High Performance Audio - The End?

Steve Guttenberg recently posted on his audiophiliac channel what might be an iconoclastic video.

Steve attempts to crystallise the somewhat nebulous feeling that climbing the ladder to the high-end might be a counter productive endeavour. 

This will be seen in many high- end quarters as heretical talk, possibly even blasphemous.
Steve might even risk bring excommunicated. However, there can be no denying that the vast quantity of popular music that we listen to is not particularly well recorded.

Steve's point, and it's one I've seen mentioned many times previously at shows and demos, is that better more revealing systems will often only serve to make most recordings sound worse. 

There is no doubt that this does happen, but the exact point will depend upon the listeners preference. Let's say for example that it might happen a lot earlier for fans of punk, rap, techno and pop.

Does this call into question almost everything we are trying to ultimately attain?

Could this be audio's equivalent of Martin Luther's 1517 posting of The Ninety-Five theses at Wittenberg?


Can your Audio System be too Transparent?

Steve Guttenberg 19.08.20



Showing 8 responses by twoleftears

The AF-61 was 5K list; that's hardly budget territory.  And despite all the innovative design, it was bass shy.
If as claimed above contemporary music sounds good and it's the fault of our systems if it doesn't, perhaps we should be listening to it on those giant powered professional monitors they have in studios, because evidently it sounded good (and just the way it was supposed to sound) to the producers listening to it in that environment.
@prof   When the ceiling of your listening room begins to look like this, you'll know you're on the right lines.
Yup.  Nice post.  Couldn't agree more.
Electronic Dance Music.  Oh boy.
DACs should have switches (kind of like the equivalent of different RIAA curves) that compensate for different genres of music.
@prof   You need to have experienced true enlightenment first (bodhi or satori, in all seven factors) before you can hope to begin to understand the three embeddings.  And as we all know, the absolutely most important things come in groups of three.
Everyone knows that the Adante was a flawed design.  Released to much heralding, look how short a time it remained in the Elac line-up.  It was discontinued because it wasn't selling (duh), and it wasn't selling because people were listening to it and comparing it to other similarly priced speakers.  If you're going to vaunt a "giant-killer" (a dubious concept at best), at least pick a half-decent model to promote in the first place.