Apr 26, 2006

The Making of an Audiophile

I picked up my new Aperion 5.1 Home Theater System yesterday afternoon. I had some work to do that night so I said I was going to install it on the weekend. With a knowing look, John Wandersheid bid me farewell and I drove off with $3500 worth of audio equipment.

8 hours later, exhausted, hands raw, back aching, I went to bed. It was too late at night to even hear a taste of the fruit of my labor. 

I had always considered 'audiophile' kind of a negative term. Maybe it is just the 'phile' part and the other words with that ending. I think I really felt that it was a word tto describe someone who took audio WAY too seriously. My Dad always said that at a certain point, the human ear could not discern the quality that high-end speakers claimed to have. I knew I wanted a great sound system but I didn't need to take it to extremes.

As I opened the first box I only planned on placing the speakers. I would wire them over the weekend. Take my time. As I peeled cardboard, foam, and plastic away something stopped me in my tracks and sparked something deep within me. Deep purple velvet. Gold drawstrings. A deep purple velvet bag with a 5 foot tall monolith inside. Velvet. I got the digital video recorder (I'll post that later).

The experience of unpackaging and setting Aperion system continued in much the same way. And I began to appreciate things I had never noticed before. I meticulously peeled back the plastic insulation around 12 guage wire and attached gold plated banana plugs. Once attached to the speaker they became beautiful pieces of art. They way they curved and fit so perfectly with the gloss black finish was like sex. The weight of the speakers and the fear of scratching or dropping them made my back ache. Wires tore at my hands. Sweat streamed down my forehead. The rastafarian dreadlock of cables and wires sprung from the back of the receiver like something from some alien spacecraft and threatened to swallow my brain.

The next morning I woke up exhausted. I went to the G5 and cued up one of my girls favorite songs (the mac is connected via RCA to the Reciever) and cranked it up. The sound was amazing. The whole house shook and cranky children got out of bed to behold it. 

I thought to myself, "how good is that RCA cable? Is MP3 quality good enough? I need to dial this thing in with the sound meter. I could hear the imperfections. Man, I need a bigger TV."


Alex said...

Hee! Yeah, those velvet bags are hands down the most amazing, sensual reveal I've ever seen for a set of speakers. I see it often, and it floors me every single time I do it.


David said...

The only thing better is the sound of the speakers. I finally got my subwoofer working (the power wire from the amp to the driver was disconnected at some point) and the result is amazing. Watching movies will never be the same.