The problem with labels

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In yesterday’s post, I started our thread about building the next step up from an entry-level system, the mid-level. I immediately ran into trouble.

As soon as we slap a label on a system generated from a laundry list of kit, we make a judgment. It’s likely we’ve never heard the system—yet we judge it—a rather unfair proposition.

Since we can’t audition every permutation of system generated from a list of equipment, we’re stuck with having to come up with some acceptable metric of categorization. It won’t be perfect.

Let’s define our mid-level system by (ugh) price. It’s the only safe way to get us where we want to go. And I will set the upper limit at $12K.

The first question we need to ask ourselves is the same we started with in the entry-level. What do we hope to achieve with our systems?

Here’s my answer. If I am going to spend anything over $5K for a system, it had damn well better get not have any glaring faults.

Here would be my laundry list of gotta haves:

  • Full range, 20Hz to 20kHz at my seat
  • Speakers disappear – the music is presented without attachment to the speakers, in a well-defined soundstage behind the speakers
  • I don’t notice the tweeter
  • I can play any source that interests me

That’s where we’ll start tomorrow.