Friday, July 27, 2018

Minute By Minute

Yester-month The Audiophile and I went to a local coffee shop to enjoy hot beverages, tasty pastries, and one another’s lively conversation. We were almost ready to go on our merry way when he said, “Let me make a quick call to a guy.”

If I were not a paragon of patience, I would have thrown my head back and laughed mightily toward the heavenly realms where God himself was raising a furry eyebrow over the reckless use of the term “quick” to describe an audio call. Instead, I smiled politely, found a quiet corner, and curled up with a book.

I could use this as an opportunity to report exactly how much time that quick call took, but that would probably ignite a heated debate in my house about the fourth dimension. Let’s just say that I had enough time to finish the book I was reading, enough time to ponder the longterm effects of emotional abandonment, and enough time to compose another essay laced with audio half-truths and lies.


Friday, July 20, 2018

Slow Ride

There's a small problem in our house right now. How small? Definitely smaller than a bread box assuming you have one of those for scale. If not, just think about a problem that would easily fit in the overhead bin of a paper airplane.

Here's the deal: It is Tour de France season, and that means The Audiophile is riding 50 miles during the day and watching The Tour during the night. That leads to a situation where no music is being played, no tweaking is being done, and no cursing is happening at anything other than the idiotic mountain-stage crowds that threaten to knock those polka-dotted contenders right out of their saddles.  

In summary, since this blog is not titled The Cyclophile's Wife, I have nothing to report this week unless you care to hear about sweaty cycling shorts and head panties being peeled off and flung directly into the washing machine.


Friday, July 13, 2018

Careless Whisper

Tuesday evening The Audiophile took me to an establishment commonly known as a hole-in-the-wall to hear a lineup of songwriters. It was open-mic night, so I wasn't expecting a lot, but when you live within parasailing distance of Music City, you never know.

I settled in to meditate on the acoustic goodness of a decently talented Millennial with a darling little man bun, when The Audiophile caught my wandering eye. He smiled knowingly, leaned in my direction, brought his lips to my ear, and whispered, "Those are original Bose 901's suspended from the ceiling."

He had not Googled this. He had not consulted an audiophile field guide. He does not have crib notes written on the palm of his hand. He simply had this morsel of knowledge stored in one of his brain folds where most people slot information about where they put the keys to their car or the nature of the items that are allowed in the recycling bin.

The last thing I have to say about this, and I think I speak for all the audio wives out there, is I was under the impression "Bose" was on The Audiophile Banned-Word list. Apparently. Not.


Friday, July 6, 2018

Head Games

Last weekend I happened upon The Audiophile enjoying a song by a female vocalist. That, of course, is not noteworthy.

But get this, he was listening to it on his iPad. I'll give you a moment to process that, catch your breath, and decide whether you can continue to view this blog as a reliable source of high-fidelity intel.

I crimped my eyelids into slits and took a good look at him. He appeared to still be the person I walked down the aisle with and said, "I do" to, but how was I to know for sure? I thought about casually plucking 10 to 20 pieces of his hair to run a DNA test, but he and Fuzzy Wuzzy have no hair, which is a sensitive subject for both of them.

Then it hit me. He had not turned on his system for a couple of days, which meant he was probably one-click away from queueing up the slasher music from the shower scene in Psycho.

Normal wives would have asked their audiophiles about the circumstances leading to this bone-chilling, irrational behavior, but The Audiophile's wife is not normal. She quietly backs away from the scene of the crime, slinks up the stairs to her iMac and tap, tap, taps her concerns straight into the worldly wide web.


Friday, June 29, 2018

Let's Go Crazy

Sometimes The Audiophile tries to guide the direction of this blog by talking extra loudly to someone about something silly like using copper shielding in a cable of some sort.

I could not care less about copper shielding, but I Googled it anyway. Holy buckets. Don't do that unless you want to test your tolerance for the boring and mundane.

Also, here's a PSA: If you ever Google anything related to high-fidelity audio, the subsequent ads that will clutter your browser for the rest of your life will include things you will never buy and can only hope your audiophile will never buy.

Case in point, the fine folks at a company I will not name seem to think I just might be interested in a cable that costs more than my first house. Apparently my browsing history has led them to believe I am A) an audiophile, or B) completely unbalanced.

I guess the only way to run that A/B test is to order the cable and see if The Audiophile A) applauds me, or B) has me committed to a mental institution.


