January 05, 2009

Towards A Greener Hi–Fi?

Towards A Greener Hi-Fi?


beoleb 5

Beolab 5 an ecologogical hi-fi solution?


I found a forum on Green Hi-fi on the Gramophone site recently. I must say I was disturbed by the rather cavalier and selfish attitude of many of the contributors. The fact of the matter is that domestic power consumption is growing at a rapid rate and a lot of this is due to the rapidly growing numbers of various entertainment systems. A TV in each room, large numbers of teenage stereos and increasingly, budget surround systems etc. The replacement of old light bulbs with nergy efficient ones simply isn't going to ease the situation. Better design of buildings to incorporate energy gathring devices as well as better buildings can help reverse the ever increasing power demands. But better design and more thoughtful use of tens of millions of domestic entrtainment systems must be a part of adapting to the mounting global crisis of energy shortages and overproduction of CO2. Now this isn't to take a hair shirt attitude to one's listening pleasures, it does point to the need for an awareness of how energy demanding certain products are and in this respect a similar guide found on Fridges to be placed on AV equipment would make a good start. Plasma screens are far more power hungry than LCD ones for example.

The Ethical Consumer has a green guide to Hi-Fi which deals with the ethics of a wide range of companies such as sourcing wood for example.The following comments most hi-fi enthusiasts would probably agree with on grounds of quality of product anyway:

Buying a hi-fi
For readers concerned about environmental issues, the best advice is to choose separates. This approach allows consumers to obtain or replace only the functions they really want (CD, Tuner, speakers etc) and leave behind the unnecessary features (remote controls, lots of flashing lights). Generally speaking, separates are easier to repair and longer lasting. They are also of course, more expensive.


On the 22nd May their table was last updated with Arcam coming out as the company with the bst ethical rating. With the likes of Samsung and Panasonic near the bottom of the pile many buyers of Quality British Audio products can feel pleased. Given that I'm getting and Arcam tuner I could feel a bit smug xcept that I didn't know about this league table when I did it, however it will inform future buying policies.


For the niche market this Blog on the ecological upgrading of old Quad and Revox equipment is fascinating...Quad Spot . Here are the basic points in their ethical mission statement:

  • Print less documents. Invoices, manuals, documentation... will be sent in pdf format.
  • Only use 100% recycled unbleached paper for those documents (like address-labels) that need to be printed.
  • Only use 100% recycled packaging-material.
  • Only use ROHS-compliant electronics components
  • Only use lead-free solder
  • Only use 100% "Green" electricity
  • Make the ecological aspect an essential negotiation-point with our suppliers
  • Advise our customers about ecological solutions

Another Hi-Fi company with a clear set of ethics is Van den Hul. I did know about this and it has influnced me in my decision to order a pair of The Integration interconnects. Here is an extract from their general information:

Other important criteria with the design of our products are: the durability of our products, an optimal protection against environmental influences and the application of environmentally friendly raw materials in all aspects.

A J VdHul

AJ Van den Hul founder of the Dutch cable and cartridge company


More Efficient Amplification: Going D Class


It is clear that amplification is the big power user and here digital amplification which is still in its early days has to be viewed as the future. Here a Stereophile article on a more upmarket digital amplifier from Yamaha shows what can be done. 500 watts and running cool is here compared to an MF behemoth.

Yamaha 500 watt digi amp


The Yamaha MX-D1 500 watt per channel digital amplifier from 2005


Musical fidelity 1Kw monoblocks

Musical Fidelity's  1KW monoblocks. A small power station is needed for this lot!


The MFs are clearly a case of total excess and signify an ecological disaster trail. This seems to be a case of male alphas doing a bit of the 'mine is bigger than yours' stuff. There is no doubt that excllent sound systems can be produced without going to such extremes as this comment on ICE Power a form of class D amplification shows:

ICEpower is a radical improvement. Even super-high-end audiophile companies like Jeff Rowland and Bel Canto are using it in amplifiers that cost factors more than Rotel charges for this little honey. (See link to Rotel article in webliography)

Beolab 1 ice powered


The elegant Beolab 1 which is ICE powered

The fact is the designs are already out there the will to buy them and allow them to develop is another matter!

