Systems lean: more thoughts on Munich and Hi-Fi
"Systems lean." So read my notes in reference to the experience of listening to lots of systems at the High End Show 2016 in Munich. Systems lean.
The idea that we are all striving for the same sound from our hi-fi's is pure, unadulterated silliness. We aren't. That would mean that the differences we hear from room to room and system to system at hi-fi shows are rooted in mistakes; deviations from some objective ideal. While I'm all for Plato, at some point we have to accept reality: Systems lean in favor of the sound their designers and owners prefer. It is that simple. It is that human.
These are just some of the 19,489 attendees at the High End Show 2016. One thing you'll notice right off the bat is they do not look alike. These people are not all wearing the same uniform, nor do they sport the same haircut. They are different in appearance because they have different tastes and style.
While this is some obvious stuff, there are people within the hi-fi hobby that want to make believe this human diversity ends once you step into hi-fi: that all of a sudden, only the things they deem to be important are important. I find it best to ignore these people since their misbegotten beliefs only have validity when reinforced by others. Believing you know the best does not resonate for very long inside one's own head.
Some people, like many of the people I saw in Munich, appear to go to a hi-fi show to enjoy themselves; it's an outing, in many cases a family outing. In a word, fun. Others, whom I mostly encounter at US hi-fi shows, look as if they're lost in a maze and can't find the cheese.
Thinking the differences we hear between hi-fi's at hi-fi shows are rooted in mistakes, rather than preferences, is like thinking the differences in our appearance are rooted in deviations from an ideal that can only be found in a reflection.