endlessly searching after the greatest audio solution is insane
Mar 11, 2006 at 11:49 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 96

uzziah

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ok, here's the deal: i don't think it's a bad idea to want the best quality out of your music, but i do find it a bit nuts the lengths people go ESPECIALLY considering how lousy our recordings are compared to live. remember this one thing: recorded audio (digital or otherwise) is all about ONE thing: convienience. since i can't very well ask U2 to come to my house when i want to hear them, i must settle for reproduction. high-fidelity should always be aimed at accurate reproduction. this is especially true with acoustic music. a classical performance will scare you how much it is better than anything recorded. depending on your income, i think you might reasonably put a certain amount toward giving your lousy recordings as much breathing room as possible, but i think this obssiveness to "perfect" recorded audio is quite insane. it will never be "perfected". hopefully we'll get closer and closer to "live", but never there (and right now we're not even remotely close; you really have to come to grips with that). so, what i would say is: get yourself some goodies that make your music sound good, try out different things YOURSELF rather than have someone tell you what you want, and spend MUCH MORE TIME enjoying music than stressing over whether you should upgrade your hd580's to hd650's or some such junk. (btw: i'm preaching to myself)

word


ps: it's just so easy to get lost in the details, the specs, the endless reading, AB tests, and all that. you can get yourself in so deep in all this junk that you COMPLETELY FORGET that this is all about LOVING music passionatly. i don't blame folks for wanting their beloved music to sound good, but here's the trick: it can always sound worse or better, and if you're somewhere in the middle, the diminishing returns start coming at an alarming rate.

pps: and....at the same time i can understand all the madness. wanting to get perfect music in your own comfie home, or portable rig, or at work, or whatever. i just think we start obssesing, stop realizing it's all about enjoying music, and go off the deep end......
 
Mar 11, 2006 at 12:45 PM Post #2 of 96

bangraman

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I don't know if it's the same for other people, but I can complete separate the technical audiophile from the music lover. When I listen, I listen. When I'm evaluating, I evaluate. In terms of what faculties you need and the frame of mind you need to be in when you do either, they are mutually exclusive IMO and I like it that way. I enjoy my music but I enjoy geeking too.

The frame of mind needed for the experience may be different, but the two often feed off each other. Quite often it is the case that you can geek over individual pieces of gear and chain them up for best geek results, then switch over to just listening... and go "oooooh yeah".
 
Mar 11, 2006 at 1:41 PM Post #3 of 96

markl

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Quote:

I don't know if it's the same for other people, but I can complete separate the technical audiophile from the music lover. When I listen, I listen. When I'm evaluating, I evaluate.


Word.
 
Mar 11, 2006 at 1:47 PM Post #4 of 96

Mastergill

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The discerning audiophile knows the difference between live and recorded music. The goal is not to recreate live music in your living room, the goal is to recreate the more accurately possible what's on the master tape and there's enough musical information on these tapes to be seriously drowned into the music and forget about the live performance.

Myself i don't listen to the gear, i listen to the music through the gear. If i get closer to the music that means the gear is good. I don't listen to test tone, pink noise, etc... when i evaluate a new piece.

Diminishing return for me it's BS, it's when you talk about the money. When you talk about the music there's always a benefit even if it's a very small one.
 
Mar 11, 2006 at 2:02 PM Post #5 of 96

Sleestack

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Trying to recreate a live musical experience through headphones is particularly nonsensical unless you live in a land of 6 inch lilliputians.
 
Mar 11, 2006 at 2:09 PM Post #6 of 96

tyrion

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Sleestack
Trying to recreate a live musical experience through headphones is particularly nonsensical unless you live in a land of 6 inch lilliputians.


Agreed. Although Robert Randolph and the Family Band at 6 inches sound pretty good at the moment. However, I will see the full grown version in about 5 hours, I let everyone know how it compares.
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For me it's about listening to the music first and the comes after and only to make the music sound better, hopefully. Part of this is the fun of trying new and different gear. All you have to do is look at my feedback thread to see, I've had too much fun doing this. However, for me that is the means, not the end.
 
