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Old 17-09-2014, 09:00 AM   #23
Senior Member
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 511
The problem with good equipment/playback system is that the extra bass, resolution and detail gets fatiguing for the ears/brains to keep up.
I still don't agree with this point.

If you want to feel relaxed, then listen to relaxing music.. you can't expect to listen to heavy metal to relax. If relaxing music is fatiguing, then something is wrong.

If you find watching 4K OLED 80" display is fatiguing, it's partially because it's calibrated wrongly. A well calibrated display should be natural to the eyes.. you can't judge based on some display in a shop which is tweaked to maximise dynamic contrast for 'wow factor'. The other factors are of course how the way the light is transmitted, and that's why I prefer projectors still, but that's a separate discussion.

Back to music - rarely do people complain that real life non-amplified music is fatiguing right?

If you have heard a truly well balanced system, it will sound very natural despite all the high resolution and details. You can then just pick what music fits your mood, and the loudness you want to play at.. just play it lower if it's meant for background.. but having said that, trying to alter the way we listen means that we aren't really listening the way the artiste wanted us to do so.

This balance is achieved not by buying equipment (though matching helps), but by careful arrangement and set up of the whole system.

To give you a funny example - my AK120II's decay and resonance of instruments is affected when I put on some plastic protectors onto the back and sides of the device. While it is a relatively small change, the perception of how we hear the sound is then affected in a way that makes me feel the music is more closed in, slightly more rushed, etc and not natural.

To achieve real balance, we need to pay attention to all the small things.. as another example, I find that FLAC changes the timbre or tone of the sound and is not acceptable to me at all.

All these also depends on how particular you are and how perceptive are you.. back to food analogy, an amateur will probably only be able to say if the food is good or not, and may be willing to accept more compromise especially if you've not tasted better. Only when you are seasoned, will you know if something is off, and only the veterans will be able to precisely tell you what is wrong - e.g. marinated too long by 10 seconds.

Last edited by Questor; 17-09-2014 at 09:04 AM..
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