Has audiophilia changed your music taste?

Before I got into this hobby, I was big into heavy metal. I am very much into progressive bands like Dream Theater and Queensryche. My collection consisted of rock 90% and classical/jazz/other at 10%. Ever since I started getting into audio, my listening has changed and so has my music collection. What used to be 90/10, lean to rock, has changed to about 70/30 and changing weekly. Lately, I can't keep Patricia Barber off my system. I absolutely love her. The thing is, the other day I put on some Pat Travers and the listening only lasted about 30 minutes before it was back to Patricia Barber. For some reason, rock doesn't sound as good as it did before. Maybe it is my system or maybe it is me.

Anyone else like me?
Not ever.
Patricia Barber albums is just a clear example. Recorded excellent but realy now I'd fall asleep listening to them and switch to something more creative.
Have Ben Webster original vinyls but realy, nothing special that satisfies my musical interests with realy great recording as well.
Actually almost none I currently can find in audiophile marketplace that I realy like. The only exception I'd place for Ry Cooder that has excellent audiophile quality recordings and great music.

I also don't like the concept of buying strictly the music that is good for system.
Not one single bit. I listen to music, not my system. I only own one "audiophile" recording, which is a Sheffield Lab's LP that I bought 25 years ago.

This was confirmed to myself at CES-2003 this past winter. I found that I did not stay very long in rooms that were playing music I did not care for, no matter how good it sounded. Some companies were using specially recorded CD's to show off their gear. The performances from a musicians standpoint on many of them made my skin crawl.
I have to admit it has. When I first started getting into high end stuff I was getting all these mailers from Music Direct and Mapleshade and that started me on the jazz buying trek.

If it weren't for the musical avenues high end audio exposed to me I would have never found Jacintha, Antonio Carlos Jobim, Diana Krall, John Coltrane, Ana Caram, modern Flamenco, Nina Simone, etc...

At least I'm not listening to those early stereo test LPs my Dad had with the train starting from the left speaker and going to the right one. Remember those?
Yep, me too. If anything, it has broadened the scope of things that I listen to, though, so I consider it a good thing. In fact, I sometimes find myself listening to and seeking out things purely because I like the lushness or tonality or warmth of the sound, even though, in a purely musical sense, I might not have been all that thrilled by the music previously. For example, there is something unescapably spine-tinglingly wonderful about the deeply organic thrummings of a chello that I never even realized, let alone gave a damn about, prior to having equipment that could do it justice. Now, just thinking about it thrills me (look at me here, all thrilled). Sometimes I put things in just for their tonality or the pallete of the sound. Am I listening to the tonality of the music or the system -- who cares, it makes me happy. (I am convinced that it takes both, though.) Wierd? Sure, that shoe fits perfectly, I already have a couple of pairs, and I wear it proudly.
Gunbei; the train recordings...too funny!

I also agree with you about finding John Coltrane. the entire reason i got into hifi was to get as close to really hearing this guy as i could. like matchstikman i also got away from my old tastes and now just can't wait to blast some great jazz and enjoy the full range of the instruments as loudly as i can and pretend i'm listening live. i'm always putting on old stuff i liked only to hop up after a few seconds and stick on somethign from coltrane again. i just became fully addicted. same with female vocals; nina simone, cat power and others.

thats the long answer to a great post: yes, my music tastes have changed...and i like it!

for a real treat that might also change tastes for people; find the 45 speed single one-sided pressing of Louis Armstrong singing "St. James Infirmary" on Classic records. (~$15/$20?) I heard this on a reference system at a dealer with Dekay and some others from audiogon. i always liked louis armstrong, i just never 'got' that he was a genius. man, to have heard some of these guys live... oh, well. that's why we're spending all our money here.
Nope, I still listen to the same old trash I always have. Now, even more - they keep remastering it!
I've started listening to a wider range of music. Nothing will get me into rap of hard rock though.
Me neither-hasn't made the slightest bit of difference to the music I listen to.
I don't even know how it could unless you were more interested in the recording quality than the actual music.
I still listen to the stuff I used to: Classical, Accoustic Jazz, and rock that isn't too metalic, but with improved sound, I'm spending more time on vocalists of all genres than ever before as long as they are well engineered.
It's made a HUGE difference, because as I said audiophilia has exposed me to so many genres of music I'd never previously tasted.