Friday, June 22, 2018

Walking on Sunshine

A small, blue box arrived from Denmark this week thanks to the worldwide postal people. I don't know how many planes, trains, and automobiles were required to get the item from point A to point B, but I can assure you that point B was ecstatic with the timely delivery.

The box contained a new USB something something, that can apparently be "blown out" if one makes a wee little mistake doing something that I'm not allowed to talk about in order to protect the reputation of The Someone who made the mistake.

The important thing is The Audiophile is back in business, and by "business" I mean sitting in the sweet spot swaying to the music, which is the highest denomination of currency I know of to keep his sanity in check.

Is it a coincidence that this box came from the land of "hygge" where the happiest people on the planet spend ridiculous amounts of time curled up by the fire, in hand-knitted socks, drinking mulled wine? I don't think so.


It doesn't come pre-mulled, but Click Here if you want to kick me AND you fifty bucks toward a case of delicious. 

Friday, June 15, 2018

So Quiet in Here

First things first: The Audiophile's stereo is still broken.

Second things second: The Turcom TS-450 ain't cuttin' it.

I believe the requisite part to fix the broken stereo is on its way from somewhere, maybe Denmark. I'm told it will cost less than a tonsillectomy. I assume it will arrive in the near future and hopefully before a certain someone develops Tourette syndrome or something far worse.

Now that I think about it, that certain someone has been remarkably calm about the situation. So calm, in fact, that I should probably look around the house to see if he has filled an entire ream of paper with "All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy."

Perhaps by next week, I'll be able to write a love story about the joyful reunion between a man and his music. If not that, I'll likely have some material for Stephen King to work into his next psychological audio thriller should he care to reach out to me for my subject matter expertise.


Friday, June 8, 2018

Fade to Black

Yesterday I was wondering if there was anything worth reporting as it relates to The Audiophile and his heroics when I honest-to-goodness heard him say this:

I. Broke. My. Stereo.

He may have included some other choice statements with the above, but I've taken the liberty of editing out the nonessential interjections.

You know how you can be driving down a backroad just after the sun has gently set on the horizon, and everything is swell? Swell, that is, until you see a deer in your headlights? In case you've always wondered, I now know precisely what that deer is thinking:

What thaaa? What do I do next? Should I move to the side of the road? Get the license plate number on that rapidly-approaching SUV? Pretend I'm invisible? Yeah, that's what I'll do, I'll pretend I'm invisible.

Bad strategy, deer, what you want to do hightail your carcass over to a coffee shop for a while until the rapidly-approaching SUV runs out of gas and lets you and your chicken friend cross the road without insult or injury.

The wound on The Audiophile's situation is still raw, so I have not asked for details, but I can report that we will be using the handy Turcom TS-450 mentioned in last week's post as our primary system for a while.


Friday, June 1, 2018

Days Like This

Over the glorious three-day weekend, The Audiophile and I were sitting outside enjoying nature's musical offerings with a glass of crispy white wine when I had an idea. Somewhere, in the back of a drawer, I remembered seeing a small amplification device that would allow us to sling the music from our phones through the magic of Bluetooth for our personal listening pleasure in the great outdoors.

I asked The Audiophile if he could stream Tidal on his phone. You would have thought I had suggested we carve out our superfluous organs with a soup spoon and list them on eBay by the look on his face, but he cautiously gave me a slow, affirmative nod.

Fifteen minutes later, Van Morrison was chirping along with the birds and the bees through the mighty impressive 5 watt, 45 mm driver.

Yes, I violated every audiophile law in the handbook with this low-budget maneuver, but I felt like a super genius. Furthermore, The Audiophile, although he will never admit it, thoroughly enjoyed letting his soul and spirit fly into the mystic as evidenced by his traitorous bobbing head and tapping toe.


Friday, May 25, 2018

Big Wheels

When The Audiophile isn't philing the audio, he philes the road bike. Is this a hobby we share? No. My bike has a basket on the handlebars and a bell that I'm not afraid to use.

Last week he floated the notion that some cyclists shave their legs. I didn't hear why this is, because my mind immediately began to imagine him in a nice bubbly bath poised for action with his Gillette Mach 3, and I missed the rationale.

This got me to thinking about whether shavings one's legs would make a difference in the acoustics of the room. After a quick perusal of the www, I found nothing on the subject except an article clarifying cyclists shave their legs for a variety of pathetic reasons including that it makes them "feel faster."

In summary, cyclists are apparently of the same wingding caliber as audiophiles, and I would like to encourage all audiophiles to shave their legs so they can take to the forums and debate whether it makes their reference track of choice "sound better."


