"I think music is an example of an invention - a human invention that we've created - that transforms human life."

Aniruddh Patel, neurobiologist at The Neurosciences Institute.


If it sounds better, it is better.

Pitch and cadence are the building blocks of music, but subtle distortions of these degrade the musical message. This is one reason why some hi-fi systems are not used much by their owners, even though they might produce a lovely 'sound.'

Few people are trained musicians, and yet almost everyone is sensitive to pitch and cadence (either the perfection of, or the corruption of).

One manufacturer's practical advice: equipment should be chosen by direct comparison, asking which makes it easiest 'to follow the tune.'

That might seem simplistic, but it goes to the heart of the matter: reproducing music in the home such that it effects the listener in the way that live music does.

Ideally, the system should make it easy to pick out and follow individual instruments. The various instruments should 'make sense,' both independently and as a combined whole.

If you compare equipment in this way, you will discover differences not predicted by price tag, appearance, or marketing materials; and you will form stronger and more consistent preferences than if you only compare the 'tone' or stereo effects (aka 'sound-stage').

You do not need to defer to hi fi 'experts' for their opinions; the replay system that renders the music most accessible and comprehensible is the one most likely to give you satisfaction in the long run.

No hi-fi system is perfect, and they are all inferior to live music, but if the equipment can 'play the tune' with high fidelity, then the owner will tend to switch on more often. To me, at least, frequent usage defines a successful purchase and is a mark of quality.

Promusica Melbourne



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