“Nice“ because better reproduced sound CAN improve one’s ability to hear deeper into the performance. However, this assumes that the audiophile’s sense of what is “better” relates to the sound of live music. Otherwise, all bets are off; and, in a misguided attempt to make one’s system sound more “accurate” one can actually reduce the ability to hear deeper into the music and not just deeper into sound.
“Nice” and not necessarily great, or necessary, because anyone who has any business being a “music critic” doesn’t really need anything beyond acceptable sound to make a good assessment of the musical merit of a performance. How well he is able to communicate this is a different story. Listen to the music on an old scratchy 78 rpm recording of Jascha Heifetz or Louis Armstrong. No problem whatsoever hearing the brilliance of their playing and how it might hold up compared to others’.
Still, great sound is a beautiful thing.