We all have our personal standards by which we determine whether or not something lives up to our expectations. When I play a new track of music I expect a certain level of musicality, transparency, tonal accuracy, and overall believability. If I listen without any preconceived expectations I can either accept or reject the new music. Sometimes, however, I manage to let my expectations get a bit out of hand. I struggle to separate high-hope expectations from personal standards. Or, put another way, I might have unrealistic expectations of a new recording or piece of equipment. If that happens it's hard to then accept it based on those minimal personal standards. Why does this sometimes happen? I think most of us are on the lookout for that undiscovered gem (I certainly am). We hear from those we respect how great a new piece of music is or how much better their equipment sounded when they added this or that. Our expectations might soar and we give it a shot. If the results match our high hopes, bingo! But, if not, we sometimes reject it out of hand (despite the fact it meets our personal standards of acceptability). All this to suggest the more we approach expectations with a touch of caution the more likely we are to discover the new that meets our personal standards.
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