Mar 11, 2006 at 2:45 PM Post #7 of 96

Wmcmanus

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Quote:

Originally Posted by bangraman
I don't know if it's the same for other people, but I can complete separate the technical audiophile from the music lover. When I listen, I listen. When I'm evaluating, I evaluate.


Yes, and as Markl said...
 
Mar 11, 2006 at 3:16 PM Post #8 of 96

Ticky

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For me, there are 3 aspects of this audiophile hobby that I enjoy:

1. Playing with Gadgetry - yes, just like I enjoy reading about and looking at cars of various makes and models, I also enjoy reading and "playing" around with audio equipments. I suppose it satisfies some juvenile remants of my pysch.

2. Fun with Evaluating - I like "mixing and matching" different audio equipments to "hear" what I get out of it. It's a kin to playing those RPG games, where you mix and match character class, equipments, etc. Again, it's gratifies the kid in me I suppose.

3. Love for music - This is the reason why I became an audiophile (pretty much overnight) and, I believe, shall remain the main reason why I will keep enjoying this hobby for years to come. At the end of the day, I want the upgrades and hi-fi gadgets all because of one thing - I want my music to be able to take me to that "special place."

I admit that it's like a drug addiction, where you seems to want "more and better" stuff to get you "high." But, unless I start making unwise financial decisions because of this hobby or become too obsessive about it, I think the endless pursuit for "perfection" is not entirely insane.

I practice martial arts, where people spend years trying to achieve perfection - but all the time knowing that perfection isn't possible. Some will quit, other will just give up this ideal and settle for something less. But, IMO, the beauty is in seeking perfection. It gives you some strange form of joy in a way.

Just my 2 cents.
 
Mar 11, 2006 at 4:29 PM Post #9 of 96

nabwong

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Ticky
But, IMO, the beauty is in seeking perfection. It gives you some strange form of joy in a way.


Yup, 100% platonist. Not only are we seeking perfection in gadget but we also seek knowledge along the way. That knowledge is invaluable to me.
 
Mar 11, 2006 at 4:52 PM Post #11 of 96

Jahn

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when i surf, i zone. i only get drawn into the music when something just amazes me, or get taken out of the music when the SQ is SO bad (very rare in my library now). for the most part, i enjoy 90% at home, and 99% on the go, where i'm even less critical, even subconsciously.
 
Mar 11, 2006 at 5:22 PM Post #13 of 96

cosmopragma

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Quote:

Originally Posted by uzziah
ok, here's the deal: i don't think it's a bad idea to want the best quality out of your music, but i do find it a bit nuts the lengths people go ESPECIALLY considering how lousy our recordings are compared to live.


Admittedly listening to live classical music is superior sound quality wise to listening at home if the concert hall is very good, the orchestra is in good mood that day, the other listeners aren't coughing all the time and you are sitting on one of the hard to get good seats in the middle.
Besides of that IME many recorded music sounds way better than live.
Live music is a special experience, but it has nothing to do with sound quality, and let's focus on sound quality here.

Rock or pop music in a crappy hall better suited for industrial purposes than for audio transmitted through crappy PA speakers mixed by a deaf and drunken sound engineer amidst of crying and shouting teenagers, no thanks as far as sound quality is concerned.

Even Jazz isn't much better most of the time.Some years ago I was coupled to a female Jazz singer and this way I was part of the Cologne Jazz scene.(My contribution was mainly schlepping weighty amps around, I was the sole guy able to lift them, those Jazzers were all musical talent no muscles
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).
I've listened to live Jazz, unplugged or plugged, for hundreds of hours, but most of the events took place in rooms not extremely well treated for audio purposes.It was fun, that's shure, but the sound quality of well recorded/mastered music at home is better.
 
Mar 11, 2006 at 5:27 PM Post #14 of 96

nabwong

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Quote:

Originally Posted by cosmopragma
A
Besides of that IME many recorded music sounds way better than live.



I can't disagree but music is more than just sound. It's the interaction and unpredictability. No 2 performances are the same which is nice. That said, although i'm classical musician, i really hate the snobbish attitude in classical music. It didn't use to be like this. Classical music 100-200years ago is like what jazz is today; played with a relaxed attitude in a relaxing atmosphere.
 

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