neither really. i just want recordings to sound close to the way the original masters do.
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i always wanted to attend pipe-organ performances at the great cathedrals around the world. the church is an integral part of the awesome sound i would give (alot) to hear. but of course this is somewhat impractical. when i upgraded my eggleston andra-2's with Transparent Reference-MM (including the wires from cdp to preamp to amp), i almost fell over from the "extra octave of" bass filling the room, as well as the enormous soundstage, as i listened to the Dorian series of Bach Organ pieces. but as others have indicated, depending on the specific type of music, a stereo system has alot of hoops to jump through. my recent experiments with getting EXACTLY the correct volume for differing cd's can be a daunting task. too little and you might as well just turn on the radio. too much and you have dinosaur-sized musicians fighting each other for space in the room. solo piano is fairly easy to dial in since i own a piano, but other material isn't so simple. a string quartet is pretty loud if you are sitting up on the stage, but subdued if you're sitting in the cheap seats. orchestra studio recordings are usually thought of as "10th row" performances. if it's live you might want to turn it up even louder. if you don't have a big room and big speakers and a big amplifier, you have to set your sights on reproducing a "midget orchestra"- fully resolved, but scaled way down. same with a rock concert. how loud do you play "led zeppelin-I"? i went to a party where the stereo was so loud that i had to go out to the patio from time to time. but in a (painfull) way, they had the volume set where it belonged- at "11". oh well, at least there's jazz... Anyway, at least NOW i "believe" i can re-create organ music in a satisfying fashion. i still wish the tiny pictures on the cd could be replaced with poster-sized views of the stained-glass windows and soaring buttresses...
I liked the way you put this question. "Having musicians "appear" in the room" is what I think SET does. i.e. music that is non amplified. Being "transported' to the event is what alot of good SS does well. The difference in reproducing instruments and voices versus amplifiers reproducing of instruments and voices.