Keep getting up to find next lp or cd to play.
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Sometimes I just listen, actually these are the best times. I have also scheduled days where I will sit down and listen to music from the early morning 5-6am until noon, do something outside and repeat after supper until late into the night. I have had friends over who think I am crazy, until they sit in the music room, then they too can sit there for hours just listening.
Unfortunately, I have gotten into the nasty habit of being on the computer so that I never can tell what the stereo image is. I used to sit and read, mostly magazines, before. The best experience, though, is when the music is it and simply sweeps you away and time almost stands still. I have to get back to better lestening habits!
When not evaluating some element of the music or equipment, I browse reading materials or just lay back on my listening seat and enjoy.
If on the other hand, I am trying something new or trying to ascertain if something in the system is not doing the right thing ,e.g. a tube swirling the drain, I actually sit slightly forward staring intently at my setup for as long as is necesarry, to figure out what the issue is.
BTW staring at the equipment rarely yields an answer but I can't seem to concentrate on the sonics without fixing my gaze. I know many close their eyes or dim the light but I am usually tired and find myself waking up the next morning, with the equipment on. This can be very bad if I was using a turntable. Cartridges with paper covered styli rarely sound good.
I imagine this would be the case for many- either just relaxing with or without reading etc. or concentrating on the sonics.
I rarely get up and dance, I was never a dancer and now I am an old fart, or do Kareoke (sp?). Although its hard to resist trying to sing "vincerro"at the end of a good rendition of Nesum Dorma.
I've got my mac mini hooked up to a panasonic plasma in my listening room - I surf the net while playing music thru Itunes(I've ripped all my favorite tracks - about 2000 songs lossless to the mac mini) - I stop when i'm in the mood to really listen to certain tracks - of course most of the time i'm surfing about info audio (I visit audiogon,ebay (local geographic home audio area search) and craigslist) I read audioasylum and audiogon forums regularly - I can sit for hours on end this way
I usually just listen, or read the liner notes to the LPs that I am listening to (or are about to listen to).
But one thing I do, that either some, or most, of the people who responded to this point did not mention, is sit down with a glass of "something". I find that it helps me relax, and become immersed in the music.
That "something" being either a glass of white wine, typically Chardonnay (I don't drink red), or a nice beer, something like a nice imported or microbrew beer, (like a Beck's Dark or an Anchor Steam), or better yet a big bottle beer, like a Maudite, or (for me) the best being a Blue label Chimay!
I am not saying that I get plastered, (as I usually only have one or two drinks over a two to three hour period), but I will say that I usually can feel its affects. (And yes, it definitely makes the music sound "better", and of course that also means that I am not critically listening to either the music, or the equipment. (For critical listening, especially for equipment review purposes, I tend not to imbide, as I realise that it can mask whatever I am listening for.)
My two cents worth.
Listen to at least one or two cds on most nights. Sometimes the laptop is open but it usually gets closed at some point as the music takes control. The laptop is a bad habit. Before I bought this laptop I would just listen although not as regularly.
Also, when my wife travels (a couple times a month) I will sit with the stereo for longer periods and at higher volume.
The responses to my question have been fascinating. Thanks!
It makes me wonder if having a high end system is so good, so real, that it jumps up and grabs you and holds your attention.
In the few times I have heard really great systems I had no urge to do anything else. Kind of like the way a movie holds my attention.
I suspect that if I had a high-end system it could turn me from a passive into an active listener. Being active makes the experience more satisfying.
very often i write. other times, i am reading posts on audiogon. i can appreciate the music without devoting 100 percent of my attention to it. it seems that i am not the only person doing this.
there are times that i am evaluating a component--lately cables. during this time, i listen analytically, as
i am trying to achieve a pleasing tonality, i.e., a balance of frequencies that suits my taste.
I will usually warm up by surfing the web for a bit on m laptop with the system playing. Then when I am relaxed and my system is warmed up I will turn down the lights and just listen with a warm cup of coffee or a nice merlot. I find that with the lights turned down, my mind can be free to imagine a 3d stage in front of me, instead of a stucco wall. Also, with the lights off I cannot see all my gear and be reminded of the ridiculous sums of money I have spent on this whacky hobby/disease. Often times, I fall asleep after an hour or so! LOL!!!
Am I the only one who falls asleep?
When I listen to my main system (living room), it has now gotten to the point where I will just put on any CD, usually one with vocals ... pass out for 40 minutes or so ... wake up ... put on the CD that I really want to listen to. I usually do some light magazine reading.
When I listen to the system in our TV & computer room, I am usually sitting at the computer and listen to satellite radio, or the other tube stereo system, or half watch TV.
Admittedly, I am more concerned with the quality and beauty of the sound and not too hung up on stereo imaging, unless the lack of it is positively distracting, like some opera recordings where it sounds like the singers are 30 rows back.
I also listen while in the Garage, at the office, in the Shower, cooking and BBQing as I installed music systems in all of those locations too. Vintage receivers and Linn Classics make great systems. My Carver receiver in the garage Rocks for about $200.00 I have a HK CD player with a dual Bur-brown converter chip that someone put it the trash It is a great unit(when they work) that can be purchased for about $50-75.00. I also hooked up the ipod to the Carver with the cable.
the only thing i try to do sometimes is focus my eyes on a spot on the wall which is "dead center" between the speakers. this enables me to aurally focus on the 1. stereo image 2. the soundstage. but after a few minutes i just "go back to" listening to the music and i am most likely no longer "sitting up straight and at attention". i am still surrounded by subtle details in the recording and paying attention to the composition and the performance, but much less to where the sound is emanating from. i used to read equipment reviews but i gave up that bad habit several years ago!
Hi Mr. Tennis:
My main system consists of the following:
Musical Fidelity CD PRE 24 preamp/cd player
Prima Luna Prologue 5 tube power amp
Opera Platea floorstanding speakers
interconnects: Ixos Silver Gamma silver/copper hybrid
speaker cables: Signal Cable
treatments: homemade speaker bases of 4" of Auralex foam resting on 12" square, 1/4" thick marble tiles
SONY SCD 555ES SACD player
Denon vintage turntable
System does a very nice job on vocals and acoustic instruments. Sound is detailed, but a touch on the warm side.
chase my toddler around!! if i'm lucky sit in the "sweet spot" for a few moments at a time. It's a majestic sound that makes me sad I can't enjoy more of it sans interruptus. Eventually i will get more of that time back alone but then again the family comes first (wife looking ) ;)
I'm Sorry for sometimes posting jackass responses. I'm haggered and worn from 2+ years of busted sleep and a sore back.
Peace and good fortune to you my audio brethren.
dpac996: suck it up man! J/K I feel your pain. I have 2 kids only 1.5 years apart so I have been haggard and worn for over 4+ years!!!! I only really get to enjoy my system after my kids have gone to sleep but by then the wifey always tells me to turn down the volume. One of these days, I am going to get my own listening room. Hopefully Santa Claus will grant this wish before my hearing gets too bad.