Is a highly discerning system enjoyable?

I argue that in terms of musical enjoyment, connection, feeling the musicians and composers maybe a highly discerning system is going too far? Maybe I want the warts airbrushed out.  Maybe I like a system that lets me listen to a broader range of recordings  without whincing?

Then there’s systems which are discerning of performances vs. discerning of upstream gear. I personally feel they are not the same thing at all.

Lastly, if your room is an acoustic mess, how can you tell?

If you feel strongly either way I'd appreciate examples of the gear that made you go one way or another.


A truly high performing hi res system will let you hear how bad some recordings are but is not the cause….only the messenger. It’s also possible the particular high res system is just not one’s exact cup of tea, no different in that sense than any other. Each system is at least a little different in some regard.  Even the “high res” ones.  Let’s not generalize.  

 Think it depends on your definition of “hi res”? A good system w/ solid state electronics can sound quite different to one of similar caliber but tube based. I’ve a few examples of each that to me sounded great & some that didn’t. It’s similar to a good turntable/ arm / cartridge set up vs good digital ( streaming or disc or whatever). Both can be considered “ hi res” but sound sound differently although in my system, they’re getting pretty close.

I personally like good , highly efficient horn loaded speakers powered by good tubes & their unmatched dynamics & live sound which for myself, is a must to be considered hi res. For others, that’s not important & really extended frequency extremes & detailed imaging & depth is a must. This variety is one of the things that makes this music enjoyment hobby fun!

Hearing the occasional wart in a recording shouldn’t ruin your appreciation of music as a whole.  And it’s fun to notice new details in familiar recordings.  So I emphatically answer No! To the thread title

I would think any system that makes bad recordings sound good, will also be changing the sound of good recordings...