This excitement regarding audiophile recordings is all very well but how do you know that you are listening to a genuine audiophile recording and not a mere pretender? I hope that the following questionnaire will help:
- Is the featured artist someone who you have never heard of?
- Are they playing an instrument that looks impossible to tune, much less play?
- Does the featured artist spell their name in an unusual way?
- Was the recording released by an obscure record label?
- Does the music contained in the recording celebrate the cultural diversity of an indigenous people or their country of origin?
- Was the recording made using a restored vintage analogue R2R recording device, e.g. Nagra, Studer?
- Is the music contained in the recording wholly inappropriate for dancing?
- Would you have no wish to see the featured artist in live performance?
- Does the featured artist have facial hair? (Please note that this question is also applicable to female artists)
- Is it likely that, having listened to the recording once, you would never play it again?
- Would the featured artist be unlikely to release a ‘Greatest Hits’ album?
- Does the recording enable you to focus on the more detailed mid-range of your most recent system upgrade?
If you can answer ‘Yes’ to six or more of these questions, then you are probably dealing with a genuine audiophile recording. Take comfort in the knowledge that you probably have a great hi-fi system. If not, just file it in the ‘Redundant’ category of your music library, alongside ‘Kind Of Blue’ by Miles Davis and ‘Electric Ladyland’ by The Jimi Hendrix Experience.