Friday, May 24, 2013

Do Your Ears Hang Low

The Audiophile has been experiencing an uncomfortable sensation in his ears of late. He is blaming it on his system's mid-range because an audio buddy came over with a Geiger counter, and that was the official verdict.

The interesting thing is my dainty upstairs system doesn't seem to fatigue his ears. I kindly suggested it was because I never tweak my system or replace any of the components or play it over 70dB. He responded by looking at me through his eye slits.

To be sure his ears were functioning properly, he decided to clean them with a concoction of hydrogen peroxide and several other household products that I recall using in elementary school science class to make a miniature volcano. Since he had not appreciated my two cents on the subject of why my system was superior to his, I decided not to pipe up with my concern about him fashioning Old Faithful on the side of his head. Instead, I dutifully assembled the requested ear-cleaning ingredients and quietly pulled up a chair to watch.

And that, my friends, is audio winning.

Friday, May 17, 2013

The Happy Birthday Song

The Audiophile woke up this morning next to an older woman. She didn't feel old, and in the dark she didn't look old. Still, when those under 20 (and you know who you are) call those over 50 "old" it muddies the harmonics of the occasion.

This brings me to my semi-annual attempt to convince my viewing audience that I am real, I am a woman, I am married to The Audiophile, and I don't look a day over 49. So for those of you (and you know who you are) who continue to post comments on various audio forums about me not being me: Stop it.

To celebrate the release of wife 5.0, The Audiophile has taken me with him on a business trip to Chicago. While he is being a grownup, I'll be enjoying a self-guided tour at The Art Institute with the optional headset rental. Sure, those disposable ear buds won't attenuate the background noise, but they will provide me with abundant bits of tid including the fact that I am definitely not old enough to have posed for the American Gothic painting.

And that, my friends, is audio winning.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Dirty Laundry

A while back, The Audiophile added an acoustic feature to our laundry room. As with many modern-day laundry rooms, ours is located on the main floor, near the kitchen, for womanly convenience. This, of course, comes at the expense of manly sanity when a load of dungarees with pocket change is cranked up during dinner.

The Audiophile's solution, as you've probably guessed, was a very large sound panel. I can't tell if this has provided a less fatiguing laundry experience, but I have tried clapping like a maniac to test the sound stage, which serves, if nothing else, as a self-gratifying standing ovation.

The right thing to do would be to put The Listening Chair in there and run an A/B test with and without the panel. I'd need several demo loads of laundry to test all frequencies, and some graph paper to sketch the distortion spectrum. Who knows, maybe I'd be so impressed with the stereo image of the washer and dryer that I'd stop calling laundry a chore and start calling it a hobby.

And that, my friends, is audio winning.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Smart in a Stupid Way

The Audiophile's newest configuration of components has been problematic from my perspective. More often than not he opens the daily box that arrives from somewhere in the universe, usually Canada, goes to The Listening Room, fiddles around for a while, and reports one or more of the following: It ate a resistor. It ate a capacitor. It ate a vacuum tube.

Granted my memory is highly selective and increasingly unreliable, but in my whole life, I'm fairly certain none of the music players I've purchased have performed this badly. Until I was introduced to the magical kingdom of high-fidelity audio, I operated under the assumption that a successful purchase had been made if you bought a device, plugged it into a normal wall socket, pressed an obvious start button, and music happened.

Clearly this is why I'm a knuckle dragger when it comes to understanding why anyone would ever find this hobby enjoyable. Perhaps if I take a few graduate-level courses in marketing or some other field of study to which all the smart people gravitate, I too will begin to grasp the beauty of owning a collection of components that are highly volatile, regularly incompatible, and always hungry.

And that, my friends, is audio winning.