Glass of beer....(wine, etc).
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For both music and movies the same would hold true. Also, the first two are sometimes the most difficult to come by:
1. No distractions (someone interrupting, or talking over the performance, or standing in front of me).
2. A minimal amount of street noise (life in NYC).
3. Something good to eat or drink.
4. Something that I am interested in viewing or listening to.
5. Lastly, it needs to be a good performance (artistry) and sound/look good (system). It doesn't have to be perfect, but excellence is nice to have.
The glass of beer/wine is a good add for me as well!
My wife doesn't like loud music anyway, and I do not generally want distractions while listening, so I'd pass on the sweetie thing in general while listening.
Live concerts/performances, different story...count the sweetie in!
There is a time and place for everything after all.....
One thing I'm hoping to find out here is whether people really think the digital/analog issue is really that important.
To me it is not. If you have a good performance that is well recorded on a good system, I am pretty much where I want to be. Digital or analog is not nearly as important as these other things.
Agree with Rar1 and Larryken,
Being relaxed and ready to actually listen, and not just use the stereo as a background music maker is the best way to get in the zone and have a meaningful time.
As someone who drinks and plays, I still have my best listening experiences with out any liquid additives - which reminds me - Don't Drink and Clean (records)