Describe the "new HiFi sound"?

Recently had a discussion with an audio friend over the word "musical" and what this word means to each of us with regard to sound from different amplifiers and speakers. Some debate too.  And, reading this other comment on Agon once in a some equipment has the "new HiFi sound".  


Can someone describe this, in your words, what is the new HiFi Sound to you?  Examples? Or, opposites of the new HiFi sound, what does this sound like?





Musical is a useless term. It means I like it.

New Hi Fi Sound is an oxymoron. The goal of hi fi is reproduction of live sound. Live sound hasn't changed. So there can't be new hi fi sound.

Musical, has sufficient dynamic contrast across the frequency range to reasonably present music as live even if studio recorded. Oddly, some of the most obvious are backing soundtracks to advertisements... that somehow seem to have to most obvious dynamic contrasts not just elevated volume... a bit like the production of Muddy waters album, Folk Singer. Dramatically differentiated instruments that have punch, contrast. Rather like the power of contrast ratio in tv's...

For me, it seems my "new hi-fi music" digs so much more detail out of recorded music, no matter the format, compared to my systems of old. And that also goes for playback of "older" recorded music. There is so much more information to hear. I go through my classic rock, R&B and jazz and I’m jaw-dropped with discovering so many more layers of sound from these recordings. I’m listening now to Sting’s album, "Brand New Day", (streaming via Tidal Masters), that I’ve listened to hundreds of times, but, tonight, there is music in those tracks that's totally "new" to me.

lots of silly banter about the words here, as i read the responses...

i think what @decooney is asking about is whether newer, higher end speakers tend to portray the sound of the music they are playing differently than older top-line speakers... am sure he will correct me if i am wrong on this

the answer is pretty clear for anyone who has kept up with new stuff, gone to shows/showrooms, heard the hotshot newer stuff from the big boys

more detail up front (refined as it may be), more ability to play loud cleanly, less cabinet resonances, more ’accuracy’ so to speak, but imo arguably at the expense of musicality

as such. more of a tendency to pull the musical pieceparts apart, disaggregated, as opposed to giving a more holistic sense of the performance

Harry Pearson appraised audio equipment by its ability to approximate the sound heard from the best seat in the best concert hall, presumably under conditions of optimal temperature and humidity.

The "new" sound is something entirely different. It aims not to simulate live concert performance, but to do aurally what molecular gastronomy does gustatorily: to create, via sophisticated technology, sensory experiences NOT to be found outside the laboratory. Visual media, of course, achieved this first, in all those movies I have no wish ever to see. ("I hold most dear my sight; yet would I choose / to hear no more the music of your voice? Or could I bear the thought that I might lose / the touch of you? I could not make a choice.")