How the Hobby is Changing, or Back to the Future

PeterA

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I came upon this video in my YouTube alert list. I sat and watched it and started to think about just how big a change this video represents. Or does it? Here are two guys talking on a YouTube video about gear, not just any gear, but three turntables. They are in a guy's house, discussing three tables which have been set up for comparison purposes. The owner is a dealer for VPI turntables. He brings in a Kronos for comparison. His listening room is set up for demonstrations. Effort is made to set up the three turntables with similar cartridges. They supposedly offer three levels of performance at different price points.

The video is intriguing because it is basically a tease for the comparison yet to come. Three things stand out to me:

1. It is a small scale home dealership instead of the traditional destination brick and mortar store
2. This is all done via video for a remote audience/client, and it is distributed over YouTube rather than from magazines.
3. A direct comparison between three turntables at different price points, how cool is that?

I find this fascinating on multiple levels. The most interesting to me is that this may be the way products are introduced, marketed and sold in the future. The second is that this guy Jay is now deciding that introducing vinyl to his system will help him grow his channel. He is realizing that the High End is not just about digital and streaming. And finally, is this something totally new, or is this really very similar to the way people learned about products in the past by visiting others in their homes and making comparisons? Of course, the YouTube part is new and offers greater reach. I think there is something going on here, but perhaps I am just late to realize it.

What do you think?

 
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ddk

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I came upon this video in my YouTube alert list. I sat and watched it and started to think about just how big a change this video represents. Or does it? Here are two guys talking on a YouTube video about gear, not just any gear, but three turntables. They are in a guy's house, discussing three tables which have been set up for comparison purposes. The owner is a dealer for VPI turntables. He brings in a Kronos for comparison. His listening room is set up for demonstrations. Effort is made to set up the three turntables with similar cartridges. They supposedly offer three levels of performance at different price points.

The video is intriguing because it is basically a tease for the comparison yet to come. Three things stand out to me:

1. It is a small scale home dealership instead of the traditional destination brick and mortar store
2. This is all done via video for a remote audience/client, and it is distributed over YouTube rather than from magazines.
3. A direct comparison between three turntables at different price points, how cool is that?

I find this fascinating on multiple levels. The most interesting to me is that this may be the way products are introduced, marketed and sold in the future. The second is that this guy Jay is now deciding that introducing vinyl to his system will help him grow his channel. He is realizing that the High End is not just about digital and streaming. And finally, is this something totally new, or is this really very similar to the way people learned about products in the past by visiting others in their homes and making comparisons? Of course, the YouTube part is new and offers greater reach. I think there is something going on here, but perhaps I am just late to realize it.

What do you think?

Distribution has been moving this direction for a very long time with smaller dealers popping up here and there as well as niche players (different from your typical dealer!) in home settings. We were distributing several brands directly and had home showrooms since 1999! What's kind of new is the use of social media specially for older battle horses, a few are doing a great job at it too.

david
 

Pokey77

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I bought my current system, most of it at least, from a person that had five rooms set up in an otherwise vacant Townhome. That dealer has since set up shop in a bricks -and-mortar location. I visit infrequently but always enjoy my visits as we consider each other friends. More than half the time we don't listen to music, but have great conversation about current matters or audio-related topics.

Peter, I know you've followed Jay as you mention him from time to time. Jays purpose in doing vinyl is as you say he thought he may gain more followers. Jay sold off some tube gear and as part of that the TT came in trade. The gentleman in the video that Jay is conversing with is fairly local to Jay and is noted to have extensive experience with TTs and their set up. He is a dealer for the three VPI tables and is apparently selling them from his home store. He is helping Jay with the set up and that is how he fits into Jays picture I believe.

Jay has always been digital only. It'll be interesting to see if he goes down the rabbit hole with vinyl playback or if the vinyl thing is just for a short season only.

