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  1. #1
    Do What? jrhymeammo's Avatar
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    Just a selfish post.

    So last night I was over at my friends place and hanging out over a couple of cheap domestic beers and some music on CDs. He has a JVC countertop system with a pair of Aiwa speakers that sit on his floor. The CD player in his JVC is dying and it would take us about 8 tries for it to actually recognize CDs. He lives in a basement of a house with concrete floors, brick walls, and some huge metal tubes running all over the place. His audio setup was a disaster. I thought about giving him some friendly advice, but he had everything the way he wanted. We were listening to a lot of Jazz. Miles, Rollins, Milt Jackson, Jason Moran, etc. I must say I havenít enjoyed music like that in a while. I honestly thought his system sounded exceptionally good. Bass was more than adequate, highs reached high enough, and mid range was there enough for me to hear the recordings. On top of it all, we were just bullshjtting and talking about music WHILE tune was spinning. Then I caught myself almost pulling out his speakers away from the wall, like I would with mine. How disrespectful would that have been.
    I started thinking what a fool I am for spending thousands and thousands of dollars on equipments and trying to think what I can do to improve my setup. Donít get me wrong, I will always look to upgrade my system when it is NEEDED. I have been constantly analyzing my system, instead of enjoying it as much as I can. There is nothing wrong with changing equipments as a hobby, but to me music always come first. For past several months, I was only using music in attempt to making it sound better w/o enjoying it. Is there a room for improvement in my system? Maybe. But I'm not going to think about it, and get that in a way of my ever diminishing listening time.
    So how does all this help/affect any of you guys reading it? Nothing. I thought I would act selfish and write it down on this website. Iím just using it as a tool to express and better myself so I can truly enjoy what I love.
    Sorry and thanks. But no regrets.

    -JRA

  2. #2
    Suspended topspeed's Avatar
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    Good vent.

    This is the old music-lover vs. gear geek argument. I've never been a gear geek (for which my accountant...and wife...are forever thankful ). I find what I like, buy it, and hold on to it until it breaks or becomes completely obsolete. Speakers are like luggage with me...I just never get rid of them. The Missions that I bought in '88 are now in my office, the B&W's that replaced them are thoroughly ensconced in the main rig now.

    Is there better gear than what I have? Without question.

    Do I care?


    Not one whit.

  3. #3
    Forum Regular Woochifer's Avatar
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    Actually, I think this post is a lot more instructive than most of the "which receiver/speaker/amplifier/cable/isolation/CD player should I upgrade to?" threads out there! A lot of the time these upgrade questions don't boil down to the music enjoyment itself, but upgrading for sake of upgrading. Your experience distills the answer down to SHUT UP AND JUST ENJOY THE MUSIC!

    Growing up, my parents' system was a cut above what my friends used. But, that never stopped me from going over to their houses and playing music. I had a crappy all-in-one Superscope system in my bedroom, but again, that did not prevent me from enjoying the music whenever I just wanted to hang out in my room. Even now, I'm well aware of the flaws in my system. But, I hardly dwell on them because I set my budget early in the process and pieced together what I regarded as the best system that matched my budget and coincided with my preferences and listening habits. I'd rather enjoy what I play on my system, than consciously listen for faults and magnify their importance for sake of justifying a system upgrade.

    I learned a long time ago that great music is great music no matter what system you're using, and you can definitely enjoy that music no matter if it's played on a cheap boombox or a reference quality system. Those who whine about every little flaw in a system component and declare everything short of so-called "high end" quality as unlistenable because they can no longer enjoy the music when played on a substandard system, are not who I would regard as music fans. For them, it's all about the audio quality first and foremost, with the music itself coming second.

    We've had people on this board say that they will not listen to any music that has poor sound quality, and yet in the next sentence proclaim that it's all about the music. Personally, I cannot see any sentiment more contradictory than prejudging the merit and enjoyment of music by excluding those recordings that might have substandard recording quality. This means that they might claim to be jazz fans, but categorically exclude most of the works of Charlie Parker, Duke Ellington, Benny Goodman, or the early fusion recordings of Miles Davis because the recording quality was not up to par. Or they might claim to be classical music fans, yet refuse to listen to many legendary performances from the likes of Arturo Toscanini or Bruno Walter or Fritz Reiner because the audio quality did not measure up.

