Scot Hull over at parttimeaudiophile.com, ran an interesting piece the other day discussing the music we listen to as audiophiles. Shock. Gasp. Awe. I didn't realize that audiophiles actually listen to music! Ha. Just joking, or jj as my 19 year old step-daughter says as of recent. Having read his notes, I felt the need to chime in from my perspective, which in many ways mirrors Scott's findings (and no doubt that of many others).
Personally I think that audiophiles have gotten a bad rap over the years precisely because of the music that's associated with our hobby: extremely well recorded, but otherwise boring music. In other words, music that makes your system shine, not your heart and soul. Fair enough. Problem is, that I really don't care about that kind of music. Sure, impressive as it is to hear a full range system knock your socks off - clean - with perfectly reproduced dynamics, lows, mids and highs, if the music has no soul or narrative to move you, then what good is it.
Case in point, I was out record shopping this weekend at the Buena Park swap meet and came home with the following stash: Kris Kristofferson, Alan Parsons Project, Ray Price, Janis Joplin, Cal Tjader, Mongo Santamaria, Marty Robbins, Judy Garland, Was Not Was and Michael Jackon's Thriller. In other words, about as diverse music genres as you can get. Are any of these records considered audiophile music? Not in the least. Do any of these records sound great? Some do, some are ok, some are just that: music captured on tape, pressed on vinyl.
Does any of that matter to me? Not really. Would I love for all of these records to have been recorded perfectly, edited perfectly and mastered perfectly? Of course. Alas, such is life - it's still music and to be perfectly frank, it sounds pretty darn good, errors, pops, ticks and all! Point is, I'd much rather listen to those records than the latest "audiophile" stuff that's available and makes your system shine like no other. I wish that we'd hear more music like this at audio shows, reviews, etc. Isn't that what this hobby is all about anyway? Maybe it is the other way around. Who knows.