Nothing will ever sound as good as live music, that's why we keep pushing for it.
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Atzen, I know what you mean! While I am not the greatest piano player, I do play a little jazz and blues. It is really a wonderful experience to actually create the music, even if not at a high level. It's not the result that is of the utmost importance, it is the journey. Although it is nice to get through a piece without flubbing it up. If anyone out there has not ever tried playing a musical instrument, you should really try it. The beginning is hard because you have to familiarize yourself with the instrument. But the enjoyment is well worth it. You will come to have a better understanding of music, its theory and practice. And the creation of music is one of the most pleasurable things you can do. Highly recommended!
I was listening to a very nice system at someone's home and thoroughly enjoying it a few weeks ago ... unitl a neighbor came in, sat down at the Yamaha grand and let loose. As much as we would like to, it is still extremely difficult to recreate the live experience. Live music rules!
What's still missing? The sheer presence! Bound for Sound reviewed a system once and mused that the very beginning of musical notes are often missing. Systems pick up the middle and do OK with the end, but that very start is hard to get. Or, maybe it's 20 other things. In any case, it will never be quite the same. Maybe if I purchased every kind of musical instrument and had them each play directly rather than going through the speakers ... ?? ;-)