For experts only

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Went skiing at our local resort west of Boulder for the first time yesterday. It was the first day of skiing for the year as well. Beautiful Colorado sunshine and blue sky day. Perfect. When we go to the top of the lift I looked over at their Experts Only area and saw this sign which I could not resist taking a picture of. photo I guess the skull and crossbones were the best part of this warning. You know me. The very first thing I started thinking about was relating this sign to hi fi. It occurs to me that like skiing, we make stereo systems in different skill levels as well: expert, novice, every-person. An expert system would be one that is technically sophisticated and appeals to someone who knows what they want or was chosen by someone who knows what works well in any given situation. I would suggest, as an example, our PerfectWave products fit into the expert's category. Novice might be a budget system that is made from an integrated, or perhaps a simple pair of bookshelf loudspeakers. I am not thinking price here, no I am thinking plug and play qualities without much in the way of associated gear and knowledge to make it work. On an expensive side we might see a Devialet and a pair of loudspeakers: not cheap, but just about anyone could grab and go. And then there's the every-person system. A Sonos or perhaps a receiver or even something as simple as a table radio. The funny thing about these classes of stereo: it wasn't always this way. Years ago, when most stereo systems were purchased through a dealer in your city, the dealer would likely just fill your system with his best judgment of what's going to bring you the best sound for the budget you've given him. In this case, the dealer was the expert. He could offer an expert, novice or every-person system and you'd not have given it a second thought. You didn't need to know much back then. Today I think the dynamics have changed. Maybe we'll refer to the levels of systems as double diamond, blue and green. Seems to work in skiing. Speaking of sports, I am writing this on Sunday and the Broncos are playing. See you tomorrow. Go Broncos!
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Paul McGowan

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