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Here's a short riff on clarity and how it is achieved in a high end audio system.

One school of thought is the do no harm approach. That the lower the distortion—or anything that deviates from the original—the more clear your view into the music will be.

And that makes sense on the surface, though there's more than a few potential clouds lurking about. For example, something as simple as your seating position—on axis or off axis—can dramatically impact the clarity of what you're hearing. And let's not forget the room and its additions and subtractions to the audio (this is true in both live and reproduced venues).

Another school of thought is the synergistic approach: accepting that there's so much affecting ones' ability to get a clear listen that it's better to accept the shortcomings and do what you can to maximize the good stuff and minimize the cloudy stuff.

I lean more towards the latter rather than the former (with the understanding that there are no glaring problems in either approach).

In the end we'll each do what works best.

I just wanted to be clear about that. 

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Paul McGowan

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