Music problem :\


New member
Username: Hannibal_lector

Trenton, Nj

Post Number: 2
Registered: Aug-04
First, a little background.

Last year I worked at best buy to pay off car insurance etc..., I ended up buying alot of a/v stuff and getting into hi fi because of it. I then realized that I had to budget myself so I decided to Buy a fantastic headphone system instead of buying new speakers for my new reciever because the cost/value ratio of headphones was so much greater. But I think Ive realized something I hadnt counted on.
Whenever I use my sennheisers with my audio setup instead of my comp I cant stand listening to anything but the best recordings I have. Its just a gut reaction that I flip through songs and cds when I use the "good" system. Alot of people Ive talked to say that the higher end you go, the more your equitment will show you, good and bad. So does this inherently mean that alot of my music is "flawed" in the recording process? Because really the only albums that I can stand to listen to all the way through is my pink floyd. I know that all floyd recordings are spectacular, In the quality of the recording itself, not just the music. But other albums, especially older songs from beatles and stones just sound kind of blah, too brite and thin. Its my birthday in a few weeks and Im Pushing for axiom speakers, but Im afraid that having good speakers will still let all the crap as well as the good stuff through. Ive heard that good headphones are very anylitical as well as detailed, but they dont put "emotion" into it, where good speakers can be less detailed but offer imaging and their own "touch" to the music. Ive also heard of "music assasination" from audio equitment, is this what Im experaincing? One problem I have is that Ive never really listened to "good" speakers, the only quality reference I have is my headphones. Ive used them for computer games for the past 6 months so they really havent been connected to my audio system at all. Subsequently ive only been listening to mp3's, which always sound very warmish and dull(read non fatiguing). One of my major problems with listening to albums on the system instead of comp is that I notice all the details and they become distracting, on some tracks not at all but on alot yes. Is it just that Im finally hearing all the crap on a track and it helps show how poorly it was put together?

Ill list the albums that sound great on my system with headphones

Led zeppelin(almost all tracks on the greatest compilation)ESPECIALLY NO QUARTER :-)

Every breath you take(the police-SACD)

All pink floyd

Some bowie

everything else I have isnt that good,
My bottom line question is "Will getting good speakers help iliminate the problem of music assasination from headphones?", Or will the added detail on the speakers show all the flaws in the music like my headphones have? :\

New member
Username: Nm2285


Post Number: 9
Registered: Aug-04
I'm a member at the Audioholics forum as well and we just had a recent thread about this topic. Think about it; I'm sure you can better enjoy music in the car or at work just listening to the radio over inferior equipment, right? It's fun to have tracks to test equipment and show it off, but remember the reason you have the nice equipment in the first place-to listen to and enjoy your music.

Speakers will not change your dilemma, only your mindset can!

New member
Username: Hannibal_lector

Trenton, Nj

Post Number: 3
Registered: Aug-04
I guess your right, I assumed that just because something is on a medium that has the potential for "hi-fi" it doesnt mean it needs to be. (e.g. 50's 60's music that sounds terrible on expensive fancy equitment because it shows all the flaws and sounds fine on a clock radio)The problem was that I was trying to play music I know is for blasting (aka "Ozzy" :D and others, thinking that it would sound "better") I will still get new speakers because Im sick of having to always wear headphones, and also speakers are a totally different experiance, one ive yet to really enjoy since Ive never thoroughly listened to good ones. thnx

J. Vigne
Unregistered guest
I sold high end audio for over 25 years and the answer to your questions are; yes, there are more bad recordings than good recordings on an absolute scale of musical fidelity; and, no. a good system should let you get into more music as opposed to limiting your choices.
Think of the recording industry and who they percieve their audience to be for various types of music. If you're a music executive selling headbanger music you wouldn't expect the majority of your audience to have a rack full of McIntosh or Krell and a pair of electrostatic speakers. So you are going to aim your production at the type of system most of your buyers are likely to own. If you are selling classical music you don't expect your clients to have a Yamaha receiver and Cerwin Vega stacks. So that music is geared to a different sound quality. The problem comes when you get the person who listens to both, and more, types of music.
Most systems get in the way of music by their inherent colorations. And if you have started with a headbanger's system, as your tastes expand you will find the limitations of this type of system. As your system improves you may lean towards a system that does better at a few types of music but still favors a particular sound. If a client came in and said they listend to rock and not much else I always started them with a different sound than if they said they listened to classical and jazz. We went from that starting point and found out what they were looking for. More often that not I had an idea between a few speakers what they were going to like. As their tastes grew in musical styles they learned to literally listen differently and their tastes in speakers and so forth changed also. The bottom line was to get to a system that could get to the basics of any music. A system that could find the rhythm, melody and spirit of all music. It is not an easy system to put together and most systems will still have recordings that are not as good as others. But a truly good system should encourage you to expand your listening tastes not limit them. To get to this point you have to have a clear vision of what is important to you in terms of music. Just wanting it to sound good isn't enough of a clue to get a really top notch system. All the components have to tend toward a certain effort so they are working together and not fighting each other. This takes a clear idea of what your sytem does and doesn't accomplish. Then you have to spend the time to listen and THINK about what you are hearing in live music that you are missing in your system. It's not just listening to so many speakers in stores that you can't decide what you need; but, instead it is knowing what you need to complement your current components.
When you truly improve your system, instead of just change your system, you can broaden your tastes and still find what is good in all music even though a particulr recording may not be a sonic blockbuster.
The folks who are telling you that a better system can make things sound bad have never heard a really good system either and they have not learned to make the right decisions about their systems to help you much in improving yours. What a good salesperson in a high end store should tell you is - you can improve your system without destroying your music but you will hear the deficiencies of many recordings. It depends as much on how you listen as it does on what you buy. Meaning if you are buying a system that "really hits" or "has really good bass" you still have some experiences to go through before you find a good system. By focusing on the music rather than just the sound you will start to understand what I have said.
Most headphones are more detailed than most speakers simply by the acoustic position of the driver next to your ear vs. having to work into a room. But it is not whether a speaker can image or have detail or any "attribute" of a reviewers description other than can it play music. It may sound stupid to you now that a speaker can't play music; but, if you pursue a better system long enough you will start to understand the differences. In the end it comes down to listening to the music or listening to your hi fi.

New member
Username: Hannibal_lector

Trenton, Nj

Post Number: 4
Registered: Aug-04
Thankyou, I think I was biased in that I expected alot of my albums to sound like floyd when I put it to the test. Needless to say that failed misserably :-(. Sometimes it is neat to hear flaws in music, some tracks I can actually hear where they have cut n pasted clips to make a whole track, like hearing a distinct low level click seperating the exact same drum beat :-). I must say that Floyd really puts it to the test.
What really sucks is that there arent any hi fi shops around here, only tweeter. Although its no best buy the guys at tweeter still lean toward that kind of salesmen. They guy I talked to showed me a bunch of speakers etc on the a/b switcher and really started to verge on blasting music I was trying to listen to. That kind of stuff makes it hard to differentiate anything. They also have no selection of just stereo amps, its all recievers and the highest they go is BK.

Gold Member
Username: Kegger


Post Number: 1378
Registered: Dec-03
what jan has said pretty much explains it.

but you are listening to headphones they usually pick up more than
speakers do. so you hear all the bad things in the recording.
a good set of speakers just may sound better to you than the headphones.
« Previous Thread Next Thread »

Main Forums

Today's Posts

Forum Help

Follow Us