production or reproduction

all components are imperfect, i.e., each has a sonic signature which can be identified after some duration of careful listening.

while many embrace neutrality or attempt to minimize the audibility of a sonic signature as their goal when configuring a stereo system, after one's best efforts, all stereo systems will exhibit some "color".

why not accept the fact that a stereo system has some "flavor", and therefore, select your favorite?

less color is not intrinsically better than more coloration. rather it is the conventional wisdom and opinion of many audiophiles that a consistent sonic signature is indicative of a less-than-ideal state of performance. however, since the goal of listening to music is pleasure and that the end result of our hobby is entertainment, coloration may not be so important.

since all stereo systems are imperfect reproducers of a recording, they are producers of something other than the
recording itself.

why try to achieve perfect reproduction when it doesn't exist ?
I don't want my Prime Rib to taste like Ahi Ahi, my milk to taste like Macon Blanc, nor my strawberries to taste like peppermint(though I appreciate them all). I appreciate truth and honesty in relationships(interpersonal, business, etc), and I don't find artificiality/hype amusing or entertaining in the least(regardless of the circumstance). I listen to an average of 10 hours of live music(Jazz, Blues, etc) a week, and want my home system to sound as much like live musicians, playing real instruments, in an actual acoustic, as possible. Of course- I understand that tastes/preferences/expectations/opinions vary, and how boring this world would be if they didn't. Still, to me, absolutes DO exist. I suppose, in your perfect world, they wouldn't.
I agree with you Mrtennis. I know my system is far from neutral and uncolored and that has never been my goal. My goal has been to have a satisfying system that sounds good to me playing the jazz and other genres I like.
You say potato, and I say................
Live performances of the same music also vary depending on the ensemble, performance space, seat location, etc.
02-15-09: Viridian
You say potato, and I say................

C'mon Viridian......don't leave me hanging like that......what say you?????
don't worry, be happy...........

No offense to Mt T, but this topic has grown quite stale in recent years, has it not?
there is no wrong when it comes to music reproduction. OTOH if one chooses to pursue musical truth and something resembling the way live acoustical music really sounds then you need to pursue neutrality in a room, speakers, amps, preamps, and cables.

neutrality can be the result of having pieces of gear which have complimentary colors; or having gear which is all near neutral. there is no one way. synergy is what is essential.

only then can you have a way to judge how close sources and software come to your ideal. some software needs a bit of color to come alive; so ideally you would have multiple sources which compliment various flavors of software.

if the front end (room, speakers, amps, preamp, cables) is colored; one would become quite limited in what software would end up sounding special (which i have often observed in systems) end up just listening to a narrow type of music that works in the system. there is nothing wrong with that if it is intentional. but there is a wide world of music out there.
Mr Tennis, I think you'll find the most often stated advice throughout this forum can be paraphrased as "listen and then choose what you most like the sound of". For some reason you seem to infer that the advice here could be paraphrased as "buy the most neutral equipment, regardless of whether you enjoy the sound"!

I have one system which is tube based with speakers clearly having a midrange lift. It is an unquestionably coloured, but I love the presentation of this system on female vocals and jazz and that's why I chose it. I also have a less coloured ss system and I prefer this for classical music as well as most rock music.

I have no problems, however, with equipment manufacturers who aspire to achieve "perfect reproduction" (perfect neutrality) whether it is achievable or not. If I don't like how it sounds, I won't buy it. Or maybe I would and if I want the option of colouration, I can always find a 1980's graphic equaliser to satisy this need.
I'm not searching for perfection, I just like getting a good rush every now and again.
I think that the whole discussion is couched in the wrong terms. "Coloration" is a euphimism for distortion. As our own Bobby Riggs points out, all systems have it. All are, in fact, distorted. The meter readers would simply say that the system with the lower measured distortion is the more accurate. But that really looks at the problem in a vacuum and does not take into account individual hearing and pschoacoustics. What do I mean? Well, let's take two amps, both are the same, but one has .8% second harmonic distortion and the other has .06% seventh harmonic distortion. The first amp is clearly the more accurate. Well hold on here, as Jean Hiraga pointed out, even small amounts of higher order distortion can be much more jarring to the ear than much larger amounts of lower order distortion. We are not even looking at IM yet which, unlike harmonic distortion, is not harmonically related to the fundamental and is then, by definition, amusical. In the end, we pick the distortions that we, as individuals, find to be most consonant with the fabric of the music. So, given that all systems are distorted, we pick the distortions that most closely hew to our inner paradigm of what music should sound like. I don't believe that this is a vote for coloration in systems, it is merely chooseing the distortions that we find least offensive.
hi viridian:

the term term "accurate" cannot be used in a comparative sense. a stereo system is either accurate or it is not.

in fact all stereo systems are in accurate. you can say one stereo system is less inaccurate than another, or one stereo system is more colored than another.

coloration is multidimensional. it is based upon more than just frequency response.
the term "accurate" cannot be used in a comparative sense. a stereo system is either accurate or it is not.

in fact all stereo systems are in accurate. you can say one stereo system is less inaccurate than another, or one stereo system is more colored than another.

If you can say "one stereo system is less inaccurate than another" the opposite is equally true (one system is more accurate than the other) which sounds very much like the term "accurate" is being used in a comparitive sense!
Hen's don't waste your time, we are clearly more interested in English lessons than ideas here.
MrT, I am now convinced more than ever that you are not a music lover, you are an equipment-o-phile. You always seem to focus on gear, and never seem to be tapping your toes.

'Talking' with you is just a waste of time, as you are an antagonist by nature. Any thread you start makes me feel as if I've just walked in the door of a Monty Python "Argument Skit".

That's not true....yes it it's not....yes it is.....Now you're not arguing, you're just contradicting I'm not....yes you I'm not...yes you are, look, you just did it I didn't.....yes you did, there, you just did it I didn't.....yes you did......

One feels just like a dog chasing his own tail....what's the point?
I don't want to argue about metal boxes and links, I just want to wash myself in the soothing, flowing music. Stop being so ANALytical and just ENJOY some music for a change.

why try to achieve perfect reproduction when it doesn't exist ?

Could not agree more. Besides if "reproduction" is imperfect then it simply the best excuse to practice it that much more often! (headaches not withstanding)