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Thursday, August 18, 2016

An extract from Stereo Times' Archives - The Hobby

From the goldmine of Stereo Times' Archives, a well written, straight and extremely no-frills short essay about audio and music listening at home... an essay by Constantine Soo (published on Jan. 16th, 2002):

Constantine Soo

"The Hobby
Are we in this hobby simply for the recreation of a live event in our homes? The complexity of our hobby can be likened to an instance where you choose a restaurant not solely based on how much you like the food, but on balance of your appreciation of how good the food tastes, the menu pricing and the atmosphere in which you dine. Yet other aspects of this restaurant may well come into play: friendliness of waiters and waitresses, interior decors, location or its reputation.

Audio is as multi-facet a hobby as any other and will carry different meanings to different people.

While enticing sound recreation is the purpose for the existence of all audio equipment, they sometimes are like objects of art or obsessions that can quietly take on different meanings and purposes. Don't sneeze at those who collect a variety of equipment from the most expensive and exotic to whatever interests him, or that audiophile at the other end of the spectrum who changes his system every month. It is ok as long as they can afford to do so.

We may envy those among us who possess the financial freedom in acquiring astronomically priced gear, and pull out our hair in the face of knowing that their system could sound a whole lot better had they been equally diligent in acquiring some fundamental audio knowledge. Still, we shouldn't be overly critical of others.

Every audiophile takes his/her approach to sound reproduction very seriously with the investment of both money and time, although the soundness of the individual's approach can sometimes be debated.

In addition, everyone deserves a chance to learn, unless of course that person is your spouse.

The pursuit of better sound in our hobby is certainly an endless one, and thank goodness for that; but if you constantly compare your system to others' for better sound, you may lose sight of what you accomplished and be prompted to make hasty changes. Soon, you could find this hobby much less rewarding than it could've been.

I do believe that all of us tend to go in natural cycles, pursing one kind of sound for sometime before trying something else. That's part of the fun until you get really serious and extreme. In that regard, we just need to cherish what we have and be open-minded about others' experiences.

Audio is an expensive, as well as spiritual and materialistic, hobby, and in its pursuit, let us hope that we are becoming better persons and living longer. Amen."

Amen for such a nice piece, as it suggest the balance and sober approach to our marvellous passion.

Thanks to Mr. Soo for his writing.

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