Listen in different ways

As great as many of your systems are, I’m discovering that listening to the songs we know and love through different systems and/or headphones is one of the most rewarding things you can do.

For example. Give a listen to “No Reply at All” from Genesis’s “Abacab” record. I’ve always been bowled over by the horns there and really thought they were driving the song. A fun little Collins-driven pop song in their transition era, right?

Well, maybe not.

Go listen again, maybe on headphones, and go listen to the bass. I won’t call it a “bass line” because if you tune out the horns a bit, you’ll see that Mike Rutherford is driving that entire song, playing a significant part of the melody on the bass. While you have Tony Banks playing an almost “Lamb Lies Down on Broadway” keyboard motif, the song bounces along almost entirely on the bass part, with the Phenix Horns there more for texture. There’s no real guitar to the song. The horns are there for emphasis and pop. Again, the melody is played almost entirely on the bass.

You won’t get that from a casual listen. And you will notice it more from some systems than others. It’s been really rewarding listening this way. And thanks my PS Audio Family for helping me find that out.

Yet another too-long post from umiami91. Ah well. Take his phone away from him. And keep him away from Copper Magazine. Please.

Mike in Dayton


I’m not a Genesis fan at all, but listening to different musical examples on different systems is quite revealing. I have three systems: my most resolving is in an awkward room that works, my second is in a large room that is better and makes up for the slight step down in components, and my headphone only system may have the “worst” components but sounds really fantastic. Each gives a different window into the recordings. I enjoy the music on each of them, and sometimes get a diverging reaction to some elements due to the different characteristics of the playback.

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I do this with 3 different sets of headphones and headphone amps. It’s pretty cool actually.

Paul McCartney pioneered playing melodies on the bass and outside of the bass’s normal range by playing much higher.


Indeed. “Hey Bulldog” is a great example.