    There's nothing wrong with investing in a good audio system, or with trying to find ways to improve it. But, there does reach a point where the constant quest to improve that system by obsessing on its perceived flaws no longer advances musical enjoyment, but rather hinders that enjoyment. Your post captures that process very well.
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  4. #4
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    Jrhymeammo.....that's about the best post I've read here in a long
    time. To many people on this board (fourms) have the upgrade
    bug. I rarely post here, because If I don't have the equipment
    being asked about then I feel there is no need to reply. I've heard
    different equipment in show rooms and if it really impresses me
    then I might reply to a post.

    Music is to be enjoyed, and not fret over. My first set of speakers
    (Klipsch LaScalla's) I enjoyed for almost 20 yrs. I finally listened
    to a pair of Marage M5si speakers (when Roger Sound Labs in
    So Cal was going out of buiness) and they really caught my
    attention, so I bought them, and have been listening to them for
    over 12 yrs. Alot of times people bash Bi-polar speakers (like
    Mirage), but I like 'em and don't have any plans on getting any
    new speakers (and equipment) in the near future.

    I enjoy the music, and that's what it's all about.....vardo

  5. #5
    Suspended markw's Avatar
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    Great post!

    An excellent example of keepin' it real. Your friend seems th have achieved that magical state that we all claim to strive for but, like a carrot on a stick, it always seems to elude us.

    Your friend has achievd it and you were able to share in it for that short time.

    It's called "contentment", and may we all reach that state and be wise enough to realize it when we get there.

  6. #6
    Phila combat zone JoeE SP9's Avatar
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    If you look at my equipment list you will see nothing but old and older stuff. The Lexicon was the first piece of gear I've bought in 6 years. Once I get a piece of equipment I generally keep it until it doesn't work anymore. My TT was originally bought in the 80's along with the preamp. I listen to music. I don't agonize about my gear. What I have sounds good to me. That's all that really matters.
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  7. #7
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    It's all about the music!

    jrhymeammo,

    Not a good post....a great post!

    Without the music, the equipment is just so much plastic and wires collecting dust.

    It was, is, and always will be all about the music

    musiclover60

  8. #8
    Crackhead Extraordinaire Dusty Chalk's Avatar
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    I've always said, if you think your system isn't "involving" enough, then you aren't listening to "involving" enough music.
    Eschew fascism.
    Truth Will Out.
    Quote Originally Posted by stevef22
    you guys are crackheads.
    I remain,
    Peter aka Dusty Chalk

  9. #9
    Mutant from table 9
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    Quote Originally Posted by markw
    An excellent example of keepin' it real. Your friend seems th have achieved that magical state that we all claim to strive for but, like a carrot on a stick, it always seems to elude us.

    Your friend has achievd it and you were able to share in it for that short time.

    It's called "contentment", and may we all reach that state and be wise enough to realize it when we get there.

    No, no, no... His friend didn't acheive it. Jrhymeammo achieved it. His friend is just a broke guy living in a concrete basement with a thrift shop stereo. J/K

    Actually, I've always been into music. I grew up in a musical family with lot of people in the biz (as they say). Sadly, my skills are limited to mashing out Judas Priest's Livin' After Midnight on my wife's drum kit.

    However, I can't imagine many, if any, of us had a first system that wasn't a piece of crap. Even the biggest gear geek will have a music lover at the core. After all, he started out with a crappy stereo too. And, something (often a Boston record) made him think, "Dang, I need a better stereo." Mine was a SounDesign system in a (you guessed it)... concrete basement.

  10. #10
    Do What? jrhymeammo's Avatar
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    I'm not sure how long this rediscovered "lifestyle" is going to last. But as for now, I'm really enjoying music. like I used to. OH yeahhh!!!!

