Are There Cross-Cultural Preferences in Quality of Reproduced Sound?

Apr 3, 2010
Seattle, WA
Raul's comment reminds me of the first time I was in Japan, taking a tour of the countryside. The guide showed us a Japanese garden which if you have not seen one before, it is usually made up of trees, rocks and moss. She commented that the Japanese are so used to that monotone set of colors and that a western garden full of colorful flowers is too much for them and overwhelms their senses.

That said, Japanese gardens can be full of color in the fall :)


Raul GS

New Member
Aug 2, 2010
I just showed that photo to my 11-year-old daughter and commented on how nice it was and her response...."I have seen better". Isn't it wonderful how parents are such simpletons ;)


New Member
Jul 26, 2010
Western burbs of Detroit
After reading this thread more specifically the FIM recordings posts I ordered some of their discs and wow are you ever right Steve these recordings are just beautiful, not cheap but beautiful sounding. i picked up Getz/Gilberto, A Million Watts of Love, and Jazz at the Pawnshop. I am listening to Jazz at the Pawnshop now and its like I am sitting at a table with a gin and tonic at the club! Any other titles you guys could recommend would be great, thanks.


steve williams

Site Founder, Site Owner, Administrator
Hi Dan

Glad you liked them. Now to confuse you even more which version of JATPS did you buy? Winston has released .an even more limited version that is as real as it gets. However MSRP was in excess of $100

Raul GS

New Member
Aug 2, 2010
which version of JATPS did you buy? Winston has released .an even more limited version that is as real as it gets. However MSRP was in excess of $100
JATPS was considered one of the "standards" in LPs for the longest times. Has it held that status in CDs as well? Is the limited edition an LP, Tape or a CD?

steve williams

Site Founder, Site Owner, Administrator
The answer is yes I have and this remastered version is simply the best I have ever heard.

I guess Bruce's smiley implies that if you hear it yourself you will understand my comment

Bruce B

WBF Founding Member, Pro Audio Production Member
Apr 26, 2010
Seattle, WA
O'kay... I've got one for you. The top 10 selling CD's in Japan are all XRCD... why???

1. Best Audiophile Voices Ⅲ / 14 Female Singers
XRCDPR-27864 (XRCD2) Premium (Singapore)

2. LD+3 / Lou Donaldson with The Three Sounds
XW-9220005 (XRCD24) AWM=Blue Note (USA)

3. All For You / Diana Krall Trio
XR-5323609 (XRCD24) Universal=Impulse (Taiwan)

4. Tom Cat / Lee Morgan Sextet
XW-9220008 (XRCD24) AWM=Blue Note (USA)

5. Adagio Karajan / Herbert Von Karajan & Berlin Philharmony
XR-4802459 (XRCD24) Universal=Grammophon (Taiwan)

6. Cool Struttin’ / Sonny Clark Quintet
XW-9220003 (XRCD24) AWM=Blue Note (USA)

7. Best Audiophile Voices / 14 Female Singers
XRCDPR-27901 (XRCD2) Premium (Singapore)

8. Best Audiophile Voices Ⅱ / 12 Female Singers
XRCDPR-27840 (XRCD2) Premium (Singapore)

9. Midnight Matinee / Amanda McBroom
XRCD24-NT005 (XRCD24) Master Music=Magnum (Japan)

10. Doin’ Allright / Dexter Gordon Quintet
XW-9220007 (XRCD24) AWM=Blue Note (USA)

Raul GS

New Member
Aug 2, 2010
I could see them being the top 10 Jazz audiophile CDs, but I would be somewhat surprised if they were the top 10 or even the top 10 Jazz CDs in Japan.


New Member
Aug 15, 2010
To answer the question of topic I think there may be. Young hipsters want more thumping bass for their rap and oldsters may want chrisper highs for their classical music. I fit somewhere in between. An audiophile since 12 yr old now an old man of 53 . One observation I have made is that mid end or entry level hi end has great clarity but the music is more blended than let's say ulta hi end. At this ultra hi end the music sometimes comes across in layers. Each instrument can be oinpointed but unless recorded well the results are not optimium. Well recorded music is fantastic. So so recorded music has that clear but more blended mid fi sound. And lastly a poorly recorded performance just sits there and the better componets seem no better than the mid fi. As my system gets better it gets worse. (Worse being Garbage in-Gabage out.


WBF Technical Expert
Jun 20, 2010
Westlake Village,CA
Maybe, this tongue-in-cheek opus from Dynaudio has helped perpetuate the idea:

See the bit on "Everything's different in Japan".

That is an interesting document that I've never seen. Thanks for sharing it. That would even more funny, if people didn't actually believe it.

Of course, there are many Danish composers listed here, the most famous being Carl Nielsen, so the DynAudio theory why Danes make the best speakers (they have no composers or rock bands) is based on a false premise :)


Member Sponsor
Aug 31, 2010
Mexico City
I think that this idea has very valid facts behind, One example is recording technics in some parts of the world as the essay implies, based on my experience with some recordings at hand, I find for example a very closed-mike approach with many Japanese recordings (Three Blind Mice labeled tracks is an example) versus some Russian orchestral recordings which are 25% further (mike placing?) than usual British pressings.

As for type of construction, I remember very well having my good friend Jaczec coming to Mexico and paying a visit to my place, he shared with me that my late Avangardes were producing one of the best bass responses he have heard- even best to his own Acapellas at his NYC place. He based his conclusions on the fact that most of Mexico's urban homes are brick and mortar constructions compared to many new US homes which are not.

One final thought could be the conductor/artist match - some think that a Russian composer directed now with a Russian conductor for example, portraits the intrinsic message of a given musical piece better than an "allien" one.

Very provocative essay Sean, thanks for sharing it.
Last edited:
May 30, 2010
Maybe, this tongue-in-cheek opus from Dynaudio has helped perpetuate the idea:
I enjoyed the the paper version of the Dynaudio "Book of Truth" since I owned a pair of the big Consequences around 1996.
My preferred "cross-cultural" quote (about the OCOS speaker cable):

"The Swiss are just as restrained as the Danes. Ocos (cable) is incredible thin. After all, it serves to conduct information, not water"

BTW, the triple OCOS cables were fantastic.

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