Originally Posted by bpeng
I don't think it's correct to say someone is a "gear lover." With the exception of people who like their gear as jewelry or decorative objects, they are really "sound lovers." And I don't see anything wrong with loving sound. Great orchestration, for instance, is about creating beautiful sound.
You also have to wonder what you mean by "music"? What is "music" as contrasted with "sound"? Just curious how you define "music" as something separate from sound. When you say certain discs are "dreck" what aspect of the sound on these disks is dreck? In many cases the sound is quite beautiful. So what is "dreck" about it?
I have my own answer to all these questions but I'm curious to know what you would say.
Two part response.
By "gear lover" I am referring to those individuals who are always obsessing over the sound of their systems, forever tweaking and upgrading and it would seem always listening for that "night and day improvement" instead of listening to music. When one of these gear lovers tells you about some music they discovered it always it the context of how the recording makes you think that they are in the room with you or how you can hear exactly where the microphone was in relation to the piano, etc. etc. When I hear some new music I don't focus on the recording but rather on the music and the performance and if it turns out that it is well recorded, well that's just a welcome bonus.
By "dreck" I am referring to the fantastically well recorded LPs/CDs/downloads that feature music, which had it been not so well recorded would be completely forgotten. For example the highly praised dreck that is "Jazz at the Pawn Shop". It's dreck because it spite of the loveliness of the "sound" the "music" does not stir one's emotions. Sorry but I don't know any other way to phrase things.
Originally Posted by Chris J
Ouch....hey, I actually like Norah Jones. LOL!
OTOH, I like most of her albums, even the "non-audiophile" albums, for example, her latest album, I don't think that one is audiophile approved!
Not too crazy about Krall, even though she is a fellow Canadian.
Originally Posted by painted klown
I love Norah Jones. Yes, I went out and bought her first record because every audiophile on the planet seemed to be in love with her, but I loved her first record so much that I immediately went out and bought all of her records. She was up to "The Fall" at the time. I have spent a countless amount of time listening to, and enjoying, all of her records since then. Norah Jones has been a part of my regular rotation of records to listen to for enjoyment and when auditioning new gear.
Okay gentlemen, I didn't mean to imply that Norah Jones or Diana Krall were substandard in any way, just that they seem to have become objects of scorn because of the high end audio embrace of their recordings.
Originally Posted by Asr
If you're referring to the "name" reviewers affiliated with major audio publications like Stereophile, then I agree with them having "bad" musical taste. It's one of the reasons why I stopped subscribing to Stereophile a couple of years ago—no reviewers listened to any music that I could relate to. (I listen to predominantly electronica/trip-hop, bluegrass/folk, & metal, and rarely see any pro reviewers anywhere who listen to those types of music. The only "reviewers" I've found who listen to those genres are the non-pro ones here on Head-Fi.)
So your music references are nothing that I can relate to either, as I generally don't listen to classic rock (just don't like it that much). Those specific artists you mention open another can of worms though—they tend to be available in multiple formats (CD, vinyl, lossless digital files) and in multiple remaster versions as well. Take The Beatles for example—on CD there are multiple versions of their albums. There are CD masterings that came out in the 90s, other boxed-set versions, and the 2009 mono & stereo remasters. So in that case it's sort of necessary to use the best-mastered versions and for a reviewer to mention which mastering he's using. I'm aware of multiple remaster versions of The Rolling Stones' albums too. And aren't there multiple vinyl releases of a lot of classic rock albums now too? So that makes using classic rock all the more complicated for a reviewer (and hence the review-reading audience) whether his source is a turntable, a CD player, or a computer....
Excellent points. I only threw out the Beatles and Stones because of how well known and familiar most of their music is which in turn makes it more likely that the reader might better understand some of the musical references given by the reviewer. However there is a relatively simple solution to the problem - the reviewers could use a readily available version of some more popular music so that the readers can, as I stated, by better able to put the musical references in context.
On a slightly related note my current disdain for the high end audio press has reached a fever pitch recently because of the high end audio press' complete and utter disregard and misunderstanding (should one care to give them the benefit of the doubt - I don't) for some of the most basic properties of digital audio. For example the simple fact that USB cables can not and do not have anything to do with jitter. Reading the nonsense that is being written about digital audio by these clowns makes me call into question EVERYTHING and ANYTHING that they write since I no longer believe that facts play any role in their review process. At present the high end audio press only exists to keep their advertisers happy.