How good was the music, how interesting were the speakers at the Music Matters event in Denver? It was REALLY good, said Bill Rollin of ListenUp’s Custom Division, who described Wednesday’s jam-packed gathering at the Denver store as “one of those transcendent nights.” (See a photo slideshow.)
The presentations of Stereophile Magazine editor John Atkinson and AudioQuest legend Joe Harley, Rollin noted, reminded attendees that there are many ways to arrive at fantastic sound. Atkinson’s talk was ear-opening: He demonstrated how recorded music today has actually retreated when it comes to the quality it delivers, or as he put it: “The equipment today is better than the music it plays.”
The editor made his point by playing a Beatles track from the ’60s that delivered around 14 decibels of dynamic range, then a current digital track that only delivered around 4 decibels of dynamic range. What can an audiophile do besides hope that music producers expand that range? One way is to check out the High Resolution Music movement, which delivers far high quality digital recordings.
Another way might be to sample the amazing records being reissued by Music Matters. Harley talked about the label, co-founded by himself and jazzologist Ron Rambach, that is in the process of releasing remastered versions of classic Blue Note recordings on 45rpm LPs. (Learn more about the project and the titles released so far.)
Rollin couldn’t help but notice the “yin and yang” quality of the talks by Atkinson and Harley, in that they showed there’s more than one way (and not necessarily a “modern” way) to arrive at high quality audio.