recreate the illusion of three-dimensional space through what is essentially a two-dimensional reproducer. And whenever we hear a loudspeaker or a CD player that shows subversive signs of sounding more 'alive' or 'realistic' than most, we dismiss it out of hand as being too 'forward' or 'aggressive.' As if a lot of real music isn't forward and aggressive!

"The idea that all we are trying to do is make equipment that gives the listener some sort of magical emotional response to a mystical experience called 'music' is all well and good, but it isn't what High End is all about. In fact, high fidelity was originally a reaction to the gorgeously rich-sounding console 'boom boxes' that dominated the home-music market during the 1940s!

"We've lost our direction....The High End in 1992 is a multi-million-dollar business. But it's an empty triumph, because we haven't accomplished what we set out to do. The playback still doesn't sound 'just like the real thing.' People, let's start getting back to basics. Let's put the 're' back into 'reproduction.' Let's promote products that dare to sound as 'alive' and 'aggressive' as the music they are trying to reproduce."

En voilà un qui ne mâche pas ses mots.

Et j'ai comme l'impression que Mr Holt n'aime guère le son anglais (Rega?), les magiques mid (mes Rogers, les panneaux?), la "coloration chaleureuse" (tubes?) et la "musicalité" si chère à certains audiophiles.

Et que par contraste, la haute-efficacité et la transparence doivent être prisées chez lui.

En fait, par procuration, j'avais l'impression de revivre certains débats que j'ai avec un ami audiophile.

Mais je me trompe peut-être. Sujet à réflexion.

Aucun commentaire:

Publier un commentaire