I am trying to learn to ask questions, so I am asking this.Do high fidelity and accuracy mean the same thing to you, and do how do they really rate in your overall enjoyment of music? To me fidelity used to mean real to life until I realized I didnt really know what that meant. I have not heard that many live instruments or live performers. Then, I do not really know what an engineer or artist intended a recording to sound like either. Most of the time I am pretty happy just to listen to a recording and take it as is. I like or I dont. But this question of fidelity puzzles me. If this is an ignorant question I dont mind saying there is a lot I dont know.
I just browsed through this thread again hoping to learn something new but find something is amiss.

It seems Timf is trying to articulate in a way that can best express his thoughts and queries. However, this thread turned into a "who can best describe fidelity" conundrum.

I think, like any type of communication, just know your audience and adjust your verbage accordingly. If you are uncertain that your definition of fidelity is synonomous with the person receiving your communique, then find a better word like "truer to the original".
"The Original", Viggen, was conceived, performed, mixed and recorded by humans who all have put their own individual signature on it, which will manifest itself in whatever way it will as far as how it is preserved and presented on the media itself for translation via the system. If the system is there ideally as something that reveals only what is there on the media, that illuminates it, so to speak...well, just as any source of light will impart a color cast on the objects that reflect it, so will a system that reproduces sound cast some color to the sound. And, just as I might see the color red as what you may call orange, well, sheeeittt, I'm just done gone and repeated my own redundant statement all over again. Every friggen stage of removal from the original is a filter that alters the original...the room it's played in, the microphone, the mixing, the man/woman at the mixing board, it's all subjective, and it's all acting as yet another filter ad infinitum. What "original' are you seeking to reproduce, and who's version of it. From which seat? To who's ears? It's like the child's game "Telephone" where you get a big group of kids, or adults for that matter, and have one whisper a statement into the other's hear. They pass it along to the next in the group, till it finally reaches the last person who speaks the phrase aloud. It seldom is the same phrase that started it all. The absolute sound is a not absolute at all, it's relative, and, like everything else, it matters as much as you care to make it matter to you, but in the grand scheme, like everthing else, it is as significant as gnat dung. I say go for what gets you most engaged with the music, what gets your toes tapping, the hairs on your neck standing up, and your grin big and wide, and sends your ding-dong to the penthouse. F&*% someone else's version of what they think you should like, or what they think is "Real" "True" or "Original". Make the call got two ears and some grey matter in between'em. What you actually enjoy listening to may not necessarily turn out be some Sterophool approved, Class Triple A with a bullet, sonic-truth-generating, wonder-system. Then again, maybe it will. I just don't think the "truth" has anything to do with it, and pursuit of it is a farse, and so far from the emotional impact that music has at it's heart. Oh, and if your ding-dong don't make it to the penthouse when you play music on your system, don't worry; neither does mine!

Some thoughts

Webster's dictionary indicates that one of the definitions of "fidelity" is:

The degree to which an electronic device (as a record player, radio, or television) accurately reproduces its effect (as sound or picture).

The definition of "high" includes:

1. constituting the .... most fully developed
2 : rich in quality : LUXURIOUS
3 : of greater degree, amount, cost, value, or content than average, usual, or expected

High fidelity, then, seems to be ability to very accurately reproduce music to the highest degree, but it also suggests an element of quality and development.

Both of the lines of thought in this thread seem to be true; that is, high fidelity is accurate reproduction of sound and it has an element of enjoyment as well.

The questions that arise out of this include;

Does more accurate reproduction of music lead to greater enjoyment? (I'll put this question in as another thread)

Would Reubent enjoy music that is "low fidelity"?

I like your analogy of the telephone game. I understand that. The more posts I read the more I understand what I am questioning, and the more questions I have! Unfortunately, it also seems I am not very organized and my questions may not be related to each other! basically, Im the conumdrum! So, I will say that I really appreciate it that any of you took the time to approach the confusion. Your posts are all very intelligent and extremely readable and enjoyable. One of the things I most love about this forum is that there so many different points of view, and such articulate and wise voices to convey them. I am glad I asked.
Hi Rcprince,

You said: "Maybe the WAMM or the IRS V in a huge room can get close"

As it happens, I own a set of highly modified Infinity IRS speakers and I am powering them with over 8,000 watts of power (more than double the amount of power intended by the speakers' designers) and even in my 20' x 30' x 14' room they are not able to equal the dynamics heard in a live situation. Even so, they do produce a large wavelaunch (by virtue of the driver compliment) which does give a much more convincing dynamic representation than most speakers are able to achieve.


Barry Kohan