Passion, or ..... Precision?

Hi Guys, 

In the last 2 years I have finally built what I consider to be a fairly decent System. Namely, DCS Bartok, BHK 300 mono's and KEF Ref 5 Speakers. With the introduction of Qobuz, which is all I listen to now, I find myself searching out artists or tracks that sound amazing on my rig. Occasionally, I hit the jackpot and find something I really like that also sounds amazing. Streaming is brilliant for this. However, when I revert back to the music that evokes the passion in me I find that it tends to be of poorer recording quality. I'm 58 now and grew up with the 70's/80's Heavy Rock scene with bands like Sabbath, Ozzy, Rainbow, Lizzy and my beloved Status Quo etc. Their early material just doesn't 'cut it' on a high end system (IMO) and I find it more fatiguing to listen to. Modern technology and attention to detail in the recording studio has really dated some of my favourite bands to the point I find it harder to listen to them.

Does anybody else share this experience?

cheers, Mark


I am 59 and grew up on the same music the OP did. My solution was to build an "out of the box system" that can still play my old favorites to a higher standard than most, but also can send shivers down the spine with the newer recordings. There is plenty of newer rock being recorded today that most rock lovers can really get behind. Nothing but Thieves / Broken Machine is one example.

I agree that much old rock, particularly hard rock/metal isn't recorded well and often sounds thin and compressed. The way you have your gear set upight be making it worse though. Even though you're running all very high end stuff, running your DAC directly into your amps might not be aggravating your experience. Yes, you'll get incredible details but very often , despite having a monster DAC, that approach can produce fatiguing sound. I've read that many people elect to put a preamp in their system for just that reason, to bring some warmth and soul to the sound. Might be something worth considering. 

This is a great post. @markprice I too sometimes find myself analyzing rather than hearing. Hard to get out of that behavior as @pesky_wabbit said…I remember I read something on here posted by @millercarbon. I forget the musician who said it but it goes “Musicians use their systems to listen to our music. Audiophiles use our music to listen to their systems”.

So true in some cases huh? But I will say that even when I drift down that rabbit hole of listening to my system, I am ear to ear smiling at how incredible it sounds🤷🏼‍♂️…

You know what I do find is after a glass of wine or 2 I float right back up that rabbit hole as I’m listening to Rush or early U2, Yes, Iron Maiden (which really allows me to appreciate that unique mesmerizing sound Steve Harris gets out of that bass guitar on my system) and all of a sudden I’m 15 again and transported back in time in the way that only music can provide

some great comments on here, thank you all for your replies. I echo what Kingbr says above, it maybe a rabbit hole but its pretty cavernous inside. My somewhat limited CD collection of Rock music does not allow me to explore the potential of my system. Listening to Electronic, Reggae, Dance/House music or ElectroSwing does and I'm really grateful for Qobuz and the like for these opportunities. I have never been more obsessed with listening to music now, it's like being a kid again as Kingbr says above.

Got to go, system is calling .....