If you’ve ever played around with cameras you’ll know it’s easy to change perspective. We can zoom in for closeup details or move back for a panoramic view.
Each image offers an entirely different feel and focus. A closeup encourages examination of minute details. A more distant view offers a better sense of what goes into those details.
The same can apply to our HiFi systems. If our focus is centered around bringing out music’s finer details, it’s sometimes at the expense of the bigger image. I remember participating in a cable quest to extract music’s every nuance. I got what I wanted but not without damage. My hunt for detail came at the expense of tonal balance.
Of course we’ve all heard the adage of missing the forest while searching for the tree.
It’s true for forests and stereo systems alike.
Once you’ve focused intently on one area of music’s reproduction, it’s probably a good idea to pull back and make sure you haven’t missed the bigger picture.
Beauty is found in the whole.
The stories we tell
I don’t know anyone that doesn’t have a dozen stories explaining everything they believe. From religion to politics to stereo systems, the stories we tell and believe explain the world to us. Until those stories change.
It’s easy to buy into the notion your stories represent truth—an obvious contradiction since opposing stories can’t both be valid.
Remember the stories you once believed as a kid? Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy. They were all true back when, and now you smile and call them cute.
I am not convinced the stories we’re telling ourselves now have a whole lot more validity than the color of Rudolph’s nose but, in fairness, at least our stories are backed up with personal experience.
I am riffing on this today because I have been writing to an awful lot of audiophiles lately. Perhaps more than normal. And the general theme that got my attention was this belief that we should sequester ourselves in like-minded camps: vinyl heads, tube lovers, solid-state aficionados, class D haters. Their logic is interesting. By collecting in groups their cause finds strength.
Strong causes get attention.
I would like to argue just the opposite. By being open and accepting of the wealth of diversity in design we have better products: tube and solid-state hybrid amplifiers and preamplifiers like that of BHK, class D and sweet FETs as in Stellar, electrostatic panel coupled with dynamic woofers as you find in Martin Logans.
Diversity leads to creation and opens new doors.
Clustering in like-minded packs moves us back into the caves.