(Re-)Defining High Fidelity

What does it mean to you?

For me, it helps to reveal the musician’s intent from recorded music in an enjoyable way.



2 thoughts on “(Re-)Defining High Fidelity

  1. Hi. For me, the difficulty with your definition of hi-fi is that although it may be true, it doesn’t help to cause hi-fi to exist in the first place, except through two mechanisms:
    1. Chance
    2. The requirement for there to be people who know about electronics *and* understand the intentions of musicians *and* know how to embody the intention of musicians in electronic circuitry.
    This doesn’t mean that (1) could never happen, or that (2) couldn’t exist, but I think it would be a convoluted route towards a much more mundane reality. And that reality is that neutral ‘channels’ are sufficient to convey music well enough that the intentions of musicians come through, and that the right types of engineering can create such neutral channels without the creators of said channels knowing anything about music or musicians.

    All variants of hi-fi are clustered around the core ‘neutral channel’, but deviate by varying degrees related to arbitrary idiosyncrasies of archaic technology. No one creates ‘hi-fi’ from a blank sheet of paper: they all implicitly espouse the neutral channel idea; their technology then falls short of it without them necessarily realising it; they ‘voice’ their variant; it maybe sounds a bit novel on certain recordings, and it is declared ‘musical’.

    But the clue is in that core neutral channel idea. The problem is that very few technologies until now (possibly) have been able to get sufficiently close to neutral that it becomes automatic and ‘mundane’. Not that the results are mundane – just the opposite.

    Liked by 1 person

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