Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Victoria, B.C. Canada
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The sound itself: What we seek is reproduction as close to the live performance as possible. Every single step in the recording and playback process is a variable. Each of the following affect the sound: the auditorium/room, the mikes and their placement, the mixer electronics and the ears of the individual at the controls, the recording electronics, the cutting of the master, the quality of each copy, the playback pick-up device, the playback electronics, the speakers, the listening room, and finally the ears of the listener (and I've probably missed a few). Then there is the variation of the individual components, tubes, transistors, caps, etc. That's why, for example, amp manufacturers used matched set of tubes in each amp. With the variation of material and components, I suspect that no two amps or speakers of the same brand and model sound the same. And the difference between a good lower-cost system and the most expensive system is probably indistinguishable to most listeners.
I would select components based on wide, flat frequency response and low noise. My
Amp, Preamp, Surround Processor or A/V receiver would provide the controls to adjust the sound to my environment and my listening pleasure.
That's my 0.02 cents.