Light and Airy
Here at Stereophile, we like our humor like we like our speakers: light. We got that jewel from Elizabeth's two year-old, the fabulous Morgan Jet. A few inches shorter than a Totem Arro, it's amazing how easily one falls for her. The blue eyes do it every time.
JA dropped his weary head onto a Creek integrated amplifier and moaned: "Oh, how did I grow to be this old and still fall for that joke?"
In other news, it's a glorious day in the neighborhood: sixty-six delicious degrees and not a cloud in this New York City sky. The girls are getting anxious; several bare bellies winked hello on my walk to RadioShack where they did not have the proper fuse, a 10A slow blow, for my Moscode.
A couple of sunny mornings ago, I unscrewed the fuse cap which lives near the power cord, pulled it away from the amp, and inspected the fuse. In place of clean glass and shiny wire, I found a burned out mess of grime and smudge. No wonder my poor Moscode has been so silent. I would be, too.
Then again, earlier today, I mentioned to JA:
"I'm still having trouble hearing differences between my loudspeakers."
He nodded: "You don't have enough experience to identify the subtle differences. If you heard a dramatic difference, something might be wrong."
How does a guy like Bob Reina, for instance, do it? Have you noticed how clear, concise, and definite his comparisons are? Take any one of his reviews. His work with the Totem Rainmakers, for example:
I compared the Totem Rainmaker with the Aln Li'l Rascal Mk.II ($600/pair), the NHT SB-3 ($600/pair), and the Aln Petite ($1000/pair when last offered).How does he do that? I want to do that! The dude's no joke.
The Aln Li'l Rascal Mk.II had a richer, more liquid lower midrange, but was similarly detailed and natural in the mid to upper midrange. The Aln, however, exhibited less high-frequency detail and less sophisticated high frequencies when compared with the Rainmaker. The Totem was a bit warmer in the midbass than the Li'l Rascal, but a bit cleaner in the upper bass. The dynamic performances of the two speakers were very similar.
The NHT SB-3 was warmer, richer, and less detailed than the Totem, with less detailed highs as well, but sounded very well balanced. The NHT was forgiving and subtractive at the frequency extremes compared with the Totem, but had a similarly rich and natural midrange, though with much less detail than the Rainmaker.
The Aln Petite had the most detailed and sophisticated high frequencies of the bunch, with an upper bass and midrange that were as natural and detailed as the Totem's. Bass extension and high-level dynamic performance were inferior, however, to the Rainmaker's.
I sighed. JA took a few steps toward his office, before turning back:
"You know, not being able to hear a difference is still something you can write about for the blog."
I nodded before turning to Elizabeth:
I realize I can be terribly undisciplined, hedonistic. When listening to music, I take in the whole, rather than examining individual parts. And this isn't the best method for hearing differences. What's a chicken-butt to do? I'm thinking of bringing home some Test CDs. I'll listen to signals and crap, in an attempt to find out what my speakers sound like. Because I sure don't know.