Even guys like Paul can be audio flakes. How many times do we get gobsmacked by something in our audio system, like a tweak, to forgetting about it the next day, or figure out that it’s even not as good as before? Has happened to us all, plus he has a phono stage to sell and I don’t begrudge him for that.
The problem with exuberance
As I waxed enthusiastically about my vinyl LP experience shared in yesterday’s post, it never occurred to me I might have been divisive. That readers not included in the event might feel slighted or worried I was now suggesting a major shift in my long held views on DSD and digital audio, that vinyl’s superior to digital (I am not).
And that’s the problem with exuberance. The energy and excitement of the moment are at the exclusion of the bigger picture.
I suppose there will always be a downside to emotional reporting, which is likely why people like the Chairman of the Federal Reserve Board speak in such muted tones using carefully groomed words. One hint of excitement or disappointment in any one direction could send financial markets soaring or plunging.
Ours is an emotion-packed field. We work hard at coaxing out buried nuance and exposing our souls to the joys of home reproduction in the hopes of eliciting excitement—even exuberance.
Putting a damper on the excitement meter is not in the cards for me.
Now, where’s that grain of salt?
There is one picture with this post that shows people listening with their eyes closed. I wonder if any of them are asleep. With much of the music at shows being simple things that sound good on almost any stereo, it wouldn’t surprise me if there are one or two!
Vinyl exceeds CDs
Yesterday we learned that sales of vinyl LP’s have outstripped CDs for the first time in decades. An article posted in Rolling Stone Magazine made the rounds at RMAF, yesterday. I haven’t yet figured out if this means sales of CDs are continuing their downward spiral or vinyl’s picking up steam, but whatever the implications, it’s certainly a twist of events.
And speaking of vinyl, one of the great treats of a consumer trade show like RMAF is the chance for our Hi-Fi Family to gather together and enjoy what we all are interested in, music and 2-channel audio.
Reviewer Micahel Fremer of Stereophile and Analog Planet fame was generous enough to bring his collection of prized vinyl to our room and play it to a packed house for an hour. Just check out the crowd. I could barely squeeze into this standing room only group outside the few prized seats in our listening area to get this picture in the first place.
What a treat! Mikey pulled from his arsenal a prized copy of Joni Mitchel’s Court and Spark to start the afternoon off, and I don’t believe anyone in the room had heard such glorious music. All were transfixed with the vinyl he played. I had chills running down my spine listening to his last track, Zepplin’s Stairway to Heaven. Holy Moly! I am so used to the flat and lifeless digital version that I had no idea of what the recording really sounded like.
Fremer and Stellar Phono designer, Darren Myers, worked well together to make this a seminal event. In the second picture down, we were also honored by the presence of Sharyl Wilson of Wilson Audio fame in the front row.
Here are a few more pictures from the event to enjoy.