Fall Newsletter: "SHALL WE DANCE?"...

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Robert C. Schult

Fall Newsletter: "SHALL WE DANCE?"...
« on: 15 Nov 2004, 07:53 pm »
Hello Ac'ers

Been a while since I've posted. Cable biz is good though I'm surprised very little of that business is from enthusiasts here at AC. Still, to those of you who have found the Ridge Street cabling to be rewarding…Thank you again!

Couple of things that may be of interest to some of you. As mentioned in a previous post, Ridge Street has a tentative invitation to be presenters at the Chicago Audio Society in either Feb. or March of '05.  We will also be presenting at the N.E. Wisconsin Audio Society in January. Steve Dobbins (A'goN member Vetterone), may be inviting us out to Boise for their Audio Society...though he doesn't know it yet. Need to let him know we're available.

Well, on to the topic: "Shall we dance?" or "lets think about it".

Some years ago a friend of mine and I were at a dance bar. Big place. Two stories and lots of dancin' going on. My friend found a dance partner and...danced. I stood taking in the whole scenario which I found amusing and made me smile. After a couple of dances, my friend came back and asked " How did my dancing look?" I thought what an odd question! I didn't answer his question but instead I asked him if he had fun. Seems he cared more about looking good than having fun, seems I cared little for how good he looked but rather did he have fun. Interesting neither of us would answer each others question.

What's your music system about for you? Do you let it make you wanna dance or do you think...about the bass!? Is the treble just right. Does the frequency response seem bumply? Are my stands to high, not heavy enough? Do my tubes glow the right color? Is my Solid State too soft, too solid? Insert your favorite desperate question. Or...dance!

I've been on what I consider both sides of the fence. It was either/or. For a long time some years ago I was on the "either" side. Reproduced music was about details, bass, treble, midrange, tonality, frequency response, imaging, neutrality, transparency, transient response, amplitude, timing, room reflections, room losses, louder, too loud, softer, too soft, dynamics, smoothness, should I wear clothes when I listen, should the pets be in the room with me, if they were, where's the optimum place for them to "stay", did flannel shirts with small buttons and corduroy pants allow me to be less reflective, if my wife entered the room, did she sound better with a wool over coat or more transparent with a goose down parka on…in the Summer (No AC on. Too noisy)! OMG! I was tired and frustrated. Right Gaurd did little to hide my panic! I was determined to make everything perfect!

Then one day, a Sunday afternoon if I remember correctly, Steve (who was buried under 3 king size bed quilts to absorb standing waves) and I (me with my stern, analytical mask on) were sitting there and he turned to me and asked a question. It was one of those defining moments that was undeniably perfectly timed by the Creator and was penetrating. It struck a chord in me and to deny the honesty the question at that moment required would leave me "found out" and exposed as untouchable in a waterless desert. It seemed such a small question but it was huge!

"Bob, do you ever just enjoy the music?" To answer with a defense would have been to deny what I've come to believe I'm about. To answer honestly would expose my vulnerability and the trap I'd gotten caught in and made friends with. Shamefully, I had to answer "no.".

Two guys just playing a stereo and "listening" to some music. One drinking a beer, the other drinking coffee. Such a seemingly inconsequential question and for some, I suppose it would be. I think that's too bad. For me, that question and the answer was uncomfortable but...in a process of time, it liberated me. Thanks Steve for being keen on the moment and daring to "know" me.

What's the point of all this? Who am I writing to?

For the former question:
What's your music system about for you or maybe a better question now is "What's it turned into for you"? Do you let it make you wanna dance or do you think about...the bass!? Is the treble just right. Does the frequency response seem bumply? Are my stands to high, not heavy enough? Do my tubes glow the right color? Is my Solid State too soft, too solid? Insert your favorite desperate question. Or...dance!

For the Latter:
I don't know. Maybe you. You judge. If you find yourself pointing in defense, maybe a clue would be to take a look...I bet you have three fingers pointing back at you but hopefully your thumb is pointing up!

There's much more I would like to go into here but rather than ramble, let's see what kind of discussion comes up here if any(?). For now, at the least, if there's anything found in anyone to be waken up, I hope this serves as a good alarm clock.

Shall we dance or....

