Friday, March 2, 2012

Primary System vs. Vintage System

I've been really enamored with the vintage system set up in the bedroom. It's just so pleasing to listen to that I had thoughts that it was all I needed. Who needs a hi-fi system that has a price tag of a mid-sized car? Well, last night I listened to a couple of records on my primary system, Bobby Hutcherson and Harold Land's San Francisco (original Blue Note pressing) and Neu! 2 (original UK United Artists pressing). Then I moved to the bedroom to listen to the vintage system before turning in for the night. This wasn't an intentional comparison, but it was the first time I listened to the two systems back-to-back. The vintage system sounded muffled, less clear, and the sound-stage was smaller and less defined compared to the primary system. The bass was also boomier and less defined. When I first listened to the vintage system I was surprised how close it came to the sound quality of my primary system. Last night I realized that impression was obviously an illusion. So, critical listening will be done on the primary system. The vintage system is perfect for casual listening in the bedroom. One advantage it does have is it does take the digital edge off many modern recordings and makes them more listenable. The comparison with the primary system hasn't diminished my appreciation of the vintage system. It still sounds wonderful. My appreciation of the primary system has only increased.

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