I know there are some who might think or say “I can’t hear the difference between this or that. Don’t feel bad. To those of us who can, we are not imagining things.
It’s a fact that we are all born with different levels of sensory perception. Some people can’t smell a thing when some of us surf rats can smell a school of menhaden a half a mile off the beach. Then there are animals like my son who eat jalapenos like they’re candy! We also have different sensitivities to different inputs. A great horn section makes my wife’s ears bleed. It’s no wonder we can’t all agree on what sounds good.
Well you could say as long as we use our own perception of the live event as a reference, we should be able to distinguish the accurate from the inaccurate. True—kinda, but some people have much more experience with the real thing than others. A person who spends most of his life behind an instrument should be able to tell when something is right or wrong better than others. They teach people to identify counterfeit money by studying the real thing.
The same goes for our systems. If we have taken the time to adjust everything and we know every scratch on our records, we will know if something makes an improvement or not. That’s why if you’re gonna make any investment try to audition in your own system. Forget that 30-second stuff or our hearing memory is not that good. Don’t listen for anything particular, just listen to enjoy. Even read or write while listening (in the LS). You will know it when your head just pops up and looks around, or you just say to yourself “that was pretty darn good.”
Then there’s studio recordings that have been so manipulated there is no reference for right or wrong. It kills me to hear a great song that sounds like crap!
We also have people who don’t like hard rock and people who think classical is boring. I don’t get it. Me? I don’t care. If it’s a single voice, the Philharmonic, or Twin Marshall stacks; if it’s musical I’m turning it to eleven!
Here’s the real tornado in the mix, emotions. To some music is just something nice to have in the background. To others it is an absolute gift from God! It has the ability to touch us at our very core. It may have even made you cry (com’on admit it!). But once emotions are involved, objectivity is gone and the issue of accuracy doesn’t matter but just maybe if your system gives you those musical emotions then you got it right!
So what is my point in all of this? I think as a community of music lovers we can all help each other to attain the best possible music in our homes and not be concerned over different opinions, tastes and perceptions. It doesn’t matter what somebody else thinks, says, feels, hears or measures. If it sounds great to you and makes you happy then that’s all that matters.
God gave the heart a voice to sound its’ joy and sorrow. We call it music…