BTW, I know another dealer that started out in a house and then moved to a decent-sized industrial building with nice listening rooms and a good-sized warehouse. He does lots of videos and is well known on the internet. I've been there once but it is 50ish miles away and at that time mostly brands of little interest to me. My dealer is just 5 miles away.

As I'm sure you also know, Mike from Suncoast in Florida also does videos, but his viewership and followers' numbers are much lower. Jay seems to be onto something with his videos and I believe the more popular videos are when he discusses equipment and his impressions. I like them better than the comparison videos myself.
 

tima

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I've listen to Jay a few times, maybe 10. More random listening than purposeful. His productions seem organized. He fills his time and he can speak without struggling.

I have a question for those that follow him regularly: does he talk about specific pieces of music or is music to him more a pathway to equipment? If he talks about music, what sort of music does he play?
 

PeterA

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I can not say I follow him Tim, but I have watched a few videos. He rarely talks about music from what I can tell. The music he uses is mostly unfamiliar to me and seems highly processed. Never solo piano or strings. Rarely unamplified acoustic instruments from what I have heard. It seems to be the kind of stuff played at audio shows that usually is not very challenging for the system so it leaves a good impression. I do not like his music choices.
 
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Pokey77

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@tima
@PeterA

My backstory: I'm fairly new here on WBF and tend to read a lot more than post. I first came to this site many years ago but it didn't click for me and I lost interest. Fastforward: when Mike L started a Wadax thread over on Agon in the last year, I decided to give WBF another try. I now find the atmosphere here cordial and stimulating and more to my liking and so find myself spending most of my audio-related time here on WBF.

I have followed Jays thread on Agon essentially from the beginning and then have followed his YT videos since the start. Though I live in SoCal and have access to many dealers, and have been to many of the shows, I find Jay a breath of fresh air, like so many others. I enjoy hearing about his experiences and YT has brought that to the table for a wide spectrum of followers. When I first started reading Jay's Agon thread, he was demoing gear I'd either never heard of or was not interested in. When he started with the higher end stuff, a lot of his observations were similar to mine and so I've been comfortable with his observations on gear. Jay has grown significantly since he started his Agon thread, just wanting to share his experiences with the amps he'd tried in his system.

Jay does not talk about music much. He more relates how it sounds and what he likes or dislikes about the sound. Jay does enjoy a wide range of music, but as many of us, has limited exposure to classical, to my knowledge. We all have different music choices and that is what makes this hobby fun. Personally, I experimented with classical music in my 20s and after a few years I didn't pursue it anymore. I'm nearing retirement and so plan to give it another try; with adequate time to scratch my personal much itch, and then time to explore other genres, I'll have time to venture into classical while still enjoying the genres that bring me much pleasure. Streaming has informed my musical interests very significantly over the years and I am eternally grateful for that. -Jay tends to play newer pop/rock etc. but is interested in 80s/90s and some classic rock too I believe.

BTW, I only know Jay in the context of his Agon thread and YT postings. I have no personal connection to him and am not here to push his growth, but I certainly do wish him the best and would recommend others give him a try. We all have different interests, and we can choose to change the channel if it is not meeting our needs - it is great to have many different options though I'll say that Jay seems to be the only one showcasing the ultra high-end in his own room and with his own personal working capital (he also has a 9to5). Jay is working hard to build his online presence and those that follow him continue to grow. Again, I wish him well.
 

KeithR

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I can not say I follow him Tim, but I have watched a few videos. He rarely talks about music from what I can tell. The music he uses is mostly unfamiliar to me and seems highly processed. Never solo piano or strings. Rarely unamplified acoustic instruments from what I have heard. It seems to be the kind of stuff played at audio shows that usually is not very challenging for the system so it leaves a good impression. I do not like his music choices.
Well, music is personal ultimately. It’s the one thing I don’t believe deserves criticism.

Jays a self admitted gear head, not music lover anyway.
 

Pokey77

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Well, music is personal ultimately. It’s the one thing I don’t believe deserves criticism. -Fully agreed.

