Funny you mention this - I’ve been commenting on similar since going to the Chicago Axpona show to meet Paul.
While at Axpona, I joked with a friend that we should do a drinking game where we took a shot whenever we saw someone that wasn’t old/white/fat combo (of which I’m dangerously close to fitting in perfectly). Granted, I was one of the first people in the door - as the day went on, that changed completely. I saw tight nit groups of Asian, and then Middle Eastern audiophiles show up as the day went on.
Then, closer to afternoon, I saw the younger guys show up - all looked fresh out of college, decently flush with cash (judging from their expensive and hip clothing), wore ironic or other audiophile insider T-shirts (e.g. Got Vinyl?), and had a very hot, very bored girlfriend in tow.
I see this new generation, being of the Instant Gratification/Digital Age, are portable/digital headphones listeners, and do some vinyl at home to prove they are hip to what’s good. Most are understanding that MP3s suck, but only lower resolution MP3s. I find that many of them feel that anything 320 is “just as good” and “indiscernible” from anything higher.
So yeah, there is a clear disconnect there. I think this new generation just does things completely differently, and lives in completely different ecosystem from the “traditional audiophile”.
Note: the next time I saw Paul was at an audio club meeting here in Chicago. I was by far the youngest guy in the room, and my fiance was the only chick there. All I needed was a hip T-shirt and I was set!