The “They are here” vs “You are there” sound topic

Hi all,

I want to start a topic about the “They are here” vs “You are there” type of sound. I have read that different audiophiles usually fall in one of either categories, but what does it actually mean? So here a few questions:

- what is the definition of “They are here” vs “You are there” in your opinion?
- what is the main difference in sound? E.g. soundstage
- which kind of sound do you prefer?
- which type of speakers fall in one or the other category in your opinion?
- what type of sources, amplifiers or even cables fall in one or the other category in your opinion?

For instance, I believe the Esoteric products from Japan fall in the they are here type of sound. Do you feel the same?
1. You are there is when the recording environment is reproduced (or the Illusion thereof).   2. They are here is when the recording is very dry and you hear nothing but the instruments and voices as if they were in your living room. Only the living room provides any ambience. THIS is what I prefer.  I do not want to hear an acoustic guitar as if it was recorded in a church (whether that is actually the case or a simulation).  I want to hear that guitar as if it is actually in my living room. 

As for speakers.  Well in my opinion British monitors say from ProAc or Rogers, Celestion etc give me the You are there experience.   Klipsch Legacy speakers give me more of a They are here experience. 

I really do not like much if any reverb, natural or artificial. 
I am you and you are me and we are all together. We are the Eggmen. 🥚 🥚 🥚 I am the Eggman. 🥚 

Sorry about that. I think that was my round-about way of saying that like a lot of people, I had just assumed the 'you are there' or 'they are here' was more or less 'baked into' the gear somehow. The fact that it changed on me from one to the other after my gear was set up, just on account of adding more power treatments alone, showed me it could be influenced, even without changing anything else in the system...maybe not 'baked in' after all??
A live recording, such as Harry Belafonte, Live at Carnegie Hall ( a fave of mine ), creates an " I am there " experience, placing me very close to the stage. Another fave, ( of which I was present on one of those nights ), is The Allman Bros. Live at the Fillmore East. Puts me 1/3rd mid hall, but again, I am there. Understanding, that I am here, in my listening room, is a testament, that if I can be moved, and transported, to the performance ( I am there ), tells me, my system is doing what it is supposed to do, specifically, for what I want it to do. Pretty much, all of the music I listen too, I have this same " sense ", if you will. As mentioned by someone above, this is, more or less, recording dependent, as reverb, hall ambiance, audience involvement ( clapping ), or even dryer studio recordings, can lessen this sense. Still, I am always there.
One of the reasons that sparked my interest to bring this topic up is, because the following has been mentioned in the first edition of this year’s the absolute sound, quote (from a Monitor Audio piece):

“Jonathan Valin has long written about three kinds of audiophiles:

1. those who seek “the absolute sound”—that is, the as-realistic-as-possible reproduction of the sound of acoustic instruments in a real space;

2. “fidelity to source” listeners who want the truth of what’s on the original mastertape or recording replicated as the engineers/artists intended;

3. “as you like it” listeners who care more about what sounds pleasing to their ears than meeting these other criteria…maybe they like a little bass boost or the warm, golden signature of a particular tube, for example.”

“Of course, such “fidelity to source” tendencies can reveal a recording’s finesse or flaws, whether it’s well-recorded or not especially so.”

“As far as minor points to critique, at times on good recordings even though resolution was high, the Gold 300s might not be the last word in realism (à la “the absolute sound”) or the oft-discussed speaker “disappearing act”—though for most listeners that won’t matter much. Certain instrumental layers would jump or stand out from others. It’s hard to put my finger on what the issue was, though it generally seemed to occur in the upper midrange. However, I only noticed this on certain recordings and the occasional projection of the upper mids did seem to diminish over time. Really this might only concern listeners who are seriously into realism…so it didn’t really bother me.

Soundstages thrown tended to offer good width and adequate depth—assuming the source material captured these things—though more height could have been desirable on certain recordings.”

“Especially if you appreciate or collect well-recorded material, the speaker can enable you to reap its rewards.”

So, for me, I am looking for the above mentioned

“realistic-as-possible reproduction of the sound of acoustic instruments in a real space” or the oft-discussed speaker “disappearing act”.

Which speakers besides the already mentioned ones do that in your opinion and/ or what have you heard lately at showrooms or audio shows that you really liked?