The emotion trap
What an interesting challenge to capture emotions and passions with semiconductors, vacuum tubes, wires, and solder.
Imagine describing that task to an engineering student fresh out of school. It might seem more like madness than science.
Yet, that is our everyday workload.
Today we might be struggling to wring every ounce of emotional connection from the surface of a vinyl record. Tomorrow it could be getting out of the signal’s way while powering a loudspeaker.
Whatever the product, whatever the challenge, few avocations are as rewarding as extracting emotion from music through hardware and software.
It is both a privilege and an honor to be here.
Do facts matter?
Opinions are easy enough to accept or ignore. After all, they are just opinions. But facts? No, we believe facts are facts and therefore inviolate. Except we tend to wiggle our way out of those as well, choosing which facts suit us and which do not.
Take the atmospheric cancer that is consuming Earth, a subject we should all be concerned with—a subject that transcends stereo equipment. The facts are clear. Already 50% of Earth’s species are gone. More go extinct each day. How long before the chain collapses and we can count ourselves among the departed?
Man made greenhouse gasses play a major role in this debacle. The facts are clear. Yet, somehow this winds up being a political issue instead of a shared problem we wrap our arms around and try and solve.
Choosing which facts to accept and which to reject is nothing new. We’ve been doing it since time immemorial. We passionately argue over which facts to support and which to reject when it comes to music’s reproduction: MDF vs. aluminum enclosures, ribbons vs. planars, vinyl vs. digital, tubes vs. solid state, spikes vs. Sorbothane. The list is endless. Each choice is connected to an entire set of facts that support one view and minimize another.
Perhaps what I love about our community more than anything else is not what divides us but what connects us. We can argue all day about this and that but let some negative force dishonor the music and we band together in its defense.
In our hearts we are connected to the facts that matter most.