oldius

How has this hobby affected your taste in music?

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My earliest loves in music were really from the early 80s. I was hooked on Yazoo and the Human League, with electronic pop dominating the UK charts. I shifted into a love of The Smiths and Elvis Costello by the mid 80's when I was about 16-17. This was also the peak of my early ventures in to Hifi and my love of clubbing, leading me towards soul and funk. The music always led me, and much of what I listened to was fairly poorly recorded but just wonderful music. As I discovered civil rights era soul, I meandered into jazz of the period and wow, how good did it sound on a decent system. As the system developed, so did my love of it and now it is a mainstay of my listening pleasure, along with the deep funk and soul that I always coveted.

How has your interest in hifi influenced your listening habits?

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15 minutes ago, oldius said:

How has your interest in hifi influenced your listening habits?

I'm not sure if the two have much of a relationship in my case.  I've always been around at least decent equipment.  Maybe not ultra high-end, but at least good stuff from mass producers of audio equipment.  My father was into stereo equipment and into music.  He liked all kinds of music so there was a lot of variety in the house when I was young, but classical was his favorite at least when I was around.  I will admit that I was not too enthralled with classical music as a youngster.  It wasn't until some years after college that I started listening to it again, but then I was hooked on classics.

Speaking of which, I have this album on both LP and cassette.  I quite like it.  In fact, I believe I have volumes 1-3 on cassette.  Some classical fans sneer at this, but they're idiots who are more concerned with ranking works which they've never heard than they are about concerned about enjoying music.  Of course, ole' Klassik likes disco too.  Walter Murphy is A-Ok with Klassik as well.  ;)

With the classical disco interlude out of the way, where was I?  xD

Oh yeah, well, I think I would still like classical music even if I was listening to nothing but computer speakers and a boombox.  It's impossible to say for sure, but I can listen to something on London laptop speakers and get goosebumps, start air conducting, toe-tapping, and/or pelvic thrusts.  In fact, I have Walter Murphy on right now (not on laptop speakers, I'm listening through decent Boston Acoustics computer speakers) and you should see me get down.  I'll let you guess whether that involves air conducting, toe-tapping, and/or pelvic thrusts.  :P

Now, of course, listening in Hi-Fi makes things better, but it's not necessary and I'm not sure if I would be listening to anything different.  It's impossible to say though. 

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That's incredibly close to my own my own experience Geoff. If you exclude the "love of The Smiths and Elvis Costello" and insert world music, especially Brazilian and West African, then it's pretty much identical. As my hi fi system has developed (vinyl especially) and become more "transparent" my appreciation of the freer elements of jazz in particular has increased substantially as I can follow the rhythmic complexity. Nevertheless I'm an old soul boy at heart and still enjoy a funky good time.

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Super Wammer

Our house had music all my young life some my parents had but most were what I bought . We had awful equipment to listen to about the best was a Phillips Black Box all in one player .

Early music for me was Motown , Altlantic Soul , Stax but also King Crimson , Yes and Family . I found I had a very restless taste for music alwasy wanting to know more and after seeing Osibisa live really wanted to hear more African music . Not much about in Liverpool in the early 70,s but when Punk came in many of the alternative record shops like Probe carried African , South American , Indian and other music which I very quickly gravitated to . A trip with work for nine months to Nigeria mainly to Port Harcourt but at least a month in Lagos introduced me to Fela Kuti and then things just went wild after that . Jazz was always a part of my music likes mainly from my Dad who gave me his original Kind of Blue LP and this is still one of my all time favourites. Nina Simone was another then Duke Ellington which led to Taj Mahal dont ask me how .

When I finally left home and got a place of my own one of the first buys was a system and my original was a very safe one for the time Dual 505 TT / NAD 7020 Reciever / Mission 700 Speakers . Playing Night Clubbing by Grace on this for the first time was revelation compared to what i had used before and then it just kept me looking and buying new things and sounds , Kraftwerk , Lee Scratch Perry , Cassandra Wilson , Steve Miller , Stevie Wonder , Steely Dan they all added to my need to know were does this sound come from who did they listen to . So in my usual rambling way I have to say that this hobby did not really lead me to other music , the music lead me to the equiment once I realised that all my music sounded better(even the rubbish recordings ) once the equipment improved. I do however really wish that I had realised yesrs ago that once you get to a certain level then just stop because the improvements just get smaller for a much bigger outlay .

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Since we bought the BL90s I've bought a lot more classical music, simply because they are the first speakers I've owned that can really do justice to its scale and impact.

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My Dad placed great importance in having a means of playing music, occasionally at party levels while sounding good. In that time he has only ever had two systems. I have spent literally tens of thousands going around in circles, only to discover that my Dads philosophy is where I am now, and I have never been happier. Music from the place of my Dads birth was a catalyst for all of that. I can live with it if it can do Reggae in its many forms justice. So I would argue that my taste in music has guided my way through this hobby, and not the other way around.