Friday, May 18, 2018

Mercy Mercy Me

The Audiophile was recently left alone without proper supervision while I ran a couple of errands. When I returned, just 90 minutes later, this is what I found.

I think I speak for all the DIY wives out there, when I ask the following single-syllable question:


Furthermore, and I hate to be a stickler here, but there is no way The Audiophile could have used the tiny cotton Dollie diaper to single-handedly hoist the speaker off the spikey things, flip it upside down, and rip it apart.

Did he strip down to his cotton undershirt and underpants and don a pair of oven mitts so as not to scuff the lacquer? I do not know. He was fully clothed when I walked through the door, and the oven mitts were nowhere to be seen, but an alibi that does not make.

I'm a little vague about what The Audiophile's objective is with this Six-Million-Dollar-Man project, but if next week's post is titled "Fifty Ways to Leave Your Lover," you'll know something went south, and you can probably pick up a pair of scratch-and-dent Epicons at a greatly reduced price on Audiothong.


Friday, May 11, 2018

Kung Fu Fighting

Last weekend The Audiophile and I were enjoying an evening stroll in our quaint, historic downtown. He was wearing a t-shirt that has AUDIOPHILE written across the front. I bought the shirt for him to use as bait to attract audio friends in the area.

A guy with a baby on his hip looked him up and down and said, "What's your definition of an audiophile?"

That seemed like a challenge likely to deteriorate into a street fight, so I focused on smiling at the baby so she would feel comfortable being held by me while the two men circled each other in the parking lot until one of them landed a twisting moonsault and was declared the winner.

Instead we learned the baby's daddy was "in the business," and all that went down was a simple exchange of contact information with a promise to stay in touch. Not nearly as exciting as the twisting moonsault, but apparently the magical bait shirt works.


Friday, May 4, 2018

Crash Into Me

You may have noticed some speaker companies include a small hermetically-sealed diaper to use when touching their products so grubby human hands don't mar the finely-crafted mirror finishes. At first, this seemed like a great idea. I may have even cooed a little when I saw the diaper lovingly tucked alongside the instruction manual.

That all changed when The Audiophile asked me to help him install the spikey things that screw into the bottom of the speakers. I, of course, was tasked with using the tiny diaper to carefully lean the speaker sideways while he scrutinized the situation with the undercarriage.

While physics wasn't my best subject back in the day, I can tell you that leaning a fifty-pound object at a 45-degree angle while holding it with a slippery little piece of cotton is exactly what Albert Einstein had in mind when he conjured up that bit about gravity and its effects.

Fortunately, nothing went wrong, or you would have heard our collective screams no matter what zip code you call your own. I would, however, like to encourage speaker manufacturers to swap out the diapers for something that would make the handling of fine musical furniture less of a dalliance with the scientific laws of nature.


Friday, April 27, 2018

Baby What a Big Surprise

Remember a few weeks ago when I wrote that nonchalant bit about having a girl crush on the Dali Epicons? It seems The Audiophile read that post and had a pair rambling down I-40 on the back of a box truck faster than you could say, "Roger that."

Understand, this is NOT a birth announcement because these babies have to pass a test. Strike that, they have to pass an infinite and ongoing number of tests before they get to live with us permanently. And by permanently, I don't mean forever, I mean right up until another box truck pulls up and takes them away over my 110 dB crying jag that will probably make the truck driver mildly uncomfortable.

In the meantime, I'm playing it cool and wondering what would happen if I blogged (again) about wanting a small acoustically-behaved puppy.


Friday, April 20, 2018

Stand by Your Man

The Audiophile had a slow week so I took to the forums to see what I could learn from other audiophiles even though this, along with sucking nicotine into your lungs, is not particularly recommended by the surgeon general.

This week's winner is the following: 

It seems to be audiophiles are not only predominantly men, but middle-aged or older men, most of whom seem more opinionated than most, grumpier and more argumentative than most, and more inclined to show off.

I have no idea if that statement is true, but if opposites attract, that implies audiophile wives are predominantly younger, not terribly opinionated, happier and less argumentative than most, and not very inclined to show off.

Yep, I'd say that pretty well sums it up.


Friday, April 13, 2018

It's a Miracle

In not-so-surprising news, The Audiophile has recently been playing with a new way to eek one more milligrammometer of perfection from his system.

If you are able to move your gaze away from the Jupiter copper foil capacitor, what you will see is the application of a very expensive clear substance. I do not know what this stuff is called or what it is supposed to do.

