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?

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Can your Audio System be too Transparent?

Steve Guttenberg 19.08.20

https://youtu.be/6-V5Z6vHEbA

cd318
No, he was dressed casually, as was I. Wish I could have had at least a brief listen to the Sound Lab  RS-1's! Maybe if I walked in wearing a Brioni suit ...
Well mixed and mastered music on a competent system sounds better than poorly recorded music on a summit-fi system.  But the root problem is not equipment that is too good, it is recordings that are too poor.  Trying to make poorly recorded music sound good by "improving" your equipment is futile.  Nonetheless, my answer is not to dumb down my system but to use more discretion in what recordings I purchase and spend my time with.  Luckily, lossless streaming services are good for deciding what music I want to buy and what music I want to pass on.  I find that some artists know and consistently demand good recordings while others are just pushing crap out to the unlearned masses.  A true artist is particular about how their material is presented.
To spenav - "Our current gears will be collectors’ items and we all will be old men reminiscing about the past on some forum". You just summed up my current experience, reminiscing on Audiokarma.
We will never have Charlie Parker (born 100 years ago this month) recorded in stereo. But listening to him in mono on my modest (compared to today's big-buck systems) vintage gear is certainly satisfying!
The same for Mengelberg conducting Mahler at the Amsterdam Concertgebouw!