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Getting used to more detail on well-known albums

Discussion in 'music' started by deebster, Jul 19, 2019.

  1. deebster

    deebster Half Man Half Biscuit

    Just wondering if anyone else has experienced a similar thing.

    I've made a few upgrades to my system over the last few months and am very happy with them, as I am with the improved detail and sound of many albums I've loved for years.

    But one or two albums now sound slightly less (searching for the right word here) enthralling with the extra detail.

    For example, an album I've cherished for 30 years is Recurrence by The Railway Children, which always jangled away like a belter. But now, being able to pick out acoustic guitar much more easily, and electric guitar being more firmly placed in the soundstage rather than being splashed all over it it has lost something (that I guess it never really had).

    Makes me feel a tad more guilty about talking to the rhythm guitarist after a gig in Wigan in 1991 and telling him he should play electric more than acoustic. In my defence I was mightily squiffy though, having downed about 9 pints in the George Orwell bar beforehand.
    irons1965 likes this.
  2. George J

    George J Herefordshire member

    I remember being asked [after playing double bass in a string orchestra concert] by a punter, if there were not perhaps one or two mistakes during the course of the music? I replied that it had gone very well from the technical point. Of course it had been one of those concerts that happen occasionally when you are glad nothing worse happened!

    I learned from that. Be very careful what you say to performers. They know more than anyone how it actually went!

    Best wishes from George
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2019
  3. Big Tabs

    Big Tabs hearing problems

    I enjoy hearing something on a well-known album that I hadn't noticed before, especially after an upgrade.

    It gives me a pleasant inner tickle and a sense of confidence that money spent can make a positive difference.

    Maybe because you can hear more detail, your listening habits are changing slightly? Now that you know you can hear more, your ears are searching out for more. Thus the focus of the listening process for you is skewed towards the detail rather than the music...?

    This focus I think can be recognised and switched on or off with practise.
  4. deebster

    deebster Half Man Half Biscuit

    Indeed. His reply to me was 'Do you play guitar?', to which I mumbled no and looked sheepish

    Belated apologies Brian
    irons1965 and George J like this.
  5. Arkless Electronics

    Arkless Electronics Trade: Amp design and repairs.

    I certainly experienced this with Hawkwind in a big way yes! So used to hearing it for many years on other peoples ghetto blasters, car stereos, "Fidelity" type record players etc etc and this is how I became familiar with their materiel. Years later having bought my favourite ones they just ain't the same on a good hi fi...
    FireMoon, Vinny and Snufkin like this.
  6. Vinny

    Vinny pfm Member

    It is a major downside to gear that extracts ever more from recordings - the poor ones sound worse by comparison.

    Probably unknown to many here but Anastasia Screamed - Laughing Down the Limehouse was brilliant live and at least OK on LP 30 years ago - the current replay system makes it sound like listening to it with your head under a pillow, three rooms away.
  7. MrMac

    MrMac pfm Member

    Good systems also highlight bad recordings making some not so pleasant to listen to,where previously you thought were good.
  8. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    Systems that shine an overly bright spotlight are just wrong IMHO, they never sound coherent and just end up getting in the way of the music. I’ve heard so many that pull perfectly good recordings apart in a way that well-setup proper monitor speakers (Tannoys, BBC, Quad ESLs etc) just don’t.

    Hawkwind are a great example; the albums I like (early UA period) sound just as I feel they should through the Lockwoods. Yes, these are pretty muddy recordings, but that mud makes complete sense and has context/intent. They just sound ‘right’, the wall of fuzzed guitar, over-driven bass, layered tape-echo laden VCS3, sax etc building into exactly the spaced-out mush and repetitive grooves it should be. Coherence is arguably the most important system criteria IMO, that ability to have everything in balance without hype or artifice.
    glancaster likes this.
  9. irons1965

    irons1965 pfm Member

    Great album Recurrence.
    I thought the early John Peel sessions were generally better than the albums though.
    I taped that first session (the Factory label material) and played those 4 tracks to death...Over the moon when they got a commercial release!
    deebster likes this.
  10. deebster

    deebster Half Man Half Biscuit

    Glad to hear I'm not the only fan out there

    Shame they got the major label treatment on Native Place though

    Was nice to see them again a few times a couple of years back, but it seems they've gone into the Reunion Wilderness again
    irons1965 likes this.
  11. manicatel

    manicatel pfm Member

    I think that when you get a new bit of gear in the system, there’s a natural tendency to listen out for/notice the small details more, for the first few weeks.
    After a while, the new levels of detail become the norm & you go back to just listening to the music.
    Hopefully you get to a point where you have what you consider to be sufficient detail, enough bass weight, authentic imaging, natural treble etc etc & the music just flows.
    However, upgrade-itis exists in most hobbies & pastimes & with Hifi it’s never that far away.
    Weekender likes this.
  12. glancaster

    glancaster In the silicon vale

    I have two sets of speakers, connected to otherwise the same setup. The floor-standing Royd Minstrels in the lounge are more detailed and revealing than the 'more forgiving' bookshelf Rega R1s in the kitchen. Most music sounds better on the Minstrels (better recorded music, if I'm any judge), but some better on the R1s.

    If you basically prefer your new setup, but just have a few albums that sounded better before, you might consider this approach.

    I'd add that Minstrels and R1s aren't a million miles apart in the kind of sound they deliver. If you do this, don't be too radical.

    Kind regards

    - Garry
  13. foxwelljsly

    foxwelljsly Keep Music Vile

    I was thinking exactly the same when listening to 'The 1999 Party' through my Kef 104/9's the other day. (Although possibly a bit louder than you). Finding a speaker that articulates music, rather than making an impressive noise, is harder than one might think. Right now they're doing the same with the superb sole album by early 70's US psych rockers, Felt.

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