When I started buying expensive equipment I did initally buy within some music categories I was never into before. And it turned out not only was I impressed by the recordings, I liked the music as well!
All of you who deny that it has had any effect, it's like saying advertising has no effect on your brand preferences. With all due respect, I think you're kidding yourselves.

As audiophiles and music lovers, we are drawn to the sound as well as the music itself. Have your tastes in music not changed at all in the past 10 years? If they've changed, has it not been in the direction of types of music (not specific recordings) that sound good on your systems, and away from music that does not? I know this is true for me. I guess it's presumptuous of me to assume it's also true for other audiophiles.
I have also done the same thing. I also love Patricia Barber. Try an album from, Teirney Sutton called "Something Cool". Great Album. I used to love Diane Krall until I heard the Barber and Sutton albums and I too seem to go to them all the time.
Patricia Barber is a great case in point. If not for high end audio I would have never heard of her.
Who's Patricia Barber?
She looks like a demented Captain Janeway from Voyager, and sings with phrasing like a wounded animal, but she's damn good!
This dog doesn't learn new tricks. My taste in music hasn't changed a bit since this dog was 13. However, my music sure has spring-boarded my leap in and out of audiophilia.
My tastes have changed over the years. And because I've always been interested in music reproduction that surely has something to do with it. My folks had a heavy wooden console stereo when I was growing up. Like Gunbei, we had the first stereo records, with the train, the ping pong balls, the speedboats and race cars. The first records I ever bought with my own money were Beatle records. At first it was tough to decide whether the stereo version at $3.29 was really worth the dollar extra than the mono one. I was playing them on a bulky portable GE stereo that had detachable speakers. In high school I'd talk to my steady girl for hours, playing her record cuts over the phone.

About 1970 I got to college and my first roommate had a real component stereo. Soon I sent off my $450 and got a whole system from Dixie Hi-Fi Wholesalers. By then I'd expanded my tastes but not really broadened them. It wasn't about sonics, it was more about the energy the music contained. I scored everything by Hendrix; pre DSOTM Pink Floyd; Cream; Grateful Dead; Jefferson Airplane; Procul Harem; Quicksilver.

After I graduated there was a girl living downstairs who'd been in a car wreck. She laid in bed for a year and listened to WXPN constantly. It was all jazz. I spent hours sitting in a chair next to one of her Dynaco A-25's. When she got better she got a gig spinning records at our university radio station. I helped out on a couple of theme artist radio shows; one was Rahsaan Roland Kirk, a unique jazz reed player.

By then, I'd grown an ear for jazz and I started to add some to my collection. Still it wasn't the sonics, it was about artistic integrity, the reaching, the energy. Stereowise I was more concerned about getting pop & tick-free albums. I hated sweet sounding music, like Grover Washington. My only Coltrane album was and still is Ascension. I went through a McCoy Tyner phase; then discovered Keith Jarrett and Eberhard Weber on the ECM label. They cost a buck more than the regular releases but the platic lined, paper inner sleeve was some kind of justification. I hadn't given up on rock but it was getting more difficult to find satisfying records.

It's amusing to me that people still thrill to the latest remix of DSOTM. Great all time record sure, but when it came out it was such a departure from the art-rock I'd come to expect from Pink Floyd. DSOTM felt like a huge sellout at the time. Echoes had way more innate character. It had humor. I guess you had to be there.

By 1980 getting a good-all-the-way-thru rock record seemed almost impossible. Most LP's had a couple of hits or were too contrived. Buying new releases was like girly magazines: after a couple of weeks the flash wore off and I craved a fresh fix. I felt like a tool of the record biz. I gave up buying music altogether. My system had marginally improved, mostly to make it less noisy and more durable. During this buying hiatus I did some soul searching about the records I had. My final conclusion: my collection reflected one person's taste and had no deeper meaning. It was all keepers but a hodgepodge nonetheless.

