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Audiophile VS Musiphile - Your Thoughts?


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On 11/21/2018 at 4:59 PM, fas42 said:

What there is in high quality playback is emotional energy - but because the industry overall has never really understood the importance of this, we now have the dire situation where 'energy' is injected into the situation by "pumping up the volume!" ... a disaster, in every sense.

 

Why I am so revved at getting my message out, is because it sickens me that it is almost impossible for anyone to experience decent playback of music in public settings anymore. This is unacceptable!!! There is absolutely no reason that reproduction of recordings is typically so badly done, mutilating all the inherent emotional impact of what was recorded; because of the imbecilic, thick headed attitudes of the majority in the industry.

 

Trust me - and this is just one aspect of this issue:  

 

Recorded music sounded a lot better when '0' was only three-quarters up the scale of a meter, instead of all the way on top.  !

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The song/track is the most important thing to me. It triggers an emotional response in me. That emotional response is more intense if the listening equipment delivers the music to my ears in a way that I enjoy - something which may not be 'audiophile' in any way.

 

On a related note, I read a LOT of reviews of audio equipment and many mention the tracks that they used to evaluate the equipment. I've never heard of any of the tracks that I've seen mentioned. None at all. Recently I located a couple and listened to them for about 10 seconds each before I got bored of them. It doesn't matter how good a track is in terms of its recording quality - if the musicality of it doesn't appeal to me then I will never listen to it. In other words, I don't want my audio equipment to allow me to hear stuff in random songs that technically lesser equipment cannot distinguish. The song itself needs to make me switch off from the outside world and go through deep emotions.

 

So, in summary, the audio equipment, through trial and error, shapes the 'musicality' of the genre that I listen to to evoke the largest possible emotional response in me.

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17 hours ago, Taz777 said:

 

On a related note, I read a LOT of reviews of audio equipment and many mention the tracks that they used to evaluate the equipment. I've never heard of any of the tracks that I've seen mentioned. None at all. Recently I located a couple and listened to them for about 10 seconds each before I got bored of them. It doesn't matter how good a track is in terms of its recording quality - if the musicality of it doesn't appeal to me then I will never listen to it.

I think we all have that problem reading the reports because (1) reviewers are selected (or self-selected) based on their interest in the equipment and (2) you have selected to read their reports based on your interest in the equipment.    Recently, I read what seems to be a responsible and careful analysis of an interesting loudspeaker but I have no knowledge at all of any of his musical selections and, therefore, cannot translate his experiences into anything meaningful to me.

 

Keep looking.  I've found reviewers to whom I can relate.

Kal Rubinson

Senior Contributing Editor, Stereophile

 

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On 11/18/2018 at 1:40 PM, The_K-Man said:

 

I agree!  

 

And there are some big fat myths out there regarding live/concert/worship sound:

 

Dynamic processing(limiters, compressors) aren't used in reinforcement of live performances.  If anything, the live performance of popular and faith-based music is becoming increasingly more processed(equalized, dynamically processed) to a point approaching how recorded genres are in mastering.

 

When something is compressed and or limited, it can then have gain applied to it to make it much louder than it normally is in nature, and that's before the signal even gets near the final amplifier stage!  

 

 

I agree. Which brings up a point (a bit off topic one), is that sometimes music listening at home is not representative of a real performance. People (me included) would listen to orchestral music or chamber and the bass is full and fills the room. It sounds great and satisfying in the listening room. In a live concert, the cello and double bass don't have that amount of intensity, there is lots of definition, but no way 12 cellos and 8 double basses would shake the whole concert hall.

 

A lot of times, the faithful reproduction might actually sound dull in comparison. I like to use photography as a analogy. Most photos taken without any post processing look rather dull. Have anyone seen straight prints from Ansel Adams? they look as dull as the ones we took. He spent a enormous amount of time planning and enhancing the photo in the dark room. I think we do that with stereo equipment to a certain extent.

 

But back to the topic, I do agree with many ppl here, the sound makes the music more enjoyable. a means to an end, a more enjoyable end.

