To be accurate, I said that better systems sound "more like live music," a position I stand by.  
	Regarding your reluctance to upgrade your system to the point where you can't stand to listen to your favorite recordings, I completely sympathize.  One reason I'm so fond of the Stanton 881-S cartridge is that it seems to make recordings sound good without getting to the point, as do some moving coils, that mediocre recordings sound unpleasant.  I often wonder why this cartridge isn't used in transcribing 78s since it was available with an off the shelf 2.7 mil stylus and, to my ear, sounds much better than the commonly used Stanton 500.
	But getting back to upgrading, I'll offer an alternate view.  I'm not one who frequently upgrades my system, but when I do, that is, when I hear some piece of equipment that makes some of my favorite recordings sound better, then acquire it, I'm essentially rewarded with a new record collection, sometimes hearing things I never heard before.  That's why I upgrade.

Larry Miller

-----Original Message-----
From: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Tom Fine
Sent: Monday, June 16, 2014 5:49 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] WSJ on "High end record collectors"

Hi Larry:

Wow, this one goes back a long way!

In more recent times, I had the opportunity to listen to a house-priced LP playback system. It was pretty damn good, but still limited by the physical limits of LP cutting and pressing and the nature of produced recordings. My point is, it AIN'T LIVE and never will be. Live music and recorded music are two different things. Very few of my favorite music albums, the exception being some classical, are recorded and mixed in an excellent, realistic manner. I dig the music enough to listen through the recordings. And, being an audio guy, I like some of the quirks, intended or not. The house-priced LP system got me thinking that I'd better not do much more upgrading because then I'll only hear the quirks and flaws and not enjoy the music as much.

Another update -- my friend who downsized recently went back to preferring at least CD resolution. 
The change? He got a good pair of headphones and a reasonably-priced by high-quality DAC/headphone amp. That setup is a guaranteed ticket to hate lossy compression, because all the artifacts are loud and annoying. I ended up giving him back a big stack of CDs he gave me when he downsized. No harm done because nowadays I rip CDs to WAV or FLAC and mostly listen via the networked server.

Totally agree with your point about too many "audiophile recordings" -- dull content and/or low talent level. Yuk. I also can't spend much time with an audiophile whose musical taste is limited by recording quality. Then again, I really don't enjoy most mono classical recordings, so I'm a little bit in that boat.

For those who for various valid reasons just won't mess with the LP resurgence, I highly recommend HDTracks and others for greater-than-CD resolution downloads. These are mostly recent-vintage remastering, with some care taken in most cases, and often with less dynamics compression than the mass-market CD version. The higher quality is not universal, but it's more typical than not.

-- Tom Fine

----- Original Message -----
From: "Miller, Larry S" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Monday, June 16, 2014 5:32 PM
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] WSJ on "High end record collectors"

> Please forgive the extreme gap of time between these original posts and my response, but I was, of 
> necessity, weeding my email and felt compelled to respond to some ideas raised here.
> In regard to Tom's friend who admits that his hearing isn't what it used to be, I used to 
> occasionally face that objection when I sold audio equipment.  My response was, "you use the same 
> ears to listen to live music and recordings, don't you?"  My point being, that, generally 
> speaking, a system that sounds more like live music tends to be a better system.  The highs may 
> seem rolled off in both cases, but they will be rolled off the same amount whether live or 
> recorded.  My goal was to put together a system that made the customer want to listen to music.
> As to the guy who assembled an incredible systems to listen to Kenny G and Yanni, well, not my cup 
> of tea, but if that's what he really likes, I see nothing wrong with that.  I'm more contemptuous 
> of those who buy incredible systems to listen to audiophile recordings which, while exceptionally 
> well done, stir neither passion in the listener not, apparently, in the performer(s).  As Alan 
> Parsons famously said, "Audiophiles don't use their equipment to listen to your music. Audiophiles 
> use your music to listen to their equipment."
> Larry Miller
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf 
> Of Tom Fine
> Sent: Wednesday, July 24, 2013 4:38 PM
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] WSJ on "High end record collectors"
> Hi Kevin:
> While I sympathize with your general point, I know enough people who love music and have what 
> would be considered excellent-sounding systems (myself included) to say there's not quite a direct 
> adverse relationship between cost of system and appreciation of music. However, stereotypes (pun 
> intended, in this case) don't come about from a complete absence of real-world examples!
> One of my oldest "music buddies," a guy who has turned me on to countless good albums, used to be 
> a "high-ender" until his divorce forced a more modest lifestyle. He now has an iPod, a Mac Mini, 
> his large collection of CDs and a good pair of powered speakers that I recommended (the KRK 
> 3-ways, which can easily fill most listening spaces and move enough air for good bass). He listens 
> to more music now than ever, and admits it's much easier to just sit and enjoy music when not 
> having to fuss with and endlessly shop for finicky expensive gear. That said, he's now older and 
> his hearing ain't what it was when he was a "high-ender."
> -- Tom Fine
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Nutt, Kevin" <[log in to unmask]>
> To: <[log in to unmask]>
> Sent: Wednesday, July 24, 2013 3:38 PM
> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] WSJ on "High end record collectors"
>> Yelling from the cheap seats: In my experience, almost always, the higher end the stereo system,
>> the lower the musical curiosity, taste (can't think of a better word for taste) and knowledge the
>> owner. If I see a beat up creaky-ass turntable and amp amidst piles of disordered vinyl, I know
>> it's gonna be a pretty interesting evening.
>> Kevin Nutt
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf
>> Of Sam Brylawski
>> Sent: Wednesday, July 24, 2013 7:22 AM
>> To: [log in to unmask]
>> Subject: [ARSCLIST] WSJ on "High end record collectors"
>> The Wall Street Journal is running an article on rare rock collectors. It estimates annual sales
>> of rare records is $10 million. (Art: $10 billion.)
>> Sam Brylawski
>> *
>> *