In the late eighties I finally gave in to the CD craze. I got a tape deck and transferred 200 of my delicate, tick and pop free LP specimens to metal tape. Because the ECM records had so impressed me I decided to collect the entire label. At least then I'd have something, like collecting all the stamps of one country. I'd also developed a special fondness for Sun Ra, because his bands put it all together everytime: virtuosity, humor, exploration and energy.

Finally I'd have to say that it was the performances on the CD's I already had that drove me to improve my stereo. I sought to eliminate distortions I heard, like screechy flute, soprano sax and upper register piano. But ultimately it isn't about accuracy, it's about being able to listen without being distracted by anything other than the musical message, the emotional content, the energy.

My self-imposed subscription to the ECM label has turned me on to lots of stuff I would have neither experienced nor known existed. The production values are always high, the muscianship beyond reproach, and best of all, the music is so complex that it is impossible to remember. My collection is always fresh to me though it's sometimes hard to decide what to play. I admit my old rock LP's get a play now and then. I still marvel at their fundamental greatness. They do sound wonderful on a nice rig, better than ever.

So yes, my tastes have changed over the years. But audiophilia has been a servant to my tastes, not their master. Tastes aside, being a stereo nut is fun all by itself :^)
I think audiophiles care a great deal about "sound" but often very little about "music". If they did they wouldn't be nearly as fanatical about equipment. Many big recording artists have very modest audio systems.
Great question. I think yes, my taste has changed. But I also think that at the time I started to get into improving my system, I was ready to listen to different music, more jazz and vocals, less rock 'n roll. I was ready to appreciate tone and subtlety. So it's a chicken and egg thing.
start out with scorpion----------end up with miles davis,john coltrane,louis armstrong etc..
Well, kinda sorta. My tastes have not so much changed as they have expanded. I found myself listening to more "audiophile type music" for a very short period of time, but then i fixed my systems : )

Honestly though, if you find that you can't enjoy the music that you used to absolutely love after upgrading your system, your system probably sucks and is limited in what it does well. Chances are, the system is lacking musicality and prat but excells in detail. The key to having a truly enjoyable and "good" system is one that allows you to hear all the detail that you want to, but not wanting to because you are too emotionally drawn into the rhythm of the music. If you find yourself being drawn into listening to "detail" all of the time, it is probably due to having a system that is overtly analytical. As such, you end up listening to the characteristics of the system and NOT the music. Finding a good balance between resolution and musicality is tough, but it can be done. Once you find that point, you'll know EXACTLY what i'm talking about and will wonder "why didn't i try that sooner" ??? : ) Sean
Your music horizon is just expanding! If you had given me Sinatra or Beatles cd/lp , prior to me turning 30 I would have looked at you like you had 3 heads.

