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Has your constantly evolving music system changed the type of music you listen too?

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  • Has your constantly evolving music system changed the type of music you listen too?

    Has your constantly evolving music system changed the type of music you listen too?

    I was doing the dishes, listening to some "Ingrid Michaelson" and it got me thinking... Why am I listening to this? And why am I enjoying it soooo much!
    I never used to listen to this kind of music, or much female vocal music at all, with the exception of Enya, of which I have enjoyed since I was in high school some 20 years ago. I have also always been a HUGE fan of Rush, Pink Floyd, Dream Theater and a good deal of classical, but why now, do I have such a pull towards the female vocal?

    Now, I still listen to all of the above quite frequently, but I usually don't sit and really "listen" to them anymore. Now I spend hours upon hours on iTunes playing the game "what new female vocal can I discover today?" And wonder how she will sound on my system. I have often found that even though I don't really like the song or particular genre, if the recording is good and I like how she sounds then that's that.

    Perhaps it's because none of my male testosterone buds from high school and college are no longer around, therefore I no longer feel the need to play Megadeth's "Rust In Peace" at ear blistering levels for hours on end. (Sorry mom and dad.) Finally! I no longer have to worry about being caught listening to "girlie" music.

    So why the musical transition? As I stated above, I still listen to much of what I used to, but I now have a constant ear out for that ONE recording. You know the one, the one that just takes you to another place and just makes you go.... "Damn, that just sounds so good." My wife often makes fun of me when she catches me in one of my altered states, but you know what, it does something to me no drug ever could. (Just to clarify, I am not implying that I had ever done ANY drugs, because I have not.) Seriously, none.

    I guess this is where upgradeitis comes in. Now, I am not a new bells and whistles kind of guy and I rarely go after the latest next gen tech, but I am a stickler for quality of sound. What can I get that's going to make my music sound even better and more involving. This is just something many I talk to just don't and can't understand. Many of my friends are background music listeners. Now I am not knocking them, to each his/her own, but they often listen(if you could call it that) because they just don't want total quiet. My friends... Background music is NOT in my vocabulary. From the moment I walk in the door from work, I head on over and turn on something, usually soothing, but I TURN IT UP! If I have something playing, by golly, I am going to hear it AND feel it. Now this usually does not go over well with the wife, but she understands just how much music is a part of me and how much therapy it provides, so she plays along and I thank God every day for her.

    Ok, I am starting to flounder a bit, so I will wrap things up. I was just curious what musical path you had taken.

    Some of my questions to you are as follows:

    1. Do you still listen to what you always have?
    2. Have your musical tastes completely changed since you first got into this hobby or have they just expanded?
    3. Do you upgrade based on what you listen to? An example might be, you love the smooth sweet sound of a tenor sax, so you, invested in a tube amp.
    4. Do you have honest to goodness "listening sessions?"
    5. Do you tweak your system more often than you actually listen to it? I have been guilty of this in the past.

    Anyway, just the ramblings of a guy who loves late night listening sessions.

    Hopefully I am not alone in my madness...

    My apologies, as this was not very well written and I jumped around quite a bit, but I hope I at lease made a little sense.

    Take care all. I will enjoy reading about your own musical experiences...


  • #2
    GREAT post, Derek! And likely a mirror to many here....

    I relate my first true "hi end" experience as the start of my musical metamorphosis:

    Working in a mall in the early 80's, I liked to visit a store there (Nantucket Sound, an old defunct small chain in MA). Once while there, I heard some music playing, something classical, behind the glass door in the main listening room. Look in, see these large rectangular speakers taking up a chunk of floor space (eventually found they were Snell A-III's).

    All of a sudden, the music stops. I turn the doorhandle, step in, JUST as a series of powerful tympani bangs cause the hair on my head to flow back! I sat there amazed for about 10 more minutes, listening to Stravinsky's Rite of Spring wash over me.

    From that point on, my tastes for stereo and music started changing. I loved early Pink Floyd, ELP, a bunch of late 70's punk/early 80's alternative; but suddenly, classical, female vocals, and some jazz started to interest me.

    Another nice moment: at a cousin's wedding, she had a pre-dinner social time, with a piano and flute right in the room. Some of the most beautiful music I'd heard, and caused me to search out other piano music, including that with flute. Found music like Bill Evans, and Gary Larson (Reference Recordings, so great quality).

    Over time, I've settled to two sides: my "harsh" side and "mellow" side. Harsh [term used VERY loosely] still enjoys Tool, The Chameleons UK (My all-time favorite), Killing Joke, Joy Division, and a slew of other modern and older bands.

    Mellow loves Loreena McKennitt, Bill Evans, Kate Price, Mary & Frances Black, and more and more.

    And....I still pull out Syd Barrett's Pink Floyd and ELP now and then!

    As for equipment: have made the travels ALL over the place, from high power solid state to low power tubes with single-driver speakers, and much in between. Now, I'm taken with DIY (built by others, can't do myself). Very high % of quality with very low comparative cost. I don't have many listening sessions, room is too cluttered for that. But I listen often to headphones, where I enjoy the music with all attention.

    To me, it's more about the music, thankfully. At one time equipment was probably right up there, but I've always enjoyed music no matter what and where. In the car, at work on my computer and cheap speakers, through DAP's, and in one of my systems or another. I enjoy it almost anywhere, via any system.

    In the words of Martin Dewulf: Listening to music is noble
    What if the Hokey-Pokey really IS what it's all about?!

    Kinky Tom!