Live vs. hifi

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The basis for the magazine's name: The Absolute Sound, was coined by its founder, Harry Pearson. It refers to his personal standard of evaluating hi fi equipment: to reproduce sound compared to the "absolute sound"; defined as the sound of live, unamplified music. Indeed, that's a good absolute reference.

But what of the Audiophile sound? Sometimes characterized by big, overblown systems with too much of everything: over-etched details, depth not found in real-life recordings; out of proportion, compared to the aforementioned absolute sound. The "real deal".

Should we ignore or embrace the two examples? After all, watching a sporting event live is not the same as watching it amplified by a television with closeup views and commentary, never experienced live.

Which one is better? Can we honestly suggest one should be avoided while the other coveted and sought after?

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Paul McGowan

Founder & CEO

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