An Essay into a Poem

Writing a single "Recommended Components" blurb takes me about half an hour. It involves skimming the original review, searching for the details and the highlights and the heart, extracting those lovely bits, and rearranging them into a meaningful and seamless miniature review. It means taking five pages and condensing them into one hundred words. It means turning an essay into a poem. I kinda love it, I kinda hate it.

Sometimes, I complete an entry, re-read it, shrug, and go on. Shrug and go on. Shrug and go on. Other times, I complete an entry, re-read it, and say: "Goddamn, that's good."

It depends on a lot of things. It depends on the reviewer, it depends on the component, it depends on me. Kal Rubinson discussing the virtues of a self-calibrating parametric equalizer has a much different effect on me than Wes Phillips waxing eloquent over "a very special amplifier." For instance. I'm just saying. [No offense, Kal. I'm only trying to make an example here, simply trying to be specific for the sake of the readers.]

That "very special amplifier" was, obviously, the Moscode 401HR. Re-reading Wes' excellent review reminded me of how much I loved my time spent with it. That's another thing that writing these blurbs does to me: it gets me lusting for gear. Weird, I know. But true. So, there you go.

While composing the entry for the 401HR, I found myself imagining what my perfect system would be. Of all the components I've experienced so far at home, which would make up my all-star team?

There'd be no parametric EQs involved. That's for sure. I just don't wanna know. No room treatments. Those things are ugly. No subwoofer. I don't need one.

Where to begin, then? Why not begin with the amplifier, since that's what got me here anyway? Obviously: of the few amplifiers I've had at home, the one that stands out as being especially wonderful is the Moscode 401HR. Like Wes said, "What separates the Moscode from the pack is that it is different — like its inspiration, Harvey Rosenberg, it is unapologetically and enthusiastically what it is."

It's not for everyone — no great product is. Perhaps this is a stretch, but it's on my mind now, so I'll just let it go and see what happens: Deciding to purchase the Moscode is kind of like deciding to go for a PhD in English. Why would anyone do it? You're not going to do it for money, and you're not going to do it because your parents told you so. It's more complicated and beautiful than that; the Moscode is a devotion to history and a dedication to rebellion. More than anything else can possibly be, it is what it is.

Alright. So far, I've only completed one "Recommended Components" blurb this morning. Today's goal is to get through all of our June issue, and half-way through July. That'll leave me with the remainder of July and half of August for tomorrow. Saturday will see the remainder of August and all of September. And then: I'll be done. But this plan leaves me with fifteen more blurbs to write this afternoon and evening. Fifteen blurbs equals 7.5 hours of work. I should get back to that now. Perhaps I'll return to this idea of my own personal dream system — my own personal list of "Recommended Components" — tomorrow. Perhaps I won't. All I know for sure is that one blurb by 1pm is a lot less than I'd hoped for. But the good news is I've already posted a blog entry.

A blog entry posted, and it's only 1pm? Goddamn, that's good.

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Christian's picture

It is good to know that the editors experience the same emotions the readers should. That is what the recommended componets or buyers guide issues do to me. It's like browsing through the Chritmas catalogue when you were a kid. Thumbing through the pages lusting for new gear. I find it very interesting how far you've come in the hobby of listening to music. I think in the beginning, correct me if I am wrong, you had some apprehentions about having the patience to critique different pieces. Today, you are compiling your reference system in you head (although I suppose it is less tedious then critiquing gear). It makes me smile because, you sir have the bug! One last thing. Never say never, don't completely rule out the idea of a sub or a parametric EQ yet it can be done.

KyleBom's picture


Stephen Mejias's picture

>That's major denialI don't want to admit it (ha), but you're right, Kal.

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