Live vs. canned

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I was reminded of an experiment I recently performed. While at the New York City Met, 7th row from the orchestra with a live performance of the opera Turandot on stage, I closed my eyes for perhaps 30 seconds to try the reverse of what I do in the listening room and I found the experience illuminating. In the listening room, I often close my eyes to remove visual distractions and wonder how close to live is this? At the Met, I closed my eyes and asked the opposite. How close to my stereo system is this? The answer surprised me. In both venues I am enveloped in the music. Check. In the Met, the stage goes back 90 feet and when some of the singers are that far back, the depth is nothing short of extraordinary, far exceeding anything I have ever heard in my system. Curses. In both venues the dynamics without compression came close to being the same. This is a subject near and dear to me, for rarely do I hear systems whose dynamics are not somewhat compressed. Once I had installed DirectStream and The BHK suite of electronics, the impressive dynamics only the IRSV–and its 120 individual drivers–can deliver, has finally been realized. Check. Only in the Met did the music truly sound live. In my system it is so recording dependent (duh) that only on occasion can I be fooled. Curses. It's an interesting contrast and one you should try the next live performance you attend.
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Paul McGowan

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