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Welcome back! (Forum).

After a brief hiatus from The $ensible Sound I have received the issues I missed, and I am now back with the program. After perusing just one issue I am reminded that T$S is without a doubt my favorite audio magazine. Thank you for such a sane, substantive, enjoyable and, yes, $ensible publication. One of the most definitive articles I have ever read in any audio/video magazine was printed in T$S Number 14, Spring 1982, titled "Some Psychological Aspects of Buying High End Audio Components" by James M. Jarvis. I read it now and then because it helps me maintain a balanced perspective on this wonderful hobby.

I have enjoyed listening to music both live and recorded for quite a few years. I still remain intrigued and puzzled, however, about what I would call the transient nature of the human auditory memory. This seems to be a subject that most "golden ear" aficionados are loath to address.

I can certainly discern the difference between live and recorded music, but that's not what I'm talking about. I have three music systems in my home. Two systems are audio only and one system is audio/video. When listening to music on one system, by the time I walk from one room to the next and hear the music on the other system, I cannot remember with any appreciable certainty how the sound in one room compares with the sound in the other room.

I am not saying that all speakers sound alike. I certainly believe that some speakers sound "better" or more "natural" (whatever those terms mean), than others. And I am sure that I could discern differences between the speakers I have if they were placed in the same room, (or acoustic environment as the "golden ears" would say). But at least in my case I cannot say, based upon my auditory memory, which system sounds the "best". To me the system that sounds the best is the one I am listening to at any given time.

Therefore, I do not agonize over which system sounds the best. Instead, I relax and enjoy the music and occasionally the show! And after all, isn't this the $ensible approach?

Having said this I am still interested in your thoughts on the nature of the human auditory memory, should you be inclined to broach the subject. And why is it that I can tell instantly when my daughter is playing the piano and know that it is not the audio system playing the same piano piece in the same room? This of course touches on the conundrum between live and recorded music.

Again let me say how very refreshing it is to be back to The $ensible Sound.

Robert C. Oates

via e-mail

It is always gratifying to hear that somebody is enjoying what we do. Thanks for the kind words. Your remarks about the transient nature of hearing perception are quite sensible, so I believe you are back in the right place ...
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Author:Oates, Robert C.
Publication:Sensible Sound
Date:Jun 1, 2003
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