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Monday, February 27, 2012

Everything Matters and Nothing Matters - Musings of an Audio Addict.

Here begins a series of  semi random thoughts about contemporary HiFi and an "old" person's reflection on what digital technology has brought to the (turn)table..... Now if this was a proper article it would be  well thought out and well constructed, but it is a blog, so it won't be that. More like scatter shot thoughts that may or may not come close to the mark.

Partly this is prompted by my recent acquisition of two TeraDak DACs (digital analogue converters) including one high-end Chameleon ( to accompany my apple Airport Express home music network. The TeraDaks have proved something of a revelation in terms of improving the sound quality of the music we enjoy , but I am getting ahead of myself.

If you want to know a little more about my music listening, previous posts have outlined my equipment. I have been happy for a while. What has changed recently is that I have began running out of storage space for my CDs, the acquisition of an Ipod Touch and rumours of the impending demise of the compact disc. In short I have started acquiring digital music for more "serious" listening.

In the past, mp3s have been strictly for music-on-the-go, now they are becoming every-day. Ah, ha. So what does a closet HiFi addict ask? Do they sound good enough, of course? Ah, such a dangerous leading question! A potentially expensive question....

Quite some time ago I decided to quit worrying about my analog sound system and spend more time enjoying the music. Limited financial resources were part of the reason and besides, what I had sounded pretty damn good. Life was for the love of music rather than a search for some audio perfection. I still think that if you really want to enjoy music, it is a communal experience of communication and that experience is unique to each performance and should be had live. No performance will be exactly the same. No performance will be perfect. There will be that exhilaration of living on the edge with the performer which can give great rewards. Not to be had on the 30th play of a carefully manicured recording or even of a rough and energetic one! Long live live!

However, much music listening is inevitably done at home and the beginning of a new digital era opens old obsessions. Will I be happy enough with the new technology? I am well aware that many people prefer the sound of vinyl and old tube amps, for that  matter, to modern digital sound. Now that I am moving even further into the digital realm of networked home sound, will I be satisfied? What will I need to spend to make me happy? What is really important to achieving this goal?

In a recent article in Luminous Landscape, Mark Dubovoy recently espoused the importance of  every detail in the process of creating great photographic images ( . He is also a HiFi nut and applies this to audio. He also espouses the superiorority of  the analog compared with the digital sound. So, how much do I agree and what are my personal  priorities? Ah I need some time to think..... to be continued.

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