Nurse Audio.... Please report to the musical clinic at once....


Silver Member
Username: Varney

BirminghamEngland, UK

Post Number: 201
Registered: Sep-04
If a system is said to sound 'clinical' as opposed to musical, does this not mean it is doing it's job correctly?

What is musical? If a transport spins a disc, a preamped signal reaches it's destination, where all information is extracted with analytical precision then sent without too much electronic fuss or colour to the speakers - is this not the aim of the good music system?

Does this mean that too much exacting clarity is the unmusical sound? Is the artificial addition of warmth the key to musicality? Or is removing colour from the original recording the job of the 'musical' amp?

An interesting question - but one I am unable to express properly due to a lack of understanding of what goes on in amplifiers.

Can a clinical sounding CD player be made more musical by a more musical amp?

In your own time. Just trying to undertstand something here.


Bronze Member
Username: Triedit

Nashville, TN USA

Post Number: 20
Registered: Dec-03
"If a system is said to sound 'clinical' as opposed to musical, does this not mean it is doing it's job correctly? "

In my unprofessional opinion the system is not doing it's job correctly if it sounds clinical.
"What is musical? If a transport spins a disc, a preamped signal reaches it's destination, where all information is extracted with analytical precision then sent without too much electronic fuss or colour to the speakers - is this not the aim of the good music system? "

Yes this is the aim of a good music system. However, many systems add fuss and color.
"Can a clinical sounding CD player be made more musical by a more musical amp? "

Likely not. Listen to a CD on a DVD player and then on a true CD player in the same system. I have always found the CD player to sound better.


Silver Member
Username: Varney

BirminghamEngland, UK

Post Number: 202
Registered: Sep-04

Bronze Member
Username: Ca_convert


Post Number: 34
Registered: Jan-05
I agree with Al: I think clinical is a term used to describe a subtle balance, in the way warmth is. In an extreme sense, clinical might manifest as non musical, which might be a lack of tempo control for example, a slightly bright upper mid/treble which might sound artificially more detailed and so on. IMO, if it sounds musical and pleasing then its right. In another thread a point was made that live music sounds edgy and grainy, indeed loud rock often does which wil also sound adgy and grainy on a good system. A poor band will always sound like a poor band, which a good system will reveal. A good hi-fi system should make it so much easier to seperate the excellent musicians from the average, whatever the genre. It amazes me how much better great guitarists play even on my budget NAD equipment. Rhythm is so important to music, arguably more so than melody; and is so difficult to control with an electro-mechanical system. It is in this area that good hi-fi equipment differentiates itself.

Likewise, over "warm" equipment may suffer from lack of dynamic range, a roll off at frequency extremes as an explanation for that sonic characteristic, and is no more pleasant than clinical, although of course one mans clinical is anothers warm...


Silver Member
Username: Varney

BirminghamEngland, UK

Post Number: 203
Registered: Sep-04
Yes, actually, Ca_, I was listening to a compilation CD of alternative/trad-goth etc only tonight. It's one I have not heard for a long time and I'd forgotten 'Peaches' by the Stranglers and 'I Just Can't Be Happy Today' by the Damned are live versions, whereas everything else is recorded.

Suddenly, I'm hearing an echoic presentation, probably far miked, which is not to my taste. I prefer that up-front, in yer'face sense of focus you get with studio work.

To me, live rock music sounds awful. I'd go as far as to say I almost hate it. On the other hand, classical music and some folk recordings I have are fine to my ears, live.

"Likewise, over "warm" equipment may suffer from lack of dynamic range, a roll off at frequency extremes as an explanation for that sonic characteristic, and is no more pleasant than clinical, although of course one mans clinical is anothers warm..."

I see. I wonder if the others will view whether you're 'in the clinic' or in the 'music hall' as subjective?

I suppose it must be. Live to me sounds unpleasant, but not always unmusical, I have to admit. I can rarely sense any form of soundstaging though.... it often just seems to come from the front, defeating my system's ability to portray it.

So I guess that a system is doing it's job correctly if it's clinically extracting the sound. From what I'm reading so far, I'm getting that 'warm' is both inacurate and accurate at the same time.


Yep - There is something magical about the budget NAD. Btw, I'll be checking my newsagent tomorrow for a copy of January's 'What Hi-Fi.



