As much as I admire John's work, this piece seems only the latest episode in an ongoing quest, on the part of editors and reviewers at most "audiophile" magazines and web-sites. We all sense the value of our product (music in the home, at the highest affordable level of quality), and we tend to be evangelical about it. Commercially, the industry needs constant infusions of new blood, as the threat of death by gentrification is a much-discussed fear among those at the business end of things. This commercial interest creates no conflicts because we feel the product is lofty and deserving of the attention. Still, John must realize that scripted presentations to most of the casual listeners out there will very quickly get their glazed-over eyes looking for a polite opportunity to leave the room. I think John is preaching to the choir, as opposed to spreading the word. Audiophiles must be music lovers first, not initiates aspiring to a knowledge of our arcane vocabulary. Only one who already has the itch is going to sit still for the scratch. Besides, such a demo disc already exists. I have it. I listened to it once, shrugged, and put it in one of the dark corners of my collection. It is called The Ultimate Demonstration Disc, Chesky Records' "Guide to Critical Listening" (UD95). John, you can have my copy, if you don't already know of it. As a former teacher and salesman, I can tell you from hard experience that overly structured presentations will kill the slightest glimmer of any latent spark of interest efficiently and finally. Five minutes of "hands on" will get you further than thirty of painfully explicit explanations. If you want to turn your audience on, provide a situation where they do the discoveries. As I just suggested to Cheapskate on another thread, if I owned that hypothetical store, I would show the curious parties how all the knobs work, make sure they had a recording of THEIR favorite music, let the system speak for itself, and only then see if there was enought interest for the vocabulary. I would say, "Play it as loud as you want -- it won't break," and leave the room.
It WILL BREAK....let them do as they pleae once to often you ain't gonna be in business very long. What if their favorite music is Brittany Spears? No speakers for you!!!! next.......speaker Nazi.
Chesky's Ultimate Demo Disc, two words...JOHNNY FRIGO! Of all the recordings I have ever heard, in my life, Frigo's, I Love Paris, stands at the pinnacle of recording quality that all recorded music should be measured by. I can listen to that tune and after reveling in the realism, get pissed off that recordings can actually sound that good and still, so few are.
Break? Not in MY demo room!! I'll rig a system immune to breakage, and I want to see potential customers' grubby fingerprints all over every piece in the room. Let 'em play. I'll deal with the breakage on MY time. If they have music they love to hear, they'll adjust the volume within safe parameters, on their OWN! DUP, you're projecting again -- very few of us want our skulls crushed by sonic mayhem. If your system can take your aural axings, I can sure as hell find one for my demo room that'll do the same.
I had to go re-listen. It has been more than 2 years. You are absolutely correct. Johnny is the nuts. And the recording engineer got it all. Maybe I won't give this thing to Marks, after all...