I think it may have something to do w/ getting older too?
Audi & Volvo station wagons look really kewl to me lately as long as they are black, w/ tinted windows??? I can't explain it, I just have to get a grip & shake it off!
I don't think I'm kidding myself at all.
I'm not even sure as many point out how you can split the difference between your own tastes developing and a developing system.
I lot of what is described as Audiophile music puts me to sleep-Partrica Barber,Diana Krall etc. and even to a lesser extent Norah Jones-the free CD's given away occassionally with UK HI-FI mags just seem to represent a bland mixture of music for people who have descended into a safe listening zone.
Of course I listen to light music and would prefer it if everything was recorded decent.
Everybody has their own thing and nobody can be totally oblivious to information having some influence on them.
Even when I read the music reviews in the Hi-fi mags I've nearly always either got the releases I want or have read about the others.....
As a teenager I bought the music weeklies to learn and read about music,as an adult (lol) I buy at least 4 music monthly magazines a month-the reproduction is second to me and I would rather go back to a £300 mini-system than to stop discovering and buying new music.
I have read interviews with engineers who admit they engineer a lot of rock music to be played on inexpensive equipment and car stereos. It is my opinion that a lot of Rock suffers from audiophile treatment. It isn't meant to be appreciated for its detail and focus -- it is meant to be a barrage. When your system pulls it apart and stages it, IMO, it sounds terrible. Stuff that was meant to be part of a barrage is now sticking out where it doesn't belong. So, I find myself listening to Rock less and less.
I also think it is natural for tastes to change with age. I no longer need angry teenagers to express my emotions for me. For example, I find myself relating less and less,
to the notion, "I hope I die before I get old." So, I find myself listening to more classical and jazz, female vocalists, as well as old R&B and blues.
I have found that Classic rock can sound it's best on vinyl.
When played on a great TT like a Thorens or Linn LP12 etc. Also MFSL CDS can be amazing. It is hard to listen to poor recordings on a great system but whats the point if you cant rock the house with Physical Grafitti. The Led vinyl reissues are great. Still pleanty of hiss but they have super fidelity! Tubes can also help tame some borderline material. Lastly a great CD player makes a big difference. I like the ARC CD2 very smooth and easy to listen to.
Yes. I've shifted toward acoustic jazz from pop rock. With my system, I can hear the engineering on rock recordings and it bothers me. I can also appreciate the quality of good acoustic jazz recordings. I like putting on a well produced jazz recording of a small group and imagining they are playing in my room. When I get a sense of realism, I enjoy the music and feel good about my system -- a great combination.
Now the lyrics are "...I hope I die before I get really old..."

I begin to wonder if I'm kidding myself and I'd say probably no.
I mostly listen to uncommercial music that at its most times has an excellent mastering.
Thus even hearing a great recording of some country music or Christmas gospel I can only say recorded great, but as to listening I'd feel myself a complete fool to change a taste to that side or such.
For me it's hearing all the music I used to love;but had junk for a system at the time. So now I still love that same music,but now I hear so much more of what was recorded.
Being an audiophile hasn't changed my taste in music, but has changed my appreciation for well recorded material. A good example is the latest release from Santana "Shaman." In my car, I love listening to Shaman, but at home the quality of the recording is less than appreciative.

If anything has expanded my taste in music, it's the current lack of creativity in rock. Very few of todays bands have the sustenance to produce consistently good material. Additionally, most rock recordings are compressed and their sound isn't conducive to critical listening.
Sugarbrie said it best.

"...companies were using specially recorded CD's to show off their gear. The performances from a musicians standpoint on many of them made my skin crawl."

I think we've all purchased "specially recorded" music in one shape or form. Every audiophile must own at least one Telarc, GRP, Concord or other "boutique" audiophile recording.

At some point we all want to see what our systems are capable of and, hence, look for a vehicle to test it...audiophile recordings. Unfortunately, many (most) of these are the most dreadfully boring, unimaginative, poorly performed recordings going. Spyro Gyra? David Benoit? Patricia Barber? Come on guys (and gals). If Patricia Barber's recordings weren't so good, I sincerely doubt that most of you would be sitting around listening to her screaching and wailing.

So I guess the short answer is yes and no. It would seem that there are two camps in this hobby. Those that love music and those that love high end audio. Those who love music seek out equipment that can serve the music best. Those who love equipment seek out "music" that serves their equipment best.

As a musician, it's easier to listen to a poorly recorded great performance than it is to listen to a greatly recorded poor performance.

Some good, honest answers here.

Obviously there seems to be two camps.

Those whose tastes were unaffected and unchanged by their venture into audiophilia, the better gear seems to have enhanced what they were already experiencing.

And those like myself, that discovered new music as part of the journey into audio nirvana.
I think it is too simplistic to break it down into a
convenient, but artificial split between those who listen
to music and those who listen to their systems. This
sounds to me like typical one-ups-man-ship rather than
an attempt to understand why some posters' musical tastes
have changed. There's a world of difference between
Audiophile tripe that is the musical equivilent of those
recordings of trains and such that some of our fathers
bought to hear the effects of stereo, and Mahler, Coltrane,
Max Roach, Clifford Brown, early Ray Charles, Robert
Johnson, Muddy Waters, Charlie Parker, Art Tatum, Aretha
Franklin, Early Staple Singers, Charlie Patton, and the
list goes on and on and on....