J. Vigne
Unregistered guest

The words used to describe subjective impressions are quite awkward and seldom do the experience justice in the long run. The word's meaning is likely to be just as subjective as the original experience. The idea of a warm grey has always bothered me. I know what is meant, but, is that the best way to describe two thoughts that seem mutually exclusive? The level of brightness on a TV can appear just right when viewed in a well lit room and then be annoying when the lights are dimmed. So how does "bright" begin to describe what we're after in that context. Equally true is the idea of bright in an audio system. Where the "brightness" occurs in the frequency bandwidth can easily affect how it will be perceived by the various listeners. A tilt in the upper two octaves will give a definite sense of added "brightness" to most listeners. Yet, that same amount of addition at the area between 2,000 and 5,000Hz will often give not brightness but, to many listeners, a sense of detail since this is the uppermost region of fundamentals and their first harmonics. An even smaller boost or cut at the range around the human voice can give a sense of intimacy and immediacy or reticence and coldness. So there are even more words that need to be used to begin describing the simple act of listening.

I have mentioned that when I was selling audio I was often suprised at the number of clients that had never played an instrument and seldom, if ever, heard live music that wasn't amplified. Obviously since we describe amplifiers as bright, warm, clinical, etc., amplified sound is another link where what is heard can be influenced and can vary tremendously from performance to performance. On the unamplified side of the coin, we also describe performance spaces as cold, bright, warm, detailed, balanced, etc. Even instruments have the same descriptive terms applied to their sound. So what does all this mean?

Well, of course, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. What this person prefers will likely find little favor with another listener with slightly different tastes. What this client decides is musical will give another a headache in a short while. What audiophile would care to admit they have a system that isn't musical? So the logic goes other guy must just like things overly warm.

While simple terms such as bright and warm can be a convenient way to dismiss another's likes and dislikes, I believe the idea of the terms musical and clinical can, and should, be viewed as more expansive terms that convey more about the listening experience. To begin describing the concept of clinical we should look at the words most obvious meaning. When a clinician looks at a patient or a swab of blood on a slide they have detached themself from the human being that is quite possibly afflicted with a disease. Under the microscope strep throat is not that much different from cancer to the clinician. There is a sameness that is at the heart of the clinician's thoughts and actions. The treatment for each disease is just a treatment and the clinician goes on to the next patient. Coldness is not the term for this attitude but more a sense of personal and emotional detachment.

That will be the same effect of a clinical system or component. If the listener's tastes are wide ranging enough that they will listen to a variety of performances, the clinical system will begin to remove the personality of the various types of music and performance. Not that rock will sound like classical any more than an ingrown toenail is the same as cancer, but there will be a sameness that eventually becomes evident to all types of music. An astute listener will hear a bass qaulity that is similar from one performance to another. The voices of a plaintive folk singer will have no more emotion that the most well trained soprano or the wailling rock vocalist. Spaces will have a similarity that suggests an inability to differentiate between venues. All soundstaging will appear within the same conscribed, conscripted limits. Instruments and voices will occupy the same space no matter what the recording suggests or what sort of instrument is played. Obviously this is a fault of a clinical system that allows for a bright or a warm system balance. Most often when this is accompanied by a warmth, as we would assume with rolled high frequencies, this clinical nature is dismissed as sins of omission. When the flaw occurs with a system that emphasizes the high frequncies, the problem is exacerbated for many listeners and the brightness of the system only serves to draw attention to the other problems the system has. This become sins of commission, though more often it represents a lack of ability.

Overall I think the best way to concieve of a clinical sound is the cook who uses no seasoning to create a warm balanced system or the cook who always uses the same ingredient in excess to describe the bright system. The former is edible but not very tasty, certainly not a meal you would enjoying paying for. The latter is a meal that is barely edible but quite tiring when told this is the menu for the next month. The fact that people overseason and underseason their food is an example of why clinical systems continue to sell. Despite protestations from others I have a friend who continues to saturate a simple bruschetta with too much garlic and oil.

I have described my concepts of a musical system on this forum before. For those that are unfamiliar with how I approach getting the most musical performance from my audio components, I will give a quick summary of how I listen. For those who play an instrument I find the ideas are easier to grasp, and, anyone who has played with another person seems most adept at hearing the difference.

