Should stereo systems be revealing?

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When we assemble a high-performance audio system are we looking primarily for musical truth or maximum pleasure? Most would answer both, but it makes me wonder where our focus lies.

I am obligated to lean more towards the quest for musical truth because most of my listening is focused on maximizing product performance—ensuring broad appeal on a wide variety of system types. To do this work I use a bevy of favorite musical tracks assembled for both their challenge as well as variety.

Over the years I have published my list of reference tracks in these very posts, and I reprint them here. If you start at the beginning link you’ll see some duplicated in later posts.

http://www.psaudio.com/pauls-posts/pauls-picks/

http://www.psaudio.com/pauls-posts/my-music/

http://www.psaudio.com/pauls-posts/more-music/

http://www.psaudio.com/pauls-posts/last-of-the-list/

http://www.psaudio.com/pauls-posts/more-music-from-paul/

How about you? Should your system be revealing enough to expose poorly recorded music for what it is—thus elevating the great at the expense of the poor, or sweetened to the point of playing back everything enjoyably—thus elevating none?

It’s a good question, one I explore further in this latest video.