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What is PRAT?

PRaT (short for pace, rhythm, and timing) is a term that is often used to describe the overall sense of momentum, flow, and groove in music. It is a subjective quality that can vary from one piece of music to another and from one listener to another.

PRaT is how the performance of a piece of music makes you feel rather than its reproduction over a HiFi system.

For others, the system does make a difference.

In the context of HiFi systems, PRaT is often used to describe how well a system can convey the rhythmic elements of music, such as the beat, tempo, and groove. It's believed that a HiFi system with good PRaT can give the piece a sense of momentum and flow, making it more enjoyable to listen to. However, for me, pace, rhythm, and timing are characteristics of the music, not necessarily a direct reflection of the system used to reproduce it. If you love the sound of the music you're listening to, you have great PRaT.

Now, this doesn't discount the fact that if you have a subpar system or a weak link in your signal chain, you may have a better PRaT experience with superior components. By superior, I mean high-quality components demonstrating the proper synergy for your musical enjoyment.

It's different for all of us, which is why we can only sometimes agree on what sounds good and what doesn't because the euphoria of sound is subjective to the individual listener.

Now, suppose you come across the Scientologists of Hifi who only trust in measurements, and their favorite song on repeat is a repetitive sine wave. Whatever you do, don't mention PRaT because, theoretically, it's not a measurable quality, and you will get into an unnecessary argument.

PRaT is more about the particular track than the system; if the track has increased dynamics or a more forward and live sound, then this is when people are more likely to say they have reached PRaT within their listening experience.

For many, it's one of those imaginary, non-measurable subjective states of mind, and if it works for the listener, then that's all that matters.

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