Paul McGowan writes:
When the subject of polite conversation eventually turns to exposing the fact I am an audiophile I get a number of interesting changes in body language. Everything from an eyebrow raise, to a questioning look, to a head shake, as the notion that I am someone not only off the beaten path but way off in the fringe weeds when it comes to their idea of how to listen to music.
Most people don’t know we exist and fewer still understand what it means even when exposed. Which is strange to me because most people have something they are off-the-wall with: cooking, knitting, financial, cars, photography, rock climbing, underwater polo, dogs, and so forth. Being an expert at none of those I am often at a loss for an analogy explaining my passion for stereo and am forced to turn to that which I am next closest to—the art of fine eating.
Do you know about Maldon Sea Salt? Ok, I know. Salt is salt, right? Well, that depends because it’s the same question as cables are cables. It’s easy to dismiss Maldon Sea Salt as little more than formed sodium chloride for, that’s actually all it is. But, like cables, there’s far more to the story and much we can learn about both.
The salt from Maldon is formed in tiny pyramid clusters. Sprinkled sparingly onto simple, delicate morsels of food, the structure of the salt enhances food’s flavor. How? The shape takes time to dissolve and in that brief moment, your taste buds have a chance to catch up with the food itself. Thus, simple flavors bloom before the saltiness registers—and the experience is transformative and greater than the sum of its parts.
Try the same experiment with ordinary sea salt and you get only salt + food.
Why is this important? Because, like cables which need a resolving system to represent something more than just wire, it is both process and setup that complete the cycle of achieving more than the individual components themselves. Alone in a vacuum, off-the-wall products, services, and concepts are easily ignored, often criticized as bs, and left as dead. What a shame.
In keeping with this off-the-wall post, in today’s video I share some good stories and answer the question are audiophiles mentally unstable?