Crystal River-The Sound

They weren’t kidding when Warner Brothers said they couldn’t release audiophile CDs to the general public.  The level is ASTOUNDINGLY low.  I’ve got plenty of power, but I’ve never cranked my computer speakers that loud.  And I’ve got great computer speakers (AUX).  But I wasn’t wowed.

I wanted to write and tell you how fucking great CDs without compression were.  Instead I’m gonna write how great VINYL is!

I blew the dust off my Technics turntable and checked the strobe, locking in the correct speed.  And then placed the needle on side two of the Mudcrutch album, to hear "Crystal River".  It was quiet.  Ah, that level problem.

Now I’m still using the old JBL studio monitors.  I thought of upgrading, but I’ve yet to be able to justify the multi-thousand dollar expense.  I’m mostly listening on my computer speakers.  And so often to compressed files.  This is all to say that I don’t have a subwoofer.  But, there was suddenly this ooze all over the floor of my house.  The same one that permeated the environment when I used to play "Long Time Gone" on that first Crosby, Stills & Nash album.  You know how you feel the bass, how it locates somewhere between your gut and your genitalia?  How it makes you feel like you’re truly at the live show?  That’s the sound I’ve got right now in my house.

Then there was that organ.  I didn’t hear the organ before.  Or at least didn’t notice it.

And when the piano plays, I can SEE IT!

And Mike Campbell’s fingers.  I notice them moving when he bends the notes.

And Tom himself.  It sounds like him.  Like he’s inside the speaker, singing solely to me.

It sounds like…music.

I’ve got this Sony CD player…  You put a weight on the disc.  The lens doesn’t move, but the CD itself.  You can hear the difference.  I loaded the commercial Mudcrutch CD.

After turning the music down, I noticed that the sound wasn’t radically different, not at first.  Then what impressed me most was the clarity.  The music was sharp, but I didn’t feel it.

I felt the audiophile CD.  But it wasn’t warm.  It was a silicone tit, not the real thing.  Real boobs sag.  The girls think we hate this. Along with stretchmarks and that roll of fat around their middle.  Whereas this makes girls real.  They’re built with a higher percentage of body fat.  They’re made to give birth, to nurture.  Who’d want to sleep with a ten year old boy?  A STARVING ten year old boy?

A woman built for the media orders a salad and picks at it.  A real woman savors her food, she evidences sensuality.  Something that’s hard to see, but all men pick up on.  The same way it’s hard to quantify why vinyl sounds so much better than CDs.  You just FEEL IT!

I’m convinced we’ve got this rhythmic music dominating the charts today because acoustic music, music with dynamic range, sounds so shitty on CD.  I used to drop the needle on a vinyl record as I took a shower back in the eighties.  Listening to "Crystal River" brings me right back to those days.  Like I’m not alone in the house.

Vinyl is not coming back.  Sales are anemic despite the cheerleaders fueling the press and the indie stores employing it as a profit center.  But vinyl is not the only way to listen to quality sound.  DVD-A and SACD were pretty good.  But they lost because not only were they overpriced, they were sold as surround media…  WHICH THE CONSUMER DOESN’T WANT OR NEED!

Two channel is enough.

Compressed files are portable, but can’t we have something better to tote around?

In order to truly hear the Mudcrutch vinyl album I’ve got to crank it.  The louder it gets, the more the music unfolds.  It’s like I’ve lifted a curtain on the musicians inside the speakers.

And as it gets louder, the sound envelops me.  It’s no longer background.  It’s like getting high.  You know you’re on the drug.  But no drug is as good as music.  Nothing can transport you so far, make you feel so good without fucking you up.

One Response to Crystal River-The Sound


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