Ah, definition! Of course. That's always the litmus test for me: hearing more into the music by feeling, in an aural sense, not just the principal tones but the assorted overtones, resonance, etc., such that technical aspects that are otherwise buried now come to the fore (e.g., articulation). Then there are the tonal clusters that seemingly produce new sounds (particularly notable in monaural engineering with that point source of sound, which Pet Sounds and Sgt. Pepper did so well to exhibit to the pop world back in '66/'67).They sound like vibes on every version, but on the better remasters and with decent equipment, you can hear the mallets striking the vibes, and the nuances Feldman puts into them, much better. Even with what seems like an oddball choice--"My Little Drum," the third track from the Charlie Brown Christmas album. The recent Kevin Gray remaster (and the SH/KG 45 RPM remaster from a decade earlier) allow us to hear the individual children's voices in the vocal group. Or in any well-recorded jazz tune, hearing that attack and shimmering decay of a cymbal being struck.
Touche`!Recordings will never match "being there" in person, but a good recording, well-reproduced, can take us a bit further into the experience. And there's this sense on the better AAA remasters that we are practically hearing what was on those original master tapes, all those years ago, as perfect (or as perfectly flawed) as the day they were committed to tape.