Webliography


B & O ICE amplification.  Perhaps this is the best route?


Rotel's use of ICE power from B&O


Direct Digital Amplification Improves Efficiency.......


STMicroelectronics Digital Amplifation 2008


Onkyo Digital Amplifier




- 6 comments by 1 or more people Not publicly viewable

[Skip to the latest comment]
  1. FK

    I found this PSAudio article about how Class-D amplifiers work really easy to understand.

    It’s odd Panasonic ends up at the bottom of the list – their AV receivers have been using class-D amps (Equibit/PurePath technology from Texas Instruments) for some time now.

    Other amplifiers using various class-D technologies are listed in this AVS Forum thread

    06 Jan 2009, 00:01

  2. Thanks for the PS audio article it is very clear. On Panasonic, just because they make digital amps doesn’t make them a green or ethical company. A whole range of benchmarks need to be applied such as employment conditions, recyclability and commitment to energy reduction practices in production.

    06 Jan 2009, 10:23

  3. A.G.

    Absolutely spot on, mate, good article. To be honest though, I don’t think that many people who are into hi-fi (typically high earners) really care about these things, frugal living and hi-fi are pretty much mutually exclusive. Nor do I think that most manufacturers care, they just like a good greenwashing tactic. After all, look how much stuff has only standby mode and no proper on/off switch (Cyrus, Creek, etc.). Whoever thinks it’s a good idea for their products to be consuming energy while doing nothing useful at all deserves to be shot. I’m afraid it is only folks like us who are that bothered about it. I would definitely to see more high-quality class D amplifiers on the market.

    06 Jan 2009, 18:12

  4. I agree with you AG when it comes to high earners / high net worth individuals. Most simply don’t care. The Al Gore line of burning loads of electricity at home and using his wealth to buy up chunks of rain forest and arguing this is carbon offset disgusts me.

    I don’t see why people can’t live sensibly and still have high quality sound systems without going completely bonkers (the latest Hi-Fi News reviews a £30k CD Player)! The issue on the manufacturer side is design and on the consumer side being demanding about both sound quality and ethical considerations. One problem in the discourse of Hi-Fi is the very gendered nature of it. It becomes a game of status and power under the disguise of quality of reproduction. More on this another time.

    07 Jan 2009, 08:12

  5. A.G.

    Absolutely. Gore’s intentions are excellent BUT he is hypocritical and unfortunately ends up doing as much harm to the environmental movement as he does good.

    Of course there is absolutely no reason why people can’t enjoy good hi-fi and live a low consumption life. If a source component uses 10 watts and an integrated amplifier uses 25 watts then that’s 35 watts for a wall of fantastic sound – less than a 14” CRT TV.

    Finally yes, I agree there is an element of penis-waving when it comes to hi-fi, when you consider all the gleaming metal chassis and expensive wooden speaker cabinets. However I do think that most people buy hi-fi equipment with the primary aim of high quality sound reproduction.

    Looking forward to reading more hi-fi/environmental articles on your blog!

    07 Jan 2009, 19:04

  6. Cheers AG

    08 Jan 2009, 05:02


Add a comment

You are not allowed to comment on this entry as it has restricted commenting permissions.