Jays a self admitted gear head, not music lover anyway. -These two things are not mutually exclusive.
 
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Purchased a set of Sonner Allegro Unum Speakers from a dealer that is working out of his home here in Texas. Audio Thesis in Arlington TX. was a great experience and I will be calling Skip next time I am in the market for gear. I love the personal attention and the low-pressure sale.
 
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stehno

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I can not say I follow him Tim, but I have watched a few videos. He rarely talks about music from what I can tell. The music he uses is mostly unfamiliar to me and seems highly processed. Never solo piano or strings. Rarely unamplified acoustic instruments from what I have heard. It seems to be the kind of stuff played at audio shows that usually is not very challenging for the system so it leaves a good impression. I do not like his music choices.
Peter, I'm a bit perplexed by what you might consider challenging. For example. You seem to consider solo piano or strings as challenging whereas I’d call such pieces a walk in the park. I’m also unsure why you think highly-processed recordings might be less of a challenge than unamplified music.

To the best of my knowledge a music note is a music note regardless of instrument, genre, amplification, or origin. IOW, our playback systems are incapable of discerning such differences and if that's true, why might such distinctions be so important to you or others?

Below is a video that by no means is my most "challenging" but do you really think you've got many or even any classical pieces that could be as challenging? Especially when played back at/near live performance volume levels – which should always be the case when evaluating music and/or a playback system, right?

Could it be that we emphasize different sonic characteristics and that's what makes us consider one type of music more challenging that another? Could it also be that much of what we consider "challenging" is based on what we’ve read or been told over the years which may have very little to do with reality? Or might it be that we just have entirely different definitions of the word challenging when used in a high-end audio playback context?

IME, listening to this or any piece near/at live performance volume levels presents a very serious challenge. Live performance volume levels of this type coupled with inferior-engineered recordings and dynamics and complexities often times associated with “highly-processed” recordings can present an even greater challenge. If not the greatest of challenges for perhaps any playback system. Then again, if one is listening at volume levels significantly less than live performance volume levels, can any music be considered a challenge?

Don’t get me wrong as I think there’s plenty of classical / instrumental pieces that can be quite challenging. I’m just having difficulty understanding why you think highly-processed and/or amplified music of any sort is any less challenging, especially when our systems lack any such discernment. Also, if one rarely listens to amplified / processed music and never listens near/at live performance volume levels, can one more fully comprehend the challenge such music often presents?

But you are correct when you say such music as this can leave a good impression at audio shows or elsewhere. But only for those playback systems up to the challenge and for those audiences who comprehend the significance of challenge of what they’re hearing.
Perhaps if you could clarify your statements above to more specifically describe what you consider challenging?


And yes, you should crank up the volume.
 

tima

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To the best of my knowledge a music note is a music note regardless of instrument, genre, amplification, or origin. IOW, our playback systems are incapable of discerning such differences and if that's true, why might such distinctions be so important to you or others?

Yes, tautologies are generally safe. And our systems speak a language of electricity, physics and frequency more so than the language of music. On the other hand ...

Let's consider a note, the note against which an orchestra tunes up - that would be the A above middle-C. 440Hz, 440 cycles per second. There is only a small handful of orchestral instruments that cannot play that note. The oboe sounds the A and other instruments repeat it and adjust their tuning according to each musicians ear. That means most everyone is making a 440Hz sound, all notes at the same pitch. In that sense, a note is anote.

However, when the oboe plays the A and a trumpet plays at the same pitch we hear distinctly different sounds. [note to those who say we all hear differently: can you tell an oboe from a trumpet?] The A at 440cps is the lowest frequency and usually the loudest for that note, but there are a number of different frequencies that compose that A. We cannot distinquish these individually when we hear the A. They are the instrument's overtones for the note.

