I smell a big Bose upset in the making here......
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While recently visiting a relative who lives in an absolutely gorgeous secluded modern country home with very tasteful spartan decor, with lots of hard wood finishes and glass doors and very lively and open acoustics throughout the home, I noticed the only piece of entertainment electronics in sight was a Bose wave radio on a kitchen counter. It looked quite nice and fit in perfectly. Didn't get to hear it, but for a non audiophile music liker in a home like that, I thought to myself, not a bad choice really.
"With all the $$$ and gear he still sells and buys like most of us trying to find a sound that does not exist. "
Its a scary thought to think that so many may be investing so much time and money chasing something that does not exist.
How often is it that I wonder as opposed to chasing some particular desired sound that does exist but is particularly elusive for whatever reason?
I always try to remember that recordings are recordings, and few contain the exact sound that I might want.
Its practical to try to extract and deliver the best sound possible out of any particular recording armed with just a typical "high end" audio system.
But its much harder if even at all possible to make a recording into something you want and in fact it is not, especially if what you want is not even present in said recording.
I used to fall into that trap, especially early on, until I realized that most all recordings are different and sound different accordingly. It is what it is to a certain extent. Only so much can be done case by case to make it into something otherwise.
Luckily, as a music lover and even as a sound quality hawk, I am able to find something that I like in most any recording now that I realize the nature of the beast and what can and cannot be accomplished practically in most cases.
Some find enjoyment in the process of listening to and comparing and understanding the ins and outs of different equipment. I am one of those, but do not have the time or money to indulge on my own for the most part as much as I might like to. It was much easier years ago when I actually worked in various B&M hifi stores and got to listen to and familiarize with a lot of gear daily as part of the job. Its fun to play with audio gear if you really like this stuff. Time and money sure does help these days.
Albert Porter's system has a lot of attributes on paper that would seem to qualify it uniquely.
1) use of reference quality reel to reel tape as a source
2) intense focus on vinyl playback quality
3) use of EM/field coil technology in the big bass drivers used in his new Focal Grand Utopia EM speakers
Those are three pretty good differentiators alone in play together there that on paper would seem to be able to push the boundaries for home audio that might not be technically possible otherwise.
Other systems built around very large full range higher efficiency speakers with similar source material would seem to be contenders as well in terms of both quality and quantity of sound possible.
Then the room itself comes into play. The nth degree of quantity possible in a home audio system may not matter as much in most peoples actual rooms, once good full range response at the higher practical listening volumes are achieved. FOr really big rooms, where quantity matters most, like auditoriums, concert halls, arenas, etc., professional gear gets the nod.
I often wonder just how much is needed to really get the most out of most peoples home listening rooms? No doubt it varies a lot case by case. The best sound possible is probably achieved more practically for most on a smaller scale in smaller rooms.