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Why audio equipment affects music genre preference?

JayGilb

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You're just experimenting with other genres, not abandoning listening to metal. Enjoy them all, there is so much good music to experience, so expand your horizons and you will find that you will always be a metal lover.
 

fpitas

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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.
Conversely, recordings that were only "meh" with mediocre gear are revealed to be pretty darn interesting, once you can hear everything.
 

SteveC

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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.
I totally agree. A revealing system allows to you hear more of what has been cut to the file/CD/LP. If it's been recorded or mastered badly then that's what you get. As others have suggested try adding a (relatively) inexpensive equalizer like the Schiit Loki Mini+. It can tame some of the worst of what's been done. I should also say that bad recording or mastering is not just done on popular music. I own a lot of classical music that has been over exaggerated in the highs, heaven knows why.
 

Barrelhouse Solly

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I love pre-WWII music. My favorite is blues but I also love jazz, country, and some pop music from the period. Music from the 1920s is a particular favorite. I suppose I should have wax cylinders and '78s and wind up players with horns. I actually buy the best sounding gear I can afford. My budget has always been limited so I spend a lot of time bargain hunting. Sure, acoustic recordings dubbed from worn records don't sound great. A lot of electrical recordings are pretty good. One unpleasant fact is that the cheapest way to remaster music dubbed from worn 78s and cylinders is to cut off the high frequencies. Not all companies do the John R. T. Davies thing. I also listen to a lot of classical and jazz recorded on modern equipment. I want to hear the least distortion and the most detail that I can afford regardless of the quality of the original recordings. I want it to sound like live music heard in a good acoustic environment.
 

Vacceo

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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.
Or it can show what is in the record. I actually enjoy very poorly made records with a ton noise and poor production. But that´s actually what makes the sound interesting on those records. I do not expect Sepultura´s Bestial Devastation (the original thing, not the re-recorded) or Emperor´s Wrath of the Tyrant to be well produced (both are demos) but I still enjoy what I listen there. Gear will give me what is there; nothing more, nothing less.
 

Multicore

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No, but some equipment and situations are limiting to what programming works. For example, classical music with a wide dynamic range doesn't work in the car or in retail (I used to work the register in a bottle shop).

Unlike you/everyone, I don't have an iPhone and dislike using earphones, buds, IEMs (because I don't like the feeling of being acoustically isolated from my environment, it makes me uncomfortable) so I use them only when needed. But I do use bone conduction phones, which solve that problem, but they impose their limits: they are good enough for stories, audio-books and podcasts. I listen to music on them seldom, only when I feel enough emotional urge when I'm out and about with them (probably drunk).
 

middlemarch

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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??
Are you the same as Supernova777 on OS9 Lives by chance?
 

Ricardus

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I suspect there is some connection for people in the audiophool cult. People like that idiot over at PSA tell them they need a resolving system, and they should be listening to audiophile recordings, so they unfortunately listen to that fool and buy things from his label and such.

I am a musician and grew up with music in my house since I was born. My dad was always playing intereting music, and used to build his own Heathkit Hifi stuff, so he gave me the home Hifi bug.

I listen across many genres and prefer to have a good system whilst doing that.
 

b7676

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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.
Distinctly feel polka-at-home to be uninvolving through class d.
And the DT990 type treble lift response superior to the Sennheiser treble crash for almost all rock production before the 2010's.
 

fpitas

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Once you become an audiophile, as I understand things you immediately develop a fascination with Diana Krall.

/;)
/Nothing against her, she seems ok
 

Chrispy

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I'm always scratching my head when people list their music preferences when asking questions about audio gear. If the gear can't play any genre you're interested in, something is wrong IMO....but it could just be a lousy recording otoh.
 

AnalogSteph

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Conversely, recordings that were only "meh" with mediocre gear are revealed to be pretty darn interesting, once you can hear everything.
Peter Gabriel comes to mind. Album number 4 still gives HiFi systems a pretty good workout 40+ years later. (Original CD master preferred, the very loudest drum hits in the remaster are audibly clipped. You can hear the fade-in emerge from crunchy quantization distortion, a sign of insufficient ADC dithering in the old PCM1610s used for mastering at the time. The PCM1630 explicitly added digital random noise generators(!) to fix this.)

For a more obscure example if also 1982, I used to think this track sounded like fake big band jazz...
.... well, apparently I just never played the album on anything else than my old Tascams that didn't have a whole lot going on below 100 Hz. On my current setup, it started to sound like decidedly real and authentic big band jazz. Oops.
 

Daverz

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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?
Before I got my in-room bass response under control with room correction, I tended to find piano and orchestra recordings too thumpy to enjoy.
 

fpitas

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I'm always scratching my head when people list their music preferences when asking questions about audio gear. If the gear can't play any genre you're interested in, something is wrong IMO....but it could just be a lousy recording otoh.
I think it's just a side-effect of the audiophile synergy thing. By choosing just the right magic combination, a particular genre is enhanced.
 

Pareto Pragmatic

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Sounds more like a mood thing than anything else.
First time reading this by you and VMAT4, I thought "of course" and moved on. But for some reason I kept thinking about mood.

For instrumental music, my mood rarely gets in the way. For music with lyrics, my mood is a lot more important. I either have to be angry or willing to get angry to listen to music with angry lyrics. Words keep pulling in a direction I may or may not want to go. Without words, it's a lot easier for me to get lost in listening.
 

LuvTheMusic

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To me, it does seem possible that your audio equipment would *help* to move you toward another genre, specifically classical. With some forms of music, you might be able to hear the main components with a minimalist system. But with most classical, having a better system might reveal what's going on in the music that would help you appreciate it. For example, with classical you can hear the melody and get a basic sense of the harmonies with a cheap radio, but listening with a different system you would hear specific lines -- violins doing one thing, cellos another, brass playing their part separately, etc -- all of that helping you to appreciate how it all comes together in a way that you may not hear on a minimalist system.

But I said "help" because if your tastes weren't at least receptive to classical, the best equipment in the world wouldn't make it appealing.

As others have pointed out, for some of us, our tastes do change as we get older. Quick example that I suspect most members of this group will get: kids almost universally hate beer (in my recent immigrant German family upbringing, everyone got to try a sip of beer fairly early in life!), some but not all people who come of age decide they sort of like it, later into adulthood some people get way, way into craft beers and such. So why shouldn't some people change their taste in music as they get older.
 

fpitas

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our tastes do change as we get older
Sometimes in unexpected ways. I started dislikng rock and preferring breakbeat hardcore from the 90s.
 
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