If you think of a group of young musicians playing in unison for the first time you will understand what, to me, constitutes an non-musical system. Though each performer may have a fair amount of dexterity with their own instrument, their ability to play beyond their own rhythm and dynamics is likely to be limited. At the first rehearsals the performers are mostly interested in playing their portion of the score properly. Each note is in its proper place, but, as a whole the sound is plain and uninteresting. Until they are confident with their ability to hit all the notes in the right spot with the right emotion, the young performers are somewhat limited in their ability to hear beyond their own space. When finally they start to listen to the other people on stage the music begins to change and take on a new life that is one of the whole group as a performer instead of a group of individual performers. When finally they can hear all the parts that are joining them and work within the entire group to move the score along the music has a life that hadn't existed to that point. There are the beginnings of a musical system. The music has a quality, a soul, that is different from score to score and performer to performer.

Take that now to the master musician who has played with a group of artists over the years. Even in an improvised performance the artists are confident in their ability and know what to expect from the group. The interplay of the instruments in the hands of skilled musicians is where the individual performer is headed with their listening. The exchange of ideas and the challenges of the last note and the next note are what bring that performance to life and make it a transcendant moment. More than the parts that are there, the music is a piece of work that has a life of its own. The instant is the thing. There will be no more exactly the same. If your system can acccomplish this feat, not of simply playing the notes, but, of putting the sense of the moment into each recording, you have assembled a musical system, in my estimation.

This is then the chef that can take a few basic ingredients and balance the smell, the presentation, the taste and aftertaste, the interplay of ingredients and the accompaniment of other food and drink to make the perfect marinara sauce. Nothing overpowers or is overwhelmed. Because the ingredients are slightly different the next marinara will be just as delicious but not the same. And a lasagne is all of that and more. That is the music of food and the music that is available in an excellent system. Obviously frequency balance can vary in this system also but is more determined by the ingredients than the cook. This system is likely to sound good on whatever type of music you choose to play.


J. Vigne,
Could you please explain that in 100,000 words or maybe less?

Silver Member
Username: Larry_r

Naples, FL

Post Number: 427
Registered: Oct-04
I definitely agree with Jan V. in one aspect of his comments: those of us who have actually played musical instruments "hear" recorded music differently. There is a reference point for us that people without musical experience lack.
Oh, I know that musical memory is short - but if you have played, say, a clarinet for 20 years, you KNOW what a recorded clarinet should sound like.
If, on your sound system, a clarinet comes across as grainy, shrill or muffled - this is not "natural" sound - at least, to you, the musician.
One of the large problems I see with recorded classical music is the tremendous out-pouring of overtones. This, obviously, tests a system to the max, and can quickly be heard, for good or ill.
For me - personally - I could hear major differences in sound quality when I upgraded my DVD player - then my receiver. Each time, I felt that I was approaching "natural" sound a little more closely.
But - as you all will surely argue - what is "natural" to me might NOT be to you, especially if you are not a musician.
And Jan V. - "warm" gray (grEy in England) is merely the addition of red and/or yellow pigment, vs. blue and black pigment to create "cool" gray.
Same is true of many colors - it's all in the mix. Just try to count the number of "white" paints on the market. Cool white, warm white, antique white, Winchester white, Sedona white - and on and on it goes. Even "pure" white varies from brand to brand. As does gray.
And BTW, I like your food/sound analogy - makes my mouth water! (grin)

J. Vigne
Unregistered guest

Anonymous - Our paths cross again. You seem to be following me around this forum. Am I that irresistable to you? How flattering.

As to, "Could you please explain that in 100,000 words or maybe less"; I thought I had. Why don't you spend some time counting how many words I did use. I'm certain we would all find that an interesting topic.


J. Vigne
Unregistered guest

Larry - "The idea of a warm grey has always bothered me. I know what is meant ... "

Don't scan, Larry.


Gold Member
Username: Kegger


Post Number: 2096
Registered: Dec-03
Reading into what Jan has posted really appitamizes what varney is asking.
Jan has showed you how many systems may be put together but has no one answer!
That is not a knock on Jan but shows how different people think of the
concepts of neutrel/warm/bright.

If you want to use these terms it would seem to best use them in there broadest
sense as to not say something that means one thing to someone and another
to another.

neutrel meaning a balanced eq accross the board.
warm meaning a raise in midrange region.
bright meaning a raise in the upper frequencies.

It's the terms analitical/clinical and musical that get tough to describe.

