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Old 08-19-2008   #93
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Philadelphia
Posts: 68
Default Re: High end pre/pro's. Are they worth it???

Originally Posted by faberryman View Post
There is an awful lot of good music that is not "hi-rez multi-channel". There is also some really awful "high-rez multichannel", particularly the two channel stuff that was never meant to be multichannel. The only difference between it and the mono stuff that was remastered for stereo is that the recording engineers now have five or seven ping-pong balls to play with rather than just two. Seems like you like to listen to the technology rather than the music.
There is no question that there are some absolutely irreplaceable music performances available only on 2-channel or even mono, for that matter. How about 78's, too? Really good music can transcend even inferior technology.

There is also no question that some hi-rez multichannel music is second rate, either from a musical or from an engineering perspective. But, I am finding a wealth of both good music and the best sound I have ever heard from multichannel, particularly SACD at the moment.

When I listen to recorded music, I am seeking an involvement that is as close to the real live performance as possible. Believe it or not, most of my music listening is done via a car radio or the inellegant Bose radio in my living/dining room. Do I enjoy this? Beyond question. So, when I sit down with my audio/video system, I am seeking that even deeper sense of involment with the music and the performance. The deeper, the better. This is serious listening. That's what this chase of "higher fidelity" has been about in my 50 years as an audiophile.

I am not a reviewer, so I can indulge myself in the musical experience itself, not worried so much about the technology. But, I need the technology to get the sonic veils that distract from and limit my involvement out of the way. So far, the very best technology for this in my experience is, hands-down, a really good multichannel SACD or DVD-A.

I attend concerts by my beloved Philadelphia Orchestra about 15 times a year. I was fortunate enough to have been at several concerts recorded live for Ondine multichannel SACD's. It was immediately clear to me that this medium was so superior to any other in more accurately capturing the music and involving me in the performance. It has heightened my serious listening music sessions like you would not believe. Not only is the music itself a great pleasure, but the remarkable sense of musical truth through my system is also a great pleasure. It takes me back to the original live performances themselves as I listen in my home.

So, is it any wonder that my main interests now are in seeking out other hi-rez multichannel music for my serious listening? I visit and other review sites frequently discovering new performances to indulge my voracious classical music habit. There is plenty of good music there. Effects, ping pong as you call it, do not interest me in the least. It's the whole musical effect that's my thing.
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