A fool's errand

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Perhaps the best audio experience you could have would be to drag your stereo system to the original concert hall where a particular recording was made, setup on the same stage and play the recording back. You would be sitting in your favorite seat in the concert hall and the sound would be about as close as you could come to reproducing what originally occurred. Your stereo system has been placed on the stage and you're in the hall it was recorded in. When you close your eyes you can sense the size of the hall, hear that you are in a large space, and when the music starts to play it is obvious to you it is playing inside this large space. What this means to you is the removal of what I described yesterday as listening to music though a window - and not being in the same space as the music. As part of my thought problem I realized that nothing you can do to the music coming out of your speakers will have any affect on the space you are in. This is a really important point so let me expand on this for a moment with an analogy. If you are in a car and you want to change the interior of the cabin - perhaps make it bigger, softer seats - there's nothing you can do to the engine of that car to make the changes you want. To change the inside of the car's cabin you must change the space you are in. This simple, obvious truth was a revelation to me at the time. I assumed all along that whatever I wanted to do to make a stereo system sound live would have to be done in the playback chain - the amps, speakers, CD player etc. It never occurred to me that this was a fool's errand until I figured out it is impossible to convince yourself into believing you are in a live venue unless you can change the space you are in to match that of the venue itself. Period, end of story. That set a lot of wheels in motion.
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Paul McGowan

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