Different instruments have different material composition (brass for the trumpet, usually ebony for the oboe), different shapes, weights, etc. The number and range of overtones varies per instrument; these are a result of each instrument's physical makeup and how it is played. This is what determines an instrument's timbre (rhymes with 'amber'). This is why we hear a trumpet as a different sound than an oboe when both play at the same frequency. There must be something different on the recording that leads the stereo system to reproduce the notes we hear. Here in a sense a note is not just a note regardless of instrument.

As to the Yes music in the video versus, say, Beethoven's Pastoral Symphony, which is more challenging to reproduce? Maybe it depends on what you mean by 'challenging' - here your use of challenging is too open-ended. What exactly is the challenge? If the challenge is to reproduce something we can go to the concert hall to hear what the Beethoven recording is challenged to reproduce. In the case of the in-studio electronically modified Yes performance we have no clue what it is supposed to reproduce, or put differently an assessment of its reproduction can never be wrong.

Enjoy either however you please. :)

edit: grammar
 
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PeterA

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Yes, tautologies are generally safe. And our systems speak a language of electricity, physics and frequency more so than the language of music. On the other hand ...

Let's consider a note, the note against which an orchestra tunes up - that would be the A above middle-C. 440Hz, 440 cycles per second. There is only a small handful of orchestral instruments that cannot play that note. The oboe sounds the A and other instruments repeat it and adjust their tuning according to each musicians ear. That means most everyone is making a 440Hz sound, all notes at the same pitch. In that sense, a note is anote.

However, when the oboe plays the A and a trumpet plays at the same pitch we hear distinctly different sounds. [note to those who say we all hear differently: can you tell an oboe from a trumpet?] The A at 440cps is the lowest frequency and usually the loudest for that note, but there are a number of different frequencies that compose that A. We cannot distinquish these individually when we hear the A. They are the instrument's overtones for the note.

Different instruments have different material composition (brass for the trumpet, usually ebony for the oboe), different shapes, weights, etc. The number and range of overtones varies per instrument; these are a result of each instrument's physical makeup and how it is played. This is what determines an instrument's timbre (rhymes with 'amber'). This is why we hear a trumpet as a different sound than an oboe when both play at the same frequency. There must be something different on the recording that leads the stereo system to reproduce the notes we hear. Here in a sense a note is not just a note regardless of instrument.

As to the Yes music in the video versus, say, Beethoven's Pastoral Symphony, which is more challenging to reproduce? Maybe it depends on what you mean by 'challenging' - here your use of challenging is too open-ended. What exactly is the challenge? If the challenge is to reproduce something we can go to the concert hall to hear what the Beethoven recording is challenged to reproduce. In the case of the in-studio electronically modified Yes performance we have no clue what it is supposed to reproduce, or put differently an assessment of its reproduction can never be wrong.

Enjoy either however you please. :)

edit: grammar

Great post Tim. You put into words something I didn’t even understand well enough to be able to express clearly.

I took some heat for saying I would appreciate some variety in the music Jay’s audio lab presents on their videos. Others made the point that music selection can’t be criticized. I was simply trying to say that for the purposes of evaluating a system, the music one chooses is a kind of tool to help evaluate the capabilities of a system, even over a YouTube video.

Of course music choice also is often made very specifically when demonstrating a system. I do not think it is a coincidence that we often hear girl with guitar audiophile type music demonstrations at audio shows. They often sound good.
 

bryans

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Great post Tim. You put into words something I didn’t even understand well enough to be able to express clearly.

I took some heat for saying I would appreciate some variety in the music Jay’s audio lab presents on their videos. Others made the point that music selection can’t be criticized. I was simply trying to say that for the purposes of evaluating a system, the music one chooses is a kind of tool to help evaluate the capabilities of a system, even over a YouTube video.

Of course music choice also is often made very specifically when demonstrating a system. I do not think it is a coincidence that we often hear girl with guitar audiophile type music demonstrations at audio shows. They often sound good.
This is why everytime I listen to a system I bring my own music. I have some selections I have listened to since the 80s. I have even had dealers tell me some of my recordings aren't recorded well. I always tell them that if the system doesn't play all of my music the way I like, I will not buy it. You can imagine the look on their faces when I tell them this o_O
 
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tima

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Great post Tim. You put into words something I didn’t even understand well enough to be able to express clearly.

