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How to REALLY listen to music


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"Rhythm and Pace refers to a systems ability to translate energy and excitement in the music." ========= Why not just call it energy and excitement then? Of all the audiophile terms tossed around, rhythm and pace, seems the weirdest. Especially in light of being translated into energy and excitement.

I actually think rhythm and pacing make perfect sense if in context. Energy and excitement isnt the same as rhythm and pacing. This is decribing that ability of the gear to "Carry a line" or "make you want to groove." In a way, PP amps do this far better than SET. And the same for my Linn table compared to the VPI HW-19. This is a bit above and beyond just energy and excitement, at least the way I interpret it.

On another note, thats some damn nice news on the preamp's 6 Moons "Best of 2005" list. That would sure make me feel pretty good.

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The given list is a sad compilation. It's a good exemple why the hi-fi business is down the drain.

Do you listen to "depth" or you listen to music?

Do you listen to "midrange purity" or your listening to music?

Do you listen to "focus" or your listening to music?

Well, I have to agree and disagree with my Quebec buddy here. Actually, in a strange stroke of horror, I find myself aligning with Mr. Parrot somewhat in that you can have BOTH depending on your state of mind. You can listen to how well the gear accomplishes these goals and become more finely attuned to hearing how the gear performs, helpful in analyzing and making comparisons. On the other hand, many just use the music to LISTEN to THE GEAR, putting the system at the front with music procured only to satisfy the ends to the means of hearing what the system can do. Sadly, some of this music is the most hollow and soulless I know.

Herb Reichert summarized it best in this paragraph:

"There is also a sub-culture of audio consumers who believe that high end audio exists to be appreciated for its own sake. These people are pure audiophiles and for them hi-fi gear exists primarily for the purposes of studying and admiring the attitudes, sentiments and states of mind -- of the audio equipment and its makers. For them, composers, singers and songwriters are exploited primarily as tools to be used for the better understanding of the audio gear."

Well that was a nice way to put it. I tend to think less of this mindset for THIS is what might have ruined the audio world. On the other hand, this mindset fuels the High End game for quite a few. I prefer some mix with the ultimate being DOES IT MAKE YOU FEEL EMOTIONALLY and MENTALLY INVOLVED IN THE MUSIC.

The BEST systems make one forget he or she is even listening to a system. UItimately, it's conveying the music in a way that moves you. After all the analysis of the gear and its performance, this is what really matters.

And ultimately, I think a lot of modern high end systems fail here.


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I must confess I haven't read all the other posts in this thread (not

yet anyway), but the author of the article has just proved he knows

nothing about music or even audio for that matter...but I won't go


One thing that strikes me though is that in order to define "audio

terms", the only way to do it is by comparison! Listen to A and B. A is

"adjective", B is not. You can't try to define audio terms by

describing an audio sample with other audio terms. It's effectively

circular logic and relies on same base knowledge of the person you're

trying to teach...which isn't an effective way of teaching.

And like some of the few posts I did read, I want to point out that the

author is totally missing out on the music. In all honesty, I would

consider drum sticks hitting together a flaw in the music! So if my

system accentuates it, then the quality of the music listening would

actually be reduced in such an instance!

One other beef I had was his selection of music...It was far also from

what I would consider a good recording, but perhaps that's just a whack

personal opinion? Those bass sounds will sound just like that on any

system: round and dull...as will the sax and piano and whatever he

wants to talk about. Where was the rock samples? How bout some good

classical music, or a real opera singer? Why didn't he present some

electrical instruments to show just how "bad" they sound? [;)]

And lastly, I don't think his sound samples were very representative of

the sounds he was trying to describe anyway! At least it was nothing

like what I would define any of those terms (but then again, I would be

very wary of actually trying to use them as they have no bearing on the

music itself anyway....)

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I have the CD that contains all those recordings and narration. Its called "The Ultimate Demonstration Disc" and its also called "Chesky Records' Guide to Critical Listening." It was made in 1995.

If I remember correctly, they had an ad in Stereo Review magazine that I ordered it from.

I can't say that I've given the disc a good listen since I got my RF-25s or HK730, though.

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