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Kostas

My system sounds better than the Royal Albert Hall

39 posts in this topic

I am back from the PROMS where tonight I havelistened totwo works I am very familiar with (Mozart Violin Concerto No3 and Bruckner Symphony No3).

Despite listening to the performance fromdecent seats, the sound from my system was vastly superior to every aspect of the Concerto and, with exception of the crescentos, to everything elsein the Symphony. There were day and night differencesin the perceived detail and the width of the soundstage.

I do indeed feel guilty about writing the previous paragraph. The real, not the reproduced, sound should rule. Has anyone else had a similar experience?

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You’re comparing apples with oranges. A recording is not meant to be a facsimile of a live experience (unless it’s a live recording of a concert). You can however express a preference.

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Kostas wrote:

the sound from my system was vastly superior

Well, yes, I do know what you mean. But it all depends what you mean by 'superior', I think.

My swmbo thinks my tastes in audio give an unrealistic sound because you can hear too much of what is going on. The real concert hall experience is a more diffuse and less explicit representation of the music as it was composed.

I guess the only true representation is what was going thru the composer's mind, how they mentally envisaged it sounding, as they were planning and writing themusic - or as it was going thrutheir mind as they were improvising on stage, or whatever.

My hifi tastes have so corrupted me that I actually prefer to listen at home now, if I am honest. You can just hear more of the music. Heresy, I know. :)

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Super Wammer

I don't think you should feel guilty at all.

On the flip side, I recently went to see Orkestra Del Sol & had a chat with a couple of the band afterwards about things in general. My HiFi I love to bits BUT it certainly doesn't talk to me about beer & gigs (well may be on a Fri night).

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RAH is not that great acoustically imho... quite echo-ey and time smeary to coin some hifi phrases :P But you can't beat live tone!

Where were you sitting? The most expensive seats are not always the best :P

edit - I also agree that we are 'corrupted' by hifi recordings which show more artificial 'detail' and 'soundstaging'

JJ

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Tone and dynamics of live music simply cannot be matched by hifi, IME. Conversely, detail and soundstage is often better on a hifi.

Annoyingly, those like JJ and me who focus on the former (tone and dynamics) in our hifi suffer the most, as you still can't get that close to live. If you're a detail and soundstage freak, get yourself some Audio Physics and you do actually get something better than live from your hifi, whereas I am doomed to a poor simulacrum in every sense!

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AmDismal wrote:

Tone and dynamics of live music simply cannot be matched by hifi, IME. Conversely, detail and soundstage is often better on a hifi.

Annoyingly, those like JJ and me who focus on the former (tone and dynamics) in our hifi suffer the most, as you still can't get that close to live. If you're a detail and soundstage freak, get yourself some Audio Physics and you do actually get something better than live from your hifi, whereas I am doomed to a poor simulacrum in every sense!

+1 for me. I don't listen to imaging, I'm more concerned about the music as a 'gestalt', rather than getting anal about whether I can hear individual strands.

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mosfet wrote:

You’re comparing apples with oranges. A recording is not meant to be a facsimile of a live experience (unless it’s a live recording of a concert). You can however express a preference.

+1 :^

People often forget that when they listen to their stereo/studio recordings, what they get is a "Hyper-reality" sound.... ie mics inside pianos etc etc .

And that's the idea of studio recordings/engineering to give youa pleasant "sound" not a "true" one...

You don't listen to that when in a live concert!!

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jonjin wrote:

edit - I also agree that we are 'corrupted' by hifi recordings which show more artificial 'detail' and 'soundstaging'

JJ

Not sure that I would use the word 'corrupted'.

Is there something sacrosanct about the live sound? IME music played live in different concert halls sounds very different. Also very dependent on where you are located in a given hall - some folks like me prefer a seat 4 rows back, centre stalls. Others (like my friend AlanB) would prefer to be up in 'The Gods' where the sound is more diffuse. So which one is correct and which ones are wrong? Daft question - but there is no such thing as the original sound in that respect.

I'm a 'detail and soundstage' kind of listener (I like to hear as much of what is going on musically as possible)and, as Adam says, Audio Physic speakers are better than being there, in that sense! (So are my Leemas, come to that). 'Musical Gestalt' is good - but my brain integrates that once it has heard the details ;-).

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Tone, dynamics and performance for me. HiFi is good, but just can't cope with the variations.

On the latter, saw the Eagles once (young and didn't know better) and was heartily bored, as were the band who suddenly decided they'd had enough of their own stuff and roared into a fifties/sixties rock set. Fabulous stuff - you don't get that through your HiFi

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my hifi nirvana is to sound like a concert hall. Mosfet is right about orange and apple, some get turn on by studio recording sound and some, like me, love live music.

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Kostas wrote:

I am back from the PROMS where tonight I have listened to two works I am very familiar with (Mozart Violin Concerto No3 and Bruckner Symphony No3).

Despite listening to the performance from decent seats, the sound from my system was vastly superior to every aspect of the Concerto and, with exception of the crescentos, to everything else in the Symphony. There were day and night differences in the perceived detail and the width of the soundstage.

I do indeed feel guilty about writing the previous paragraph. The real, not the reproduced, sound should rule. Has anyone else had a similar experience?

There are those who prefer Orangina to the freshly squeezed juice...

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All any (and I do mean any) hifi can ever do is give an approximation of the real thing.

Real musicians in a real acoustic is what music is about.

Multi-miked recordings with pin sharp imagary and palpable depth are pure artifice. Playing this type of recording is like playing a 3D computer game & claiming that the colours are brighter than real life, and hence the virtual world is superior to the real thing. It may be hugely entertaining, but it is not real.

Chris

Chris

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Now they know how many holes it takes to fill the Albert Hall?

(Null points?)

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