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The Course Is Set

The Course Is Set …

... But The Destination Is In The Way

Lightning could reach the Earth much quicker if it wouldn’t zigzag so much.

The Course Is Set

Fickle creatures, those music playback systems. Not only do they refuse to play nice depending on the day’s mood, but their long-term consistency also leaves a lot to be desired, according to popular opinion. Presumably, the cause lies in contaminated electricity – or perhaps in climate change? The highender is puzzled and feels obliged to constantly guide the technology back to the path of virtue. Unfortunately, many a relaxing music evening falls by the wayside because of this.

When you finally find time to listen to music after work, it often sounds a bit “too”: too bright, too dark, too sharp, too dull, too spatial, too flat – the list could be extended at will. Something has to be done about that, we can all agree to that, can we? As a result, we move speakers around, roll out carpets, buy houseplants, banish pieces of furniture and swap cables. Good thing the grab box we keep at home holds so many helpful accessories. Hours later, the sound quality is finally where we would have wanted it to be hours ago. Our high-end friend now collapses in front of his stereo set, utterly exhausted. Unfortunately, he’s too tired to listen to music now, but at least he’s briefly reconciled with his hobby. Until next time, that is, at which point everything is going to sound “too” again, prompting him to roll the carpets up again or to swap the cables back. Obviously, this perpetual back and forth doesn’t get him anywhere. On the contrary, it ruins his free time.

A highender is, by definition, never satisfied with the performance of his equipment. He therefore strives to improve the technology in order to get closer to sonic nirvana, or whatever he thinks this term means. Hopefully he will never reach his fictitious goal, because otherwise he would have to find himself a new hobby. With his many modifications, he has probably already reached the sonic optimum of his system at several points. What a shame, then, that he never noticed, what with being all taken up by his improvement mania.

Audiophiles seem to ignore the fact that there are certain things they simply can’t influence when listening to music, such as their own mood or the poor quality of some recordings. This evil can be alleviated with the help of one of the nowadays very rarely installed sound controls, but in most cases, it can’t be completely eliminated. The system that reveals the entire sonic microcosm of top recordings while at the same time graciously glossing over the flaws of sonically inferior recordings is, sadly, yet to be invented. It’s a clear case of either-or. Alternatively, you can consistently switch to good-sounding software by adjusting your music selection accordingly, but who wants to let their stereo dictate their musical taste? So maybe you shouldn’t listen so closely sometimes, accept the sound quality as it is – most of the time, not all that terrible – and simply enjoy the music. And in this way leave out some zig or zag!

The Course Is Set

The stated retail price of the reviewed device is valid as of the time of the review and is subject to change.