I don't wish coloration or other distortion applied to my music collection thank you very much.
I know that there must be some because of course the equipment is not perfect, and the good audio engineer will manage that coloration/distortion well so that it is benign in nature. That I completely understand and applaud when done well.
For me audio which actually applies coloration/distortion on the basis that this will improve the listening experience is of no interest. I want to listen to my CDs and audio files as they are, not "improved" by the replay equipment.
I think that over the last decade there seems to have been a very large increase in the number of people demanding that audio equipment "improves" their music collection.
It is difficult for me not to conclude that maybe they just don't like their music collection very much.
One form of distortion which seems to be high in demand is even order harmonic distortion, this of course is the stuff that creates a "warm" sound.
I was amused in another thread to see someone complain that a pair of headphones "lacked warmth". It was the phrase "lacked warmth" that got me. It is as if warmth is to be applied as a matter of course by audio replay equipment and that if this distortion is not applied then it is a matter for complaint.
I think that the people who want all this warmth applied don't realise that they are missing out on something, and that something is the marvellous ways in which good musicians can play in a way that is warm, or cold or with many other temperatures in between. Ironically the soup of the applied warmth in their audio equipment will mean they never hear the warmth when it is played by the musicians.
If the audio equipment is applying even order harmonic distortion over everything then you will miss out on these aspects of the music.
It is hard for me to think of a music genre that doesn't make use of the idea of temperature in sound, even though it is an inherently abstract connection it is one that we relate to.
Terrific jazz musicians can play continuously with this idea of warm and cold.
Today I listen mostly to classical music and here as with jazz and other forms the idea of temperature is often used within the overall sonic structure. In fact with impressionism, the music I listen to the most, there is often very sophisticated sonic sculpture, if you like, using all of the available sonic tones, textures, timbres and temperatures. (I've just hit on a piece of alliteration).
It is unfortunate that today people are spending sometimes quite a lot of money on audio equipment that has not a hope in hell (warm place) of showing them this marvellous music.
I love going to hear music played live. I am very lucky in that I live with great access to a truly wonderful music hall. In fact I chose the house I now live in on the basis that it is so easy for me to get to the hall from my house.
This is the Royal Festival Hall in London. In about 2000 it had a massive sonic make-over such that it is now possibly the finest acoustic environment in the world, certainly amongst the finest if not the finest.
People who bizarrely believe that music is alway served warm might get quite a shock if they go to the Royal Festival Hall and listen to some good music played there.
Those naughty musicians in the orchestra don't alway play in warm tones. It is a shocker, I know, maybe they should be reprimanded?
The brass section can play those high notes so sharply! They don't seem to realise that they should be producing a kind of warm fuzz type of a sound.
For those who wish to be offended by the sound of music and how it often isn't warm I suggest to you the Royal Festival Hall and a good performance perhaps of one of the may masterpieces from the classical repertoire.
Royal Festival Hall. It's not warm. Take a coat.