 

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5 hours ago, jmpsmash said:

 

I agree. Which brings up a point (a bit off topic one), is that sometimes music listening at home is not representative of a real performance. People (me included) would listen to orchestral music or chamber and the bass is full and fills the room. It sounds great and satisfying in the listening room. In a live concert, the cello and double bass don't have that amount of intensity, there is lots of definition, but no way 12 cellos and 8 double basses would shake the whole concert hall.

 

A lot of times, the faithful reproduction might actually sound dull in comparison. I like to use photography as a analogy. Most photos taken without any post processing look rather dull. Have anyone seen straight prints from Ansel Adams? they look as dull as the ones we took. He spent a enormous amount of time planning and enhancing the photo in the dark room. I think we do that with stereo equipment to a certain extent.

 

But back to the topic, I do agree with many ppl here, the sound makes the music more enjoyable. a means to an end, a more enjoyable end.

 

 

"they look as dull as the ones we took. He

spent a enormous amount of time planning

and enhancing the photo in the dark room. I

think we  do that with stereo equipment to a

certain extent."

 

Incorrect.

 

Home playback equipment - at least good home equipment - is supposed to pass to the listener exactly what the artists, producers, or labels intended, not to "enhance" it in any way. (Although, some home or car listeners may think they are enhancing things with the bass & treble controls turned fully clockwise, smh!)

 

Post-processing is not done on stereo equipment - it's done in a studio or mastering suite, or in the case of photography, on desktop editors such as PhotoShop.

 

The previous portion of your comment stands.

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2 hours ago, The_K-Man said:

Incorrect.

 

Home playback equipment - at least good home equipment - is supposed to pass to the listener exactly what the artists, producers, or labels intended, not to "enhance" it in any way....

 

This is the "High Fidelity", or "High Fidelitist" position - one inherently "objectivist".  It is a minority opinion/goal among Audiophiles, and a very minority opinion/goal in every aspect (e.g. among manufactures, or the trade publications) of this niche industry.  For the majority, it is at best considered quaint and unrealistic, and usually paned as anti musical, anti emotional, anti art, and anti industry insider concerns.  All sorts of manufactures/reviewers/hobbyists give you all sorts of reasons why Audiophiledom is not really interested in High Fidelity.  For example I was just listening to a recent interview of Vinnie Rossi where he was deconstructing  the "objectivist" position, though like everyone else he is arguing against an extreme which does exist, but is besides the point...

Hey MQA, if it is not all $voodoo$, show us the math!

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I have a pair of headphones designed for studio mastering, the Beyerdynamic DT 1990 Pro. They come with two sets of ear pads. "The dark grey balanced ear pads ensure a sound with a slight bass boost. The light grey “analytical” ear pads ensure a neutral sound".

 

I don't know about pros, but it's pretty clear that most people at Head-Fi who own these headphones prefer the Balanced pads. I cannot abide them, they make the bass too fat and accentuate treble. I prefer accuracy over euphony, but it seems that is not the norm among audiophiles. 

 

The Beyerdynamic Amiron is a very similar headphone, using the same Tesla drivers, but designed for home use, not studio. The Amiron is very warm sounding. I kept them one day before requesting return authorization and ordering the DT 1990. I found the very famous Sennheiser HD 650 had the same overly warm and polite tonal balance. Not what I want at all.

“The best sounding audio product is the one that exhibits the least audible flaws.”

 Dr. Floyd Toole

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25 minutes ago, crenca said:

 

This is the "High Fidelity", or "High Fidelitist" position - one inherently "objectivist".  It is a minority opinion/goal among Audiophiles, and a very minority opinion/goal in every aspect (e.g. among manufactures, or the trade publications) of this niche industry.  For the majority, it is at best considered quaint and unrealistic, and usually paned as anti musical, anti emotional, anti art, and anti industry insider concerns.  All sorts of manufactures/reviewers/hobbyists give you all sorts of reasons why Audiophiledom is not really interested in High Fidelity.  For example I was just listening to a recent interview of Vinnie Rossi where he was deconstructing  the "objectivist" position, though like everyone else he is arguing against an extreme which does exist, but is besides the point...

