The new kid
I rely on most of my life as being a stable platform from which I can pass judgments and make decisions from. I am guessing most of us do this. It's why we're creatures of habit. We rely on things being the same to cut down the amount of clutter sorting and processing we're required to do navigating our environment. We drive the same car, we eat at the same places, we sleep in the same bed, we watch the same TV programs, listen to the same radio stations, we listen to the same stereo system. And we judge new components on that same system. In my case it's called our Reference System. Anyone's main system is, in fact, their Reference System. When we evaluate a new cable, piece of music, DAC, turntable, cartridge or change of any kind, we reference what we're familiar with vs. what change we're adding. So when your reference fails you, like mine did yesterday, it's disorienting because it's unexpected. Because it's unexpected, what we rely upon as our reference becomes last on our list to question when something doesn't sound right. The longer I do this the more I question everything. That's a big leap for me, a person who loves his comfort food, his security blanket of repeated habits that keep me "safe". Safe isn't where we want to be to make progress, but it sure feels comfortable.
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