I took some heat for saying I would appreciate some variety in the music Jay’s audio lab presents on their videos. Others made the point that music selection can’t be criticized. I was simply trying to say that for the purposes of evaluating a system, the music one chooses is a kind of tool to help evaluate the capabilities of a system, even over a YouTube video.

Of course music choice also is often made very specifically when demonstrating a system. I do not think it is a coincidence that we often hear girl with guitar audiophile type music demonstrations at audio shows. They often sound good.

Thank you Peter.

Everyone is entitled to listen to whatever they want without criticism. Whether these choices are useful to system assessment is another story. Someone might say that Musica Nuda is girl with guitar music (actually a cello). It is closely mic'd, rangey, dynamic, and lays bare the sound of two instruments in a way most g-w-g music does not.
 
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stehno

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Yes, tautologies are generally safe. And our systems speak a language of electricity, physics and frequency and more so than the language of music. On the other hand ...

Let's consider a note, the note against which an orchestra tunes up - that would be the A above middle-C. 440Hz, 440 cycles per second. There is only a small handful of orchestral instruments that cannot play that note. The oboe sounds the A and other instruments repeat it and adjust their tuning according to each musicians ear. That means most everyone is making a 440Hz sound, all notes at the same pitch. In that sense, a note is anote.

However, when the oboe plays the A and a trumpet plays at the same pitch we hear distinctly different sounds. [note to those who say we all hear differently: can you tell an oboe from a trumpet?] The A at 440cps is the lowest frequency and usually the loudest for that note, but there are a number of different frequencies that compose that A. We cannot distinquish these individually when we hear the A. They are the instrument's overtones for the note.

Different instruments have different material composition (brass for the trumpet, usually ebony for the oboe), different shapes, weights, etc. The number and range of overtones varies per instrument; these are a result of each instrument's physical makeup and how it is played. This is what determines an instrument's timbre (rhymes with 'amber'). This why we hear a trumpet as a different sound than an oboe. There must be something different on the recording that leads the stereo system reproduce the notes we hear. Here in a sense a note is not just a note regardless of instrument.
That’s nice, Tim. The gold standard, right? Though I’m unsure what this has to do with the price of tea in China. Unless perhaps this is your roundabout way of implying classical music and your level of understanding of classical music is somehow more challenging (superior?) than other genres and others’ levels of understanding there?

For the record, I enjoy classical music but not necessarily in the same way as perhaps others do. Regardless, no matter how much you wanna believe you’ve got things locked down, a music note is still a music note to which our playback systems still lack the ability to discern types and differences of the note it’s processing.

Obviously you’re a classical music lover and that’s nice that you choose to educate yourself a bit on the subject. Even so, what does any of this have to do with Peter’s and presumably now your claim that highly-processed/amplified music is any less challenging?

Given what I stated earlier along with the video I provided, highly-processed/amplified music is certainly no less challenging to our playback systems so presumably you and Peter are saying it’s only less challenging in your minds?

Why? Might it be because you don’t quite know what challenges to listen for in other less studied genres? Do you think it’s possible that one can listen for similar challenges regardless of genre?

You’re a reviewer, right? So while I await Peter’s reply to the questions I directed at him, why not shed some light on what you consider challenging when evaluating a product under review using your reference recordings?

Even though you probably were not in attendance for many of your reference recordings. Even though every last note is perhaps as unique as a snow flake or a fingerprint, and every venue will sound different with every performance and collection of instruments and conductor, with every seating arrangement, with every recording and mastering engineer, with every instrument tuned slightly differently and every manufacturer producing a slightly different sounding oboe that interacts slightly differently every time with every slightly different sounding trumpet, and with different levels of concert hall humidity, not to mention the mindset of the conductor, the performers, and you on any given night, etc, etc.