 

It may be a "minority opinion among audiophiles", but remember who you're dealing with here - a musiphile, or more correctly melophile.

 

In that regard, I do not want my equipment either detracting from, or adding to, for that matter, the original sound or intent of a recording played over it.  I want my equipment to be a canvas, as transparent as I can afford it to be, upon which the musical painting, in a manner of speaking, plays out.

 

With that goal in mind comes some expectations I already have:  That a table-top system in the cellar will not rattle the walls in the same manner as my den or living room rig.  That neither of my aforementioned systems can quite approach a well set-up and professionally operated live system.  That the sound in my car may fall short of all but the smallest system mentioned in this paragraph.

 

With those expectations in my mind, I can avoid any significant disappointments in listening experiences over any of the systems in the prior paragraph. ;)

 

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11 minutes ago, audiobomber said:

I have a pair of headphones designed for studio mastering, the Beyerdynamic DT 1990 Pro. They come with two sets of ear pads. "The dark grey balanced ear pads ensure a sound with a slight bass boost. The light grey “analytical” ear pads ensure a neutral sound".

 

I don't know about pros, but it's pretty clear that most people at Head-Fi who own these headphones prefer the Balanced pads. I cannot abide them, they make the bass too fat and accentuate treble. I prefer accuracy over euphony, but it seems that is not the norm among audiophiles. 

 

The Beyerdynamic Amiron is a very similar headphone, using the same Tesla drivers, but designed for home use, not studio. The Amiron is very warm sounding. I kept them one day before requesting return authorization and ordering the DT 1990. I found the very famous Sennheiser HD 650 had the same overly warm and polite tonal balance. Not what I want at all.

 

I have the DT880 Pro, 250ohm versions, also, light gray pads.  Fairly neutral I'd also say, with a slight warmth in the lower 200s, and cottony highs.  The latter is probably the only time you'd hear that a 770, 880, or 990 lacks top, although that may be due to the pads being of absorbant velour as opposed to reflective leather or 'pleather'.

 

Most 880 listeners report them to have a bright top.  Those are likely folks under thirty who can still hear well into the high teens.  This forty something can barely discern 14k & up, lol!

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14 hours ago, The_K-Man said:

 

It may be a "minority opinion among audiophiles", but remember who you're dealing with here - a musiphile, or more correctly melophile.

 

In that regard, I do not want my equipment either detracting from, or adding to, for that matter, the original sound or intent of a recording played over it.  I want my equipment to be a canvas, as transparent as I can afford it to be, upon which the musical painting, in a manner of speaking, plays out.

 

With that goal in mind comes some expectations I already have:  That a table-top system in the cellar will not rattle the walls in the same manner as my den or living room rig.  That neither of my aforementioned systems can quite approach a well set-up and professionally operated live system.  That the sound in my car may fall short of all but the smallest system mentioned in this paragraph.

 

With those expectations in my mind, I can avoid any significant disappointments in listening experiences over any of the systems in the prior paragraph. ;)

 

 

And here I believed that it was audiophiles that strived for what you describes, while melophiles focused mostly on the music itself. The definition of audiophiles and melophiles is maybe not as clear as I thought.

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18 minutes ago, Summit said:

 

And here I believed that it was audiophiles that strived for what you describes, while melophiles focused mostly on the music itself. The definition of audiophiles and melophiles is maybe not as clear as I thought.

 

With due respect to K-man, but he has it backwards from the usual working definitions - though it must be said that "audiophile" itself has moved more and more in the direction of musicphile (i.e. to a radical subjectivism) and so we are back to the older "high fidelity(ist)" to describe the quest for a non-additive transparent system...

Hey MQA, if it is not all $voodoo$, show us the math!

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6 hours ago, crenca said:

 

With due respect to K-man, but he has it backwards from the usual working definitions - though it must be said that "audiophile" itself has moved more and more in the direction of musicphile (i.e. to a radical subjectivism) and so we are back to the older "high fidelity(ist)" to describe the quest for a non-additive transparent system...

