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Why audio equipment affects music genre preference?

supernova

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Greetings!

I would like to get some data and your thoughts on this topic -- why audio equipment affects music genre preference?
Does it affect in your case? Do you care about it? Do you know other people who experienced same influence of equipment? Is there some data on the web about it, other forum threads etc?

At first I was listening to music on my iphone with earpods, like everyone else. From childhood I liked rock music with years going harder and harder. Got quite a library of albums I like. Then I bought a sonos speaker, my preferences didn't change much.
After that I got my first "audiophile" setup -- HD650, custom made DAC on ESS chip and Drop THX amp. On this set up I started looking for classic/modern-classic music because metal didn't sound good for me. Then I have ordered some Topping DAC to test if I can hear the difference between DACs, and it was "night and day" difference for me, but my blind testing didn't prove I could differentiate between these DACs. Custom DAC was better at details but Topping was better with rock music. On the long run I still sticked to a custom made and listened less and less of metal music but when I am outside going to the gym or shop --> never listened to classic music using earpods.

With time I really wanted to switch to standalone speakers so when I got some money, I spent them on Monitor audio silver 500 + NAD C 298 + IFI signature DAC (just for now). The first time I have connected everything I listened to some of my favourite metal albums and.... I am not sure I liked it very much. Yep, details were amazing but I didn't want to listen to metal. I have played my favourite modern classic album -- eulogy for evolution and man, I almost got tears in my eyes how beautiful it was. It has been a week since I have this set up and I still try to listen some metal but I really don't quite like it. I am listening to some classic music 95% of my time now.

The only suggestion I have that might not be equipment is the concentration. When I am going to the gym or driving a car I am not really focused on the music, so on the background metal sounds best, for me, maybe. But when I am fully concentrated during my listening session at home I find rock music not that.. interesting??
 

VMAT4

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There seam to be too many variables at play here. I don't think audio equipment determines genre preference so much as other variables in your scenarios. My guess is it's mostly your mood at the time.
 
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supernova

supernova

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There seam to be too many variables at play here. I don't think audio equipment determines genre preference so much as other variables in your scenarios. My guess is it's mostly your mood at the time.
But as I say -- it has been a week already and I don't listen to metal and I never had such a period in my life. I doubt it is my mood
 

VMAT4

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But as I say -- it has been a week already and I don't listen to metal and I never had such a period in my life. I doubt it is my mood
Ok
 

XpanD

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The influence of audio equipment on music genre preference can be a complex and subjective matter. Your experience highlights how different gear can reveal nuances and impact your music choices. It's not uncommon for high-quality equipment to make listeners appreciate genres they might not have explored before due to enhanced details and fidelity.

However, personal preferences and the listening environment also play significant roles. For some, concentration and setting can affect genre preferences. As for data and research, there might be studies or forum discussions exploring this topic, but personal experiences like yours can be just as valuable in understanding how audio equipment influences musical tastes. It's all about finding what sounds best to you and enjoying your listening experience.
Thanks, ChatGPT!

(oh, it's a spambot too, hidden links -- nice)
 

Killingbeans

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Agree with @VMAT4

Sounds more like a mood thing than anything else.

I personally believe that all genres sound great on truly well designed gear. That's my main motivation for being involved in this whole high-fidelity circus.

There's no doubt that there's a lot of "one-trick pony" gear out there. I wouldn't touch it with a 10 foot pole if I had better alternatives, to be honest.
 

Vacceo

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According to most KEF users on Facebook, I'm doing it all wrong! Why do I use KEF on Death Metal? Well, because I like Death Metal...

Do those old IQ speakers play other genres well? Yeah, of course, same for video content on games; but that's what a competent speaker does.

The Marantz AVR is not as competent as It should be, but It is good enough.
 

Pareto Pragmatic

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But as I say -- it has been a week already and I don't listen to metal and I never had such a period in my life. I doubt it is my mood
Have you tried to listen to metal audiophiles say is well recorded? I don't know what that might be, but there must be some, right?

Maybe try something from this thread: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...e-there-any-good-sounding-metal-albums.24147/

If clean is a problem, go dirty! Try toeing your speakers out to bring in more sidewall reinforcement. I find that helps with stuff that sounds not so good on my better sounding systems. As can changing DAC settings to something with a longer roll off. Introduce some distortion back into your space. Then stand up, move, head bang, because metal! I do this with punk, when in the mood. Back in Black will always do it for me too. Heck, maybe get a cheap tube preamp, see if that makes metal more metal for you.

This is something I have experienced. This is exactly why I have 3 (very inexpensive) amps in one room ranging from very clean to full on vintage class A. Very roughly, there's about a 20dB s/n difference between each. Just about anything will sound good on ONE of those, no matter what the recording.

