Love music or HiFi?

April 8, 2021
 by Paul McGowan

18 comments on “Love music or HiFi?”

    1. Yeah FR, I also see myself as being passionate about both. In fact, over the years I’ve observed that each side incestuously serves the other! 🙂

    2. Yup. I’m Piggybacking off that response. I now see it as a whole. Once you know how good your music can sound there is no going back. Hi-Fi and the love of music go hand in hand. Ignorance is not bliss in this regard. 😉

  1. I have found two kinds of listening. For audio listening, frequently with audio buddies, the listening is more analytical, focused on how a certain piece of gear, or the whole system, handles certain challenging passages of music that we know well. For music listening, it’s all about following musical thought, and the performance quality of that thought. This type of listening is totally immersive and my preference, And yes, we switch back and forth.

  2. MUSIC!
    All of these sparkling devices and imposing speakers that I’ve seen and heard in so many systems are little more than tools to me. For me they should serve the music. But I often had the impression that the music had more to serve the installations. Am I the only one who notices that installations often look like altars, whereby the purpose of the music reproduction has to take a back seat and the presentation of the “devotional objects” comes to the fore?

    Sometimes there is even a competition among the “audiophiles”. You have just seen the new “best power cable” at a friend’s house. That will be countered in the next month with the latest best power cable in ones own system.

    In this way they rock each other up and totally forget what it’s actually about – MUSIC!

    1. I am with you on this one. I am fascinated by the technology, but it is all about the music. I have my system to one side, almost invisible, and only the iPad connected to the server available for music choice, plus the little remote for volume of the DAC/pre.
      The equipment is just a tool. There are people fascinated about skis, I just like to ski. Others love to talk about cars, I just use them to take me somewhere. Even though I am fascinated by a Porsche Targa 911, it is not for me.

        1. FR
          Measurements are there to improve the tools and to gain further knowledge.
          This distinguishes the artistic process of musical creation, which requires intuition and a feeling for musical contexts, from the technical reproduction of the same, which requires technical know-how and hand tools. This has nothing to do with meauring music.
          These quibbles on your part do not help in any way.

        2. Mr. Fat Rat,
          Do you ever have any interesting observation to make?
          Or are you purposely moronic in your comments.
          If you are trying to show how moronic you can be, your are succeeding beyond expectations. Very good job at it.

          Mr. Bernd is correct in his assessment.

  3. Here ya’ go: About a year ago I sent Scott a system pic and a Rant. My Celestion 5000’s and STAX L300 are ‘similar’ so I know the speakers are Great etc.
    Then I went on for too long about Music… something like this: Here Ya’ Go:

    The Real Problem with Stereo is finding new music in the age of harmonizers and sampling and booty booty booty… Buying Stereo is Easy. Rather like a super-car in The Anthropocene’s traffic jam.

    Jazz is deader than all those originals that Universal torched.
    Grunge committed suicide. Sarah McL sang her neurotic diary… Drake too can kiss my ass. So can Arcade Fire.
    The answer is Blowin’ in the Wind. Still waiting for the next ‘All Along the Watchtower’. Bob Dylan but played by Jimi. But ‘I Can’t Get No Satisfaction’.
    Or the next ’21st Century Schizoid Man’. I say: Bit of shock; What ?
    “Wake Up Niggers” by The Last Poets RULES ‘rap’. Indictments w/o whining .
    “My Life in the Bush of Ghosts” Byrne and Eno nailed it: Talking Heads ruled.
    Just for kicks; The Allman’s; improvising ‘Elizabeth Reid’ and dammit – this jammin’ improv is not heard much anymore.

    Did you see John McLaughlin’s Last US concert with Jimmy Herring 2017 ? Bye bye and off to India and Monaco …For Good. The most successful guitar career ever. Period.

    Oh yeah: Ry Cooder. All the way from 1970’s movie ‘Performance’ with The Stones, Randy Newman, Buffy Ste Marie And The Last Poets. Fifty years of excellent history: I; FLATHEAD. excellent.

    I am Tidaling. I have found “How to Play the Flute’ by Maklemore and King Draino. In an ocean full of jelly-fish and a melted arctic This is a Great Video.

    Zappa. Zappa.Zappa… Use Picasso, Stravinski and Zappa in the same sentence and Mean It. The more I find the better Frank gets.
    Here are two Recent Reasons why:
    (ps: Tyler Bartram’s take on Montana )

    Oh yeah Here is another reason: Hot Rats: Remember Hot Rats… Genius into legend… at least in 1967.