    -JRA

  11. #11
    Suspended topspeed's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SlumpBuster
    Sadly, my skills are limited to mashing out Judas Priest's Livin' After Midnight on my wife's drum kit.
    Dude, I've never met your wife...

    but she's soooo sexy!

  12. #12
    Tyler Acoustics Fan drseid's Avatar
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    While I confess to having the "upgrade bug" from time to time, at the end of the day your post says it all. It *is* all about the music. You can enjoy good music on an old $20 boom box or a one million dollar system. I think your post is a good reminder to us all that when you start to get constantly focused on the gear playing the tunes, a lot of the time you are less happy than if you just sit back and enjoy -- a great performance is a great performance regardless. Excellent post.

    ---Dave
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  13. #13
    Sgt. At Arms Worf101's Avatar
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    When you're right, you're right...

    I enjoyed your post. I don't just "listen" as much as I used to being "chief chauffeur and Sports Dad", but I try. I'm just glad that my midfi system is good enough for the ole lady to realise how much better it is than the 8 Track/Turntable garbage she used to listen to at her mom's. I find that I've not problem just "enjoying" music on any system, my problem is with "live" music. I'm a musician, bass player, lead singer, song writer, and while I can tolerate or even enjoy good music on a less than stellar system.. I can't handle bad live music at all...

    I don't think it's a playa hater thing... I just can't stomach bad rhythm, flat vocals, stiff presentation... it's enough to make me wanna take the pipe sometimes... But back to the original topic, I hope you continue to listen to and enjoy the music...

    Da Worfster

  14. #14
    Man of the People Forums Moderator bobsticks's Avatar
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    Nice work j...

    ...ditto previous posters, and a hearty "well-said".

    Cheers to ya
    So, I broke into the palace
    With a sponge and a rusty spanner
    She said : "Eh, I know you, and you cannot sing"
    I said : "That's nothing - you should hear me play piano"

  15. #15
    Forum Regular Florian's Avatar
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    Its a good post, but one we have read many times. Its not ment offensively, but it comes down to this.

    1. If your happy with what you have, then thats good for you. If you feel you need 80K speakers to feel happy then so be it too.


    -Flo
    Lots of music but not enough time for it all

  16. #16
    Suspended PeruvianSkies's Avatar
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    I agree and I disagree at the same time....

    I've also grew up with lots of music around me, most people do. Music is hard to escape. However, there are some that feel more passionately about music. I also learned various instruments growing up and I once heard a very prolific violin player once say...

    "You are never going to get any better than your instrument allows."

    I always wondered what that really meant. When I began playing guitar a few years later I remember hearing that quote again in my head. I was playing some crappy acoustic guitar that had rusty strings. I then started saving money and finally bought a good guitar, not a great guitar. I became better the moment I began playing the better instrument. Then many years later I finally had some 'real' money around and bought my first REALLY good guitar. Once again I was playing better the moment I sat down with it...I was hearing things better and it became easier to play.

    I honestly believe the same is true for music appreciation and music reproduction. The better my equipment gets the more I love music. I don't "NEED" great equipment to love music, but having better equipment does enable me to love the music even more and hear things I never heard before. Not only that, but I also believe the great music is meant to be heard the way it was always meant to be heard. Music was always meant to be heard live, our current equipment enables us to enjoy that experience though without hearing it live. We are attempting to create that experience though. Home theaters are attemping to sound and feel like a real theater, just like home audio is trying to capture the live essence of the recording quality of that music. I'm sure Mozart's Requiem Mass was never invisioned to be coming out of a teeny tiny little boombox, neither was it meant to be heard coming from a $250,000 audio system, instead it was meant to be coming from some of the most prolific concert halls. Nothing in our homes will even come close to that experience, but we can try. We can also fall in love with that music in both venues just the same, but it's far more enjoyable to me to be able to hear as much detail as possible, so the quest begins.....but does it ever end? NEVER!

