We have recently come across the article below from respected publication ‘Part-time Audiophile’.
It is a well written piece on how industry people describe what they are hearing, and what they are listening for. It is unashamedly aimed at the ‘audiophile’ but makes good reading (including the comments at the bottom) even if you do not consider yourself as an audiophile.
‘This opens up a question in itself – what constitutes an audiophile?’
I know that, despite being in the industry for 50 years, do not consider myself as one – but would prefer to describe myself as a music lover. I believe that the term Audiophile has been unfairly used to describe people who like nothing more than play with the equipment. Yes, these folk do exist, but for the majority the equipment is simply a means of getting the best out of the music you are playing – and that is as it should be.
Personally I have always maintained that you will know when a system is right for you – it just sounds right. A classic example of this is when I first heard the new Krell K-300i amplifier. I am not sure what it is that appeals to me, but it just sounds more like the music that is being played than its predecessor (and most other amplifiers for that matter). I could use the terms covered in this article to describe this, but I could use the same terms for another piece of equipment which does not evoke the same response as the K-300i. Likewise I would be hard pressed to describe why a pair of Sonus Faber Amarti or Serhan & Swift Mu2 speakers sound as they do, but I know these are speakers that I could listen to for a very long period, and with a wide repertoire of music. Assuming the appropriate electronics are being employed these are products that immerses me in the music – which is all I ask for.
This is also not necessarily price related. I still recall – from many years ago – one of my favorite combinations being a pair of Epos ES14 speakers powered with a B200a Musical Fidelity integrated amplifier and Alphason turntable. Hardly high-end, but I found more enjoyment listening to this more than the vastly more expensive Duntech Sovereign/Perreaux pairing that we had in our high-end sound-lounge at the time.
Why? – I am not sure that I could give a legitimate explanation – but this has been a recurring theme over the years.
‘…it is very dangerous relying solely on the internet to choose components…’
A side note to this is that it is very dangerous relying solely on the internet to choose components – the products mentioned above appeal to me, and while I would strongly advise auditioning them, there is no guarantee that they will meet your requirements. You need to listen and choose for yourself – and listen with your heart!
We hope you enjoy the article, and take from it what you will.
Click here to read “Hi-fi: What Does It Sound Like?” by Dave McNair