I smiled when, again, the fine review of the Vandersteen 2Ce Signatures left Art Dudley very pleased and JA "puzzled". Art listened over a long period of time and offered, in some detail, his estimation of the speakers' performance. JA measured, in some detail, and provided the data which led to his puzzlement. I thought of Art and JA again today as I was rereading Mark Helprin's excellent text of the legend of "Swan Lake". For those who haven't read Helprin's account lately or at all, the guy is a marvelous story teller. I can't resist passing along the part of his narrative which reminded me of this review and the ongoing woodies/fuzzies dialog.
The young prince approaches his tutor and asks, "What were you doing?"
"Calculating the force of impact of a given amount of water on a porous surface, such as brick, necessary for the deflection of the water rather than its adhesion."
"In what units?"
"In cubic armands per centipede."
"How can you do that without instruments?"
"How can you do it with instruments? Estimates - it's all estimates. Just as you fall in love with a voice or a face: all is most powerful precisely in the absence of precision. And since measurement, no matter how exact, is nothing more than an analogy of unfixable quantities, I am, my prince, unafraid to estimate."
I should add that Halprin, by another of his statements, appears to be our kind of guy. In describing the pleasures of the palace he says, "But none of these things compared with the music. The music was a formula for the most admirable and virtuous intoxication. How they did it - all those musicians, composers, and gypsies - us beyond my understanding..."
Devout fuzzie that I am, I offer this and a hearty Merry Christmas to both Art and John with the hope that it may help put an end to that little puzzle.