Originally Posted by HadEnuff
I was driving down the road listening to Pandora, listening to a song that I'd had on vinyl LP in the mid 1970s. Even though I was broke at the time, I did manage to have a sweet sound system. As I was reminiscing over that I got to thinking that I do rather miss the fidelity of those vinyl LPs played on a turntable, through nice speakers.
I have some questions for the group:
Who among you still has, or has returned to, a component sound system?
Still have a component sound system.
Do you listen to vinyl, or CDs?
No longer have a turntable or vinyl. CD's is the preferred media for listening to music for me.
How does streamed music sound on a really good system?
Pretty good, but if you really listen you can tell deficiencies. One telltale thing to listen for is how the source material treats the high-end tingle, brilliance, and longevity of a cymbal strike. A good recording will have crystal clear, bright cymbal sounds with no hint of "splattering" or shortness of the cymbal note. Listen to the cymbals in "Listen to the Music" by the Doobie Brothers on LP vinyl or CD and then compare it to a streaming recording or an mp3 recording of the same song. You will hear a difference.
Modern stereo receivers with room acoustics correction software can make mp3 recordings sound pretty good. If you have such a receiver you can play an mp3 song with the room correction software activated and then switch to "Pure" or "Direct" mode where the software is off and if you listen closely you can hear a difference. Streaming content and/or a good mp3 recording--256 kbps/sec or 320 kbps--and room correction software makes for almost the same listening quality as CD's.
Caveat: Of course it depends on whether or not you still have a good ears to hear it.
Naturally, the quality of the speakers is the main, determining factor in whether or not something "sounds good". If you accept the argument that the best speaker is neutral, and faithfully reproduces the source material, neither making it sound "warm" or "bright", a really good stereo setup will make a shoddy mp3 or streaming recording sound as awful as it truly is. Sometimes speakers that are not sonically neutral can actually improve the sound quality of compressed music formats.