Question Are you into Hi-Fi or Music?

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Fandango Andy

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I truly appreciate that you share my appreciation for Night Hawk; I have very little interest in how or with what you are listening to it nor in how our equipment for appreciating it compares.

(Of course, let us acknowledge where we are, and recognize that WHAT HI-FI? IS, has always been primarily about equipment, and music tends to get squeezed in here.)
I can thank Amazon Music for Night Hawk. About four years ago I was listening to Frank Morgan, or Hank Mobly, or someone like that. Night Hawk came up as a recommendation, which sent me down a Coleman Hawkins rabbit hole, but I keep coming back to Night Hawk.

I had read so many comments along the lines of "that isn't hifi" or "you need to spend five times that for hifi" that I was beginning to think everyone was just into their toys and gadgets, but most responses are that the equipment is a means to an end.
 
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Rodolfo

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I can thank Amazon Music for Night Hawk. About four years ago I was listening to Frank Morgan, or Hank Mobly, or someone like that. Night Hawk came up as a recommendation, which sent me down a Coleman Hawkins rabbit hole, but I keep coming back to Night Hawk.

I had read so many comments along the lines of "that isn't hifi" or "you need to spend five times that for hifi" that I was beginning to think everyone was just into their toys and gadgets, but most responses are that the equipment is a means to an end.
I've the CD, I think, and a WMA lossless file for sure, but I just launched it on my Amazon Music desktop app. Very Nice HD offering there indeed, and I'm only listening through my single Bose bluetooth speaker!
 
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bp_reid

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Jun 5, 2023
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Like, I presume, a lot of people: I listen to music daily but dip into the world of HiFi for an upgrade or some new tech like streaming, every half dozen years or so.

In some respects gear and listening are parallel and mutually dependent hobbies.

Similarly in my main hobby, photography, there are several strands. Some like making photo’s, some like gear, some like photobooks, exhibitions etc.

In both instances the gear heads, measurers and geeks benefit everyone by pushing the manufacturers and engineers, so we should all win.
 

Stuart83

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Jul 22, 2023
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Interesting question.

I've always loved music more than most around me personally.
Hifi started for me at 12 but a love for music much earlier, I even went on to DJ for some yrs as a side venture.

My interest was nurtured by a decent hifi as a kid in which I immediately discovered the exponentially huge amount of joy a decent hifi can add to an already existing love for music.
My father as mentioned in other posts regularly past different kit through the loft hatch/repair shop to me as a kid, all kinds of stuff giving me an early understanding of kit and what it can bring to the listener.

Only recently I posted on what brought the vast amount of kit to the house, one reason being the replacing of good hi-fi's with the dreaded "all in one gimmicky" hifi racks of the late 80s early 90s (not the quality sets) that everywhere pushed with the false advertising of this and that and everytime I was disappointed by them in comparison at either a friend's house or other family members set.
This meant my father would buy up all kinds of broken or second hand earlier hifi from all kinds of places that people chose to replace with such kit.

I remember hearing a sharp "all in one" set with high speed dubbing, pop, rock, jazz and classical settings and a graphic equaliser on top of that.
It even had square drivers with a red lightening logo above them
A cousin had sold an older Sony pre and power amp with an old pair of kit built wharfdale Linton's speakers my father had repaired and gave him prior.
Suffice to say he was instantly disappointed with his choice, it was terrible and I found it hard to enjoy music through such devices as I still do now.

My partner constantly listens to music through a smartphone loudspeaker yet has access to two decent hi-fi's.
I constantly hear the over tonal baseless empty sound of it as she potters around the house not knowing half the track she is listening to can't be heard therefore enjoyed.

Sure I still know it gives her joy in her music this way so it's definitely each to their own but I prefer a full spectrum sound.

Maybe why I'm 50/50 in all things music to hifi.
I find the kit is very important in reflecting the amount of joy I get from the given music.
My preference with most music is on the loud side of the dial so Ive found over the years only decent kit does loud comfortably and well.

It's like everything else to a point equipment is important to get you where you want to be.
After that the hobby can be fully immersive.

I've also found a lot doesn't have to be spend on hifi to find a quality system when combining knowledge with a budget, especially if one is willing to delve into the second hand market.
 

Roog

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May 20, 2016
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Both!

I play music and there isn't much substitute for the satisfaction that this gives, but I am influenced by others and I love to hear a wide range of music.

I also enjoy the technicality/science of HiFi, mainly because I'm an electronics/electrical engineer, so yes I'm not ashamed to say that I listen to my HiFi too!
 
I grew up with records being played, and a table radio in the living room. My grandfather had a Bechstein upright piano and I’d love to hear him play it before Sunday lunch. So I loved music from very early on.

