Music Matters 2013—John Atkinson at ListenUp, Denver

In April 2013, Stereophile editor John Atkinson took part in two Music Matters evenings held by Colorado retailer ListenUp. JA took time off from the formal presentations to talk to ListenUp's George McClure about how we perceive music and about what matters most when we record and playback music.

jason_sct's picture

RE: JA's vid clip comments about compression:

Thank you for validating my 19-year-old self whom upon first listen of "Red Hot Chili Peppers - Californication" wondered, "is my stereo dying?"  

Back then I felt taken advantage of.  I was a starving student, committing twenty bucks for the new album from my favourite band.  Enjoying that moment was a big deal to me!  That moment was tainted as I realized I payed someone at the top of the music-food-chain to neglect quality when producing something I cared about.  

At the time I felt an attitude of indifference towards the customer lead to a lack of putting-in-the-effort.  It's worse to think it was a deliberate eff-you effort to get quick cash for producing loud tracks.

I'd prefer if the business model was based on pride in the product and care for the customer.  Instead I've grown to waste time researching everything to death before I buy it just so that I don't get burned.  Again.  

I exagerate but you get my point.  Thanks for listening!

Allen Fant's picture


The best pressings of both Californication & By The Way are the 1st Japan issues on CD.  We (music lovers) are very fortunate to get 2 wonderful RHCP albums consectutively.

Et Quelle's picture

The youth's percepton of hi-end audio is this stuff is for music stars whom have $150,000 for components. They watch MTV and the net and see how the stars live. The entry level around triple the price is their only hope. If they spend $500 for a turntable like Music Hall 2.2 ; it is the most expensive thing they own. Still young people haven't learn how to take care of nice things.

The youth that live on their own are barely breathing. They have to worry about food and shelter and not tonearms and cartridges. Any extra money they get is partied with, saved for budget items or loaned out to friends. Hi-end audio is a component of that 'one day' condo or fancy mancave in my future half million dollar home. But for now hit the books at UNLV or USC? When I was in my twenties I had no clue of hi-end. All I knew was Target and Bestbuy.

NickAdams's picture to broaden the appeal of high end audio? This is one of the most alienating interviews I've seen on the topic.  

John Atkinson's picture

NickAdams wrote:
This is one of the most alienating interviews I've seen on the topic.

In what way? Remember that at this event I was giving presentations to an audience of hard-core audiophiles.

John Atkinson

Editor, Stereophile

Audio Legend's picture

I agree with you completeley. There was nothing alienating about your interview. Well done. Preposterous statement. Well done JA.