Asheville, Walnut Cove, Biltmore Forrest and Western North Carolina’s Audio and Home Theater specialists present Cane Creek AV and Paul McGowan – PS Audio, Intl.

Becoming a statistic

We’re all a statistic somewhere: a number, one of many that someone, somewhere, keeps track of. Maybe you’re one of X thousand digital audio subscribers, or perhaps you’re among the few that only purchase vinyl, but somewhere you’re showing up as a statistic.

Most of us wish to belong to a group, family, or collection of like minded people. There’s strength in numbers and our decisions to move in one direction or another are validated by the others.

What’s interesting to me is the conflict between how I feel inside vs. my needs to be part of a group. Inside, I am an individual—a separate entity unto myself. No one knows what’s inside my head nor how I am thinking. I believe I am unique in the universe. Yet, on more than a few levels, I qualify as a measurable statistic. A predictable entity. Regardless of the clutter of seemingly unique motivations in my head, someone, somewhere can pretty accurately guess what my next moves are going to be.

Even if I decide I don’t want to identify as part of a group I remain a predictable statistic: I am part of a group that doesn’t want to be part of a group.

I know. All this keeping track of people seems kind of creepy, right?

If belonging to a family or group of likeminded people—our tribe—is what makes us stronger and more resourceful than what we alone can achieve, then what’s creepy about keeping track of the members? It’s how we know there is more than just one in the tribe.

I for one am fine with being counted amongst my fellow audiophiles and music lovers, even if it means someone else can predict what the future might look like.

 

Asheville, Walnut Cove, Biltmore Forrest and Western North Carolina’s Audio and Home Theater specialists present Cane Creek AV and Paul McGowan – PS Audio, Intl.

The biggest failing of almost all the audio systems I’ve heard, outside shows, are the rooms people listen in. Too small rooms, with large speakers is one of the biggest ones.

The perfect room

The perfect room for audio playback is called a headphone. With headphones, we suffer no added insults to what’s recorded on our discs or streamed on our systems. Yet, headphones don’t offer the same experience as loudspeakers playing in rooms.

Every room adds and subtracts to the music we listen to. None are neutral, all change what we hear and experience.

So why even bother with loudspeakers? Because they provide a closer approximation of what happened live. Live acoustic music is not recorded in anechoic chambers, nor is music intended to be received only by our ears. When we attend a live concert we feel the vibrating air as much as we hear it.

The trick with rooms is to make them as neutral as possible