On 13/02/2013, Tom Fine wrote:
> This gets right at the heart of why "reviews" of audio gear in the
> "high-end" mags are so useless. All they amount to are one person's
> subjective impressions of what he's hearing, in his listening room,
> with his choice of other components. So, it's pretty much useless to
> you as far as know if it will sound good to you. I do think it's more
> helpful to have measurements of the gear, with uniform methods used
> for similar pieces, as is done in Stereophile mag. But that's not
> really helpful in answering "will I like the sound of that component
> or will I prefer it to what I have already?" I'm also pretty sure many
> of the currently accepted standard measurements don't tell you very
> much about overall sound quality or "personality." Indeed, something
> that measures grossly out of the norm may not sound "bad," just
> I assume all of us are careful listeners, but I bet all of us have a
> different idea of what sounds "good." It's totally subjective, based
> on our own tastes, experiences and physical/psychological hearing
> capabilities. I've long been convinced that "good" or "bad" sound has
> nothing to do with the popularity of a recording, it's always the
> musical effect. Music taste seems to be subjective but perhaps with
> some universal parameters, and some artists know how to check off
> enough boxes with enough people to create popular music.
> Peter also hits on a very profound point -- no recording sounds like a
> live performance, not even recordings of live performances.
It is subjective, but it is not totally subjective.
Given very bad and very good equipment (playing the same recording), or
very good and very bad recordings (on the same equipment), I am certain
that everyone here would agree on which was which.
Disagreements come over more subtle differences, such as an early versus
a recent transfer from the same tape, or two different large
I find real difficulty with recordings of the clavichord, because I've
never heard a real one. It is always described as a very quiet
instrument - but how quiet? Where do you set the level control?
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