9 UGLY TRUTHS ABOUT HIGH END AUDIO - is there any more?

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Yogesh

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Colour of music is a very personal preference and Fletcher Munson curves with its later enhancements prove that each ear hears the same music differently.

Trying to hear it as the original artist/Sound music director intended is the nirvana most of us strive for , within limitations of rooms/content and budgets.

Of course..anyone can choose to ( and many do) enjoy music out of the standard earphones that one with phones itself. The idea of our hobby is to see how much more we can coax out of the music by means of components, acoustics and tweaks and thats why we visit forums ie to learn what more can be done to better it.
The hobby being subjective, It's not even desired by many to listen as intended by Artist. What all one desires is to listen in one's preferred colour.
 

bhooshaniyer

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I agree it’s a good resource. It’s just not the final authority on sound quality that it’s fans make it out to be. The same holds true for a range of audio review sites. The same issues that other review sites have about hazy commercial engagements and biases also apply here.

on the linearity vs noise question, the both could be equally important or, depending on the application, one could be more important than the other. Pretending that a single combined noise and distortion variable captures everything about measured sound quality is misleading
I think we agree on the fact that no resource be final authority on audio science as its really not science. Its at the boundary because faithful reproduction may or may not be the technical goal. What i have observed is that ASR ratings work fairly well as pointer or trend indication of a products positioning with the exception of toppings ratings be so high most other ratings seem rather in line with mainstream expertise. The rest of the scepticism of their rating seems to stem from relative positioning issues. (like i have both a and b... I swear b is better but asr rates a to be higher)
 

arj

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The hobby being subjective, It's not even desired by many to listen as intended by Artist. What all one desires is to listen in one's preferred colour.
Almost every hobby is subjective and if you are knowledgeable and happy in first understanding what the neutral is and then in the deviation from it then you have almost reached the end state

Colour or in other words deviation from mastering is only one part. Personally while i have liked it in the beginning but then come to realize those master musicians of the past are so good that I was missing so much . a change in Timbre of music can happen not just due to equipment colouration it can also happen due to Harmonic content either being cut out or being distorted and every equipment has it just that its gets very complex to manage it and hence very often gets translated into cost to improve on that.

Again nothing wrong in loving what you have but nothing is lost and and you just try to become knowledgable and learn what is missing and how you can make it better. That perhaps is the difference between 99.9% of the people who buy a stereo system and those who join an audio forum to try and enhance it further.
 

Yogesh

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Almost every hobby is subjective and if you are knowledgeable and happy in first understanding what the neutral is and then in the deviation from it then you have almost reached the end state

Colour or in other words deviation from mastering is only one part. Personally while i have liked it in the beginning but then come to realize those master musicians of the past are so good that I was missing so much . a change in Timbre of music can happen not just due to equipment colouration it can also happen due to Harmonic content either being cut out or being distorted and every equipment has it just that its gets very complex to manage it and hence very often gets translated into cost to improve on that.

Again nothing wrong in loving what you have but nothing is lost and and you just try to become knowledgable ind learn what is missing and how you can make it better. that perhaps is the difference between 99.9% of the people who buy a stereo system and those who join an audio forum to try and enhance it further.
Yes. Becoming more knowledgeable is always welcome. The only point I wanted to make was most people with varied degree of knowledge have their own preferences/sensitivity. One who has sensitivity differing to sensitivity of artist may want to listen differently. E.g. Listener with sensitivity to brightness may want to listen to differently than Artist with bright tolerant sensitivity.
 

arj

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I get what you are saying..and again if the intent is to be happy with the system one has, nothing wrong with it

If by bright you mean the hot treble or sharp mids then there is really no Artist or instrument making music which is bright..unless there is a flaw or it is a short burst for effect which will never be harsh.