That ain't music, but the stuff you listened to when you
were 17 is? Well..........okay. I can accept that this may be one's "reality." But, I would advise -- don't kid yourself into believing this is true for everyone. To do so would indicate that not only haven't one's musical tastes changed, but neither has one's youthful solipsistic world view.
Dan- "As a musician, it's easier to listen to a poorly recorded great performance than it is to listen to a greatly recorded poor performance"

This applies to everyone, methinks, not only musicians...??

I'd further propose, as a music"phile", that a greatly recorded poor performance is bearable for a while, but a poorly recorded poor performance is instantly deadly.
Rsbeck: I'm not saying that one type of music or system is better than any other. Nor am i saying that people's tastes and attitudes don't change with time. What i am saying is that a good system should allow you to listen to whatever you want, whenever you want. You should also be able to enjoy those recordings AND listen as deeply into them as you would like.

Obviously, we all place different values on music reproduction. Some may prefer very specific imaging, some may prefer impact / dynamic range, others may value harmonic and timbral accuracy, etc... I think that as one builds a system that highlights one of those specific areas, the natural inclination is to select discs that allow that virtue to shine through, possibly at the expense of other areas of performance / enjoyability. As such, it is a fine line / balancing act that is required to obtain a well rounded system that works well with a variety of recordings and types of music. Limiting yourself to only top notch recordings and / or a very select range of music that highlights specific aspects of system performance would be pretty boring in my opinion. Variety ( especially in music ) is one of the great joys in life. Why limit yourself through the use of a limiting system or musical selections ? Sean
I've been an audio salesman--I know what "audiophiles" listen to.

Sean, you forgot to mention *intimacy*. Nearfield is the ticket to intimacy...

Who is Patricia Barber anyway?
Dan Wright said he tested my modded Swans with Patricia Barber--I sent him a copy of a heavy duty salsa CD. I was worried he would be using some audiophile music, so I took the initiative.

As for musical taste, no, my musical taste has nothing to do with my gear. What my gear delivers me is *intimacy*.
Rsbeck - Are you suggesting that audiophiles listen to Clifford Brown because of the quality of the recording? Perhaps I'm missing something, but I'm not suggesting that any of the great performers whom you listed are equivalent to the "audiophile tripe".

I'm not sure that I have told you (nor did anyone else) what I was listening to when I was seventeen. A short list goes something like this: Billy Cobham, John McLaughlin (Mahavishnu Orchestra), Buddy Rich, Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Maynard Ferguson, Rush, Metallica, Talking Heads, Stravinsky, Wynton Marsalis, Hindemith, Shostakovich, Mussorgsky, Empire Brass, Take 6 to name a few.

No one-ups-man-ship intended. But I would submit that a trained ear can appreciate music on a completely different level than can the untrained ear. In the real-world we call such people experts. In stereodom, I guess we call them snobs. Listen, I admire fine automobiles and have even owned a few but I would not consider myself on par with an automotive engineer or a master mechanic. Granted, we may love said vehicle equally well, but simply cannot appreciate it in on the same level. This goes both ways. Likewise, a musician (unless formally trained in electrical engineering) cannot appreciate a stereo component in the same fashion as an engineer. He/she may appreciate the sound that it produces, but has no idea of the elegant design that makes the piece so special. I'll admit it. I'm a technical know-nothing. That's why I appreciate all of the insight that folks like Sean, Twl, Bear, and many others provide here. I don't think they're snobs because they know more about something than I do. I value their expertise. We all have something to contribute.

Gregm - A poor performance is a poor performance. Crap is crap. I would contend to the contrary; it is easier to listen to a poorly recorded poor performance than a well recorded poor performance which only hightlights the ridiculous music/performance/performer(s).

I like Patricia Barber because:

1) She is a good poet and lyricist.