 

I have nothing "backwards".  I have mid-line stereo equipment, from playback components to receiver to speakers, basic Radio Shack interconnects, and common-sense gauge speaker wire.  IE I'm not driving speakers with ridiculous 20 or thinner AWG wire, but am driving them with 16AWG.   Nothing unusual about my setup, no boutique components or interconnects.

 

Everyone, from my wife to our guests, said music and movies sound fine on them, and that they are able to concentrate on the music or movie audio and not on the equipment reproducing it.  

 

Now, if I decided tomorrow to upgrade all my RCA(and other) interconnects to ones commanding thousands of dollars, and invest in multi-layer, interwoven speaker wire costing $100 per foot, you know what that would make me?....

 

 

An audiophile.  

 

Infatuated with how music sounds ON MY SYSTEM rather than just with the music itself.

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12 hours ago, crenca said:

 

With due respect to K-man, but he has it backwards from the usual working definitions - though it must be said that "audiophile" itself has moved more and more in the direction of musicphile (i.e. to a radical subjectivism) and so we are back to the older "high fidelity(ist)" to describe the quest for a non-additive transparent system...

Er no.. Audiophiles do seek high fidelity, Musicphiles not so much. 

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4 hours ago, Rexp said:

Er no.. Audiophiles do seek high fidelity, Musicphiles not so much. 

 

I resemble that statement, and would invite you to listen to my "Regular Joe" system!

 

If by "seeking high fidelity" you mean replacing USD$2/foot speaker wire with $20/foot wire, or a $500 DAC instead of a $50, I'd say that person needs to check in on South One at the hospital, if you know what dept. is located there.

 

The two most most critical components in my system are (1)placement and (2)common sense. And you can't buy either of those, for any amount of money, in a lahh-dee-dahh boutique audio store.

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20 hours ago, Summit said:

 

And here I believed that it was audiophiles that strived for what you describes, while melophiles focused mostly on the music itself. The definition of audiophiles and melophiles is maybe not as clear as I thought.

Like most everything else, it is a scale or spectrum. I knew a professional jazz musician whose only music source was a ghetto blaster. 

“The best sounding audio product is the one that exhibits the least audible flaws.”

 Dr. Floyd Toole

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27 minutes ago, audiobomber said:

Like most everything else, it is a scale or spectrum. I knew a professional jazz musician whose only music source was a ghetto blaster. 

 

I sometimes feel like I can get a more honest sound from that boombox with the tone controls set flat, than from a big expensive rig with a smiley-EQ dialed in, or other such 'enhancements'.

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On 11/27/2018 at 3:02 PM, audiobomber said:

Like most everything else, it is a scale or spectrum. I knew a professional jazz musician whose only music source was a ghetto blaster. 

 

Yes almost all musicians love music, some like good sound too. Of those that like good sound not all strive for an accurate and unaltered sound. It’s true that it’s a scale, BUT the scale or definition don’t flip 180 degrees.

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4 hours ago, Summit said:

 

Yes almost all musicians love music, some like good sound too. Of those that like good sound not all strive for an accurate and unaltered sound. It’s true that it’s a scale, BUT the scale or definition don’t flip 180 degrees.

 

And as I've said several times throughout the discussion, one need not spend thousands of dollars - per component, per pair speaker, or per interconnect - to get good sound.   

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18 hours ago, The_K-Man said:

 

And as I've said several times throughout the discussion, one need not spend thousands of dollars - per component, per pair speaker, or per interconnect - to get good sound.   

 

The topic is (Audiophile VS Musiphile - Your Thoughts?), not how much cost a good audio system. I made a remark on that topic and how you described audiophiles and melophiles totally opposite to how I would have defined them.

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2 hours ago, Summit said:

 

The topic is (Audiophile VS Musiphile - Your Thoughts?), not how much cost a good audio system. I made a remark on that topic and how you described audiophiles and melophiles totally opposite to how I would have defined them.

 

I know - I started the thread so I know what I called it.

 

No, I did not label them opposite.  Audiophiles are in love with the sound of their system: "Feel how my subs make the floor tremble!", melophiles love where it starts: "Dig that melody", "That beat is infectious!".

