let's start something new
posted 25 march 2009
Over the last few months I have become re-infected with the
desire to listen to music. My previous four years have been
absorbed by finding ways to create music, as evidenced in my
beavis audio research
This newly rekindled interest in listening to music has dredged
up all the great memories of my youth. I remember that whenever
I moved somewhere new, the first order of business was to hook
up the stereo. All other considerations were secondary. I remembered
one of the few bonding experiences with my dad was hooking up
stereos and learning what he knew about tube amps, speakers,
great old reel-to-real decks, phonograph players and all
that great shit.
And I rediscovered my love of non-audiophile hi-fi.
Wait, WTF does that mean, non-audiophile hi-fi...
To me, the term audiophile defines the pursuit of high-end
gear for its own sake. The desire to acquire gear where cost
is a secondary consideration. To listen to the golden-ear oracles
spout off about imaging, sound-stage, oxygen content in copper,
cable directionality and all the other drivel that irrevocably
takes the fuckkin fun out of listening to music.
Steve Martin once said "Talking about
music is like dancing about architecture." And that quote, to
me, absolutely nails the idea of listening to experts tell me
how stuff sounds good.
So my term is hi-fi. Hi-fi is setting up various components,
sound sources, speakers, and other stuff in ways that makes
music sound good to me not to a reviewer who gets a free
set of 1,000 dollar speaker cables and feels compelled to gush
about them by using hackneyed and tired terms.
Hi-Fi to me is getting the best bang for the buck out of
non-high-end gear, and often finding that a $100 dollar preamp
will not only sound better, but be better built than some $1,000
mystery box that is very often comprised of cheap components
arranged according to a pilfered open-source design.
Hi-fi to me is openness and sharing. Schematics are free.
Everything I learn is built on the shoulders of others, like-minded
fanatics who share instead of conceal.
Hi-fi to me is How Does This Sound to Me?
Now I don't want to sound like some bitter tone peasant.
Really I don't. It is just that the Great Audiophile Circus
does nothing for me, it is boring and somewhat pointless.
So enough of the ranting. What is this site about?
In simple terms, it is about the fun of figuring out what
gear sounds good. It is about learning more about the innards
of our hi-fi gear and dispelling the bullshit that creeps into
so many subjective conversations. And the really important part:
it is about DIY.
DIY means that everything I learn, I share. It means that
every design I come up with gets a full published schematic,
and in a lot of cases, a thorough how-to project article. It
is about sharing the mistakes and successes that happen as I
spelunk through the joys of good old fashioned hi-fi fun.
But most importantly, it is about building a two-way community
of like-minded people. Folks who are just as crazy as me, who
aren't afraid to wire something up wrong, who aren't worried
about always following the conventional wisdom. Because as non-linear
crazy bastards, we a) have more fun, b) learn more, and c) share
more. I'll post stuff and you can try it, but you should also
make a point of telling me what you are up to: what did you
hack today? What have you learned? The beauty of the interwebs
(well, besides all the great porn and LOLcats content) is the
huge open-house of fun and knowledge we can share.
So there you have it, my first post here and hopefully something
of a chaotic, loosely-defined mission statement. Let the tone
Your humble servant,