2) She's a good jazz pianist and her voice doesn't sound pretentious or "put-on."

3) Her songs remind me of Greenwich Village scene in the late 1950's and early 60's. Small intimate smoke-filled clubs with 'Beat Poets' and 'Jazz' musicians, and everyone sitting around snapping our fingers to the beat.

4) Her music is very creative in relation to some of today's top monotonous "cool" jazz musicians.

5) She allows each musician in the band to take the spotlight.

6) She cares about the quality of her recordings.

7) And she didn't make it by her looks!

This is a good example of how a discussion about music
preferences has turned into a pretty typical pissing match,
complete with straw men, people talking at cross-purposes,
looking for an edge, "are you trying to say...[insert silly position here and argue against it]. With the usual attendant communication failure, with whipped cream,
chocolate sauce, and cherry on top.

The prize has to go to whoever it was who argued something
like, "my musical tastes haven't changed because they
didn't NEED to change, MOFO -- I had great taste at 17,
and I have great taste now!"



Carry on, gents.

Figure out who listens to music and who listens to
their system.

Let me know who wins.
Thanks Rosstaman for summing that up so well. You did forget to mention one thing though. That is, she and her band can deliver everything that you want or expect when you see them live. They are not like some of these "studio effect" singers / performers that can't stand on their own two feet when they need to. When it comes to live performances, you've either got it or your don't. She and her band have it in spades. Sean
Although I still gravitate to particular rock subtypes, I have a few albums that I bought directly from being an audiophile. I have also gotten more in to classical and some of the more acoustic music in general that is more common amoung audiophiles. My rock music is still the priority, but audio has pushed my music budget around. It'll be a cold day in hell before I buy jazz, but writing this sentence probably means I will someday (Not really).
Okay -- Sorry about the earlier cranky post.

I've had a nap and I'm in a better mood now.

>>I'm not suggesting that any of the great performers whom you listed are equivalent to the "audiophile tripe".<<

No -- quite the opposite. I'm saying there is a world
of difference between the "Tripe" [Or, musical equivilent
of those train records] and the list of performers I mentioned.

I will take part of the credit for the misunderstanding.

I probably didn't express myself clearly.

I listen to Clifford Brown for many reasons. He plays
the hell out of his instrument -- AND -- because I am
lucky enough to have what I consider to be a great
system -- I can get even closer to his music.

And, if I haven't made this point clearly enough --

I think it is far too simplistic to try to split people
into these two camps -- those who listen to the music and
those who listen to their system.

It is convenient, it makes for easy one-ups-man-ship,
but I also think it is silly and can short-circuit a
better conversation.

Finally, my answer to the question at the top of this
thread is: Yes, I find myself listening to different
music now that I have a nice system. I think it is
great music and it sounds great on my system.

It is less filling AND it tastes great.

It is the chicken AND the egg.

It is the Lady AND the Tiger.

It is round AND flat.

I didn't listen to this much classical and Jazz when I
was younger. For whatever reason, I've acquired a taste
for this music -- AND -- I find that it also sounds great on my system.

I put it on, I listen to my system and find that -- voila --
great music is playing and it sounds great, both my system
and the music until the system disappears and there's
only music and then it ends and I think, boy am I glad I
have this system!
No, and with all due respect, the day I switch to "audiophile" (ie sound not music - chair squeaks, paper shuffling, amp humming, and someone coughing) stuff is the day I sell my system and go back to my mini system.
Which by the way sounds almost as good as Levinson. You see, I'm a believer in equipment break in. After 17 years of "getting better every day" it's almost there.
Sean brought up a good point about overly detailed systems. But when you spend so much money you may want to impress yourself or your friends. Which detail does. As least for a while.
I just try to ask myself, is this how a live event would sound?
I think I should explain my sarcasm about break-in. I've been demoing equipment at home. If I return something because I don't like it, the dealer will invariably tell me the component is not broken in yet. Or I haven't listened long enough. So I got tired of the - break-in will solve all the problems you're hearing - routine.
The dealer who said I didn't listen long enough has a good point. If I listen enough my ears probably would adjust to the distortion. Then it would sound okay. But when I audition I will go for 3-5 days not listening to my stereo. Then my ears have adjusted to neutral. Then when I listen, I won't be used to the distortion and it will sound wrong to me.
I did not read the other post, but to answer the initial question is yes! I have found my taste become more tolerant. I have experimented with different sounds and started a basic Classical.