Could I ask The Audiophile? Yes, I could. He is within spitting distance, at least I think I could spit and hit from where I'm sitting, but the problem with asking him for clarification is he would provide clarification and a lot of it.

This acoustic spit, as it will now be called, has been applied to everything in The Audiophile's inventory. He has declared it to be a "walk-on-water miracle," and he has shouted all the positive adjectives you can imagine into his cellular telephone in an attempt to share the good news.

Let us now take a moment, bow our heads, and pray that Jesus is an audiophile so he won't be terribly offended by The Audiophile spreading the gospel of acoustic spit to all the nations.


Friday, April 6, 2018

Sitting on Top of the World

What you see here is a real picture of a real situation in my real house.

I'm not sure where to begin with my droll comments about the circumstances that led to this being the latest necessity in our decor, but I will, of course, give it a try.

One day I turned to The Audiophile and said, "Honey, I wouldn't mind having a me-sized chair in The Listening Room."

Understand, in our new down-sized life, The Listening Room is actually called The Living Room by normal people even though it causes The Audiophile to wince a little and gnash his teeth. This room had sufficient papa-bear furniture, and I was simply asking for one quiet mama-bear chair.

Now, as you all know, if you give a mama bear a chair she's going to want a new coffee table, and if you give her a new coffee table she is going to want a new rug to go under it. This domino effect will continue until something positively MUST be done about the horsed-up acoustics in The Listening Room.

I don't know what the problem was with the acoustics or their horse, but this is The Audiophile's happily-ever-after solution, and I'm pleased to report it has restored harmony to his Goldilocks zone.


Friday, March 30, 2018

Rocky Top

A couple of years ago The Audiophile decided it would be in his best interest to take an early retirement so he could devote sufficient time to the micromanagement of his sound triangle.

The exciting part of this life change for me was our decision to leave the Land of 10,000 Perpetually Frozen Lakes to relocate to, and I'm not kidding here...

Music City.

Luckily for me there isn't a Perfect Sound Triangle City, or I'd be living there instead, and it would probably be in an underwater cave or on a planet with acoustically superior oxygen molecules.

To say we are happy here is as much of an understatement as saying Dali Epicons are aesthetically adequate. Not that I have personal experience with the Epicons, but I may occasionally entertain a little fantasy about a pair of boxes arriving from Denmark with my name on them. Dali, if you're reading this, PM me for the coordinates of my sound triangle.


Friday, March 23, 2018

Rock a Bye Baby

Recently I overheard a fragment of a conversation The Audiophile was having with his stepson. His stepson, for those of you working through this biological conundrum, is also the only human being I've personally baked from the size of a bean to the size of an 8-pound bean.

As always, I wasn't paying a lot of attention until I heard The Audiophile say, "A tube amp is a great first project, but you've got to be careful because you're dealing with anywhere from 350 to 525 volts under the hood, and that will kill you dead very quickly."

Soooo, if I understand this correctly, what we have here is a situation where The Audiophile has somehow enticed my 180-pound bean to engage in a hobby that, on a really bad day, may very quickly turn one of them into a big pot of soup.


Friday, March 16, 2018

Cappety Cap, Don’t Talk Back

More often than you might image, another audiophile will get in his car, I mean SUV, and drive for an unreasonable number of hours to spend some quality time with The Audiophile.

Why? I don’t rightly know. I can’t say I’ve ever met another bibliophile online and typed out, “Hey, Persona Loca, what say you drive over this weekend with your favorite book, so I can tear off the cover and glue on a different one that I'll probably import from Canada.”

I usually hide under the bed when The Audiophile is having a play date, but that doesn’t mean I’m not overhearing some of the scintillating conversation. From what I can tell, everything is up for comparison: woofers, wire, cable, caps, the watts of the caps, the manufacturer of the caps, and the caps the caps would wear if caps wore caps.

If I were inclined to play a drinking game based on the frequency of the word CAP, I would be capitally incapacitated. And... now I have a plan for the next audiophile play date.


Friday, March 9, 2018

Here Comes Peter Cottontail

Check this out. It's an A/B test I ran in the privacy of my gray matter a few weeks ago when The Audiophile was doing a mod for a guy.


First of all, I would like to salute The Audiophile for making the speakers sound great, but let's face it, our living room looked a little like Easter Island while he was testing his handiwork.

Secondly, did I really use the term "doing a mod" in the opening paragraph? When did that replace the term "modification" in my tumbleweed lexicon?

