Non Audiophile Boomers…and the Jambox
I made to Big Sky. The doctor told me that I was good to go after looking at the latest X-Ray and that was good enough for me. I’m writing today’s post as I pack up and get ready to transit from the base of Lone Peak to Bozeman. I took the picture below on Friday.
Figure 1 – Lone Peak at Big Sky, Montana…on a really good day.
It’s a been a great four days with close friends (some that I’ve known since High School)…skiing, relaxing the hot tub, eating, and drinking (I played designated driver to keep my promise to the doctor). I’ve worn myself out and while the rest of the group hangs for the Super Bowl, I’ll be making my way back in time to teach tomorrow morning.
The audio experience at the condo consists of an iPhone and a Jambox…connecting a large library of iTunes downloads to a tiny speaker box via bluetooth. I pointed out that the audio could be a lot better. So I pulled out my portable TEAC HA-250 headphone amplifier, Sennheiser HD 280 phones, and played Laurence Juber’s “Mosaic” for a few of the guys. They were immediately able to differentiate between the Jambox and a bona fide high-resolution file. There’s hope.
I’ve long held the position that if you’ve never experienced a recording made without any compromises from the venue where the musicians performed, through the microphones and the rest of the production chain. It’s less about the format than many believe. However, the choices made by the producers and engineers determine the ultimate sound. And my friends have never heard anything at this level of fidelity.
This is a Pandora/Spotify crowd. It’s convenience over quality. Music becomes the soundtrack to life and never rises to a foreground activity. It may have been a big deal during our days in college (a bitter rivalry between MSU and U of M) but as life progresses, music loses it’s priority ranking.
These guys are consumed with talking about the choice of repertoire and playlists but the actual fidelity is just not that important. Oh well.
See you tomorrow in Los Angeles…my skiing is over for winter 2015.
5 thoughts on “Non Audiophile Boomers…and the Jambox”
“They were immediately able to differentiate between the Jambox and a bona fide high-resolution file.”
In the test you’ve just described, you have confounded the recording and playback equipment. Would all of the tracks sound better through the headphone rig? I think they probably would. Would the track from Mosaic distinguish itself from everything else, if played back via the Jambox? Maybe yes, maybe no.
I just wanted to demonstrate to my friends what a great sounding music selection would sound like. If I had played the “Mosaic” track out of the Jambox via Bluetooth, it would would be much better than the usual MP3 but no as good as the high-res playback I used.
Glad you are doing better Mark. My wife will be in Vail next weekend for fun with her sorority sisters. I was there a few weeks go but hate the altitude. Sure beautiful though. I don’t ski but sure enjoyed the sauna, even though it was 3 below at the time! While she I gone, I will be attending live jazz shows. Nothing like the real thing!
Re: “This is a Pandora/Spotify crowd. It’s convenience over quality. Music becomes the soundtrack to life and never rises to a foreground activity.”
I would like give my support to Spotify… They have given me access to 350 Classical Piano albums that I could have never afforded ($4000USD?), which I listen to as a foreground activity. With new releases appearing each month.
Soon, I may to swop to Tidal with their CD or higher quality, once they offer offline support for the MAC.
Perhaps, Spotify will do so this also…
So, given the choice between hearing ‘something’ or ‘nothing’, I chose ‘something’, knowing the higher quality is on its way…
There will always be a tradeoff between access and quality. If you’re OK with the sound of the 350 classical Pianl albums, then go for it.