    Dweezil Zappa is a true burning light in the world of Modern Concert Productions. Real Music written by a Real Composer and played by Real musicians. I have seen ZPZ at least ten times and Every time I know I am seeing something from the Realm of the Greats and you can name anyone from Oscar and Ella to Elvis to Jim and Jimi. If you have any health, family, relationship problems; this band will fix ’em. And it’s a three hour show. Boy; did Dweeze step up !

    You may think this rant is a bit ‘subjective’ if so Let’s Play Music Poker. Perhaps the real problem with Music is Attention Span.

    1. Sigh “ it’s all been done before”.
      Finding something that lights you up is uncommon.
      I offer Hiromi. “Fascinating rhythm” on YouTube as a taste.

  4. I have been thinking about this kind of a thing, long and hard.
    Looking back over the years when I became an Audiophile, I’ve noticed one common thread with Audiophile manufacturers in genirol.
    They all voice their speakers and amplifiers for their favored kind of music.
    My question is, how do you know what kind of music your customer is gonna listen to, on your product or products?
    I’m getting ready to go back in to that field, and I want to do it right this time around.
    So right now, I’m trying to figure out how to fine tune a system, any system to sound good with any kind of music.
    Even if I don’t like some of the music.
    I’m already doing this, but when you stop to think about it, everybody is different.
    And with that fact in mind, everybody has a different kind of music that they like.
    For instance, I am a lover of jazz.
    But not everybody likes jazz.
    A lot of the people that live around me, some of them being family members of mine, like hip hop and wrap.
    But as for me, I can’t stand todays hip hop and wrap.
    But if they come to me wanting a system that sounds good with that kind of music, that’s exactly what I’m gonna deliver to them.
    What I’m talking about here, is thinking outside of the box.
    Paul, if I’m wrong about what I’m about to say, then please correct me!
    I don’t believe that there is a company anywhere in this world that takes this kind of thing in to consideration.

  5. I love food but I don’t like it if its not prepared the way I like it. I love music but I love it much more through a great sound system than through a system that alters the way it should sound in a negative way. Its why we love live music. The recording process is very important too and that’s not easy to get right either as Paul has learned with his adventure with Octave Records.

  6. I especially enjoyed reading these threads. I played in a symphony orchestra for years and I’m used to hearing music surrounded by other instruments. As this is impossible to achieve in a sound system at least probably anywhere near my budget I can only hope to find something that has transparency and clarity and a soundstageThat doesn’t sit flat across the wall. It’s probably somewhat ironic if I want to sound system to sound like I’m in the orchestra I would probably end up paying more money then I made my entire orchestral career.

    1. While that’s true bassdan it doesn’t have to be. There are giant killer sound systems out there that can be had for much less than the most expensive systems on earth if you zero in on those components by researching and listening to them. You can save additional money by buying them on the used market. There are many audiophiles parting with great sounding components at reasonable prices because they want the latest new toy or because of system mismatching with other components or their room and sometimes they end up with sellers regret at their cost and your gain.

      1. Good afternoon Joe!
        You nailed it, right on the head man!
        I’m telling you this because, you are so correct!
        I see this kind of a thing, just about everyday.
        And I don’t know where that other guy was going with what he said.
        But all I was saying is, the Audiophile manufacturers voice their speakers and amplifiers around the kind of music they like.
        But if you play something else other then the kind of music they’ve voiced their equipment for, then the music just won’t sound right at all.
        As I also said in my post, I am a lover of jazz.
        But what I didn’t say about jazz music is, Mcintosh equipment sounds better with jazz then other high end equipment that I’ve ever heard.
        Carry Audio and Sunfire are running a second close on that with Mcintosh.
        But what if you like pop hard rock or hip hop?
        And also, you’ve spent tens of thousands of dollars to buy a really grate system, only to find out, that your kind of music doesn’t sound right on it.
        What are you gonna do about that problem?
        When it comes right down to the wire, the companies don’t care about you and your needs.
        All they care about, is making the money.
        All I wish to do, is change that about audio.
        I’m not trying to add something to something that doesn’t belong there.
        And I’m not trying to take anything away from it either.
        When you take a close look at the whole entire big audio picture, you’ll see that the people that listens to hard rock hip hop and even country music, they are kind of left out.
        The high end industry, does not cater to those groups of people.
        That’s why you see them in chane department stores like Walmart Kmart and Target buying cheep stereo systems.
        Some of them have told me, “high end stereo equipment doesn’t sound too good with the kind of music that I like to listen to.”
        That’s why I have a very strong desire to change that for the rest of us in audio.
        Like I also said, I mite not like the kind of music that I may have to use to tune up a system, but I will be more then happy to do it.
        That is, if I want to make money off of it.
        But I will always put the people first.
        That’s my mottle.

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