I would say genre preference is largely a function of social networks, not equipment. Imagine 3 friends who meet in middle school, but grew up in different houses with 3 different levels of systems. Chances are they will end up liking the same music. Similarly, once someone starts to interact with more people who listen to and talk about jazz or classical, the more likely they are to try it, and find some things they like. I have a friend who played blues sax, but said he never could get into jazz. He said he didn't like Coltrane. He had tried to listen to A Love Supreme, which is 100% not starter Jazz imo. I played Kind of Blue, and said listen to Coltrane. And he started to listen to Jazz.

I hope you can get back to enjoying metal again, it sounds like you want to.
 

Vacceo

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If you like metal, do not miss the chance to listen to Carcass on a pair of Blades: probably the antithesis of everything "audiophile" in just one listen.
 
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supernova

supernova

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Have you tried to listen to metal audiophiles say is well recorded? I don't know what that might be, but there must be some, right?

Maybe try something from this thread: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...e-there-any-good-sounding-metal-albums.24147/

If clean is a problem, go dirty! Try toeing your speakers out to bring in more sidewall reinforcement. I find that helps with stuff that sounds not so good on my better sounding systems. As can changing DAC settings to something with a longer roll off. Introduce some distortion back into your space. Then stand up, move, head bang, because metal! I do this with punk, when in the mood. Back in Black will always do it for me too. Heck, maybe get a cheap tube preamp, see if that makes metal more metal for you.

This is something I have experienced. This is exactly why I have 3 (very inexpensive) amps in one room ranging from very clean to full on vintage class A. Very roughly, there's about a 20dB s/n difference between each. Just about anything will sound good on ONE of those, no matter what the recording.

I would say genre preference is largely a function of social networks, not equipment. Imagine 3 friends who meet in middle school, but grew up in different houses with 3 different levels of systems. Chances are they will end up liking the same music. Similarly, once someone starts to interact with more people who listen to and talk about jazz or classical, the more likely they are to try it, and find some things they like. I have a friend who played blues sax, but said he never could get into jazz. He said he didn't like Coltrane. He had tried to listen to A Love Supreme, which is 100% not starter Jazz imo. I played Kind of Blue, and said listen to Coltrane. And he started to listen to Jazz.

I hope you can get back to enjoying metal again, it sounds like you want to.
I have tried lots of stuff in my library but it is all the same still -- I listen to metal when in the car or on the go somewhere but I just can't list to it in my home system. I don't like it.
 

Killingbeans

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Maybe you're just getting old? ;)

I dread the point in time when I'll turn into my dad, and it's all Jazz and Classic. At least my coffin-dodger mom still loves Metal, so there's hope yet.
 

fpitas

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When I got (built?) a decent system, I started gravitating to music that highlights its strong points. That mostly means clean production and relatively complex music. Metal may be fun, but not much has clean production.
 

Sokel

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It's the other way around for me,gear must be able to play my favorite genre and that's the way I choose stuff.
Gear must serve and adapt to any music,not the other way around (classical since forever for me) .
 
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supernova

supernova

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It's the other way around for me,gear must be able to play my favorite genre and that's the way I choose stuff.
Gear must serve and adapt to any music,not the other way around (classical since forever for me) .
I have never thought that gear can/should influence my listening preferences. I thought good gear makes music better
 

Sokel

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I have never thought that gear can/should influence my listening preferences. I thought good gear makes music better
Is just planning really and asking the right questions.
Room size and needs,desired SPL at listening position,music's DR (or however one calls it),personalized taste (as an example to this,I can never-ever stand a shouty or high freqs heavy result and I appreciate real mid-bass),etc.

Then you can proceed on your own or hire someone to do it for you.Life's to short for boring music and nothing should dictate what to listen.
 

jeffbook

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I have never thought that gear can/should influence my listening preferences. I thought good gear makes music better
One thing I have discovered over the years is that "good gear" exposes bad recordings. In the many cases, "good gear" can make really bad recordings virtually unlistenable.
 

LouB

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I have never thought that gear can/should influence my listening preferences. I thought good gear makes music better
Well kinda, years ago I bought a (high quality) 5.1 system for AV&music but that 12 inch sub really made we want to listen to/watch action movies ! Music wise I "thought" the sub was needed rock/jazz/whatever well because everybody uses em & it cost a lot !
I just ditched the sub & replaced the AV amp with 2.1 channel amp and am running a 2.0 system. Now I would much rather listen to music than watch an action movie. So dumping the 5.1 system & the dumping the sub has given me a much better sounding system for music.
 

DMill

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You’re just expanding your tastes. Be glad, a lot of people’s taste narrows as they get older. One great thing about being an audiophile is that you are exposed to a lot of different music. I personally never thought I’d like anything but rock. Now I listen to a ton of Motown, Funk, Jazz and some hip hop here and there. Probably the only thing I have yet to really discover is classical.

edit: and yes, I still occasionally very much enjoy playing War Pigs really loud.
 
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