Thought I’d start a thread about how live music has influenced hifi choices. This should be obvious, but maybe it isn’t.
Not for the first time, my hifi’s failure on a specific piece of music caused me to change a component. Back in about 2014 Hindemith’s sonata for piano and bass tuba made me realise tube amplifiers are largely a waste of time. On this occasion Martinu’s Nonet No. 2 made me realise my DAC was a fail.
The video and post-performance photo shows 9 instruments in a semi-circle. This is how it must be performed. The music works as a complex conversation between the instruments, or groups (strings v wind), an almost universal concept in most bands, except possibly Heavy Metal. Compared to, for example, complex baroque choral music, this is a simple but challenging arrangement.
Streaming the recording below, my Lumin DAC blurred the wind section, bassoon, oboe and clarinet merging into one. The Holo May DAC revealed them, then positioned them in the soundstage, and gave them individual dimensionality. Which is how to buy a DAC in 10 minutes, although I did stretch it out to an hour with some similar tests, including recordings in the room pictured. There were no other factors in play, as the stream to the Holo May was coming from the usb output of the Lumin unit.