All or nothing
A while back I posted a video on holographic imaging in audio and managed to ruffle a few feathers. Since my words seem to routinely tousle feathers it is perhaps unclear why I would bring this trifle to your attention.
Meanings get lost in passion’s swirl.
My intent with the video was to detail a few steps one could take to improve holographic imaging without upgrading the system: repositioning speakers, attention to room details, and the like. What I wanted to emphasize was that anyone can make improvements to audio holography by following a few basic steps. It isn’t necessary to buy more equipment or upgrade speakers and cables just to make progress.
The Scuffle began when I attempted to adjust the expectations of viewers. “By following these simple steps you can improve your system’s image but please don’t think that’s all it takes to get the level of holography we can achieve here”. The hair on many necks peaked at the implication only we can get where others cannot go. Of course, that wasn’t my intent.
Too often we get trapped in the idea of all or nothing. Either you have the right equipment or you’ll never experience what I can. And that is simply not true. Sometimes skill and circumstance outperform equipment choices. And that was the point I was trying to make.
It’s perhaps not possible to climb Everest without the right equipment but you don’t need to crest the world’s tallest mountain to enjoy the view.
Navigating through fog
When we attempt to navigate through the unknown we rely on what’s worked in the past. This matters because we often find ourselves in unfamiliar territories, like when we get a new piece of gear.
If you’re installing a new audio, or even a new video, component in your stereo system, your hopes for success are likely high. You’ve pre-imagined how it might sound.
What happens if your expectations aren’t met? Do you switch to autopilot and rely on what’s worked in the past or roll your sleeves up and experiment with the new?
If you’re in the first camp—rejecting what doesn’t immediately work and embracing what does—what would happen if the next time your expectations aren’t met you try a new tack instead: letting the new piece burn in longer than normal, living with it for longer than you’re used to, swapping tried and true cables with something different.
I make pretty quick go-no-go decisions but they often deprive me of learning and growth as I motor through a busy day. In fact, I’d go so far as to suggest that unless someone asks me to slow down and give a second chance to that new piece of music, cable, circuit design, or thought process I am likely to just go on autopilot with my decisions.
It’s far too easy to sift through the myriad of decisions we’re faced with from day to day by skirting the fog of the unfamiliar, the new idea, the tweak everyone’s raving about.
Airline passengers are a lot safer because pilots aren’t adventurous when visibility challenges them.
I am not so certain safe is where we as audiophiles want to be when it comes to the new.
Are we prepared to navigate through a bit of fog to discover the new and exciting?