There are many belief systems when it comes to the best medium on which to listen to music. Many are based on science others based on experience. Using scientific evidence to support statements on how good things sound doesn't really go all the way for me. I have studied the science of sound and although it gives me an appreciation of how fantastically complicated it is to capture a sound and reproduce it perfectly, I am no closer than anyone else to being able to state with any certainty the scientific properties required to do this. This may seem an odd thing for me to admit right here but, it is really by way of warning. Music is not science, it is art. Once you get into listening to music rather than listening to sound, the science becomes less relevant. However, certain properties can change perception and enjoyment for some people and this is where a little science can be helpful. We often knock factory fitted stereo systems for sounding crap and interestingly for me, along with low bit rate MP3 both will always spoil my listening. It could well come down to dynamic range, or that may just be a tiny part of it.
I am fond but not overwhelmed by the performance of vinyl. I can always hear static pops and crackles and a certain safe mid-range predominance and lack of dynamic range (60-80dB is typical) which can adversely affect my enjoyment of a song. However, many fans of the medium will listen to nothing else - probably because they are very familiar with it. What we are always struck by in our travels is the effect a good system has on people's immediate reaction. As well as "clarity" we often have people pointing out things, even instruments, that they have never heard in a recording before - The squeaky bass drum pedal on a Led Zeppelin track or the physical movement of a pickup selector switch on John Lennon's guitar or a previously totally unheard triangle in a Peter Gabriel track. These things suggest that the quality of the equipment you listen to is important and therefore, we continue in the face of such resistance, to recommend that people upgrade for their own pleasure. Yes, along the line somewhere, someone is making money out of you but not everything comes down to pounds and pence sometimes there are deep-rooted emotional needs that are merely covered up by a "can't do", "can't afford" or "can't be bothered to" attitude!
We completely appreciate your bother!
Until next month, do take care.