It's the hi-fi's job to produce the sound of music encoded in a recording.
Does how well or how accurately it produces the sound affect musical enjoyment? I'm not so sure about measurements; they just define distortion levels, power rating, and frequency response, but they don't have all that much to do with good sound. Good sound is much harder to nail down; we like what we like. You know good sound when you hear it.
Studio recordings rarely sound "live," or even realistic. How could they? Chances are the band never played the entire tune together "live" in the studio. Their music was patched together from bits and pieces, overdubbed, pitch corrected, rhythm corrected, EQ-ed, dynamically compressed, and processed in a gazillion ways. Of course, a lot of that also goes into modern "concert" recordings. So what constitutes a good sounding recording is pretty impossible to define. Play it back over a great system and what do you hear? Does it get your blood pumping?
So the question really is, does the music fully engage the listener? Sometimes, the better the hi-fi, the more music the listener hears, the more they like the music. Why that is? I don't know. … Read more