For me analitical/clinical is about the same as neutrel.
Musical on the other hand is a whole lot tougher for me to describe.
Personally I like my system with real good solid bass and a little extra in
the top end. But I also enjoy pleasent sounds of a really good sounding midrange.
That for me has allways been a difficult task to put together.

The first time I heard really good sounding tube amplified audio the first
term that came to mind was musical and it had nothing to do with eq.
Everything just took on this realness to it that just made you sitback and enjoy
what you were hearing. That to me is musical!
Since then I've gotten into tubes and now I can get the bass I want with little
extra treble and still have this wonderful sounding midrange!

So my point being I think you can have whatever the eq you like and still
have your system musical. For me it just happens that tubes do it! (some more than others)

Silver Member
Username: Varney

BirminghamEngland, UK

Post Number: 204
Registered: Sep-04
This has turned into an extremely enlightening thread.


Silver Member
Username: Larry_r

Naples, FL

Post Number: 429
Registered: Oct-04
Jan V. "Don't scan?" I don't get it.

Bronze Member
Username: Ca_convert


Post Number: 38
Registered: Jan-05
Jan, eloquently put as ever. In order to for my feeble brain to grasp the full meaning of your post, a simple summary might be clinical = blandness (food / detail analogy i dont get, not sure if there is meant to be one) warmth is over egging the pudding so to speak. Since some of dont like eggs over easy (indeed some of us dont even know what it MEANS..! long may that continue..I digress)then you eat the dish you like the taste of.

More seriously, I can appreciate your point about musicianship, which is far far more than simply ebing able to technically "play" an instrument, its about rhythmic interraction, interplay between each musician (its the way rice and curry works so well TOGETHER..). I have this view that "musicality" is all about rhythmic timing, its what seperates great players from average... for example: BB King is far from a technical guitarist, yet his playing has something almost intangible that say Malmsteen doesnt have (good though he is). It's his ability not just to produce a harmony (remember the blues scale contains just 5 notes) but its the way the notes are played, the speed of bend, of vibrato etc are all strong rhythmic components, which; when missing loses all musicality. Hence, a live rock band often sounds cra_p since they cant really ryhthmically click in the live environment unless in the special category (for example ACDC - a band who sound better live than in the studio since they click rhythmically). Clinical or warm as a tonal balance is just perhaps a matter of personal taste. Rhythm/timing is perhaps what is critical. Every time I have upgraded my hi fi I have noticed a bigger gap between good and bad bands. This is the only real measure I use whan evaluating, very 1980's UK hi fi magazine but still I think very relevant today.


J. Vigne
Unregistered guest

ca - Yes and no as to my original post. Let me see if I can make this more understandable.

Clinical is a system that is detached from the obvious variations of each performance. It is not so much bland as it is just the same on every recording. In my experience it begins with the spatial aspects of the performance.

With the equipment I own, the very good recordings I have all occur in a different, detectable space. The soundstage expands and contracts to suit the recording and the space that it occured in. Some recordings extend beyond the physical boundaries of the speakers, some actually extend beyond the boundaries of my room. I have recordings that illustrate and illuminate the entire hall and its resonance with reverberations and reflections that move down and across the symphony hall, the church, the studio or whatever is needed to explain to my ears where this recording was made and how it was made. It has the ability to tell me where the microphones were in relation to the performers, the instruments and the space. All this is done in two channel, not surround; though on the very best recordings the sound envelops me from all directions. Performers are not locked down to one position within the space and each space is unique. One disc may have a vocalist that is slightly forward of the plane of the speakers, while another will place the vocalist slightly behind the speakers.

In a clinical system all this merges into a sameness that removes the differences between recording space. At its worst every recording sounds as if it were recorded in a studio with the performers inside isolation booths. Other than the odd live recording that is very poorly made from the house feed microphones (overly reverberant, muffled and flat in perspective) it matters little whether the recording has been made in a symphony hall or recorded in dribs and drabs and pieced together in the engineer's final mix. The size, shape and perspective on the space is a constant that never varies enough to be informative. I first noticed this effect while listening to the first Hafler amp and pre amp. I had been impressed by the amplifier's tonal balance and rhythmic power. It threw a wide, deep soundstage that had impressive imaging. However, the more I listened to different performances on the system, the less impressed I became. The soundstage had a trapezoidal shape that never varied, I could close my eyes and point to where sounds were going to exist in space. Vocalists were always in the same plane of the sepakers. Back up vocalists existed behind the lead singer, but, the sameness of location existed on every recording. Overall the Haflers had a warm balance tonally and the rhythm was allowed to move along at a reasonable pace. What I heard as the deficiencies of the Hafler was so obvious to my ears that it existed no matter what combination of equipment I paired the separate pieces with. In this instance the Hafler was the unseasoned meal. It did nothing egregiously wrong, but, every bite of the meal was the same. A litle sauteed garlic and onion would be nice on occasion. Some dishes require a dash of cruhed red pepper.

