Music, beautiful music (in general)

Does anyone agree with me that with a really good system, one that we have carefully thought through and invested in, that our beloved music becomes not just something that we listen to, but that we feel viscerally and can actually ‘see‘ or am I going completely psychotic? Whether anyone agrees or not, I get these sensations when I listen to my system. It is something I really look forward to and after a hard and stressful day, makes life worth living all over again. Seeking out good well produced music has become an obsession! The joy of it all is that I have merely scratched the surface. So much more to explore and discover. Thanks to Acoustica, Chester. A big thanks to Naim. Thanks also to REL. Thanks to Chord. Thanks to Rega. Thanks to Bowers and Wilkins. Thanks to Dynaudio. And a big thanks to Qobuz!



I couldn’t agree more! You’re not going mad :smiley:

I think listening to well produced good music through a carefully chosen (and expensive) hifi is the closest you can get to having actual musicians performing right in front of you. If that doesn’t give a person ‘sensations’ then it’s time to call a doctor to check for signs of life.

In all seriousness though, I do accept that some people just don’t enjoy music, and that is fair enough.

Which genre of music do you ‘feel’ the most?


Agreed in terms of enjoying and “feeling” music generally - but of course not all music is recorded/produced equally well, and I buy music because I like it, not because it is well produced, even if it means putting up with the recordings limitations to hear and enjoy the music itself. Sometimes I miss “tone controls”, though I haven’t had them for several decades!


That sort of heretical talk - about tone controls, for goodness sake - might be enough to get you thrown off this esteemed Forum!


I don’t know, I think perhaps the urge to listen to more music might have been even greater when I had a Dansette and Pye radio. Now I think I have a far greater insight and understanding. Yes my collection has grown obviously but I guess that would have happened in any event. But no way would I go back.


I think there is a spectrum in this place. It moves from those who are emotionally engaged with music, and for whom HiFi is primarily a tool, to those for whom the technical dimension is the driver. They gain most satisfaction from a more analytical pursuit of great sound.

Both of course utterly valid, and this is also a gross over-simplification, but I think it has some currency.

My bother and I are at opposite ends.

He loves it when his system sounds great almost irrespective of content. He selects a recording on sound/recording quality and disdains things that are poorly recorded. He is interested in ‘how/why’ and has enormous technical knowledge. He will tweak. He generally plays the same artists and albums, rarely buying anything totally new to him, although often remasters etc. Lyrics and ‘stories’ are relatively unimportant. He describes his system in terms like ‘transparent, dynamic, imaging, timbre’.

I have a primarily emotional response to music. I struggle to give reviews of kit beyond ‘engaging’ or ‘enjoyable’. I enjoy music that suits or builds a mood. 95% of what I buy is new music, probably 50% new artists. I am interested in the ‘who/when’. I appreciate an emotional back story; Leonard Cohen’s last album, weeks before his death, wrestling with religion and mortality for example. To my brother it is the sound of a voice that has ‘gone’. I’d really love a great system that is plug ‘n’ play, and almost never tweak. I’d never choose a demo track specifically on how it sounds, only on how it should make me feel.

My passion is music first, his is HiFi. He loves his listening time and his system journey no less than I do. He buys (different) kit probably more often, swapping things around.

I also think there is something in LindsayM’s comment about cheap reproduction. I can easily remember the most fantastic musical enjoyment dancing around my student room with a cheap cassette radio, or in my car with an appalling quality stereo. For me it is important that the kit never gets in the way. I’m aware that as my system has improved vastly (and as it engages me more) it is also a little more fickle in set up etc. I find this annoying tbh.

My clumsy two penneth. In summary; thank goodness for music, and the means to enjoy it!



I have a nice system, modest compared to many on here.

There are days when I’m amazed by it and others when it leaves me cold. Mood I guess.

I also have a B&O A2 and some Ruark desktop speakers. Most times I listen to them are very enjoyable. I even enjoy the Echo dot.

So many variables but that moment and my mood plays a big part in my enjoyment of music, but not a system.


As you say, there is a spectrum between those two, and I am somewhere between - music is what drives me, with an emotional connection that makes the music take over, not analysing its content, and, like you, making it very difficult to describe differences between bits of kit.

I am interested technically and want to know how/why, but I’m not interested in tweaks, and can’t be bothered fiddling and trying all sorts of different things - I’m only interested if the difference is truly noticeable, not the minor and debatable differences of tweaks even when some people’s hyperbole suggest huge.

Whilst it is nice to discover new good music I have plenty in my collection and don’t feel it is a ‘need’, and as there is more music I dislike like than like I don’t enjoy random approaches like radio, only seeking out when something suggests to me an artist might be worth exploring. And I’m not generally interested in the artist, only the music, which perhaps is just as well as not all artists would come across as likeable…


Yes, totally agree with the concepts.

Today it will be the St John Passion

I believe we have two types of listening, one casual and the other very focused , it is when material that is being listened to causally suddenly grabs your attention , it is usually a very beautiful piece of music

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I’ve always felt that recorded music never achieves the visceral feeling of live music. I don’t tend to listen to live recordings probably due to some snobbish feelings about sound quality, but yesterday I put on Playing The Fool by Gentle Giant. What an incredible sound, amazing level of performance, laser sharp full blown experience. It’s amazing hi fi can do this sometimes.

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I agree, Ian. All activity ceases in this house if Radio 3 broadcasts something like Tallis’s 40-part motet ‘Spem In Alium’ or RVW’s ‘Tallis Fantasia’.

There was a wonderful sound installation in a chapel not long after I moved to Brighton. Some clever soul had used 40 microphones to record onto tape each member of a choir singing the Tallis piece, and had then set up 40 loudspeakers to replay the work, with each loudspeaker positioned where the choir member had stood.

The loudspeakers used for the replay were mini-monitors such as Celestion SL600s, and the effect, with the tape on a repeat loop, played every ten minutes or so, was quite startling.


worth mentioning that the music was first “seen” and “visualised” or contextualised from the creator.
Hifi can only glimpse into the eyes and mind of the creator artists putting a piece out. Never really knowing. Ambiguity the mother of invention.


Two of the most beautiful compositions I’ve ever heard.

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As someone very far away keeps saying “ Its The Music Stupid “

ATB Graham

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Not long for avril 14th.

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Avril 1 comes first, for fools everywhere! What’s on 14th?

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My system is modest and yet when my mood takes me I absolutely agree. I will though say it doesn’t move me anymore than it did in the 80’s and the system doesn’t necessarily add any more than it did back then. The convenience is a bonus but other than that it’s always been about the music and what it means on a personal level.


My system now is everything to which I aspired when I built my first 55 years ago. Purchase price new in today’s money maybe 50x. Is it any more satisfying? Do I enjoy listening to music through it more?

Those are interesting and telling questions. The honest answer is no. My present system is supremely enjoyable, a sublime sound. I hear detail and depth I didn’t half a century ago, even though my ears are not as good, and to me it is worth every penny I paid for it (a lot less than new value, but still a heck of a lot of money in my eyes - an probably most people’s).