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Being on here and holding/attending bakeoff etc has definitely widened the genres of music I listen to and driven my cd collection within those genres.  Equally tho the use of Spotify on my iPad prompts me to listen to new releases and similar artists etc that I would normally never if encountered......normally filling in the hours alone in hotel rooms or in airports etc - remember those days when we used to travel - lol 

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Super Wammer

Truthfully I don't think that hi-fi itself has had much of an influence on my choice of genres, apart from realising that the more jazz I hear in higher fidelity, the more I hate it with a passion :D. What has been beneficial to me is attending the few bake-offs I've been to, where I have been exposed to new artists that I would never have discovered for myself. Some of these have been in new genres (Hugsjá - I can only classify it as "Viking Doom Chant??" It's fab anyway) Also the 'Wam's "What are you listening to right now?" thread has allowed me to pick up new things.

In early life I listened primarily to whatever I heard on the TV and radio, mainly 70's & 80's pop. My parents had a very modest record collection and didn't listen to it much, but a few artists have stayed with me throughout my life (E.L.O., Jean-Michel Jarre, Neil Sedaka). Early teens coincided with the explosion of synth pop in the charts, so I'm with you Geoff on Human League, Depeche Mode, Yazoo (Alison Moyet is a goddess, either with Vince or solo), etc. "Don't You Want Me" is still one of the best pop songs ever penned!

My biggest expansion of musical taste happened during my college years. My friends who were listening to far more varied things than I'd ever heard before, gave me the chance to discover for myself more female vocalists like Joni Mitchell and Michelle Shocked, artists from the African continent like Johnny Clegg & Savuka, Hugh Masekela, etc, rock from the likes of INXS, Blue Öyster Cult, Magnum, New Model Army, and the whole Goth movement from the more "mainstream" (Cure, Mission, Bauhaus, Siouxsie, Sisters of Mercy) through to the more niche like Red Lorry Yellow Lorry. Also I was studying music at A-Level so classical music, which I had always enjoyed and studied at school too, took on a bigger prominence, and I found that my real loves lay in the Baroque era, as well as with some of the Romantic period (plus Haydn's symphonies). As an organist I loved J.S. Bach's vast array of work of course (NOT that damned Toccata & Fugue in D Min! Over-played rubbish), also Charles Widor and Louis Vierne.

There's some gaps in my range of genres - I still need to listen to more music from non-Western cultures for one thing, and perhaps explore some of the fringes of Blues (which I struggle with, although don't necessarily dislike). Will my hi-fi help me to do that? Maybe, but I'm not of the opinion that the equipment should dictate the music, but should make the best of whatever it is given and present an enjoyable sound and permit insight into the performance and that all-important emotional connection with the artist.

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I wouldn't say this hobby has affected my taste in music at all. It just sounds better.

I have a few of those "audiophile recordings" that everyone gets because they sound impressive but I haven't listened to them in ages as the music isn't my thing.

Of course anything that introduces you to new music is a good thing, but if you've stopped listening to music you like because your Hi-fi makes it sound crap then I think you've gone a bit overboard with the whole "transparency" thing.

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Posted (edited)

As an appreciator of organ music Jules if you havnt heard the Daniel Chorzempa recording of Boellmanns Toccata from Suite Gothique on the organ at West Point Cathedral search it out - the 64ft pipes are something to really test your bass response.

Edited by MF 1000
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1 minute ago, Warszawa said:

I wouldn't say this hobby has affected my taste in music at all. It just sounds better.

I would agree with that. Most of my early listening - to the likes of Radio Caroline and later Radio 1 - was done on a crappy tranny radio. It has been more a case of hearing new stuff played by other people that has affected my taste in music, rather than the hifi hobby itself. The Wam has had a big effect on the stuff I listen to - hearing new sounds at the various shows and seeing what people post on the music threads has broadened my taste considerably.

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9 minutes ago, Warszawa said:

I wouldn't say this hobby has affected my taste in music at all. It just sounds better.

Yup, that goes for me, too.

I must admit I was a bit baffled by the basic premise of the thread at first!

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I don't consider my hifi or my music as hobbies. I love music, always have. I'm interested in my hifi, I enjoy listening to music on it as it sounds great. But I would say that joining the Wam has made a big difference by encouraging me to take chances on new music, I do need a bit of a push now and then! So thank you wammers :).

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Super Wammer

I have found being on here due to my hifi hobby for a few monthe & reading the 'What are you listening too right now' has very much broadened my musical tastes & emptied my bank account 

I have 37 new albums/cds and loads of new music in my Spotify library + being able to see an album cover/artist then checking it out without having to buy it first makes a big difference. 
 

So in conclusion I do think the hobby influences everyones taste to some extent if you share your hobby on one or all of the hifi based forums as the music & hifi go hand in hand.😎😎😎

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1 hour ago, Beobloke said:

Since we bought the BL90s I've bought a lot more classical music, simply because they are the first speakers I've owned that can really do justice to its scale and impact.

In some ways, I find a lot of classical music to be rather undemanding on equipment compared to other genres.  I suppose it depends a bit on the type of classical music.  For things like string quartets, piano trios, keyboard music (though not organ music), and chamber orchestra music, all of which is the bread & butter of classical music, I find that I can listen to it even on the very small Sony boombox in my bedroom and still get just about everything I would want out of it as long as the volume is turned up sufficiently.  Perhaps I can fill in some gaps in the audible part of the music just though listening experience though.  Maybe that's might be a factor.

I can see someone wanting Hi-Fi for big orchestral music.  Low grade equipment may sound congested on loud bits and particularly dynamic orchestral works may get lost in the noise floor of lower end stuff.  Some of the percussion instruments may not come through cleanly on equipment with no bass or flabby bass.

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