I later noticed the same problem with the later Threshold products and the Krell amplifiers. I couldn't get past the idea that the system and not the recording was determining the spatial information I was hearing. The bass quality of the Krell and the Threshold, though not similar to one another, allowed each to consistently represent the players with the same authority whether I was listening to hillbilly rock, electronic pop, monumental orchestral or acoustic folk. I had to listen to the bass on these amplifiers. It wasn't a tonal balance issue but a matter of emphasis. The Threshold had a slam that was always present. The Krell had a rolling bass note that suggested the hall had no ceiling or back wall. The Threshold products were, to my ears, quite tilted towards the high frequencies. It presented quite a bit of detail that was not available in the amplifiers I preferred, but, everything I heard was of little musical value to me since it alone did nothing to distinguish the music. With its emphatic high frequencies, I would call the Threshold the over seasoned meal that will be tiring and unappetizing over more than a few dishes. It is the cook who can no longer taste salt and over uses it in every dish; eggs, oatmeal or fish.

There are two examples of what I would consider clinical systems that have the oposite frequency balance. The Hafler was warm with an almost reticent high frequency content while the Threshold was insistent in the highs and just as uninteresting to me.

As far as "musical" is concerned the pacing and the tempo are important. I have an a cappella group whose recording I use to help me judge whether I will enjoy a system. When the system isn't musical to my ears, each performer will appear to have been recorded separately without a monitor feed from the other members of the group. Everything is there but slightly out of place. An Escher drawing. In this case it takes a few seconds for me to hear what I need to know. When the system has the musical qualities I hold dear, voices blend and meld, they swoop and soar. The music is moving forward, at all times confident in the direction it will take in the next instant. This is opposed to the less well constructed system that almost seems to hold the music back in an uncertain hesitancy between the notes. Improvised music has the slightest pauses that are the performers listening to one another before deciding how to respond to the last note. Above all else the music has a confident swagger that is from the musicians not the system. A string quartet has the reserve to be very polite and the power to make you sit up and listen. If it makes any sense, it isn't dynamic range as much as dynamic power. No two moments are the same within a piece of music and certainly not from disc to disc. It is always apparent who the performers are looking to for the momentum of each piece. The ability to portray the unexpected in a new fashion is what keeps me interested.

There is a popular brand of amplification that is often referred to as musical in the reviews. I find it difficult to listen to not because of frequency balance, but, due to its lack of suprises. Each note seems somehow unfinished as it just lays there waiting for the next moment to occur. While this performance is far better than what the majority of Japanese receivers can muster, there is always an impression I am missing the joke. When I hear a truly remarkable system I will occasionally laugh out loud at the inflection the performer uses to make the emphasis on a phrase or note. I would say what I don't hear from most amplifers today is the finish to each note. When that is missing the momentum of the music is lost on me. It gives me no reason to listen any longer.


J. Vigne
Unregistered guest

In the above post, I inadvertently omitted a sentence that should make the whole section on musical components make more sense.

It should read:

"This is opposed to the less well constructed system that almost seems to hold the music back in an uncertain hesitancy between the notes.

Whereas when the music is allowed to move the system along instead of the otherway around ...
improvised music has the ever so slight pauses that are the performers listening to one another before deciding how to respond to the last note or phrase, then launching into a taut call back response. Above all else the music has a confident swagger that is from the musicians not the system."

Hope that makes the paragraph make more sense.

I want to make certain the idea of clinical or musical has nothing to do specifically with frequency balance.


J. Vigne
Unregistered guest

Kegger - How do you decide what is balanced? You and I likely wouldn't agree on what is balanced in terms of our two systems. If balanced is the same as nuetral, how does balanced equate to a "real good solid bass and a little extra in
the top end"?


