The purpose of high end audio system!?

Most of us came into this hobby, business, and industry for a similar reason: to pursue and enjoy the utmost believable music reproductions.

I’ve tried to exemplify this reason in many of my recent discussions. To be certain, there are people trying to accomplish things that have little to do with this central goal of audio playback. For some, it’s a rather different endeavor; one involving ego boosts whilst showing off expensive toys. Yet, in the past few years, I’ve met many people acting on a completely different basis following very opposite urges, often resonating with my own journey in high-end audio. Witnessing manufacturers taking a similar direction has also been encouraging.

Only a minority of people have the opportunity to travel the world and visit some of the most exquisite concerts and venues. This is in the realm of a few well connected individuals of more or less limitless funds. Yet, one may not need to travel far to experience music in a profound way.

In the past, I’ve written reviews about my pursuit of a “time machine”, one that can transport me back to times and places of exuberant musical events. The more I move forward with the selection of reference gear, the more I’m enjoying the “trips” I take from music of days past. With the speed at which audio technology is evolving, one can enjoy high resolution audio files, TIDAL streaming, master tapes, and vinyl in a way that wasn’t possible before. We truly live in great times!

The ability of upper echelon, high-end audio to transcend time and space is as unique as it gets. Call it esoteric dealings if you must but music is one of the most intriguing, publicly obtainable “good” that can evoke more than just typical emotional shifts. In past years, even scientists have acknowledged the phenomenon of the “Philadelphia Experiment”, where one can literally disappear and get lost in time and space. In the realm of music, some call this audio nirvana.

Once you discover this “magical” potency of high-end audio reproduction, time—or lack thereof—is seemingly the only setback. Even sleep, undoubtedly necessary for optimal health, is believed to be quite subjective according to Eastern philosophies and esoteric practices. I’m sure many of you have experienced similar phenomena with late-night listening. Even if I go to sleep at near sunrise after listening to music hours beforehand on the “potent” system, I feel no absence of sleep, but rather refreshed and jubilant. Once you’ve embodied and unlocked the so called “secrets of the universe”, a different understanding and reality kicks in. What does this means for us audio earthlings?

This is where the significance of so called fine-tuned, high-end audio becomes of utmost importance. It’s not necessarily a matter of money; however, many of the products that combine such experiences do come with a hefty price tag.

Instead, an experienced audiophile can procure such an impactful system by careful matching. There are many facts to consider in getting there, but experience and a certain amount of live music exposure certainly helps.

To supplement this, studying music composition and understanding its core can create an even deeper connection. While comprehending everything is not mandatory, it certainly helps to be familiar with harmony, timbre, tonality, etc.

Some classical composers understood the power of music and they strove to convey this throughout their work. In a similar way, carefully assembled high-end audio systems can be of such scale, invoking a timeless entrance into the wonderful world of music.

Such a profound listening experience embraces a different domain of sensory input and the purpose of high-end audio systems becomes vivid. It materializes as a reward, a gift, a savant human experience going beyond music being a simple consumer commodity. Music’s tensional integrity at a proper plane shakes the core of our being, even without us fully understanding its mechanics. This is where the transcendence of sound becomes much more fitting than oft overused magic!

Matej Isak