The Meaning Of Hi-Fi

Image of a high end Hi-Fi stack comprising top-loading DVD player, sound processor, laserdisc player, video cassette deck and a pair of power amps on a substantial alloy triangular base stand
My Hi-Fi in 2001

This page is not about to describe my hi-fi to you. You'll have to get to know me much better if you want to hear my set up.

No, this page is a direct attack on all those manufacturers and suppliers out there who bandy about the term hi-fi when it clearly isn't warranted.

Hi-fi, or to give it it's full title, high fidelity, was popularly introduced in the seventies. The term may be older but it's use became more widespread, probably to coincide with the style of denim Jeans at the time. The distinction allowed for the purity of sound extracted from the growing number of specialist separate components that outperformed the all in one music-centres of the time. Eight track anyone?

I know that the latest head-banging, superwoofered ghetto blaster can outperform these early attempts at music reproduction but that's not the point. The term hi-fi is a moveable datum. As the general melee of equipment improves, the true high fidelity components are those that still rise above the masses producing crisp, clear sounds to die for.

And the number of lights, displays, bells and whistles don't count either.

So, next time someone tries to flog you a 'hi-fi' product, at a price a teenager could afford, ask them how it compares to a top end CD transport coupled to a pair of dedicated amps and running through some major floor-standing speakers. Then get them to show you.

You might just get an idea of what my system sounds like.

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Author: Vince Poynter
Version 5.019 16 Nov 2017
First Published: Version 1.00 in Oct 2003 and reproduced here in full, unedited
The image depicts the author's Hi-Fi stack in 2001 and was added in Version 5.019 16 Nov 2017