The best

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After yesterday’s post about hearing the worst performance of a high-end system in a long time I would like to share with you the best which I encountered in the very same day here in Japan. We travelled far outside the city of Tokyo to visit a dealer with a showroom and listening/viewing environment in his basement. Rarely have I been so delighted as to sit and enjoy what unfolded.

The room was hand built by this gentleman known locally as the “static king” for his penchant to wrap everything and anything in a sheath ofmetallicstrings that looked odd by anyone’s standards. Not expecting much from this dedicated theater playing only 720P on the projector and the music rendered by sets of homemade loudspeakers, the lights lowered and we settled in to absorb the experience whatever it may be. With the lights low I also knew it was an opportunity to close my weary eyes for a moment if I had to endure something less than stellar – I never closed them even for a moment.

Before me on a 166″ screen that went floor to ceiling – while we sat on low slung couches – unfolded the image of Anna Netrebko the Russian operatic star who simply tore through this small and intimate theater enveloping us all in music and images that delighted the soul and tickled every fiber of our beings.

The Blu Ray of the Deutches Gramaphone Opera Gala was unknown to me before this and as such I was simply mesmerized and my heart soared to be in this special room at this moment in time.

The performance takes place at the Baden Baden Festpielhaus in July 2007 and featured tenor Ramón Vargas, baritone Ludovic Tézier, mezzo-soprano Elina Garanca, and of course Anna Netrebko – together for a live concert of operatic arias by composers Donizetti, Bellini, Rossini, Verdi and Delibes. If you have the chance, grab this beauty.

I am just blown away that in the space of a single day I could witness two completely unexpected events from the best to the worst.

But then, getting outside my environment like this always has its rewards.