Most of us agree that the aim of good hi-fi is to re-create the sounds heard in the control room of the studio when the final mix of a piece of music is laid down onto tape or disk. You just take a stack of the best high-end equipment and connect it up with the finest and eye-wateringly expensive cables and the end result will be a sound that will be within a flea's whisker of the original. Surely the CD is a bit-to-bit exact copy of the original recording and the rest of the equipment, as the magazine reviewers never tire of telling us, is as close to perfection as makes no difference. As it happens, Stan Curtis spent some time in the studio recently re-mastering an old album for re-release and discovered again that the sound was head and shoulders above that from all other sources. This is just one of the paradoxes Mr. Curtis set out to explore in his column, and again he provides us with much food for thought.
Listening to paradoxes