Is “Dedicated Listening” becoming a lost art?

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by Khorn, Aug 3, 2022.

  1. Naka9

    Naka9 music first audiophile

    Location:
    Portugal
    For me, dedicated listening is like watching a picture in a proper screen (with decent sound) in a darkened room. All is contributing to the experience, allowing the view to be immersed on it.
    Oh, the movie must be good also :)

    On the other hand I don’t understand (but don’t care to criticize) my friends who watch movies and series on the phone, when they have a tv in the house - meaning large screen with decent sound! But, I also know that for them my way of listening to music is way too much ehh... dedicated.

    So it good to live in a free world... and to drive a so so car so that I can have a great hi-fi system.

    In the end I feel that I am investing my time and money in some kind of time machine.
    (Note: As I write this I am jamming with Peter Tosh in 1977, tapping my foot, submerged in bass lines and percussion fire works. Or am I at home?...)
     
  2. Tim 2

    Tim 2 MORE MUSIC PLEASE

    Location:
    Alberta Canada
    Certainly not the case in my situation, lol.
    It takes me two drinks to settle in and get comfortable.
     
  3. popol_vuh

    popol_vuh Forum Resident

    Location:
    Croatia
    One important aspect of this issue of listening is what music really is to you. For me, music is not merely "entertainment", it's an art form through which I experience myself and the world. And therefore, this dictates how I listen. I have to listen focused and to entirety of the piece I'm listening to (an album, typically) if music is what I said above to me.
     
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  4. Khorn

    Khorn Dynagrunt Obversarian Thread Starter

    Exactly. Music to me is a sort of “window on life” and some of it can ultimately provide a revealingly clear view. Albums can be a vehicle for a more in depth story.
     
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  5. terzinator

    terzinator boots lost in transit

    been thinking about this for a bit, since my pithy response on day 1.

    I do love to sit down with a glass of something for a listening session, but I'm so over the "listen to my audiophile gear" mentality.

    I feel like the past couple of years I've gone down the dragon-chasing trap of "this sounds good, but what if I changed out this AES/EBU cable, or maybe what I need is an R2R DAC, or maybe my tonearm isn't long enough, or maybe i need to micro-adjust my speakers and not move my head to achieve that exact perfect sweet spot" and it's bloody exhausting. I am so tired of trying to figure out if I can discern a difference when I swap this piece of kit for that one, that I just won't do it anymore.

    Perfect is the enemy of the good, and sometimes I just want to listen to the good.

    If that means putting on a really great jazz album while I'm cooking, well, then, that's the bomb.

    So, for me (FOR ME!) I feel like I need to take the idea of dedicated/critical listening with a grain of Himalayan pink salt. Literally.
     
  6. elaterium

    elaterium Forum Resident

    They had them in the 50’s.
     
  7. Khorn

    Khorn Dynagrunt Obversarian Thread Starter

    At one point maybe it’s best to decide that our systems are good enough and just listen to the music and only the music.

    I have absolutely no desire whatsoever to “improve” my system. As far as I’m concerned it’s “already there” so let it do it’s job.
     
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  8. terzinator

    terzinator boots lost in transit

    yeah, after two years of futzing, i think i'm there, too.

    But Lumin just came out with their T3 Streamer so I really should look into that :whistle:
     
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  9. Khorn

    Khorn Dynagrunt Obversarian Thread Starter

    Streaming is my sole front end and I believe that it’s on an upward curve in its development. I expect some substantial improvement in that area over the near future. That’s the one area I’ll be keeping my eyes on.
     
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  10. Simoon

    Simoon Forum Resident

    Location:
    Los Angeles
    Unless I researching new bands, musicians, composers, ALL of my listening is "dedicated listening".

    First of all, almost all of the various genres and subgenres of music I listen to, requires one pay attention at least a bit of attention, but usually a lot of attention.

    I listen to various forms of: jazz (avant-garde, post bop, fusion, M-Base), prog (avant-prog, Zeuhl, Canterbury, classic, etc), and classical (atonal, serial, avant-garde, all 'thorny' sounding stuff).

    Almost none of the above is conducive to casual listening, background listening, listening while multitasking, etc.

    But most importantly, most of the music I listen to has the ability to take me into other emotional, and/or intellectual mind states. When I listen to music, I can put on, say a, 30 minute Elliott Carter piece, and when it's over, the previous 30 minute goes by in an almost timeless manner.
     
  11. sushimaster

    sushimaster Forum Resident

    For me, the simple identifying factor to a 'dedicated' listening room is the presence/or lack thereof a lava lamp.
     
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  12. Khorn

    Khorn Dynagrunt Obversarian Thread Starter

    Love to have one again. Cool green or blue. So very soothing.
     
