WOW. That sounds GOOD!

WOW. That sounds GOOD!

Sometimes I install a component and something in the sound immediately captures my attention and I say “wow” or “that’s great”. That, contrary to the observation, is a problem. Anything in the sound that sticks out and grabs your attention and is so obvious will invariably be one of the very things you later dislike about a component. “Great treble” becomes “too bright”. “Powerful bass” turns into “fat and boomy”. Or something.

The point is that as components improve and systems become more satisfying, no one factor is obviously exceptional. The high frequency performance is great because the midrange performance is equally outstanding because the bass is good, too. One sound, even, detailed, realistic, enjoyable. The entire presentation, bass to treble, must be at one performance level or long-term satisfaction suffers. Here’s a corollary: The longer a component takes to sound great (assuming it has the potential), the better it really is, and the more you will enjoy it for a longer time. We’re talking hours or possibly even days to realize the true glory of a new addition to your system.

In exactly the same manner, it may take several listening sessions to become convinced that the component is sonically flawed.

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