Swan song

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“Music is so powerful that it can even avert death” is an ancient notion popularized by the Greeks in legends and fairy tales centered around the swan. In Aesop’s, The Swan and the Goose, a beautiful swan, mistaken by its owner for a goose, was saved from the chopping block by its song. Turns out geese don’t sing but nearing death, swans do. Well, they really don’t, but it’s a good story anyway and where the term Swan Song comes from.

Two days ago I played Music Roon One’s swan song, the Mahler Third. Many of you wrote to me with great suggestions for that final track but in the end, I chose the Mahler for two reasons: it was the speaker designer’s favorite and its performance will be easy for me to remember.

That track, the Tillson Thomas San Francisco Symphony version, is quite well recorded and will serve as my beginning reference once the system is set up in its new home. While tonal qualities can be tweaked until the instruments sound like themselves, attaining the incredible depth and width of soundstage is another matter. That’s not easy to get right and moving the IRS around the room is no light matter (pun intended).

Soundstage is an illusion that cannot be measured by anything other than memory. Before it fades, I must have the new system up and running.

I made a swan song video of these last moments in Music Room One and included the story of when I first heard those magnificent speakers.

You can watch it here.