"detail" enjoyable inversely related?

I have heard many references to this or that being too "analytical" or detailed.The next line usually contrasts that to another product which seems mor eenjoyable or real or any one of a bunch of adjectives that usually mean better in a subjective way.
So is there truly an inverse relationship here? I mean how can something be too detailed? If it is in the music shouldn't I get to hear and should that lead to commensurate enjoyment to being there? Or is there a loss of musicality in the struggle for detail?
I wish I could one day sit in on a live recording session (maybe the one in the cowboy junkie's garage?) to see what is really there. the only problem there is the same strange feeling you get when you are at a live sporting event and you kind of imagine that the instant replay will right away pop up so it is ok if you go get a dog and a beer! I mean at a live event (just like in our regular lives) there is no instant replay and we can't keep replaying the same passage or event over and over. So what then is our audio goal?
I say it varies.....and that is why I NEED more and more equipment!
i feel that to much detail kills the music. tas had a writer comment on a live show of diana krall at carnige hall. he could not hear the individual instruments the sound was all blended. so are we searching for the live moment? do we want to hear exactly as the microphone does? or do we just like to by a lot of cool gear? to each his own....but their should be a 12 step program for this hobby.
I think that "overtly detailed" gear seems to rob the music of "prat" somehow. You tend to listen more "into" the music than to the music itself. This could be why people describe systems as being "detailed" or "musical" even though sometimes they are referring to the tonal balance also. I think most of us are looking for something that is quite detailed but not to the point of distracting yourself from the musicality of the performance or system itself. One of those ever illusive "fine lines". Sean
One should bear in mind that there is live music and recorded music and never the twain shall meet. In a live classical music concert, for instance, there really isn't much separation, depth, pin-point imaging nor detail. To really re-create the live experience, one would need small speakers surrounding the listening chair. These speakers, driven by separate tracks, would reproduce the sounds of coughing, programs being rustled, candy being unwrapped, stage whispers, beepers, cell 'phones ringing (to the tune of "Dixie") and the like. To really re-create the live experience, a servo-controlled boxing glove should be installed on the back of the listening chair to simulate the person behind you kicking your seat, followed by "excuse me" emanating from one of the rear speakers. To enjoy the hobby, be amazed that cones, ribbons, Mylar panels and aluminum cones can reproduce the sound of a three hundred year old violin or a Steinway concert grand as well as they do. It's much better for one's mental health. Don
There is no such thing as too much detail; if true accuracy and musicality are the goals. Not only are accuracy and musicality NOT mutually exclusive, but you can't have one without the other. The problem is that the so called detail is often a distortion, often an accentuation, usually in the upper frequencies, that causes images in recorded music to sound too etched and aggressive.

Elgordo, I respectfully disagree with your comment that live music is not very detailed. There is a wealth of information in a live music event that even the best sound systems fail miserably trying to retrieve. I just don't get the often touted idea that "good" sound systems image or do detail better than a live performance; it's simply not possible. We audiophiles often point out, and correctly so, that the human ear is far more sensitive than any electronic instrument, including microphones; so, any extra detail heard from a sound system has to be a distortion if it was not heard at the original event. The tonal and harmonic content of the sound of most acoustic, and electronic for that matter, instruments is so rich and complex, that most record/playback equipment does, in absolute terms, only a fair job of capturing. That is why there is no substitute for extensive exposure to the sound of live music to be able to judge fairly, how well or poorly, electronics "detail". And this does not apply only to acoustic instruments. Talk to electric guitar players about the different tonal attributes of certain 6L6 tubes, for example, and you realize that those individual tonal qualities and subtleties, although not as complex as those of say, an acoustic violin, are every bit as fragile in the context of the record/playback process. As far as imaging goes, listen to the incredible specificity of the triangle in the percussion section of an orchestra; I have never heard a system that does it quite like that. The way that it jumps out at you with some systems is just not natural. One of the first things that a young instrumentalist learns from a teacher is that if he/she is playing the upper, or higher pitched, line in a composition, that part should be played a little softer than the lower part. By virtue of being higher pitched, that musical part or line will be perceived by the listener as being played louder; not necessarily a good thing. It is then easy to see (hear) why "accuracy" in a sound system usually means bright and with too much detail.

My theory about why live music is often perceived by audiophiles as "less" detailed than recorded music is this high frequency distortion issue, and also that at a live event, there is the inevitable distraction of richer emotional content due to the presence of real, live human beings making music. Many audiophiles, sometimes unwittingly, focus more on the technical aspects of music listening, and less on the emotional aspects. A performer has to open up emotionally on a very deep level to be credible; the listener also has to open up emotionally in order to appreciate this.