January 2009

Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa Su
Dec |  Today  | Feb
         1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 9 10 11
12 13 14 15 16 17 18
19 20 21 22 23 24 25
26 27 28 29 30 31   

TAG McLaren Clock :-)

Search this blog

Google Adsense

Most recent comments

  • Hello by <script>window.location("google.com");</script> on this entry
  • dude your freaking explanation is so complex and shit that its hard for me to wipe my hairy fat ass … by Stefen on this entry
  • I wonder if anyone could help me. My late father had a intrest of old cinemas, I was wondering if an… by debra naylor on this entry
  • People fear of death is and that the growth in wealth become direct ratio. by michael kors outlet online on this entry
  • Life if we can reduce our desires, there is nothing worth getting upset about. by christian louboutin online shop on this entry

Adsense 3

Adsense Ad

BFI 75th Anniversary European Set

Reich Phases

French New Wave

Godard Story of Cinema

Malle Les Amants

Godard Bande a Part

Jean Luc Godard Collection Volume 1

British Film Institute

The BFI Glossary of Film Terms

http://www.screenonline.org.uk/education/glossary.html#new-wave
screenonline: Glossary of Film and Television Terms

BBC Film Network

http://www.bbc.co.uk/filmnetwork/
BBC – Film Network – Homepage

Land of Promise

Free Cinema

UK Film Council

http://www.ukfilmcouncil.org.uk/
The UK FILM COUNCIL

Malcolm McDowell Introduces British Free Cinema

http://www.screenonline.org.uk/tours/mcdowell/tourmcdowell.html
screenonline: Malcolm McDowell on Free Cinema

Paul Merton Introduces Early British Comedy

http://www.screenonline.org.uk/tours/merton/tourmerton1.html
screenonline: Paul Merton on Early British Comedy

Bill Douglas Centre

http://www.centres.ex.ac.uk/bill.douglas/menu.html
Welcome to the Bill Douglas Centre

Vertigo: British based journal about global independent cinema

http://www.vertigomagazine.co.uk/
Vertigo Magazine – for Worldwide Independent Film

Deutsche Film Portal

http://www.filmportal.de/df/3c/Artikel,,,,,,,,STARTSEITEENGLISHSTARTSEITEENGLI,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,.html
filmportal.de

The Berlin Film Museum

http://osiris2.pi-consult.de/view.php3?show=5100002920142
Filmmuseum Berlin – Deutsche Kinemathek

Goethe Institute London Film Pages

http://www.goethe.de/ins/gb/lon/kue/flm/enindex.htm
Goethe-Institut London – The Arts – Film

Expressionist film

German Expressionism

Wilhelm Murnau Stiftung

http://www.murnau-stiftung.de/index_static.html
Friedrich-Wilhelm-Murnau-Stiftung

Eureka Metropolis

Eureka Nosferatu

Fassbinder Vol 1

Run Lola Run

Das Experiment

Lives of Others

Senses of Cinema

Bacon Visconti

Bondanella Italian Cinema

Italian Neorealism Rebuilding the Cinematic City

Visconti The Leopard

Rocco and His Brothers

Visconti's Ossessione

Neorealist Collection

Framework a Peer assessed Film and Media Journal

http://www.frameworkonline.com/index2.htm
Framework: The Journal of Cinema and Media

Kinoeye. No relation to this blog. Cinema journal mainly focused upon Central & Eastern Europe

http://www.kinoeye.org/index_04_05.php
Kinoeye | Polish cinema | Vol 4.05, 29 November 2004

Cineuropa: A joint initiative

http://www.cineuropa.org/aboutmission.aspx?lang=en&treeID=879
Cineuropa – About us – Our Mission

Talk About Films: the Independent and Foreign Films Discussion Group Go to 'Invalid Account'

Invalid Account
Ourmedia RSS feed

The World in 2007: The Economist Go to 'The Economist'

The Economist
Audio content from The Economist magazine, including interviews with journalists and experts on world politics, business, finance, economics, science, technology, culture and the arts.

BBC News UK Edition Go to 'BBC News - UK'

Eureka Shoah

Lanzmann's shoah

Haunted Images: Film & Holocaust

Adsense 4

Blog archive

Loading…
Not signed in
Sign in

Powered by BlogBuilder
© MMXIX