Isn't it really about quality of recording?

Are most of us just chasing our tails?

I mean you listen to a variety of recordings and some sound a lot better than others. Your system has limited impact on how good recordings can be. I am awestruck how some music sounds and clearly my system has nothing to do with it, it all occurred when the music was produced.

We talk about soundstage and imaging and I am not sure all the effort and money put toward a better system can really do that much for most of what we listen to because the quality is lesser than other recordings.

You can walk into a room and hear something that really sounds good and you say wow what an amazing System you have but no!!! It's the recording dummy not the system most of the time. Things don't sound so good it's probably the recording.

The dealers don't wanna talk about Recording quality no one seems to want to talk about it and why is this? Because there's no money to be made here that's why.



I have been a professional sound engineer in one of the biggest studios in Switzerland for around 30 years, so feel free to ask any questions.


I am often surprised about the beliefs among hifi people and audiophiles about studios and studio engineers.


There are many recordings that are not as good as they can be. Only a small percentage are real masterworks. There are some recording engineers like the late Al Schmidt who really know what they are doing, and a lot of people who do the best they can, politely said. Also, most often the equipment used is mediocre at best. A microphone placed some inches apart from the best spot, wrong mic choice, bad recording room acoustics, bad choices in the mixing and / or mastering stage, all diminish the quality of the outcome, and can sum up to something I don’t want to listen to.


It is ironic that audiophiles often listen to music that was mixed and mastered on equipment that costs a small percentage of what the audiophiles paid for their system. Often, sound engineers say "Give me loudspeakers with bad resolution, because otherwise I will never finish my job".


"With my great system, it now sounds like it sounded in the studio" is a silly audiophile myth.


These are just some pretty random spotlights on "daily studio life".


But yes, recording quality is most important.

And I would say that there are two kinds of "good" systems - one that makes all music sound considerably good, and one that mercilessly shows you any flaws in the recording. I prefer the latter, because they often also show you all the great things the mixing and the mastering engineers did, while the former often fakes its "good sound", and has actually rather low resolution.

A great system can reveal the soul of the performance if the music is good but it was recorded poorly.



Thanks for your perspective on recordings. Valuable to hear.


Personally, for years I pursued the latter “good” system… scrape details with lots of slam and over the years switched to the kind that makes all recording sound better… although there were a few early rock that sound like tin… and just cannot be salvaged. But those are rare.