Why Spend More On Hifi When Some Music Is Poorly Recorded?

I would agree there was a net positive when I added my 500DR. But my point of opening this thread was to explore if there is a point in the upgrade path where that net positive diminishes so much as to make further upgrades of little (limited) value, due to the limitations of the recording/mixing/mastering quality of the music material you listen to most.

Undoubtedly, but new speakers will have to wait for me to move, as I will need to match them with my new listening space.

My current speakers are however sufficiently resolving to allow me to hear the incredible uplift in SQ and appreciation of music on well recorded material, but also they allow me to hear the occasional travesty of a poor recording.

Same but different is the thought I carry with me on the upgrade path. At what point does the music get lost and all I hear is the clinical separation of sounds. I haven’t reached that point yet but as I seek my best streaming/ dac solution I wonder if I will tip over in to not enjoying an ‘improvement’.
Re the poor recording I find Paul Weller records the worst that I have for ‘over recording’ probably because I have always played them a lot and notice the blousy sound more now. On the other hand I have some Louis Armstrong mono stuff recorded way back in front of a live club audience, complete with pops and crackles on the vinyl, that have the sweetest of recording values.

Yes, we must never say what we think in life, especially when we are being (constructively) critical.

One must preface the critique with lavish praise.

(Akai entry level vintage cassette decks are wonderful instruments of musical reproduction, but…)

Then mute the critique with vagueness and exaggerated understatement.

(Akai entry level vintage cassette decks may have a nuance of less than perfect fibrillation in the upper-mids in certain untreated rooms during a Blood Moon in the Southern Hemisphere.)

Then back-pedal, apologize and relativize the critique.

(Everything I just said is a reflection of my cloth ears and is only the one view and your mileage may vary without being less true than my mileage, especially in relation to Akai entry level vintage cassette decks.)


p.s. I am a great admirer of Akai vintage cassette decks, especially the CS F11.


Oh gawd, I now fear an avalanche of ancient cassette decks here.

Ooohh…look at my Nakamichi!


Yet the Jam stuff was well produced. Take “Funeral Pyre” on 7"single for example.

1 Like

Never meant it that way, JimDog and I’m sorry if you felt I meant otherwise.

Am as is.

Thanks Nigel, I appreciate you.

For me it was the Teacs… was so young then. I like some things old and conservative, even archaic, the likes of a Chrome Bumper Nait, Nancy Wilson, and Miles, and of course the dinosaurs.

1 Like

I had Marantz in the 80s - the ‘champagne silver’ type finish, cassette deck, tuner, amps.

like this:

[Sorry for thread drift.]

Outrageous exploitation of hifi porn, you should be ashamed!


A little porn from the past won’t hurt… :sweat_smile:

Speaking of that champagne gold finish… from Japanese manufacturers … Denon, Sony, Akai, Marantz… they still ooze a certain appeal… all that glitters is lovely gold… I recently saw a colour disc from Wilson Audio in that same finish with subtle pearlies in the paint finish… it was sublime…


1 Like

Seeing those VU’s reminded me - I saw a picture of headphones the other day (modern ones) with a working VU on the outside of the earcup. Go figure…

If Naim ever launched limited edition champagne gold boxes in their present anodised aluminium extrusion cases - yes it’s blasphemy I know - with the premise that these would make poorly recorded music sound even more listenable… assuming they got the tone of champagne gold light and right - ok ok I’m stretching it…! - they might fly off the shelves overseas in the Asian market … I would certainly be interested.

lol… I see it’s not your colour… In Asia, we have a certain fondness for shades of gold. Anyway, sorry for the digress Nigel…

Don’t mind the colour, it is similar to the rose-tinted spectacles we all seem to rock when we look back at our hifi of a bygone year.

In the late 1990s my major upgrade of the day was spanking new Linn Karik 3 and a pair of Martin Logan SL3s. Having previously found some recordings sufficiently crap that they detracted from the enjoyment of the music, I soon found with my new gear that many of them were in fact very competently engineered. Tori Amos’ ‘Little Earthquakes’ in particular sticks in the memory - I blamed the recording for the congested compressed mess I’d been hearing when it was in fact my equipment, and turned out to be really very good indeed!