Q - What is high end Hi-Fi ?
A - Typically it's equipment designed to replay music the way the artist intended you to hear it. Music itself relaxes and invigorates emotions in every living individual on the planet. Good quality sound takes this experience to a whole new level: it does not discriminate by colour, generation, age or sexual orientation.
Q - Why buy Vinyl ?
A - Vinyl records were invented in 1951 and by the early 70's the quality of a good system playing a vinyl disk is still yet to be surpassed. There are still billions of vinyl disks often going up in value, still of the same quality and still listened to each and every day worldwide. Between 2014 and 2017, vinyl sales are 2000% up and in 50 years people will still listen to the vinyl disks being bought today. Music is for life.
Q - Why buy CD's ?
A - CD's were intended as a replacement for vinyl as they were more convenient, more durable and considered (subjectively) of an equal quality. They certainly revolutionised the way people listened to music. Early 80's CD's if stored correctly, still work today and although not as long lasting as vinyl, have proven tremendous durability. They can be reproduced and listened to at any time the listener wishes.
Q - What is MP3 ?
A process used when music is compressed to discard all the sounds a machine thinks the human ear can't audibly perceive, thus vastly reducing the amount of storage needed to hold entire albums. The problem with this form of 'lossy' compression is that many people can actually perceive and hear the bits of audio that the MP3 compression discarded, consequently the listener is left with a vastly lower quality music.
Q - Is MP3 really that bad ?
A - MP3 is a compressed format. MP3 compresses, shortens, abbreviates or removes to enable fitment into a smaller space. The basic law of physics is that you cannot destroy content, you can only change its physical form or size. As such, MP3 is 20% or less of the original recorded content and therefore has to be of an inferior quality. Contrary to popular belief, no music format including: FLAC, Lossless or WAV, is truly complete or even near 100% of the original content.
Q - Isn't Streaming / Digital Media the future ?
A - If you're happy with only 20% of the original content, and you're happy that it can be taken away at any time, then maybe it is. It is completely dependent on the internet and what content they wish to provide you. It's dependent on your storage media and the reliability of it, and your continued license/subscription, along with the definitive life of all electronic storage. Convenience and portability does not justify the potential increases in cost over time, for music that you never actually own.
Q - Surely the quality of my system is good enough... isn't it ?
A - It may seem so to you until you hear something better. Your desire for perfection in everything you do includes the music you listen to and how you listen to it. Listening to inferior quality of good music and being satisfied with it, is failing to understand what music actually gives you. It really is failing to appreciate love of music.