What stereo equipment do respected musicians listen to?

With all the debate on this piece of equipment is better than that, it got me to thinking… What setup do well respected musicians have, e.g. amps, speakers, etc.  What does Wynton Marsalis listen to, for example?  Just curious and thought it might be a fun topic. 


Agree with @pesky_wabbit

"generally, whatever is at hand, they tend to have an ability to hear through the shortcomings of very ordinary systems explain nuances in performances that most people would fail to detect"


I’m pretty sure most committed musicians learn early on to simply take all their musical cues from life, not the recording. For them, that’s the wellspring of its creation: the sheer, in-person Sound of it...live sound from live instruments...I don’t think it could be any other way for them really - in their work they always have to consider how their music sounds live first. No point in relying on a facsimile to recreate the real thing when you’ve already got the real thing.

So when they’re listening to a rig, for them practically speaking it’s not much more than a placeholder, an index, but in their own heads it’s their musical ’memory’ of a live event or sound that’s being accessed. They might think of the rig as more just a useful tool for composition than for appreciation I think.

Again, in their work, it’s their associative memory of live musical sound itself that is their primary stock in trade.

The musicians are the flip side of the audiophile experience. The pro guys are the go-between.



I have heard this as well and was also told that us individuals would hate the sound from these speakers in our systems. Be aware that they are listening to raw single tracks of individual instruments. We are listening to a mixed result of those tracks and instruments. Most ATC monitors in a home system will sound bad. It will reveal the mix and not sound what we are use to. The end product we get is mixed to try and account for every type of media or system it could be played on. This final mix is a huge compromise that ATC monitors will reveal..

My ATC's sound GREAT in my house! I did pick the SCM35's over the 20's when I bought them, thinking they presented a richer, more lifelike presentation with equally good imaging.

Just a note, professional studio monitors and that ilk have a different set of design parameters entirely. Near field and hear all the details.


A novice audiophile is frequently seduced by details and slam at the expense of musicality.

More experienced audiophiles tend to become more engaged with all aspects of the recreated sound… rhythm and pace / musicality and proportion around the different characteristics of sound (detail / bass / slam).