Carlman

Fall Newsletter: "SHALL WE DANCE?"...
« Reply #1 on: 15 Nov 2004, 09:11 pm »
I guess the question I see missing is; "Does the outcome of your analysis bring you closer to connecting with music?"

I go through periods where I audition and test... And quite often, I get surprised by something that connects with me that I wasn't even listening for... That's part of what keeps me going.

At other times, I'll be burning-in some gear and I'll be so compelled by the song that I just have to go in and enjoy it... and I don't really care about the gear... eventually I'll start staring at the speakers in wonder at how little electronic pulses turn into that sound... and how they go through the wires and work together.... anyway...

I guess my point is... I love music to the point that I'll subject myself to a lot of crap and put a lot of work into hearing it the best way possible.

BTW, what does this mean:?
Quote from: Robert C. Schult
Cable biz is good though I'm surprised very little of that business is from enthusiasts here at AC....

You trying to say something? ;)

satfrat

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Fall Newsletter: "SHALL WE DANCE?"...
« Reply #2 on: 15 Nov 2004, 10:38 pm »
Bravo Robert, very well put. seems to me the more you put into this hobby, the less you could actually get out of it if your priorities aren't focused to begin with. Experience is great but what good is it if your priority's are blinding you from enjoying what this hobby's all about. Guess you could call it being too smart for your own good, a problem that I've been truely blessed w/o! :D But I do enjoy life, have peace of mind, and absolutely enjoy the music. Felt this way with my Yamaha HT receiver and Bose flooestanders, I feel that way now with my present system. There are always gonna be better systems out there and THAT'S A FACT OF LIFE. So if you're never satisfied, then where are you in life? WAIT, don't answer that, I really don't want to know. :lol: Peace of mind, remember? Robert, thanks for the story. As much as I love your cabling, it's you that has been missed here at Audiocircle. No one can spin them like you, and your insights are well representative of your cables, very enlightening indeed. :singing: As far as Carl's curiosity's concerned, it's my take that Robert's point is that his cables don't seem to be this months "flavor", hense not many bandwagon members jumping on lately. That's MY take anywho.  8) Regards, Robin

Psychicanimal

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Fall Newsletter: "SHALL WE DANCE?"...
« Reply #3 on: 16 Nov 2004, 03:28 pm »
My system is dialed in to dance music (salsa) and the better the sound gets the more physical my response is.  Guess my choice of music has been fundamental in getting things going on right: speed, attack, rythm, clarity, etc.

Robert C. Schult

Fall Newsletter: "SHALL WE DANCE?"...
« Reply #4 on: 16 Nov 2004, 07:24 pm »
Hi Carlman.

Your post addresses exactly what I purposefully left out. It's rarely either/or but a balance between the two. It is important, vital(!) that "...the outcome of your analysis bring(s) you closer to connecting with music" There was a period where I had forgotten that. I think it's easy to do and I suspect I'm not the only one who's ever or ever will fall into that snare. Francisco said it good too. "...the better the sound gets the more physical my response is. That nails it I think. When I said "dance", understand I meant it literally and as a metaphor. That response could be to dance, it could be to laugh or cry. It could be to be awakened to a calling, or a desire that has slumbered for years. But I assert that if there's no response, either we're asleep or there's work to be done. Usually, it's the former.

Edit: I don't think I was clear on the above. In other words, analysis is important and needful. But like Robin said...it's good to keep our sights focused and not get distracted.

For me, three things touch my passion if I let them. My God, my Wife and my music. My challenge is to genuinely let them. So many distractions that pose as important...like being the "strong" man that is self sufficient and untouchable by the seemingly trivial and not so trivial. God is just a theology instead of a relational Father, my Wife is just a clingon and nuisance instead of a nurturer and comforter to my obvious weaknesses and a violin is just an instrument instead of an expression that can inspire. I know when my passions are touched because...they demand a response.

What some might consider novice, including Robin I think, I consider innocence. Robin's not smart enough to be stupid and I find that admirable. I get that he just loves his music and it reaches beyond his tweaks and so forth. He's not a poser. The inveterate tweaker...he wraps everything including himself in ESR and he's Bybee'd up only so he can get more of what touches him passionately. I think that's cool.

