View Full Version : Avery Fisher on Youtube


WarrGo
09-16-2012, 04:11 PM
Don't know if this has been put on here before but I was looking for Fisher related stuff on youtube and found this interview by Barbaralee Diamonstien in 1979. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B4ALVqUqu-k

dcgillespie
09-16-2012, 11:48 PM
What a wonderful treat!! And something near and dear to my heart -- the fact that he actually defined what "high fidelity" really is -- a faithful reproduction of the original performance -- not what simply "sounds good" as is the standard so often used today. Nothing wrong with tailoring a particular sound to suit -- as long as a basis of faithful reproduction can be had to start from so you know how far your tastes deviate from that of the original performance . That idea was the heart of soul of what Fisher was all about.

Thanks for sharing this!!

Dave

fdrennen
09-17-2012, 08:05 AM
He seems to endorse digital recording!

Wigwam Jones
09-17-2012, 08:21 AM
What a wonderful treat!! And something near and dear to my heart -- the fact that he actually defined what "high fidelity" really is -- a faithful reproduction of the original performance -- not what simply "sounds good" as is the standard so often used today.

I don't call what sounds good to me "high fidelity," I call it "what sounds good to me." And whether it is high fidelity or not, it's what I do, and am going to continue to do. Much respect for Avery Fisher, but in my house, I listen to music the way I like it. I even use his equipment to do it (gasp).

And although I absolutely understand the notion of recording and playing back a live performance, I have several understandings that keep that from being a direct goal in listening to the recorded music.

First, that not all recordings are done live. How exactly does one have a "faithful reproduction" of a studio recording that was not even done at one time, but rather as a series of parts laid down at various times and in various locations, with all sorts of effects added by the engineers and producers? What is the fidelity one is striving to achieve here and how would one know when one has it?

Second, it is my understanding from reading various interviews with said engineers and producers that recordings done live are 'fixed up' in a variety of ways before making their way onto the final product; including mixing out sounds not wanted, bringing up or down various instruments, repairing clinkers and other artifacts, even (in older days) repairing damage caused by dropouts in the tape itself. What exactly is it one is striving for if none of the recording one purchases accurately reflects what was performed in the first place?

If one wishes to say that I do not listen to music in 'high fidelity', then that's fine, no problem. But I am not going to listen to something that does not sound good to my ears because of someone's notion that it was intended to sound that way. That's like eating food one doesn't like because that's the way the cook intended it to taste. If I don't like it, I season it to taste or I don't eat it. Life is too short to do things I do not enjoy so that I am in compliance with other people's concept of what was 'intended'. Even the late, great, Avery Fisher.

nelsress
09-17-2012, 08:30 AM
...uh, okay Wigwam but I still say, Avery Fisher was THE man!! :)

Wigwam Jones
09-17-2012, 09:03 AM
...uh, okay Wigwam but I still say, Avery Fisher was THE man!! :)

I don't have a problem with that, but I still do what *I* want to do and not what other people think I should do.

For example, many people don't care for the way Avery Fisher voiced his speakers; he apparently liked rolled-off highs. If one prefers the sound of Fisher speakers in stock configuration, then I say great.

However, if one finds the rolled-off highs to be unsatisfactory, then I do *not* understand the notion of listening to them like that anyway because "Avery said so."

Seriously, who does that? Avery Fisher said speakers should sound like this, so by George, I'm going to listen to them this way, even though I don't care for it myself. Really?

I my world, Avery Fisher can be 'the man' AND I can still do exactly as I please with regard to my listening. It does not have to be either/or for me.

dcgillespie
09-17-2012, 12:30 PM
Wig -- You and I are basically agreeing. As I clearly stated in my post, there is nothing wrong with altering sound to suit one's tastes. And the issue of whether or not the recorded performance actually sounds like the actual performance is certainly valid. Let's face it. We are at the mercy of the recording engineers and producers when it comes to that point. So, taking that point into account, when it comes to reproduction equipment then, the term "high fidelity" is really referring to the reproduced accuracy of the "recorded" performance, as offered on the medium used for public consumption.

What I am trying to address is the fact that many folks adjust, tweak, or alter a system to their liking an then call it high fidelity. You are not one of those folks, readily admitting that you would rather alter the sound to suit, with the term itself having little relevance to you. That is perfectly fine because you are not trying to call your personal sound preference high fidelity.

The bottom line is that the term high fidelity must have a standard associated with it, or it means nothing. Without any standard, it then becomes a term that anyone can use to define their personal tastes in sound. Personal tastes are just that. Personal tastes. They may be high in fidelity, or they may not, but without a standard for the term we'll never know. In fact, Avery talked of this very point when he talked of the early radios that sounded horrible, but the manufacturers called them "high fidelity" none the less -- all because there was no standard established for the term at the time. Thankfully, people like Avery and others worked hard to establish a standard, that ultimately resulted in the high fidelity equipment we all know and love today -- which can also be readily adjusted to a sound we each prefer.

Dave

nelsress
09-17-2012, 11:57 PM
Hey Wig, I don't disagree with your analysis of Mr. Fisher's results or your opinion of them. For his time, I just always thought that he was a bit of a visionary in my opinion (for what that's worth) and the video was just cool to see.

Personally I'd never seen the man speak, I have a record with his voice on it, which I also thought was cool and fun to listen to. I guess I was just saying that in my opinion, perhaps it didn't warrant such a critique, and it felt a bit like you were "raining on the OP's parade" so to speak, when all he was doing was sharing something with the rest of us that he found interesting and perhaps worth a view.

Was everything that Avery Fisher, Hermon Hosmer Scott, Saul Marantz or anyone else you can think of that people admire, a perfect component, absolutely not. They've all put out some amazing components to be sure. I'm not telling you or anybody else what to like or what hi-fi "IS". I always say "Avery Fisher is the man" because I'm a big fan. Do I have nothing but Fisher stuff? No, in fact, the only Fisher stuff I have is an 80 Series mono FM setup. I've actually got a mix of vintage stuff and like more of Saul Marantz's stuff than anyone's probably. I just always thought Avery's stuff was so great for its time, at least when it came to amps, preamps and tuners.

In review, the following is the entirety of Mr. WarrGo's post:

"Don't know if this has been put on here before but I was looking for Fisher related stuff on youtube and found this interview by Barbaralee Diamonstien in 1979."

ssmith3046
09-21-2012, 09:59 AM
Thanks for the link. A pioneer in home audo IMO. Love my Fisher tube equipment.

stereofanboy
09-21-2012, 11:51 AM
If you are designing gear for sale to the public, aim your design at passing the signal unchanged. Let the end user tweak to suit his tastes rather than forcing him to listen to your tastes. There are many ways for an end user to alter the sound that range from equalizers and interconnects that alter the signal to room decorations that alter the sonic environment.

Most recordings aren't faithful, but that isn't a reason to make the gear unfaithful as well.

I feel the same about food. Don't add a crapload of salt before I even get to see it, let me decide if it needs salt.

sipuser
09-21-2012, 12:55 PM
Thanks for posting this link, great to watch!