Gold Member
Username: Kegger


Post Number: 2105
Registered: Dec-03
Jan I'm not sure where you equate this to what I said:

" If balanced is the same as nuetral, how does balanced equate to a "real good solid bass and a little extra in
the top end"? "

I, would consider balanced and neutrel the same.
But I don't listen to or prefer my system to be that way!

My preference is what I stated, really solid bass with a little extra top end!

So I'm not sure what you mean.

I guess if your asking me if I consider my system balaned I'd say no!
I consider my system musical while set to the eq I prefer!


Also Jan:

"Kegger - How do you decide what is balanced? You and I likely wouldn't agree on what is balanced in terms of our two systems"

If I consider balanced the same as neutrel then I'm talking eq , and I would
think with the amount of listening both us have done. (you selling audio and
an avid listener, me an avid listener and speaker designer oF sorts) That
we could pretty much agree on whether a system is playing reasonably flat.
We differ on what we prefer to hear but I'd think we'd be relativly close
on our hearing of a system playing reasonably flat.

We still may be on the oppisite side of the fense of excactly neutrel
But I'd be pretty shocked if you or I thought a system was really bright or
extrtemly bassy and the other did not.
One of us may prefer the sound but I think we'd agree on the eq of the system.

J. Vigne
Unregistered guest

I guess I'm confused by how you made the links between the various descriptions of balanced/ neutral/clinical/musical. We've agreed that a system can have the characteristics the owner prefers and not be considered wrong so I'm not concerned that you like a bit more of this or that than I would probably care for. With the equipment you own I am certain I could find things to like about your system even if I found it to have a little bit extra on the top. I know you listen for the drums and you listen primarily to rock music. But I'd like to see if there's more to what you're hearing than what you've posted so far.

I'd first like to know if you consider musical and clinical to be opposites or do they, in your view, have some other relationship. I'm in agreement with the idea that those two terms don't apply to the frequency balance of the system which is what I think you've said when you state, "analitical/clinical is about the same as neutrel". Maybe I'm not reading that correctly, maybe you do consider the frequency balance to be the difining point of clinical. So I'd probably do best to stop here and ask if that is the key to clinical for you. If you don't have the extra top and bottom, is that then not a musical system in your opinion? This isn't meant as an argument, just trying to get you to think more about what you're hearing and then describing. I think "realness" leaves a lot out of what you are actually hearing and I know the equipment you are listening is more complex than that simple term. What I'm saying is realness still is pretty vague in its meaning to individuals. What's there that makes it real? Can you dig a little deeper than just that one word? It's got to be more than just the sound of the drums; doesn't it?


Gold Member
Username: Kegger


Post Number: 2106
Registered: Dec-03
Jan I'm kinda busy today trying to finish that center channel.

And I think I understand and agree with all of your last post.

I also agree when I said this statement:
"It's the terms analitical/clinical and musical that get tough to describe.

For me analitical/clinical is about the same as neutrel.
Musical on the other hand is a whole lot tougher for me to describe."

Left it without me trying to describe analitical/clinical and not doing
enough to try and explain musical.

But I have a hard time really trying to
describre either!

The only thing that comes to mind is when you hear what's musical you
just have to stop doing what your doing and take notice, maybe say something like
dam that sounds good, prevoke an emotional response!

Also jan:

"If you don't have the extra top and bottom, is that then not a musical system in your opinion?"

Absolutly not as I said earlier I don't think eq has a direct coralation to musical.
As you said I'm sure I would find your system musical and like what I hear
even if the eq wasn't quite to my liking.

And when I said things sound more real that's not an eq thing either!
Like the quick pop of a snair drum is just clean and crisp or the twang of
a quitar has this harmonic to it that just zings or a voice that you tell is
a person because of the breath in the voice but yet all those things flow smoothly!

That's all I got for now back to building, about 50% done!

J. Vigne
Unregistered guest
From the original post, "Does this mean that too much exacting clarity is the unmusical sound?" Have we been discussing clarity or musicality? To many people the overabundance of details such as the sound of traffic outside the hall or the subway beneath is a sign of a clinical system that has over reached what needs to be done to make music the most important item. It would seem clarity will let us hear more deeply into the music, so where does it go wrong? And, then wouldn't it seem odd that a system can be musical to a listener when detail isn't present? The mid fi system owned by the symphony conductor comes to mind.


Unregistered guest
To me "clinical" means details first, music second. without any sense of musical flow.

"clarity" means in my book: open and uncolored .
But what's the difference then between "clarity" and "clean"?
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