Passion, or ..... Precision?

Hi Guys, 

In the last 2 years I have finally built what I consider to be a fairly decent System. Namely, DCS Bartok, BHK 300 mono's and KEF Ref 5 Speakers. With the introduction of Qobuz, which is all I listen to now, I find myself searching out artists or tracks that sound amazing on my rig. Occasionally, I hit the jackpot and find something I really like that also sounds amazing. Streaming is brilliant for this. However, when I revert back to the music that evokes the passion in me I find that it tends to be of poorer recording quality. I'm 58 now and grew up with the 70's/80's Heavy Rock scene with bands like Sabbath, Ozzy, Rainbow, Lizzy and my beloved Status Quo etc. Their early material just doesn't 'cut it' on a high end system (IMO) and I find it more fatiguing to listen to. Modern technology and attention to detail in the recording studio has really dated some of my favourite bands to the point I find it harder to listen to them.

Does anybody else share this experience?

cheers, Mark


The pre-apex Bartok is rather analytical sounding - probably not the best match for the choice of listening material.

The idea of having a second set of speakers does make sense.

I really enjoy Chicago Blues Music and there is no better encounter that when I hear the sound produced from a Cheap Tannoy Speaker.

On the ESL Speakers it sounds great, but does not have the perception of the atmosphere, that adds to the attraction.

When I extend the experience using the Tannoy Speakers to Live Rock, the same levels of enjoyment are created.

Would I demonstrate using the Tannoy, no, that is for the likes of the ESL.

The Tannoy just delivers a flavour that evokes embedded memories of past experiences.

I too have found many rock recordings to be grating and fatiguing.  It all depends upon the recording quality. 

Re. the DCS Bartok comment:  After owning a DCS Rossini, I’m sure that the Bartok isn't a problem, except for someone who prefers something else.

Most stacked Marshall rock concerts were too loud and distorted to sound good.  But man -- including the audience and the experience -- did they ROCK!!

I've found that a symphonic orchestra is more difficult to reproduce than most any other music.  The soft to loud dynamic ranges provide the difficulty.  Undestorted/uncongested crescendos with instrument separation and differentiation, divide the wannabes from the capable. 

As far as recording age is concerned, there obviously is a correlation, but there doesn’t necessarily need to be.  For example, of the several 1812 Overture recordings I own, this late 1950’s one is the best:  Tchaikovsky: 1812 Festival Overture; Capriccio Italien; Beethoven: Wellington's Victory Antal Doráti / Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra  Also, many Jazz recordings from the 50’s and 60’s still hold up well.

As far as rock and hard rock go, non-fatiguing listenability all has to do with the recording quality.

Off the top of my head, a few rock recordings I find well done are Emerson Lake and Palmer’s:  Lucky Man and In the Beginning; Sabbath's Iron Man; YES: Roundabout; Pink Floyd: DSOM et al.; Chicago; Blood Sweet and Tears; America’s: Sandman; Edgar Winter’s: Frankenstein; some of The Who’s tracks, especially those recorded at the New York Plant Sessions etc…

Some of You might enjoy the British all-star band

Crippled Black Phoenix.


Probably very fine on KEF Ref. 5 :)

They generally recorded that stuff to be played loud, otherwise it sounds like crap mostly. I own all those old rock records, I hardly listen to them now. I'm more into jazz and classical, also old hill Billy music, acoustic...