Paradise by E. Leopold
|I’ve been writing this
column since 1986—that’s 68 times in 20 years. The
first piece in the series, titled “Sonic Frustrations,” examined
and equated the many personalities of men and loudspeakers. It
identified attributes people share with loudspeakers: aggressiveness,
placidity, sprightliness, irritation, politeness, rudeness and
so on. I mused at the time that perfect men are as difficult
to find as perfect loudspeakers and reflected, tongue in cheek,
that—like few men—only the Acoustic Research Model
AR3A loudspeaker had attained immortality. (Many of our current
readers may not remember the AR’s heyday when my opinion
was based). That was the start and the column soon developed
into “An Industry Perspective” giving me the opportunity
to air my frustrations, my likes and dislikes and my general
preoccupation with audio.
I have often rambled on about the industry’s shortcomings, its politics,
its failures and its successes. In case you’re a new reader or have
missed my tone in the past, fact is, I often get indignant, because of
my concern for the audio industry.
Periodically, of course, I have talked about audio’s benefits and
suggested techniques for learning how to listen more attentively. In other
articles, including those which described my annual walks in the woods,
my intention being to help increase listening awareness among readers.
Other notes about the “healing power” of music were written
in the hope of turning some folks on to audio. My exposés of retailers,
wholesalers, charlatans and “good guys” were meant to alert
consumers to both the good and the bad in audio land.
Don’t misunderstand: I respect those industry’s players who
contribute something beneficial to audio enthusiasts, but detest those
whose actions deprecate the industry’s repute. For example, I don’t
like trickle-down technology, and I don’t like cheap gear passed
off as hi-end, such as some Chinese-made components. I like women, I like
a good bottle of wine, I like XO Cognac and, of course, I like high-end
audio. I appreciate good company, though I often find myself content with
good sound, a cigar and an XO.
I’m getting older, fussier, more impatient, and, like so many other
folks of advanced age (I did the research), I resist change, almost subconsciously.
I am therefore a bit sorry that the Industry Perspective column I had in
the past is no longer. Instead, look for me in this, the new “Sour
Notes” column. I didn’t get the boot, I didn’t get a
raise and I didn’t get a reprimand. I did get the promise of this
new column and I’m looking forward to continuing to criticize, evaluate,
praise, ramble and report about everything audio.
As home theatre doesn’t interest me very much you’ll not see
many comments about it (although it will continue to receive a share of
the coverage in The Inner Ear). Do expect to continue hearing from this
old, fussy, but experienced listener who is intolerant, impatient, a bit
short-sighted, but also infinitely curious about what the future will bring.
I’m looking for easy-to-understand and easy-to-live with improvements
to enhance my life, not complicate it. Hopefully, the future can simplify
and enhance my life with great audio. Whatever happens, I intend to continue
as the bug in the (inner) ear of everyone who loves, hates, appreciates
or loathes the industry I love to talk about.