Recordings can be bright sometimes and very rarely the mastering as well butIts usually the pressing especially in some CD pressing : Nothing much you can do here other than getting a better recording and if all ones content is like this get a speaker which can roll it off. there are tweaks like paper towels to absorb this energy ( usually 2khz region)

Equipment can make it bright - This is the most common issue I have seen so far and most of the time it is the source component but speakers/amps can also do it. Makes more sense to fix it nearer to the source..many folks go about it wrong here and end up with unoptimised systems . eg if your CDP/DAC is causing the problem getting a rolled off speaker is not the solution, you are only making it worse by adding a distortion on a distortion and now you will never be able to figure out other issues which can creep up like harmonics getting cut off or even room or cable issues and usually fall into one rabbit hole after another. Worst of all lot of wasted time and money which could have been averted by an easier fix.
Speakers which do not reproduce harmonics and cut if off also can make sound bright .

Medical conditions to the listener can make it brighter: unfortunate reality and hopefully rare.
 

bhooshaniyer

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Messages
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Location
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Almost every hobby is subjective and if you are knowledgeable and happy in first understanding what the neutral is and then in the deviation from it then you have almost reached the end state

Colour or in other words deviation from mastering is only one part. Personally while i have liked it in the beginning but then come to realize those master musicians of the past are so good that I was missing so much . a change in Timbre of music can happen not just due to equipment colouration it can also happen due to Harmonic content either being cut out or being distorted and every equipment has it just that its gets very complex to manage it and hence very often gets translated into cost to improve on that.

Again nothing wrong in loving what you have but nothing is lost and and you just try to become knowledgable and learn what is missing and how you can make it better. That perhaps is the difference between 99.9% of the people who buy a stereo system and those who join an audio forum to try and enhance it further.
Nothing wrong in your attempt to follow the trajectory of original mastering as much as there is nothing wrong in following an adjacent trajectory. I understand and accept your need to constantly feel that your are chasing that ultimate sound of what the musicians intended, even though they are never gonna rise from the grave to tell you. It keeps the mystery and hobby alive. There is nothing wrong in this approach. Its like summit climbs. People have different objectives- some just love the company at base camp, some are disoriented and mumbling, some hit the summit and keep moving on. Sherpas don't care much about the view. They just know how to get there. It takes a village.

I get what you are saying..and again if the intent is to be happy with the system one has, nothing wrong with it

If by bright you mean the hot treble or sharp mids then there is really no Artist or instrument making music which is bright..unless there is a flaw or it is a short burst for effect which will never be harsh.

Recordings can be bright sometimes and very rarely the mastering as well butIts usually the pressing especially in some CD pressing : Nothing much you can do here other than getting a better recording and if all ones content is like this get a speaker which can roll it off. there are tweaks like paper towels to absorb this energy ( usually 2khz region)

Equipment can make it bright - This is the most common issue I have seen so far and most of the time it is the source component but speakers/amps can also do it. Makes more sense to fix it nearer to the source..many folks go about it wrong here and end up with unoptimised systems . eg if your CDP/DAC is causing the problem getting a rolled off speaker is not the solution, you are only making it worse by adding a distortion on a distortion and now you will never be able to figure out other issues which can creep up like harmonics getting cut off or even room or cable issues and usually fall into one rabbit hole after another. Worst of all lot of wasted time and money which could have been averted by an easier fix.
Speakers which do not reproduce harmonics and cut if off also can make sound bright .

Medical conditions to the listener can make it brighter: unfortunate reality and hopefully rare.
There is also nothing wrong in being unhappy with the system you have and wanting to constantly to change it and see if there is some improvement. Its your money and you are welcome to buy all the gear and keep pursuing it. Not everyone is unhappy.For the moment. They enjoy the view. Then they may realize after more experience that there are better vistas. But it happens in time. But the person who was happy thought every stop was the summit. Over all I think this persons journey was more pleasurable.

On bright music.... I dont think artist is relevant here at all. Only source material. As long as source materials l bright, it is bright. Period . One can get DACs which smoothen out the rough edges to make them more pleasing. Choosing that DAC knowing lot of your source material is bright is wisdom and I appreciate that. In my opinion people access forums for various reasons, one of the reasons newbies access forums is to either validate choices or fill gaps.
 
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