When I think about Sound of Playback then I imply a complex mix of dimensions from many different threads of live. Sure sound of playback is a rendition of what is recorded but it also might be anything else.
All playbacks sound different and if playback own by a thinking person who is literate in audio then playback to a large degree reflects the objectives of the playback owner. In a past I was interested in sound of other’s playback systems much more then in sound of my own playback. At that time I had interest to socialize with audio people, was traveling listening other people playbacks, trying to assess for myself what is possible and what is doable. It always was very interesting to see what people play.
I always have my CDs with me when I hear somebody else playback. Still I almost always did the very same trick. Before start the listening session I asked the system owner to play a recording that would be the most emblematic of owner objective of what audio shall be all about. This is very complex question but it also a hugely educational question.
Surely we would like to play very well recorded music. We would like to play very good performed music. We would like to play the music that reflects of what we “like”. However, the most emblematic recording that depict out playback objective is MUCH more then this. The most emblematic recording is snapshot of the virtues of a given playback multiplied by the owner interests in these virtues. A properly selected “emblematic recording” is like a synapses of an Opera - it shows the lay of the land not only of playback but the owner’s interests as well. I might propose the readers to name their current “the emblematic recording” but it is not my objectives as to know the “emblematic recording” with hearing the playback is worthless. The whole key is to hear what the given playback does with the emblematic recording, something that is impossible over web. So, what I propose to people is to think about sound own playback in context of one single emblematic recording that would explain to themselves what they are doing. If you have ears and brain then you sense that what I propose is quite complicated task.
The irony is that the most emblematic recording not necessary shall sound good –it shall sound “loaded” with objectives. The people who read my site for a while do understand what I mean.
Through my entire audio life I witnessed only once when I requested the most emblematic recording and what was played was a support demonstration what that playback was trying to do. Interestingly that playback was owned by an Audio Dealer and he demonstrated to me his smallest room in the entire store. The music he played was so eloquent explanation of what was right and wrong in playbacks and so in detail described what the system owner was trying to accomplish that it was like reading 50 pagers review by owner of his own playback. To those expressions of audio practice I can only applaud.
Romy the Cat
"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche