Music and Food Taste Correlation
Over the several months I have enjoyed these threads and during the 3 decades I have been exposed to and enriched by high end audio I have seen two camps of people. One camp views their perceived "correct" knowledge of equipment as a measure in life of their importance and status. This comes across in threads as put downs to, at one extreme, out right threats of physical harm. This, predominantly male, instinctual need to differentiate one self from the male competition takes weird forms: road rage, hi-end audio thread mean spiritedness, attitudes leveraged for profit by social activities like, for example, the XLF. Now on the other hand, there are those who seek an inner spirtual self through music "the language of the soul". These are also the ones that communicate what elements of that experience in high end audio listening contribute to recreating that experience for them but are also the ones that are quick to communicate that this may not be the same for you. This is vital. Because this admission strips away status and simply expresses what part of the music language is the most important to them in getting to their soul. Music listening is an emotional connectiveness to the soul of the musician communicator. Precisely like differences in food taste based on your culture, body differences, and life's experience with a range of foods. I can say I really enjoyed the Chop Suey at Wongs Food Emperial Palace because of a special spice and freshness of vegetable side dishes. You can then get a picture of some of the essence of what makes a pleasureful food tasting experience. Some cultures demand strong spices others steer away from them. Which is correct? Neither. But like experiencing the range of cultures we are better off for experiencing them to see what fits best for us and how we can be enriched through them. In music some need a strong highly articulated bass line to be captured while others find that very element to get into the way of midrange and treble purity. Others may like fast attack, immediate presence, and holographic of music and are less concerned with ultimate resolution of highs and lows. These divergent tastes are not wrong or correct. They are just different. Among the things I am getting at here is what makes high end audio discussions interesting are those discussions of what makes music most real for them. Rarely do you go to a live concert and hear people complain about poor cymbals or less than perfect instruments. What they are most disappoinmented about, if they are, is the lack of communication of the music language to them (their soul). So it is not important how absolutes but rather about the essence of the expression. All high end wires, tubes, transistors, waffers of silicon, etc can hope to do is get out of the way so you can try to get into the emotion of the music. Those that understand this are those in search of the essence of life "the soul". If we, as a community, stay on the important elements of what the music experience during our reviews/discussions are conveyed by a specific piece of equipment or, most often, the synergy of equipment we can better decide for ourselves if we might benefit from tasting that equipment. We don't feel like idiots if we don't like that taste but through time we can determine our own tastes. Some of the most off-beat, unreviewed equipment can get to your definition of connectiveness to the soul of the music when you come to know your own tastes. This is the "big smile" bliss that comes with a lifetime of cultivating those tastes. Coming to know yourself in the context of what makes you get lost in the music. This is as different as finger prints but changes as we grow through healthy discussions and music listening. A very sensitive microphone can pick up the sound of earthworm 2 feet below the ground and we can see the response on an oscillascope. We can say "that is one sensitive microphone". But it does not know context. Just like those that rant and rave about how good their hearing is so they must know what the "correct" equipment is. I hear better today in what connects music to me as a person than I did when I was younger when I listened for a much less rich and more narrow list of criteria. This is why people how are on the verge of lossing all hearing, who can not communicate with others for not being to make out word in conversation still get that big smile of bliss that comes from listening to their favorite music. Equipment taste is not absolute nor a definition of what makes us "better" people but rather our a reflection of our unique and personal connection to the soul enriching music. We are all our own expert. Life the Duke said "if it sounds good it is good". I hope others will focus on what makes music real for them and let us decide if that taste is similar to ours so we might go audition a particular piece or set of equipment. This should be fun and a lifelong learning process. It is not war.