Pet Shop Boys’ “All Day, All Day, Domino Dancing” has suddenly just sprung to mind…. (I could never get a good recording of “West End Girls”…… one of my favourites from them from that era and which still sounded sublime on my Naims then despite the thrashy thin recording. Infectious tunes…
(I must hasten to clarify I am not yet old…… more mature yes, but hardly old)
Naim are masters of PRT but it’s the way in which they voice music when reaching out and grabbing me emotionally where they really just shine and obliterate the competition till present day after 30 years for me - like a favourite ice cream on a hot day.
They are still head and shoulders above almost over everything else out there. Music making at its holistic best.
I think I fall into the Derek Smalls category: “the luke warm water in the middle” type of chap.
I am not a “golden ear” yet know when something sounds right to me. What frustrates me is that modern recording technology, correctly applied, should (could) produce results superior to those, say, of 50 years ago. I sometimes think producers or artists may be too keen to show off their appreciation of a musical heritage, their “eclecticism” or that in addition to putting the kitchen sink into the production they add the dishwasher and the fridge-freezer as well.
Given the level your system is at now, Nigel, I do wonder if a change of speakers may be beneficial.
I am keeping things under my hat at the moment, but have listened to some speakers at my dealers which have tempted me to purchase them without home dem (which they have offered to do, I may add), as I believe that they would be a significant improvement on what I currently have.
After many years of regular upgrading I’m of the opinion that there are 2 types of upgrade……cosmetic and fundamental. Cosmetic upgrades are quite thrilling and easy to hear, but within a few weeks the ears have assimilated to the changes and the level of enjoyment remains roughly unchanged. Cosmetic upgrades are associated with the hi-fi system’s presentation and the best adjectives to describe them are the typical hi-fi descriptions like imaging, sound stage, frequency extremes, detail, etc. Fundamental upgrades are just as easy to hear but a lot more difficult to describe and their effects last for years. Fundamental upgrades have more to do with the listener’s reaction to the music and and the best adjectives to describe them are associated with how the music makes you feel.
Cosmetic upgrades typically enhance the best recordings far more than they enhance the worst, in fact they can make the worst recording sound dull, bland and lifeless, given that they are missing many of the prized hi-fi superlatives. Fundamental upgrades on the other hand tend to uplift some of your poorer recordings, revealing the soul and spirit of the music, allowing you to feel greater emotional connection with the musicians and their music. With fundamental upgrades you find yourself thoroughly enjoying recordings and tracks that previously didn’t really float your boat….tracks that you may have skipped over in order to get to the more impressive recordings start to reveal hidden charms that you suddenly find intoxicating and moving, reactions that were simply absent before the upgrade.
JimDog… “almost” because it would be downright rude and untrue that Naim are the “be all and end all”. They are not and will never be. Same for all the other marques. There are other makes that offer sonic nirvana for their respective audience.
For me, after a long 20 year hiatus from hi fi, and having heard some of what is available at present, it’s quickly dawned on me with some surprise, still the same old same old here … more or less - Naim are still very much at the helm, in offering me my kinda sound for my money.
But there’s something for everyone, based on how our ears which are unique to each of us, perceives music. Diversity is key in life, to be respected. Whether we mix and match with other marques, or follow a full Naim system synergy to a fault, whatever we decide for our own homes is so very personal. There is never any right or wrong, just preferences and choices. What’s great for you doesn’t appeal to me, and what’s great for me doesn’t do it for you.
Just enjoy the journey in discovery for what it is and be at peace within.
Hi fi is supposed to make us feel happy, listening to our music. It’s not meant to be divisive. Respect your own ears, trust what they convey and just go with your own flow regardless of what others say. I do however take well-meaning feedback that’s relevant, into careful consideration if I choose.
I recently read an adage which shared that there are no mistakes in life, only lessons. How true. Just as applicable to our hobby here.
To our beloved Naims and systems, and more listening