Roughcut or polish?
Whether one is cutting a gemstone or building a high-performance music system, it’s helpful to identify the order of work that brings the best results. You want to polish after the perfect cut, and not before.
How many times have I lived through an endless parade of tweaks before realizing no amount of polish can fix an audio or video component that needs upgrading? The most expensive audio cables and isolators in the world can’t fix a mediocre component.
Whether you’re starting fresh or working with a year’s old system, it’s always best to step back from the whole and examine your precepts of the components within. That amplifier you’re so fond of. Does it really meet your expectations? Or the DAC, preamp, or speakers?
It’s easier to upgrade a cable or USB isolator than the DAC itself, yet that may not always yield the results we hope for.
Sometimes it pays to reexamine our basic premise.
You can polish a gem to a bright luster, but it’ll never be as satisfying as the perfect cut.
I sell Yamaha!!
Japanese audio manufacturer Yamaha announced the release of their new 5000 series of audiophile products including a $15K pair of speakers, a $10K preamp and $10K amp. Their stated goal is to deliver audio components for the “most discerning and passionate audiophiles.”
I wish them well. It would be great if one of the bigger audio manufacturers managed to craft great sound at any price. Their success can only help spread the word of what we’re all after.
But, I wonder. Does their 8 years of development and the expense of the products provide an indication of sound quality?
What floats my boat is not the level of investment in years and research but the artist. The sound craftsman. The person or team that cares enough about how it sounds over everything else.
If you tell me a company has invested millions in examining every aspect of art—finding out what makes us love a particular painting, for example—and then formed a team to produce it, it would elicit a yawn.
Where’s the soul?
I want to immerse myself in art. Soul. Personal statements.
Performance is an art.