So Carl, your point is certainly significant and has to be part of the equation or process for sure...so long as it's to serve your relationship to the music. And, as is no mistake, music is powerful. How powerful are we willing to let be in us. Or is the latest capacitor design more important?  :o  

For me those years ago, my analysis was about  achieving perfection...a natural desire I suppose but unattainable. Between that natural desire and my obsessiveness, I nearly ship wrecked. The world and everything in it is partly broke and we ain't big enough to fix it. I think I learned that chasing that elusive perfection only served to distract me from what was important...the impact that music can have.

Excellence...that's worth pursuing and attainable. Seems to me perfection is about a destination. If you could get there then you're done...then what? The human spirit as it is in a broke world is never satisfied with "done" in anything that matters. My wife tried to tell me that years ago when I kept saying time after time "This is it...this amp (insert next toy) will do it." and she'd say "Get out! Who you kidding!?"

Excellence, to me anyway, is about a journey. Lots of things to experience, learn and so forth. Plenty of rest stops along the way too so long as you take the time to stop, rest and enjoy where you're at for the moment. No hurry...the adventure is worth whatever time it takes. The longer you journey the more rest stops and the more restful those stops are. I really believe to enjoy this hobby and to let music do what it can, it's like this...a journey. The time we spend dialing our systems in is the distance between the rest stops. The rest stops are just that, a place or a time to rest, enjoy where we've arrived. No journey is ever perfect but it can be excellent!

Well, there I go again I think. Nonetheless, I hope I've painted a good and useful picture.

audiojerry

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Fall Newsletter: "SHALL WE DANCE?"...
« Reply #5 on: 21 Nov 2004, 05:35 pm »
Hi Robert,

we haven't corresponded recently, but it's good to hear from you.

I'm a little surprised at the seriousness of your newsletter - I hadn't seen that side of you very much, but I appreciate your sincerity and introspection.

One irony is that your audience here at AC would probably fall very heavily on the clinical side, because most of us here enjoy the electronics and equipment as well as music. Those who are driven by music, where music is in their blood, usually have very little interest in the medium that delivers the music. They seem to be able to appreciate the musical message even when it is being played through an am radio.      

But to deviate from seriousness a little, Robert, what is "bumply?"  :?

audiojerry

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Fall Newsletter: "SHALL WE DANCE?"...
« Reply #6 on: 21 Nov 2004, 05:36 pm »
double post error

lugnut

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Fall Newsletter: "SHALL WE DANCE?"...
« Reply #7 on: 23 Nov 2004, 05:14 am »
Hi Robert,

Wow! Thanks for the email with the link to this newsletter. Nice topic too and one that I've considered many times. I'm one of those guys that loves music and quickly acquired a taste for high quality playback, or more precisely the highest quality playback I could afford. I also take my wife out dancing on most weekends and for the record I don't care what I look like on the dance floor. Tom me, dancing is a primal response to an outside stimulus allowing me to make a connection with the music on a very personal level. Who needs a chair in the sweet spot? Just give me some sawdust.

Patrick

lugnut

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Fall Newsletter: "SHALL WE DANCE?"...
« Reply #8 on: 23 Nov 2004, 05:16 am »

thorman

Shall we dance
« Reply #9 on: 23 Nov 2004, 11:43 am »
Great Topic Robert! For me through all the years of frustration of trying to fit a system in a small room and now haaving a decsent dedicated room its all about ( for me anyway ) ,how i feel during and after my music listening sessions. I feel without these sessions life ups and downs would be very hard to tolerate. Also to me the more you tweek a system and bring it closer to reality the deeper the emotions of your music becomes. So i guess what I am saying is ,for me its not Dance ,but the inner peace I get from the whole experience. ......

thorman

Shall we dance
« Reply #10 on: 23 Nov 2004, 11:44 am »
Great Topic Robert! For me through all the years of frustration of trying to fit a system in a small room and now haaving a decsent dedicated room its all about ( for me anyway ) ,how i feel during and after my music listening sessions. I feel without these sessions life ups and downs would be very hard to tolerate. Also to me the more you tweek a system and bring it closer to reality the deeper the emotions of your music becomes. So i guess what I am saying is ,for me its not Dance ,but the inner peace I get from the whole experience. ......