Reviewers "Imagine" Things?

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Reviewers "Imagine" Things?
« on: 22 Aug 2009, 12:59 am »
I was just on the phone with a customer and we got into a discussion about reviewers. Seems they sometimes like to embellish their reviews with exaggerations or imagination.

I don't see anything wrong with that. If you're "reviewing" a re-mastered recording or system accessory, and a sudden sequence of cymbal crashes sounds like thunder claps in your living room, why not write the review that way. A reviewer might declare, "It knocked my socks off!" or, "At the height of that saxophone solo my jaw dropped down into my lap!" Comparative differences or contrasts will inevitably be something like "night and day." Sure, these are exaggerations. At the high end of audio reproduction, though, a subtle difference could be "night and day" to the discerning listener; to the casual ear, maybe not even noticeable.

Imagination, the act of drumming up something that simply is not there, can be more profound. When listening to a recording, if it seems like you could reach out and touch the singer, it's just imagination, yet it's based on a real perception. If so, why not write it. Or if somebody else writes it, why criticize?

I have to listen to music because it's part of my job. Critical listening is hard work, requiring lots of concentration and effort. I much prefer non-critical listening just for the sake of listening. The most rewarding, though, is listening for no sake at all. To drift off into a higher state of consciousness where you're more sensitive to things than when in a mundane frame of mind. Where you're more perceptive even to your own imaginings.

The other night or early morning I was listening to Enya's "Watermark." For a spell, I imagined that I could fly. Let me ask, if the music is so heavenly and compelling that it would induce someone to imagine they could fly, why not write about it. Hey, I just did. It feels good to fly.

Best regards,

Herbie's Audio Lab
« Last Edit: 23 Aug 2010, 01:43 am by Herbie »


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Re: Imagine...
« Reply #1 on: 22 Aug 2009, 01:14 am »
That's a big part of the reason I've slowly converted my entire system to tubes (with a couple minor exceptions).  Tubes let me just drift off and immerse myself in the music more easily than any of my old SS equipment used to.  There's an interesting link between perception, imagination, and enjoyment. 

I don't know if you read much, but I do.  When I first sit down and open the book, I'm verbally reciting the words on the page in my head.  But, after a while, I don't hear any words in my head at all.  Rather, I am "there" in the middle of the action of whatever is occurring in the story.  I've transcended my language based consciousness and am streaming the story straight into my imagination.

With really good audio reproduction it's the same way.  It transcends the whole analytical question of imaging or tonality or accuracy, and the music simply enters into the imagination/consciousness/subconscious directly.  I forget entirely about the "person" or the "equipment" that is making the music, and the music simply speaks to me without any filters at all.