I recently threw out my 16 year old Marantz amp and Kef Coda speakers. I bought them with the proceeds of my first real job and 16 years is a long time, so despite them both being pretty much unusable, I got a little choked up when I had to dump them at the recycling yard. Anyway, I splashed out a little on some new stereo gear – nothing fancy, just decent – and set about running through some favourite music to see what's what.
So the level of detail, quality of sound-staging and general oomph of my new set-up puts my poor old Marantz etc. to shame, and I've been having a whale of a time rediscovering favourite music. What's disappointing, though – even though I knew this anyway – is that so many rock records, including most Helmet records, just don't sound very good. In fact, the only Helmet record that has any real depth and dynamics is Betty, and that's relatively limited.
What has impressed me is albums like Shiner's Lula…, Failure's Fantastic Planet, pretty much any of the last few NIN records, and Telefon Tel Aviv's Map of What is Effortless.
Anyway... do you give a shit about audio reproduction? What gear you got? What music sounds great on your stereo? What sounds shit, and makes you wish it didn't?