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  13. Tawaun A Williams

    Tawaun A Williams Forum Resident

    I dont think i can do this....as a matter of fact i know i cant...lol
     
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  14. John76

    John76 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Midwest
    I’ve been at that point for the last 14 years. I call it maintenance mode, mostly for the turntable, belts, cartridges etc. My use of the turntable has reduced greatly since putting together a nice streaming setup that’s easy and convenient to use. There so much great music out there on Spotify.
     
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  15. NYC-Blotto

    NYC-Blotto Forum Resident

    Location:
    east coast
    ok, from what I read here a lot of people do not actually sit down and just listen. So I can't help but see the humor that 'some' who are 'multi-tasking' while playing music MIGHT be the same people who stress out about special "audio grade" butcher blocks, special spikes, medical grade distilled water to clean their records, $6000 dollar record cleaning machines, special AC cables, high end audio cables, receptacles, "audio grade" racks, expensive components, speakers etc etc etc. Some act like these things are so important and 'necessary' and that they actually hear the difference in special fuses etc . . . . while they play their stereo as they wash their dog, vacuum the house etc. *smile*
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2022
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  16. Doctor Fine

    Doctor Fine Meat and Potatoes all day long

    Does anybody else beside me enter into a state of self-hypnosis on occasion?
    A real good listening session is sort of an "Out of body" experience.
    I may even feel the musicians are talking directly to me in real time somehow.
    It can all get sort of "woo-woo" weird getting so deep into the experience and not really wanting to "come back" from it.

    No?
    Am I nuts?
    Well sure, easy for YOU to say.
    Ha!
     
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  17. Simoon

    Simoon Forum Resident

    Location:
    Los Angeles

    From my post #210 above:

    But most importantly, most of the music I listen to has the ability to take me into other emotional, and/or intellectual mind states. When I listen to music, I can put on, say a, 30 minute Elliott Carter piece, and when it's over, the previous 30 minute goes by in an almost timeless manner.
     
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  18. Khorn

    Khorn Dynagrunt Obversarian Thread Starter

    I sometimes get shivers when music transports me face to face with the great musical ghosts of the past.
     
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  19. AudioAddict

    AudioAddict Forum Resident

    Location:
    USA
    Grew up as a musician with these avante-garde composers, gave them up in professional life, and this is the first I have ever heard of someone listening to them today. Have a bunch of Schoenberg, Berg, Webern and many of the obscure mid-European/Russian spatial composers and the physical media always shares one common trait: it is in mint condition. This is because they were, typically, only played once -- and often not all the way through.
    Got out a R2R tape of Stockhausen's Gruppen last week and it sounded splendid as regards audio quality and challenging as regards to listening appeal.
    Admire anyone who can enjoy repeated listenings of this stuff. Carter is a bit more accessible and still play his Sonata for flute, oboe, cello, and harpsichord.
     
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  20. Doug Sclar

    Doug Sclar Forum Legend

    Location:
    The OC
    I must admit that I feel the same way. It's not easy for me to stop what I'm doing to go to the sound room, since I enjoy most things I do, but just about every time I do, I wonder why I didn't do it earlier.

    As far as listening to gear, when I listen I don't listen to the gear. In fact it's like I have no speakers or gear at all. The sound just fills the room. Often I'll go into a trance where I totally forget where I am, being so engrossed listening to the music. Of course this is usually my goal when listening.

    If I hear the gear, that tells me something is wrong.
     
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  21. Clonesteak

    Clonesteak Forum Resident

    Location:
    Kalamazoo, MI
    Chris Isaack sounds amazing. His CD’s are on par with Roy Orbison vinyl/cd I have. I have been listening to Chris Isaack lots the past 6 months or so. Still have my wife yet to come down and experience what you just stated above. My wife is supposedly a big fan of Isaack too.
     
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  22. Clonesteak

    Clonesteak Forum Resident

    Location:
    Kalamazoo, MI
    Me too :laugh:
     
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  23. Carl Swanson

    Carl Swanson Senior Member

    If I'm multi-tasking, I don't consider that dedicated listening.

    When I am doing absolutely nothing but listening, I find that my sessions rarely exceed 90-120 minutes. Those sessions take place at night, through headphones in a low-lit room. I listen to FLACs through a laptop, so I am not diverted by having to change records or discs. I can go several hours without having to pee.

    On the other hand, I can get to the end of an album and the "mood" just suddenly and inexplicably goes away.
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2022
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  24. Carl Swanson

    Carl Swanson Senior Member

    What could possibly be more superficial and moronically simple than the Troggs' "Wild Thing?" or several thousand other contemporaneous songs I could list?
     
  25. Carl Swanson

    Carl Swanson Senior Member

    ... because we were more "engageable" at the age at which we heard them.
     
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