File under "You Probably Don't Care..."
I have been piecing together a high-end audio system for the last few months. With two of the most important components arriving on Friday, I set up everything and started listening and was extremely pleased with the results. My primary goal in building this system was to have a way reproducing recorded works with a completely realistic transparent soundstage with perfect clarity at a flat frequency responce. In civilian terms, a stereo that you don't know is there: it just disappears.
Being proud of my accomplishment, I have demo'ed the system to about 15 people so far. I sit them down, ask them what they would like to listen to, and put the selection on at a moderate volume.
I realize that most people my age associate "good sound" with two things: loudness and low frequency "bump." Loudness is the accentuation of the low and high frequencies during reproduction, often achieved by a V-shaped EQ curve, resulting in an over-the-top sound. The aformentioned "bump" comes from large bass drivers in small enclosures. This combination forcefully moves air out of the enlosure, and you feel this air moving. Both of these tactics result in sound that is colored, and bass that is sloppy and muddy. I'm pretty sure that youger people value these characteristics because of the glorification of car audio. It is not difficult to make a car bump and play loud. Fratboys don't care about the transparency of their stereo; they want it in your face! They don't care about the stereo imaging, they want it to play down the block. They don't care if the bass is tight and fast, as long as it sets off car alarms when they drive around.
I purposefully left a subwoofer out of my system because I live in an apartment. A subwoofer will inevitably piss off your neighbors if you live in an apartment. There are seven other people in my building, and if I had any subwoofer (not to mention the one I have my eye on
) I would probably be kicked out.
But back to the demo. People have been universally impressed, but I continue to recognize that peole just don't care about this as much as I do. I have been met with universal disbelief when people ask me how much it cost. I am still in disbelief over that actually. But it sounds soooo good. Come over. Have a listen and we can drink martinis.