 

See the difference?  

 

It's that "groovy melody" or infectious beat that shines through, on anything from a pocket transistor to a US$10-grand dedicated listening room.  Something that's had done to it what you see in my profile avatar will sound like sh|t no matter how cheap or expensive a system or device it's heard back over.

 

Get the source right, Summit:  The composition of the song, plus production values from mixing through mastering, and you'll have a winner!

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27 minutes ago, Summit said:

 

Yes it’s clear that in your and some others definition of audiophile, audiophiles listen to their gear and the music is not very important. I disagree on that is the norm. I’m an audiophile and know other audiophiles and we all love music. We listen a lot to both live and recorded music and then we listen at home we mostly listen dedicated. Music is not only something that we have in the background while doing other things like the majority of the population does. The dedicated way of listening will clearly revile the records and audio systems shortcomings. Then I only listen to music as music in the background am not very picky about SQ. Yes we of course all know that some audiophiles is more interested in the gear and the tech of them than in to get the music to sound as good, real and accurate as possible. For me an audiophile is a person that simply want good music to sound good and not something bad that we need to be ashamed of.

 

So then you write things like:

 

In that regard, I do not want my equipment either detracting from, or adding to, for that matter, the original sound or intent of a recording played over it.  I want my equipment to be a canvas, as transparent as I can afford it to be, upon which the musical painting, in a manner of speaking, plays out.”

 

“Home playback equipment - at least good home equipment - is supposed to pass to the listener exactly what the artists, producers, or labels intended, not to "enhance" it in any way. (Although, some home or car listeners may think they are enhancing things with the bass & treble controls turned fully clockwise, smh!)

 

To me what you strive for is precisely what most audiophile wants and not what I would say is typical of a Musiphile, especially not in a thread that is named Audiophile VS Musiphile - Your Thoughts.

 

An audiophile is focused on how, IE. a recording of a Beethoven symphony sounds on their system.  A melophile, like yours truly, is focused on how the symphony itself sounds.  Capeesh?

 

Separate "audio-" from "melo-" in your mind and you'll get the the gist - of this thread, as well as mine. ;) 

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On 11/26/2018 at 3:52 AM, audiobomber said:

I have a pair of headphones designed for studio mastering, the Beyerdynamic DT 1990 Pro. They come with two sets of ear pads. "The dark grey balanced ear pads ensure a sound with a slight bass boost. The light grey “analytical” ear pads ensure a neutral sound".

 

I don't know about pros, but it's pretty clear that most people at Head-Fi who own these headphones prefer the Balanced pads. I cannot abide them, they make the bass too fat and accentuate treble. I prefer accuracy over euphony, but it seems that is not the norm among audiophiles. 

 

The Beyerdynamic Amiron is a very similar headphone, using the same Tesla drivers, but designed for home use, not studio. The Amiron is very warm sounding. I kept them one day before requesting return authorization and ordering the DT 1990. I found the very famous Sennheiser HD 650 had the same overly warm and polite tonal balance. Not what I want at all.

Get a Sennheiser HD800 and you‘re all set. 

 

Agree with your assessment of the 650 and the Amiron. My second pair of Headphones are the Beyer T90, the Amiron‘s official predecessor. I listened to both and found the T90 much more neutral and appealing. 

 

On the Musicophile vs Audiophile debate, while obviously in the former camp, I truly recognize the pleasures of a state of the art system. 

 

I had to go to back to my regular hifi dealer yesterday as my amp needed service. 

 

He offered to listen to the latest reference system he had just set up waiting to be installed at a client next week. 

 

B&W 800 Prestige sedition with the big Accuphase Monoblocks. I was literally blown away, this was one of the most “real” hifi experiences I ever had. Absolutely effortless. He later switched to the 802s, which really aren’t cheap either, but the magic was gone. The sheer effortlessness of putting a grand piano in the room of the big system was mind boggling. 

 

Now would I spend north of $80K for a hifi? Probably not. Too much other good stuff in life going on. But then again, maybe one day....

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