Lastly, full disclosure: I stole the phrase "tumbleweed lexicon" from Aimee Mann because it is brilliant and just plain fun to weave into everyday conversations about abandonment and despair.


Friday, March 2, 2018

I've Got a Girl Crush

Once upon a time in January The Audiophile took me on a date to celebrate the fact that we are still married even though one of us is an audiophile. The date included food, wine, dessert, and most importantly live music, which is better than dead music, but not always better than what The Audiophile can produce in the comfort of our home.

The artist of the evening has been a favorite of mine since she was featured on the soundtrack for a disturbing movie that came out right before the turn of the century. To make this easy on you, I’ll also say her first name is Aimee, and her last name is Mann.

Has The Audiophile been queueing up her Mental Illness album on Tidal like a gerbil on a wheel? Perhaps. Do I mind? No, I do not. 

The way I see it, if Ms. Mann gets paid $0.007 per stream, we've simultaneously boosted her into a higher tax bracket and sufficiently burned in the Jupiter copper-foil upgrade du jour.


Friday, February 23, 2018

Bugler's Dream

As I was considering which Olympic sport I might start training for, it occurred to me that there's really no reason Big Air Listening shouldn't be added to the roster. It would be something akin to the Maxell poster guy getting blown away except for the part where the more senior competitors are wearing ear protection to save what little is left of their high-frequency hearing.

The Audiophile has been training for this event since he bought his first system in 1975 at the tender age of don't-make-me-do-the-math. He can still rattle off the exact makes and models of the components in that system with a level of affection generally reserved for... for...

Anyway, Big Air Listening should totally be a thing, and according to some science guy on the www, it will need to be a summer sport because sound travels better through warm air than cold.

And now I would like to issue an apology to all the audio wives for enlightening their husbands to yet another variable to fiddle with that will affect the entire household. Hot flashing? No, the thermostat is just set at 95 because the acoustics are SO much better when the air molecules are warm enough to optimally transmit sound vibrations.


Friday, February 16, 2018

Dylan and Dylan

Remember Barney and Fred, the subjects of the last post?

Well, two guys named Bob, drove here from hundreds of miles away to listen to them. First, I don’t think Bob was really their names. I think when they were walking up to our house one of them whispered, “Let’s use code names,” but they only had time to think up one name before The Audiophile ushered them in.

Anyway, the “Bobs” listened to Barney and Fred, loaded them up, and took them far away where someone named Bobbette undoubtedly had the pleasure of listening to a lengthy discussion about the “acoustically superior proprietary polygon-oriented, triple-ring radiator high frequency array.”

Perhaps she too found it fascinating that while she knew what each word in the aforementioned sentence meant when used alone, if she’s like me, she had absolutely no idea what the words meant when they were put side-by-side in a magnificently ridiculous overly-descriptive, verbose-laden string of utter nonsense.


Friday, February 9, 2018

Have a Yabba Dabba Doo Time

What you see here is The Audiophile. Look closely. I know I did.

To the untrained eye, it would appear Barney and Fred slipped out of the house one night for some alone time with their womenfolk, and the next thing you know, Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm were born. Alas, that is not what happened.

Barney and Fred lived with us for several months. They were so named because they were as unattractive to me as their animated body doubles. For the record, I am not physically attracted to cartoon characters, but if I were I’d like to think I could do better.

Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm came to us from another audiophile who didn’t want to risk his eyebrows tearing them apart, rifling around with their intestines, and putting them back together again. Fortunately, nothing makes The Audiophile happier than risking every last hair on his head in the pursuit of Grand Poobah fidelity.

To his credit, all the characters shown in the photo sounded beautifully three dimensional when he was finished playing OPERATION with them, and that meant they were listed for sale faster than you could say WILMAAAA.


Friday, February 2, 2018

Back in the Saddle

Father, forgive me, it has been four and a half years since my last confession, I mean blog post.

You know how you sometimes see elderly people working the cash register at the market, and you ask yourself, “Do they need the money? Was retirement boring? Where did they get those sensible shoes and matching support stockings?”

While I don’t have the answer to any of those questions, I can tell you this: I have come out of retirement because The Audiophile cannot, for the eternal well-being of his soul (and mine), stop being unnaturally obsessed with this hobby. I thought about giving him a gift certificate for psychological therapy to celebrate the birth of Jesus, but he probably would have pawned it for a pair of boutique film caps manufactured across the pond.

Seriously, I’ve come out of retirement because The Audiophile has given me permission to use him as my muse once again until I can find a lucrative hobby of my own.