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Does a quality amplifier/source/etc only matter for certain genres of music?
Does a quality amplifier/source/etc only matter for certain genres of music?
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Old 21st September 2021, 10:04 PM   #1
SoaDMTGguy is offline SoaDMTGguy  United States
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Default Does a quality amplifier/source/etc only matter for certain genres of music?

I have heard it said, by some, that unless you're listening to jazz or classical, you don't really need finally tuned gear at all. Certainly speakers are important, but that 5W SET tube amp won't mean a thing when you listen to Pink Floyd, or Led Zeplin, or god forbid, *electronic music*.

I guess their take is that there isn't enough subtlety, enough "air", for the nuances of the equipment to make a difference. That the "distortion level" of the music masks that of the amplifier.

I do think some music is more subtle than others, and that subtlety makes apparent the strengths or weaknesses of ones gear. But I'm not sure I'd go beyond that.
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Old 21st September 2021, 10:12 PM   #2
Jazz Man is offline Jazz Man  Wales
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Regardless of all that, all forms of music tend to have some vocals, plenty of nuances there
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Old 24th September 2021, 04:19 AM   #3
jjasniew is offline jjasniew  United States
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Does a quality amplifier/source/etc only matter for certain genres of music?
I'd say no. Everything sounds better with better equipment.

What recording is so pure that the distortion level of the DAC / Phono cart - amp - speaker chain masks that purity? I think its more about the recording than the genre and I'm sure great recordings exist in all genres.

There's a song I love by Vince Guaraldi. I think the only studio recording of it is distorted at the outset. So much so that my attention is split between loving the song / hating the recording. Some guy makes a mistake and its set in stone forever. Maybe one day AI will be able to go in and correct just the distortion in the piano part...
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Last edited by jjasniew; 24th September 2021 at 04:21 AM.
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Old 24th September 2021, 06:12 AM   #4
spiggs is offline spiggs  United States
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Does a quality amplifier/source/etc only matter for certain genres of music?
Quote:
Originally Posted by SoaDMTGguy View Post
...but that 5W SET tube amp won't mean a thing when you listen to Pink Floyd, or Led Zeplin, or god forbid, *electronic music*...
My main system is a 5W SET tube amp paired with fullrange speakers and a sub. I really enjoy the subtle details it brings out in electronic music, things you just don't hear on a typical consumer grade system. Punk rock as well, The Cramps and Misfits never sounded so good to me.
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Old 27th September 2021, 07:25 PM   #5
russc is offline russc  England
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I have a Robert Johnson CD.
Sounds crap on my hi-fi.
Listenable on a crappy boom box.

Rather like watching one of those old b/w TV programs rediscovered on somebodies home recording on a modern HD large screen vs old small screen.
You can't reveal what's not there!
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Old 27th September 2021, 09:24 PM   #6
billshurv is online now billshurv  United Kingdom
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Does a quality amplifier/source/etc only matter for certain genres of music?
I've got some stuff that does sound better in the car than on the main rig, but that's a very small fraction of a percent.

But a lot of it depends HOW you listen. Different people want different things from their aural fix so the answer to the question will depend.

One of my go to demo tracks for a stereo is Motorhead's 'killed by death'. If you can listen into the mix on that track you have a good system.
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Old 27th September 2021, 09:26 PM   #7
SoaDMTGguy is offline SoaDMTGguy  United States
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Out of curiosity, what stuff of yours sounds better in the car? What contributes to that being the better system/environment for it?
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Old 27th September 2021, 09:48 PM   #8
billshurv is online now billshurv  United Kingdom
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Does a quality amplifier/source/etc only matter for certain genres of music?
Overly compressed dance music mainly. And Raffi as you can adjust the faders full rear for the kids and not have to listen to it in the front I think about 5 albums in 10,000
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Old 28th September 2021, 04:01 PM   #9
cracked case is offline cracked case  England
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I find that classical hides the softness of an audiolab DAC and class AB amp, but switch to rock and the combination saps all the life and dynamics out. I prefer a very clean uncoloured ( the opposite of warm ) to reproduce the drums and complexity of heavy metal.
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Old 28th September 2021, 05:32 PM   #10
planet10 is offline planet10  Canada
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Does a quality amplifier/source/etc only matter for certain genres of music?
Quote:
Originally Posted by SoaDMTGguy View Post
I have heard it said, by some, that unless you're listening to jazz or classical, you don't really need finally tuned gear at all. Certainly speakers are important, but that 5W SET tube amp won't mean a thing when you listen to Pink Floyd, or Led Zeplin, or god forbid, *electronic music*.
If you have good source material, no matter the genre, losing as little of the information supplied getting out to your ear is still critical.

Now one might be able to, in a general sense, assign a quality metris to recordings of certain genre. Jazz and classical also tend to be recorded in situations where there is less electonic manipulation, and simplier in terms of process.

dave
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