"It doesn't impress you at first..."

Hey everyone,

Have you noticed how the above analysis has been a staple in professional audio reviews? I've read so many times that item x won't impress me instantly, but that as I live with it, I'll begin to appreciate "the little things" it does that make it amazing.

Personally, my goal is to get as close to the sound of live music as I can. When I get close, I know it. Instantly. "Living" with a component has never changed my gut instinct about it. If I have to sit there and analyze the sound, thinking about the mid-bass and the PRaT and the soundstage, to me that means something's wrong. If I love a component, I generally know within the first 10 seconds.

I'm sure many people do things totally differently and are very happy with their own methods. What do you think?
I once bought a pair of speakers that hooked me on how fabulous they sounded with one particular record. Turned out that was the only record they sounded good with. After a week of trying, I threw myself on the mercy of the dealer and he took them back. Since then I haven't made the mistake of "trusting my ears" that way. Dave
There are two reasons I think why this warning is true:

1. It is possible to engineer features into components, especially speakers, that will impress upon first hearing but become irritating over time. Exaggerated treble or bass will make a speaker stand out and seem more full of life but this becomes evident as a problem over time.

2. Some of the more important qualities of a component apparently really take time to notice and appreciate.

The first time I shopped for high end speakers, I did a quick a/b comparison among several, maybe five pairs. I was able to quickly eliminate one pair, the Gale 401-c, and focus on the others. But on subsequent visits to that store, I realized that the Gale was FAR more lifelike and nuanced than the other speakers, it seriously outclassed them. But these qualities just don't jump out at you, you need time to appreciate them. I bought them and got great joy out of them for over a decade.

And it was funny how friends would come to appreciate my stereo, really love to listen to music on my stereo, but rarely take serious note of it upon first hearing.

Howie Thanks!!! Can't remember ANY post that hits it on the head like that one!! The value of the growth and learning process can't be overstated.
My memory of live music was of wind and mud and stuff- a woman screeching. Everyone was wandering around. Nothing I have listened to since has really captured it.