I Reached The Summit Of Audio Listening
& Will Share My Discovery Here
I’ve spent my entire adult life building and representing other manufacturers while I tried to create an audio listening system that came as close to reproducing real live music as is possible. I just reached that summit and as a result, am changing my future orientation to represent this recently uncovered system.
My journey has cost me a fortune in both time and money and I really despise what I’ve had to go through to uncover this discovery. The fact that I finally got there is amazing to me and is a rare accomplishment in my opinion. I’ve been a distributor and a dealer for high end audiophile components as well. Never have I found a system (no matter what the cost) like the one I’m going to share here – one that sounds superb and for the first time in my life causes me to want to listen to music.
I’ve been a professional jazz piano player and am extremely picky about listening to other people’s music. In all honesty, I don’t like other people’s music, and I don’t like “cookie cutter” songs and am interested instead in a varied and slow moving tempo and basically a “channelled” style of music that is improvised and comes through a musicians hands rather than through their head. Human created music is quite boring for me and I don’t like it. Music that comes from another source is immediately recognizable to me and that is what I try to find. There are a few musicians that can do this (improvise music that comes through them and from a higher level than the human mind or heart). I can tell when their improvised music comes from their head and its that rare performer that can channel music from a place outside of themselves that is truly amazing. This truly is heartfelt music and creates goosebumps and I regularly can listen to this stuff over and over without getting too bored. But . . . . it’s rare to find. That’s what I try to find.
The missing link for me was the audio quality and the “liveness” that most all audio systems do not have when playing this type of music. Yes, some systems that cost a fortune are somewhat fun to listen to (briefly) but I have not found any that cause me to really get into the music and not the equipment or the room and the need to develop an array of room acoustic treatments.
I”M A NEAR FIELD LISTENER. I do not like sitting back in a large room with an audio system blaring in front of me. To do that requires a really well acoustically treated room since the room as as much to do with the sound quality as the components. Sitting near field removes much of the room interactions and allows me to get a whole lot closer to a musician’s actual performance. Sorry for those who have dedicated listening rooms. That isn’t my style and never will be.
My near field listening is somewhat like sitting in the sweet spot between a pair of stunning speakers and is better than a pair of high end headphones if done well.. I still have room interaction but now it is controllable within reasonable means and I can accomplish that. I place my ear next to the wall and move around my listening space while I look for peaks and dips in frequencies. Typically, I find areas that are “booming” with too much bass energy. That’s what I first work on. Then I listen for diffusion areas that need some help. Once these come into balance, I’m done. This approach becomes much more reasonable in cost and implementation than when having to treat an entire room. That becomes an exercise in futility and I don’t trust another person’s personal preferences. They get in the way of getting acoustic music to sound right and they typically skew their preferences.
Also, I don’t have to play my system really loud to enjoy it! Others think that my music is too loud but in reality, it isn’t. It might sound loud when sitting near field but this is my means to bring audio levels up to realistic levels so everything sounds correct – just as if I had that particular set of instruments and musician right in front of me. I’ve played on stage and prefer a front row approach to listening if I’m listening to others play. That’s my orientation and sets up my audio needs. In my opinion, this is the only sane way to listen to music in a high end way. Anything else requires way too much expense and most people don’t have a clue as to how to setup a listening space to allow music to sound real. Their own preferences rule and they might as well listen to artificial electronic music instead and let acoustic music listening become a secondary thought. Many do and they chase getting bass down below 20Hz. Live acoustic music typically doesn’t extend lower than 40Hz. THESE AUDIOPHILES DO NOT CARE ABOUT RE-CREATING SPACE TO ALLOW ACOUSTIC MUSIC TO SOUND CORRECT. They are more concerned with playing with their gear to accomplish unrealistic results. More power to them since everyone has the right to hear things as they wish. However, that is not my approach.