Ok. An intro.
When did I first know I was an audiophile? I’m not. You audio nerds are. Not me. I just like to listen to music. All the time. And yes, I like it to sound just so. It’s it’s true that I get irritated by the crap music most of my friends and family listen to. Who doesn’t puke when someone you know fawns overt Bose or Beats or worse Airpods.
But yeah, all the money I made from mowing lawns in the late 70s went into my stereo. Ok maybe girls and beer and pot, but it was the 70s and I was a teenager - cut me some slack. It was Pacific Stereo crap, but the turntable was Technics and the Sony tc-k555 cassette deck had Dolby C so I was rocking a decent noise floor.
Of course it was all stolen in my first year of college. It’s ok. I had a job. Bought a used Carver pre/amp and some Speakerlabs and technics turntable from a friend. Great for parties. But then I needed cash for a Europe trip, so I sold it. I’m sure you are thinking WTF no audiophile would sell that stack. I told you, I’m not an audiophile and 86 Europe was awesome. (Ok, there are some tiny regrets)
Went to lots of small and large shows while living in Seattle during that era. Saw REM in a large classroom size space at UW student union building with like 100-200 smashed together stoned 19 year olds in about 1984. Saw several really shitty bands at a local club in 1990 that a friend made me see because he thought one of them was gonna go somewhere. That was Nirvana. Those were memorable for the intensity of the people and the music was intertwined with where we all were in life. Yeah, saw all the big name stadium concerts and they were fun but ultimately less memorable.
Before long I as married and had a mortgage and a kid and then another kid. The kids and their friends and our crazy dogs tore through the house every day, and I’m like ok no fancy electronics around these little maniacs. Every day I relished the drive to and from work so I could listen to music - rock, jazz, classical, my tastes varied over the years. Every day I’d come home from work to find new blanket and pillow forts in my listening space and it was ok. I’d rather play with my kids because I’m not an audiophile.
And now they are grown and out on their own and I’m so proud of them yet sad that they haven’t spent the night in the house in well over a year. So finally, I think yeah, maybe it’s finally time to kick back and listen to music. Really listen. 2-3 hours a night, 5-7 days a week. For an entire covid season.
I’m back in Seatle where I’ll finish my existence. I’m done moving around the US so I’m ready to get past my cute Rega amp and turntable and Kef LS50s and Rel sub. I do have a second space with Schiit Vidar and Freya+ and Magnepans etc so I’ve had a taste of open baffle. I won’t explicitly say the name of the crap AVR in the media room, but it sounds like Lion Beer.
These days I want to get something where I can FEEL and HEAR the music like I’m in a small club listening to some unknown jazz group, feel the classic rock thumping through me like so many stadium shows of my youth, experience the emotional highs and lows of Wagner and his pals, submerge in a good port and some crazy Scandinavian jazz, and trip out on the latest electronica or lofi tracks.
The Rega and Schiit get the job done but I’m ready to explore. So I’m looking at Spatial Audio M3 Sapphires or maybe something else - this is where the journey has lead. I’m still not an audiophile but I’ll pretend if it gets me where I want to go.
That’s my intro. It’s the last time I’ll be this verbose I swear. I tapped this on my phone while listening to 2015 Aphex Twin & related, 2018 Nils Petter Molvar’s latest, and Styx from 1978 via Tidal and Qobuz. I didn’t say I had great taste