I have a firm foot in both camps.
I grew up on the edge of the Sonoran Desert, well BS (Before Stereo)- - no electricity - - so I listened to 78rpm Victor Red Deal 12" records on a wind-up Victrola. I loved them, and cut my classical teeth on those Red Seals. Now, I would rate the sound as restricted, and with almost zero dynamic range.
After WWII, I began building speakers, using JBL drivers, and building my own amplifiers. I was in the US Air Force, so everything I owned had to be both small and transportable every couple of years. AS (After Stereo), I quit building speakers and began acquiring a series of monitors and electronics. I was weeded to tubes until the supply of KT88s started to come from Russia and decent 12ax7s became too expensive. Switched to Solid State, and a new aural experience, as solid state and tubes clearly were different! Ouch.
We went through 78s, 45s, LPs, 10.5 inch reel-to-reel , and finally CDs - - each with its own aural signature. It was interesting to follow the sequence of recordings mastered by John Curl and the other control room geniuses. Recording techniques went from single mike to several mikes to multiple mikes placed throughout the orchestras. Soloists were picked up on single mikes, ending up with the ones now worn by the individuals. Yeah, that certainly placed responsibility for quality recordings on the engineers and producers in the control rooms.
After many years of listening both to live performances and recorded ones, I ended up retiring my AR3a monitors for a pair of Thiel CS 3.5 speakers, followed by my current Thiel CS 2.7 speakers and aSS2.2 Sub. Amplifiers? From Macintosh to CJ to Boulder to Bryston 4BSST2. Preamp from Macintosh to NAD to Bryston BP-6 and now to BP-26 and BP 17cubed. BCD-3 CD spinner.
For me, almost every step of the way since the 78 Red Seals has resulted in progressing from the over-melodic and dynamically-restricted to what I have today. With the 26, more dense and harmony. With the 17c, more accuracy and clearer upper mid and highs. For me, the preamp and CD spinner quality are what ultimately drive listener satisfaction.
My person reference for the ultimate aural experience? A VPO and Chorus performance of Berlioz Te Deum in the Musikverein a few years ago.
Just the random thoughts of someone who has been chasing Audio Niverna since 1948