Well. Maybe a little bit.
I do tend to favor the underdog. Or whatever alternative there is to the choice the obnoxious people are being… you know… obnoxious about.
The Better Technology
But, like I said in a recent post - I really would prefer it if solid-state was better than tubes, CDs better than LPs, streaming music better than CDs, that everything was better than reel-to-reel [what a pain in the tush], but it just ain’t so. In fact, it is a truism that, in the vast majority of cases, the opposite is true.
I want these newer technologies to be better because, like many people, I like convenience. I like simplicity. I like reliability. I like as wide a selection of music as possible.
This is not to say that you can’t find various components that violate this general truism of what technology is better.
For example, if you pick up a used Edge NL10 solid-state amp for around $3K [ Neli has lots of guys who have done this ], which was going for $15K or so new before Edge started changing owners; and which would probably go for $30K - $35K in today’s inflated marketplace, then this is going to beat most tube amps anywhere near this price for most systems.
Similarly, some manufacturers try and keep their prices reasonable, and some don’t, and for some [and this seems to be the trend] the reasonability is different for different models, and is set on a model-by-model basis. So, depending of the reasonability of the price of the particular model of, say, a solid-state amp and the unreasonbility of the tube-based competition, for example, you can again upset the truism that tube amplifiers provide a better sound, per dollar, than solid-state [for audiophiles who care about the sound. I would think ordinary folk would prefer solid-state no matter what the vast majority of the time].
But back to the list of the what technology is better: Note that in this list:
1. The Better Technology, at a given price point, is more forgiving. It fails nicely. Like when, say, you can only afford a very inexpensive version of something. Using the better technology the component will err on the side of by being overly musical, the lesser technology will err on the side of by being overly harsh and unpleasant.
For example, a $1000 tube amp will be most likely be, when not perfect, overly lush, or too warm harmonically, or, at worst: dull-sounding. The $1000 solid-state amp will most likely, when not perfect, have harsh treble, be lean sounding, and render a harsh, aggressive attack in the midrange.
The same can be said for LPs versus CD, CDs versus streaming, etc.
Note also that:
2. The state-of-the-art is implemented with the Better Technology.
The best reel-to-reel is better than any turntable. The best turntable is better than any CD player. The best tube amps are better than any solid-state amp.
3. That at any given price point, the Better Technology is more likely not to sound unpleasant [or horrific, as Neli might put it]
Cool huh? Make’s it clearer what technology to choose given your personal preferences.
But… if we try to explore some of the other areas where we must make technological choices [assuming we don’t just, you know, listen to the thing in several highly resolving systems and determine quality with our very high precision portable measuring devices… aka ears. Remember them? ], there seems to be some fuzziness about which is better.
For example: speaker driver materials. Paper is more forgiving than ceramic or metallic substances [I do not know enough about Kevlar or hemp drivers to say]. BUT, I do not think the best state-of-the-art speakers are made with paper drivers. BUT, at a given price point, one is most likely to have a paper-driver speaker err on the side of musicality and forgiveness than the other technologies [which is why, if we had to choose between two average looking speakers, and one had paper drivers and one ceramic, or metal, drivers we would choose the one with the paper drivers, all else being equal].
So for speaker driver materials, paper is a safe bet (1, 3) but if you are looking at the state-of-the-art, other technologies may be best (not 2).
Similarly, take horms versus box [cabinet] versus planar speakers. Planar speakers are typically more forgiving and err on the side of finesse, horns typically sound horny and have various hard-sounding resonance frequencies, and box speakers are typically all over the place, [though they are usually too hard to drive and therefore sound dull and uninvolving, and maybe this could also be considered forgiving].
But the best state-of-the-art speakers are [arguably] horn speakers, then box speakers, and finally planars. Again this could be argued that this is the opposite to what one might expect. But, one could also argue that box speakers are Most Often found in a list of state-of-the-art speakers. So again we have planars being a safe bet (1,3) but box speakers also being a pretty good bet (1,3 and maybe 2).
So, this is all to say that my bias for reasonably priced or state-of-the-art gear is that they do not make listening a chore, unpleasant, and harmful to my good disposition [which is hard enough to come by these days]. And therefore I prefer technologies that, when they fail to be perfect, fail in such a way that they still resemble Music. After all, the Music is why I am listening to them in the first place. And at all costs they should not saw through my gray matter with a newly sharpened chain saw and rip my head clean off. [aka notes too sharp, atonal harmonics, etc.].