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Wednesday, December 3, 2014

The Statement Music Room

I’ve been wondering for days and days and days about my personal future and vision of audio… my audio system, buying and endlessly updating my audio system, never tired and always thirsty of new experiences for the sake of it.

I’ve been a music lover and a scholar for most of my life and I guess I’ll remain so for the remaining life left, yet, I cannot but regret about the most common habits around which also were my own - i.e.  changing gears after gears always rising the price-tags bar to reach the dreamed maximum.

I’m not that wealthy, folks… I’m an humble kichigai, a penny pincher, too… yet, I always applied to my passion a discipline concerning my goals and projects, trying to never loose the target; also: saving, downpaying stuffs, building stuffs myself, swapping stuffs and most of all, being curious and always listening to word-of-mouth around and listening to a lot of different music, unfeared.

My system is my very own, meaning that it’s a strange mix of mostly bespoke, hand-made and vintage gears, assembled with care and attention to details… BUT my system is also and most of all my room, a 35 square meters/128 cubic meters dedicated space, where - I swear - I live a sort-of parallel, part-time life made of sounds, colours, beauty and harmony.

The gears disappears, in this world… the room doesn’t contain the audio system… it IS the system.

Slightly moving - some inches are, sometimes, too much - the speakers is worth buying a new amp or preamplifier... and what an illumination when you  do understand it!

A few euros copper cable can be more right than a salon-type, mega-bucks cable… an hand-made, unknown arm can be MUCH better than a $$$$ sought-after arm and so on and on and on…

A recent talk with my pal Franz Hinterlehner of Elodis Austria brought us to evoke voodoo and using lizard tail powder to identify Hi End world… well, this is true and untrue… when you’re bothered or tired or annoyed by these knobs and tubes, you must, MUST turn it off… shutting down everything audio, turning your head to whatever you like, BUT audio…

In the last few months I sort-of had a more relaxed approach to audio: I improved my off-road motorbiking skill, took tons of pixies, adopted new, better life habits… read some paper books, yes.

I listened to music only when I needed and strongly wished doing so… while in the recent past - for months, actually - I was listening to music to finely tune my system, downgrading the poetry and power of music to a tool, I dare saying.


Looking for sound defects and correcting them is a necessary moment in an audiophile life… this is also a quite dangerous path, where you could end listening to - say -  ten discs… even to five discs containing… not a song, a tune, a movement but… low end, high end and spaciousness or depth of image.

Doing so, suddenly but definitely, you loose the target… music becomes more and more boring and lifeless to your soul and you stop caressing your most inner self… listening to your system isn’t satisfying, anymore…

It’s almost a job after daily job…

Every passion is pure oxygen and you must breathe it sparingly… only this way, never being obsessed and obsessive about this or that, you’ll enjoy music and the ancillaries giving it or whatever.

Listening only to jazz is boring… same to classical… folk, ethno, metal…

Motorbiking on tarmac, straight roads, never bending… puah!

Playing guitar always in key of A, in standard tuning is awful…

Women… dangerous territory, folks… will fly on this.

Men like being surprised, novelty, unknown and adventure… when I work for weeks around my system, changing, amps, wires, cartridges… well, the first moments when I’m able to appreciate the improvements are priceless!

My very pleasure is elongating this moment… it happened I had shivers for ten minutes or more, I swear… recently, while listening to Art Ensemble of Chicago’s live recording “Urban Bushmen” on ECM (the sought-after U.S. pressing mastered by Bob Ludwig), I remember I remained still, almost body-less and barely breathing, for 20 minutes - i.e. - a whole side length… - fearing to loose the magic, the beauty, deepness, uniqueness of music.

A satori.

As you possibly understand, I’m in love with music more than circuits and caps and irons… I’m almost sure I won’t buy more gears in the future, as I’m pretty sure I’ll search and dig and enjoy more and more music, untired of different music, pop or obscure, but for pleasure and satisfaction.

An humble hint, pals: don’t sell your gears before understanding pros & cons, buy a lot of music in any form you like and find a room which will enhance your musical enjoyment, not simply a shelf for the gears and speakers aside, but try to understand the difference of a system in a room and a room singing as a whole with electronics, etc.

Enjoy… as I do: I wish everyone to experience same emotions I feel, like being in tears of joy to the sound of a duduk or a dilruba or a shakuashi or a voice.

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