  17. #17
    Forum Regular Morpheus77's Avatar
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    No offense to anyone here, but could it be the fact that music, and systems tend to sound better when we drink? Could that be part of it?? Again, no offense intended, just a thought.
    "The art of war is not to die for your country, but make the other bastard die for his!" General George S. Patton

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  18. #18
    Suspended markw's Avatar
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    No offense taken, but you do bring up a good point.

    Quote Originally Posted by Morpheus77
    No offense to anyone here, but could it be the fact that music, and systems tend to sound better when we drink? Could that be part of it?? Again, no offense intended, just a thought.
    Not so much about imbibing, but moreso with the attitude and mood of the listeners. If one is intent on listening to the system as opposed to the music, then i'm quite sure I could find fault with virtually any system. If one just kicks back and lets the music "flow" into themselves then, barring glaring deficiencies, I'm quite sure it will be satisfying.
    Last edited by markw; 10-17-2006 at 04:52 PM.

  19. #19
    Crackhead Extraordinaire Dusty Chalk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Morpheus77
    No offense to anyone here, but could it be the fact that music, and systems tend to sound better when we drink?
    13 members of this forum promptly turn into alcoholics
    Eschew fascism.
    Truth Will Out.
    Quote Originally Posted by stevef22
    you guys are crackheads.
    I remain,
    Peter aka Dusty Chalk

  20. #20
    Big Fresh
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    When I bought my modest sound system, I bought it not just for myself, but for others as well. It's a means of bringing people together for music, movies, etc. That's the great thing about music - you can share it.

    That being said, everybody listens to music on different planes, or levels. The same holds true outside of music. I mean, some people put worms on a hook when they could be throwing flies. Some people snowboard when they could be skiing. Others yet buy 2 wheel drive pickups when they know very well the 4x4 exists. Remarkably, the bait fishermen sometimes catch fish, the snowboarders claim to be having a great time, and the 2x4 owners get decent utility out of their trucks. It's now how I do it, but I'm not going to waste breath trying to convince somebody else how truly miserable they are, when clearly they are not. Good thread, everybody.
    Last edited by natronforever; 10-18-2006 at 06:52 AM.

  21. #21
    Forum Regular Florian's Avatar
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    When I bought my modest sound system, I bought it not just for myself,
    Exactly! We are musicphiles and do this because of the music. And if you spend 500$, 5000$ or 100K and above we do this for the music. And when i see some crap about "equipmentphiles" i get ticked off. Not that is has much to do with this thread but it had to be said
    Lots of music but not enough time for it all

  22. #22
    Crackhead Extraordinaire Dusty Chalk's Avatar
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    I bought mine for myself.
    Eschew fascism.
    Truth Will Out.
    Quote Originally Posted by stevef22
    you guys are crackheads.
    I remain,
    Peter aka Dusty Chalk

  23. #23
    Forum Regular Florian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dusty Chalk
    I bought mine for myself.
    So do i, and i surely work my butt off for it.
    Lots of music but not enough time for it all

  24. #24
    Forum Regular thepogue's Avatar
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    very cool post...

    I say not only "enjoy the music"....but "enjoy the hobby"!! some wear their gear as a badge...but that should tell you a WHOLE LOT about them on the inside!

    As far as drinking and music sounds good.....go to a Pogue's show...the truth will be plain!

    Once again good post!

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  25. #25
    Forum Regular FLZapped's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jrhymeammo
    ... I thought about giving him some friendly advice, but he had everything the way he wanted. We were listening to a lot of Jazz. Miles, Rollins, Milt Jackson, Jason Moran, etc. I must say I havenít enjoyed music like that in a while.

    So how does all this help/affect any of you guys reading it? Nothing. I thought I would act selfish and write it down on this website. Iím just using it as a tool to express and better myself so I can truly enjoy what I love.
    Sorry and thanks. But no regrets.

    -JRA
    Nothing selfish about sharing this experience. Too many people turn into gear snobs and don't spend enoguh time just listening to the music and enjoying it - they become hyper-critical and usually end up hearing flaws that are most likely not there in the first place. One of the reasons I don't reveal what I own, it doesn't matter, I'm happy with my system and enjoy listening to it.

    Regards,

    Bruce

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