When in my teens I first heard a decent Hifi I was fascinated by the technology that enabled the glorious sounds. How could that orchestra come from those wooden boxes, I puzzled!

I’ve retained the fascination with the kit, how it’s designed, and how it can integrate successfully. But I still love music, live and recorded. I’ve been very fortunate this year to have already attended two orchestral concerts, an opera, and two piano recitals. Great for keeping a reference for the Hifi too!
 

record_spot

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Music first. Always has been.

I started out listening on my parents' Stella transistor radio in the late 60s/early 70s, which was a tiny little thing that weighed a ton, but we got Radio 1 and Radio Luxembourg. I remember listening to all manner of stuff on that. We had a Dansette Viva record player (the light grey and duck egg blue one) that took care of the singles and few LPs they owned. We had a jukebox USA 45 of Eleanor Rigby and Yellow Submarine. To this day, Eleanor Rigby is one of my favourite songs and one I always picture in black and white in my mind's eye.

These days, I dabble in hifi, trying out bits for fun, but it's always the music. I just bought a Wiim Pro Plus earlier this month and that thing's getting a workout. Paired it with my Cambridge DACMagic 200M and with a Qobuz account it's laying waste to the rest of the kit when it goes to the AVI actives. Best audio I've heard bar none.
 
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Stuart83

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Jul 22, 2023
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I suppose this is relevant to the question.

I've just got round to setting up a Marantz CD 60 to replace a twice repaired CD52 mk2 which became a favourite of mine over the years despite having others in-between I always preferred it.

Yesterday I set up the CD 60 both with analogue and digital outputs to utilise both it's internal and the separate ess saber DAC inclusive to the amp yet didn't get past it's own.
I'd bought some more CDs prior including more classical and even Mumford and sons and instantly fell on love with the CD 60's sound within its second filter setting.

It's only confirms what a new bit of kit can bring to the table.

The improvement is vast despite the CD 52 mk2 being very good there's a definitive improvement, even my partner noticed whom has little to no interest in hifi at all.

The music comes alive, tracks by "The lumineers" like stubborn love with backing singers etc that now come so much further forward and can be heard in a further detail.

I've gone from listening to music sporadically to putting it on every morning again like I used to.

I'm now away staying with family but caught myself out in town purchasing more CDs to put on when home.

I won't go further with the CD 60 and veer off topic suffice to say it's a very good piece of kit indeed.
But it has refreshed my interest in music.
 
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tsaoandy

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Just from a musician's point of view, I am a classical trained violinist. I also play Jazz and involved in rock and recording projects. I must say listening to music production as end result is so different from listening to yourself and the surrounding sound during a performance. For example, sitting in an orchestra pit in the violin section, I don't hear what the conductor is hearing, that is also why conductor is quite important(not just waving around, or counting everyone in) who has the get the balance right, this means so factors here, the acoustics of the space, re-educate the musician to possibly try a new way of playing in order to get the sound right.
Same goes in a studio, a producer if he/she isn't not one of the performers, there will be communication with the artists, then sound engineers will set up the mic, then a lot of the end result is controlled via the equipments.
I love the hobby of building up a system, for me I believe the process of recording, mixing, mastering and listening back on the equipment manufactured based on a specific design, we end up listening to a sound design, it is not a distortion and it is not drastic different however the music will be projected differently in your lounge/listening room. It is a personal thing, music is music I love a certain piece or a song because I can emotionally relate to it, not because my hifi is now much better so I start to like the song, but because now it does detail much better in a way, I now appreciate a particular instrument in the song much more, like people don't think too much of the drum and bass section in Radiohead, the way those sections are projected can change your relationship with the song. For me hifi as in a music experience helps me improve my skill as a musician, but it has little effect on my passion for music, I can get that passion watching my favourite band playing in Glastonbury on you tube video on my phone.
 

Revolutions

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people don't think too much of the drum and bass section in Radiohead, the way those sections are projected can change your relationship with the song
Radiohead’s rhythm section is superb. And Brian Eno levels of innovative. People are idiots 🙃

Totally agree: hearing songs in that 3-D way can completely transform my experience & understanding of a song.

For me hifi as in a music experience helps me improve my skill as a musician, but it has little effect on my passion for music, I can get that passion watching my favourite band playing in Glastonbury on you tube video on my phone.
This, 100%. I love music for it being music, no matter the medium or fidelity. Hifi gives me new perspectives on playing style, tone, instrumentation & arrangement that really influences the way I write & play music.
 

Steve983

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The music came first obviously. Then the quest for better sound began...
In my early years I was swapping/selling/buying amps and speakers all the time in search for that holy grail of sound. After a while though I settled on gear that I was happy with and kept for years so the interest in hi fi waned. It seems that every ten years or so its time to review the situation.
 

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