With so many dynamic sonic variables and combinations thereof at play at a single performance / recording, just what exactly are you really locking in on that convinces you an undeniable challenge is being presented?

And also would you mind sharing what your usual listening levels are when evaluating such challenges?

As to the Yes music in the video versus, say, Beethoven's Pastoral Symphony, which is more challenging to reproduce? Maybe it depends on what you mean by 'challenging' - here your use of challenging is too open-ended. What exactly is the challenge?
Did you even listen to the YES video and if so, did you listen with the volume cranked up? Based on your response here, I’m guessing not. If you did, I’m surprised you’re even asking the question.

If the challenge is to reproduce something we can go to the concert hall to hear what the Beethoven recording is challenged to reproduce.
The problem is hearing Beethoven in a concert hall is quite possibly vastly different than on your playback system and if you're listening at less than live performance levels, it's even worse sounding. And for all anybody knows, Beehthoven could be rolling over in his grave at some interpretatiosn of his music, including yours.

In the case of the in-studio electronically modified Yes performance we have no clue what it is supposed to reproduce, or put differently an assessment of its reproduction can never be wrong.

Enjoy either however you please. :)
Right. And based on all the dynamic variables of every live Beethoven performance I listed above and more, we know EXACTLY what it's supposed to reproduce? Seriously?
 
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tima

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I believe stereo systems know nothing about music or notes. Actually I believe stereo systems do not "know"' or have cognition. But that is not something I usually think about.

This is your quote to which I responded:
To the best of my knowledge a music note is a music note regardless of instrument, genre, amplification, or origin. IOW, our playback systems are incapable of discerning such differences and if that's true, why might such distinctions be so important to you or others?

You said that playback systems are incapable of discerning differences in music origin, music genre, etc, Okay you describe something a stereo does not do. I took this as a way for you to make a point to @PeterA that no particular music is more difficult to reproduce than some other music. That is not a topic of interest to me and I did not speak to it.

You said "a note is a music note regardless of instument ..." and "why might such distinctions be so important to you". I picked up on "a note is just a note" and proceeded to talk about how that is the case in one sense (different instruments, same pitch) and not the case in another (same frequency/same pitch, dilfferent timbre/ different sound.) Given two notes at the same frequency our stereo produces two very different sounds. I was speaking to your question about why that is important to some. It is important because it tells us there are different instruments making the sounds we hear.

I mentioned the Yes - Beethoven comparison at the end in order to be somewhat relevant to your post. My point was I have a reference to the Beethoven music that I can use to compare to reproduced Beethoven, and I have no reference to compare with the Yes reproduction.

I don't know why you are irritated, but I have no interest in arguing with you.
 

PeterA

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Peter, I'm a bit perplexed by what you might consider challenging. For example. You seem to consider solo piano or strings as challenging whereas I’d call such pieces a walk in the park. I’m also unsure why you think highly-processed recordings might be less of a challenge than unamplified music.

To the best of my knowledge a music note is a music note regardless of instrument, genre, amplification, or origin. IOW, our playback systems are incapable of discerning such differences and if that's true, why might such distinctions be so important to you or others?

Below is a video that by no means is my most "challenging" but do you really think you've got many or even any classical pieces that could be as challenging? Especially when played back at/near live performance volume levels – which should always be the case when evaluating music and/or a playback system, right?

Could it be that we emphasize different sonic characteristics and that's what makes us consider one type of music more challenging that another? Could it also be that much of what we consider "challenging" is based on what we’ve read or been told over the years which may have very little to do with reality? Or might it be that we just have entirely different definitions of the word challenging when used in a high-end audio playback context?

IME, listening to this or any piece near/at live performance volume levels presents a very serious challenge. Live performance volume levels of this type coupled with inferior-engineered recordings and dynamics and complexities often times associated with “highly-processed” recordings can present an even greater challenge. If not the greatest of challenges for perhaps any playback system. Then again, if one is listening at volume levels significantly less than live performance volume levels, can any music be considered a challenge?