Still do not get the Opera craze or the newer Country which is just hashed over rock.

Have found myself likeing more Instrumentals than before and getting away from hard driving rock.
I would say having recently spent $1500 of your American Dollars upgrading my system, I have gone over my music collection and listened to CDs that have sat unused on the shelf for a while, just to hear the difference and found that my enjoyment of these CDs has increased. The recordings are obviously just as they always were, but through an improved system it sounds like they've been re-recorded 10 times better.

Through general experience, and through reading previous posts on Audiogon it seems to me that the majority of people who appreciate/own a decent hi-fi system (and I'm purposefully avoiding the word 'audiophile') tend towards the more 'mature' age range. This stands to reason in some ways, not least because of the costs involved.
The point I'm making is that older and younger people in general have overall different musical tastes, and so should explain the tendency towards jazz, or whatever. Diana Krall for example is a name I have regularly heard in hi-fi publications/discussions for 7 years, but never if a purely music based publication.
I'm trying to say that any music, from classical and pop, through funk to jungle (hands up who knows what that is!) can be well recorded and bring out the absolute best in a system, it's just maybe the uneven age distribution that lends weight to the idea of jazz or whatever obscure singer being needed to truly hear what a system can do.
At first a few years ago it did change my music listening habits. I found this to be very unfair as I had always listened to 100% rock !! I guess I felt I had to bite the bullet and revamp my system so I could stop having to listen to all of these recommended recordings and listen to what I wanted to . I spent about $10,000 and now I can listen to (almost) anything I want.
The ideal system should make all your music sound good. Or as good as possible IMHO.
But your stereo can affect what you listen to as JA said in his Wilson Sofia review. Before the Sophias, he had the Revel M20's. Stopped listening to orchestra, switched to chamber music. In come the Wilsons, out goes the chamber music.
This can be a crazy hobby. For example I listened to my favorite song on a mini system at Target. Didn't sound that great. Highs are distorted and the sound is not that clear. I then listened the same song on some $10,000 speakers. Didn't sound that great. Highs are distorted and the sound is not that clear.
What happened? The speakers were so revealing they brought out all the faults in the recording. This song sounded as bad as when it was played on a mini system. While these speakers could be used in a recording studio to punish engineers for the crap they are putting out, they made anything other than perfectly recorded music sound bad. Talk about a stereo controlling what you can and cannot listen to!
For you die-hards who still subscribe to Stereophile, Upscale Audio has a repeating ad. It is on page 80 of the August 2003 issue. It reads:
"Spent $20K at another store ... and got this. It sucks. Went to Upscale Audio. System still sucks. But a higher level of suck".
LMAO. Hats off to the world of high fidelity music reproduction :-).
Cdc I don't think any system can make all music sound good.
A point many Audiophiles seem to miss that even a crappy system can distinguish between "good" and "bad" productions-I've been noticing since I had the cheapest system as a teenager how music has been recorded.
Of course before everybody jumps on me I think most of us pursue great audio reproduction because it enhances the listening experience.
Your stereo cannot change what you listen to only you can.
Some people persue the hobby for different reasons as this thread indicates and that's fine.
Isn't one of the greatest aspects of a great upgrade in your system going through your collection again?
When I do this I never think I must rush out and get some better recorded music.
But sure some people have real problems with how badly they perceive music to be recorded.............
I'm not saying badly recorded music isn't a problem,it can be but I simply don't approach music this way a great album badly recorded is still a great album.
Nothing's perfect.
No. My tastes have changed. I listen to fewer symphonies and big bands and more small ensambles. I believe my tastes would have evolved much the same way had I lived in an age prior to sound reproduction.