Originally Posted by Coq de Combat
So, the term is more akin to "what the producer intended" or even "what the audio engineer intended". That's also why I'm a little hesitant towards headphone/speaker manufacturers marketing their gear with such claims.
Heh, can I go a step further? "What the studio told them to do" or "what the producers were capable of". Nirvana famously HATED the production on Nevermind.
I'm a metalhead, and I can't even count how many albums I've heard where the production ruined the experience. I think the people who talk about listening to it exactly as it was recorded are making a few fatal assumptions, namely that the equipment used to record was accurate, that it was set up properly, and that the producer knew what the hell they were doing. We talk about headphones and speakers accurately recreating the sound of the instruments, but that's only valid when all the instruments were purely analogue and when the producer had all of his levels right. It's a nonexistent ideal. You put two dudes at the board for the same recording and you'll get two different products.
I often wonder what these "hear exactly what the producer intended" people think when a remastered version of an album comes out...
Besides, have you ever heard a drum kit completely mic-free versus recorded? There are tons of studio videos out there of rock and metal bands where they show you the recording process and switch between the tracked drums and the live drums and ho-lee crap. They really tweak the kit to make sure you hear more than just the cymbals shattering your eardrums. So again, it's not a question of accuracy. It's a question of taste, and always will be. Perfectly flat just means you got what someone ELSE thought was good, doesn't mean you're beholden to agreeing with them.
And I agree with you 100%. Maybe audiophile isn't the right word. Is there a more accurate term than "musicophile"? Because that's what I think I am.