The finest in music and the arts wring emotions and connects to our inner beings in ways that are hard to imagine living without. If my soul isn’t touched for a very long time I feel disconnected and sans family. It’s then I turn to music.
Music’s a quick and repeatable connection. I can be brought to tears or filled with joy in three minutes or less in music’s company. It can take a few days of reading or an hour with a film to get a similar connection and then rarely does it work a second time.
And in the same way that a beautiful book or an excellent cinema brings me closer to the work than a Kindle or television can, a great sound system is a better emotional conduit than a mediocre system from Best Buy.
If wringing every last drop of emotion from music is our goal, it’s incumbent on us to build the best reproduction chain we know how to put together.
There’s nothing quicker and more satisfying to me than connecting with music.
And likewise, nothing quite so distancing as the same reproduced poorly.
We should always treat our emotional connections with the greatest of respect.
Imagine the angst of a first-time buyer of high-end audio equipment. Few places offer systems and everywhere there’s a bewildering array of component choices.
Where does one start on a hi-fi journey? It used to be that we went to our local dealer and picked from amongst a tier of systems from the affordable to the absurd. Today there’s far fewer qualified dealers and so first-time buyers are either left to their own devices or take what they can get from megastores like Best Buy.
Even magazines like Stereophile and The Absolute Sound focus more on components than systems. If I didn’t know better I’d simply do my research and purchase the best I could afford in any one category, tie it all together with what I could afford in cabling, press play and then pray.
Nowhere am I helped with maximizing synergy between components. If I bought the best DAC I could afford and played it through speakers that were too forward or bright what would I do to remedy the situation or even know where to start?
I suppose this all sounds like doom and gloom and that’s not my intent. I just felt it was important to let some of the issues facing first-time buyers bubble to the surface in the hopes of sparking conversation and debate. If we can talk problems through perhaps solution are right around the corner.
For our part, we’re working on the end goal of building stereo systems first-time or experienced buyers can slip into without worry or bewilderment: choose your price point and be assured the system will work perfectly together.
I am certain there are other paths as well.