Time to Move On

And Art Dudley tells me, too. He tells me:

Just when
you think

with women

can't get

they do
get worse

but then
they get


This piece of wisdom, like that Silver Jews song, is complicated. Complicated, but good. It ends with hope and hope is good. And I have many good reasons to believe in hope, and many good reasons to believe in Art. Besides, Art rocks the bow-tie. The bow-tie is a complicated thing. Complicated, but good. With age comes more than wisdom. With age comes style. I'm looking forward, anxiously, to the day that I can put that style on, pull that style off.

The story of this love could only have happened in New York. What kind of love can happen only in New York? Complicated love?

Something else grips my attention. Someone's playing guitar in the office. Who's playing guitar in the office? It's coming from down the hall. It's Robert. But Robert doesn't play guitar. And then singing. It's Wilco. Wilco is in the office, singing:

I was chewin' gum for something to do
The blinds were being pulled down on the dew
Inside, out of love, what a laugh
I was looking for you

I get up and walk over to the music. Robert is bobbing his head, tapping his foot, holding the new live Wilco album, Kicking Television: Live in Chicago, in his happy hand.

He looks up as I walk in, and: "Dude, I was waiting for you to come in. Ah, this is killer, isn't it?"
I nod.
"This is gonna be my weekend project."

Indeed, it sounds very, very good. It makes me want to run home and listen to some music of my own. I can't wait.

This morning, John came in with heavy boxes and sighing heavy sighs, the kind of sighs I practice often. Not tired sighs; John is not tired from moving heavy boxes, John is not tired at all. Today's are sighs of another sort.

Looking down at the seven boxes which hold the pieces of the NHT Xd speaker system, John sighs:

I feel


But I'm sad
to see
them go.

John is echoing Art's statement about the true test of a component's worth being how much the reviewer misses it when it's time to send it back. John will miss the Xd very much, it seems.

A couple nights ago, I sat on my Ikea couch, in whatever amount of sweet spot I've got, thinking that I could live very happily ever after with the system I've somehow magically acquired. Thinking: I got on the merry-go-round, and then got right off. No trouble at all. I don't want to ever see them go. Why should I want anything else? But I'm like this. I fall in love. I was prepared to fall in love with these speakers, and now I have. As much as a fellow can fall in love with a couple blocks of wood and stuff, that is. I love how they sound in my room, I should say. I love what they do, and I don't even really want to think about how they do it. I just want them to keep making it happen. And how nice would that be? To fall in love with the first pair of speakers I ever heard. I could teach my children about fidelity and I could teach them about high-fidelity, telling them, as they gather round the music: "Kids, I waited twenty-eight years to meet this pair of speakers you're listening to now. It could have only happened in New York. I knew as soon as I heard them. It was love at first sound. And we've been together ever since."

But it wouldn't be very audio reviewer of me to stop with the first pair of speakers I brought home, would it? JA has already moved on. "Time to move on," he says, everyday. Time to move on to the next pair of speakers, time to move on to the next issue, time to move on. "Are we rocking?" We're not stopping anytime soon.

benjamin roosen's picture

talking about sacd players-i recently bought the SACD XA 777ES -( reviewed by your collegue Kalman Rubinson) as i could not find anymore SACD Sony flagship SCD-1;meantime i am able to buy one BUT : i suppose good SACD or even better SACD listening than the XA 777ES however what for CD :are the DAC's in the DCS-1 better than the 2x3dualDAC stereo channel?Are the used DAC's the B-B PCM 1738As i am not a multichannel listener i might get rid of the XA 777ES as i feel the CD sound not as good as on a previous model SCD XA 50ES

newbilong's picture

aahh -- can't keep up with you. i'm just listening to Sufjan's Illinois for the first time. Fi says it sounds like a corny stage show. i like it. it is stagey, but it rocks. don't give the speakers back!! not until you've tweaked and tweaked your system and squeezed every drop of speaker love out of it. only then is it a good time to give up the speakers. you will know for sure then that it's a good time to move on to new speakers.

Owen's picture

Hi Stephen - A quick, albeit old, music recommendation for you. Sorry that it's not related to the post but I don't even have your email.Anyway. 'Quiet is the new loud' by the Kings of Convenience. Came out a few years ago. Apologies if you know it already, but if not, get it. Bet you like it ;-)

Stephen Mejias's picture

>Fi says it sounds like a corny stage show. Yeah, I wouldn't necessarily disagree with that, but it's still awesome. I've never liked corny stage shows more. I'm glad you're digging it.

Stephen Mejias's picture

>'Quiet is the new loud' by the Kings of Convenience. Thanks for the recommendation, Owen. I haven't heard it, but I bet you're right; I bet I will like it. Quiet is my new loud.stephen.mejias@primedia.com

Ward's picture

Glad to see the good words about the Xd system. I very much enjoyed the review. I haven't heard it yet, but an audition is on the agenda (we finally have an NHT dealer, which was the main holdup). I keep hearing good things...

Christian's picture

Great call! I had forgotten about Wilco. I have A.M. but they kind of fell off my radar screen. Picked up the new one this afternoon and am about to headphone it. I can relate to your joy in the new setup; I just put together a headphone arrangement myself. Musical Fidelity X-Canv2, Grado SR-125, and built some Cardas Crosslink ICs to hook it all up...simply beautiful. The sound is IN my head. Cheers

Stephen Mejias's picture

>Great call! Thanks. I hope you like it. What I heard in Robert's office sounded really excellent. And Robert has been raving about it all week. I have almost no experience at all with headphones - I never even owned a walkman - but it's certainly something I'm growing interested in.