Don’t get me wrong as I think there’s plenty of classical / instrumental pieces that can be quite challenging. I’m just having difficulty understanding why you think highly-processed and/or amplified music of any sort is any less challenging, especially when our systems lack any such discernment. Also, if one rarely listens to amplified / processed music and never listens near/at live performance volume levels, can one more fully comprehend the challenge such music often presents?

But you are correct when you say such music as this can leave a good impression at audio shows or elsewhere. But only for those playback systems up to the challenge and for those audiences who comprehend the significance of challenge of what they’re hearing.
Perhaps if you could clarify your statements above to more specifically describe what you consider challenging?


And yes, you should crank up the volume.

Stehno, for me videos can be a tool to assess the quality of a system. As such, I prefer to use music that I can reference live by going to a concert hall or chamber setting. That reference is in my memory. I can hear a violin or choir or piano or orchestra and have a decent idea of how it sounds. Electronic amplified music is great, but what is the timbre of a guitar amplifier in a studio? You may know, but I am not so sure. They generally all sound awesome to me, but can be very different.

I would simply prefer to hear a greater variety of music at show/dealer demos and on Jay's videos. It is not a criticism of his music choices, that is personal, it is more for me about being able to judge the sound quality which seems to be why he is presenting the videos to his audience. His music choices don't tell me much about the sound of his systems.

Regarding cranking up the volume, I listen at a variety of volumes in my own room, depending on the music. Listening to Fischer-Diskau or Ella Fitzgerald or Vivaldi's Mandolins is a bit different from listening to Cream or Holst's Mars. My ears, the room, the iphone mic all have their limits and what sounds best for a given set of conditions.
 

stehno

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Stehno, for me videos can be a tool to assess the quality of a system. As such, I prefer to use music that I can reference live by going to a concert hall or chamber setting. That reference is in my memory. I can hear a violin or choir or piano or orchestra and have a decent idea of how it sounds. Electronic amplified music is great, but what is the timbre of a guitar amplifier in a studio? You may know, but I am not so sure. They generally all sound awesome to me, but can be very different.

I would simply prefer to hear a greater variety of music at show/dealer demos and on Jay's videos. It is not a criticism of his music choices, that is personal, it is more for me about being able to judge the sound quality which seems to be why he is presenting the videos to his audience. His music choices don't tell me much about the sound of his systems.

Regarding cranking up the volume, I listen at a variety of volumes in my own room, depending on the music. Listening to Fischer-Diskau or Ella Fitzgerald or Vivaldi's Mandolins is a bit different from listening to Cream or Holst's Mars. My ears, the room, the iphone mic all have their limits and what sounds best for a given set of conditions.
Peter, I understand the music preference thing and that was never my point of contention. My contention was on your claim that highly-processed/amplified music was essentially "less challenging" music that often times left audiences easily and improperly impressed. That just seemed like a blanket statement and without any qualfications was contrary to my experience.

Then again, your challenging statements were in direct response to the type of music Jay references whereas I've no clue what kind of music Jay listens to. I intepreted your comments generically and perhaps that wasn't a good idea.

I also mentioned volume levels, dynamic and/or complex passages, as well as the quality of a recording's engineering because these are all potentially very significant contributors that can make many a music piece challenging in addition to the music itself. To our playback systems I mean.

Which all kinda' begs the question, what do we consider challenging vs what is really challenging for our playback systems and of course, what is challenging? What are we focused on that determines whethere or not a piece is challenging to us and/or our playback systems?

I get that some may be students of certain types of music which often times formulates new perceptions of what is challenging to the student. I am not a student of any type of any music as I've zero interest in such things. I just enjoy the final product. I remember one listening session with a reviewer who happens to have a pair of ears that I've not witnessed elsewhere, not even close. We were listening to a challenging classical piece and afterward he started going down the math of music rabbit hole and I just yawned.

Anyway, that's why I responded to your post.
 

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