Listening to my updated stereo this weekend I had an epiphany. I’ve always wondered why it was just old dudes at high-end audio shows. Not 100%, but a high percentage – geriatric nerds. Then I considered my own experience and the answer was clear:
- We all love music and electronic gear, probably from an early age.
- When young (and with perfect hearing), most of us couldn’t afford the real high-end gear, so we cobbled together the best we could afford. Pioneer, Marantz, Sansui…whatever.
- At some point we could afford better gear and we began to buy it. And the gear, both electronic and analog (speakers), *has* gotten much better over the years.
- So now that we can afford it we buy all kinds of exotic gear, chasing the sound quality and sonic impact that we remember from our youth. But so much of that sound quality was our ability to hear frequencies from 20 Hz to 20 KHz, an ability we’ve all lost after age 50ish. Most of us can’t hear anything above 12 KHz. Even the guys selling $50,000 speakers can’t hear that shit.
- But we keep buying the gear, hoping to hear those sonic highs and lows from our youth.
Life is pretty fucking perverse sometimes.