Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 1998/07/27

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Subject: [Leica] Music lovers vs Audiophiles etc.
From: "BIRKEY, DUANE" <>
Date: Mon, 27 Jul 1998 12:20:09 -0500

Alan wrote:  <(perhaps this is why the best musicians often have the 
poorest hi-fi).>

The conclusion in my mind is that perhaps the best musicians and certain 
music lovers focus on the melodic lines, harmonics, rhythms and all the 
rest of the essence of music itself.   I'm that way,  I know a lot of my 
recordings nearly note for note.  For fun, I like to whistle the first 
line of next piece in perfect pitch during the break.   I get lots of 
amazed looks from people in my office  when they realize I got it right.  
Most however, ask me if I need to change the cd.

Some "audiophiles" are more concerned about impressing their neighbors 
and old college buddies with how great it sounds when you play a $10,000 
system really, really loud rather than actually enjoying the subtle 
nuances of a particular recording..

I'm bothered more by static, an occasional ahem, cough  etc. or a Glen 
Gould humming while playing the piano or worse yet playing off pitch.  
I'd rather put $800 into good recordings than into a new improved power 
cord.  I found for me that a $500 Yamaha receiver, adding a decent CD 
player and another $500 or so for speakers, gave me a level of sound 
where I was no longer distracted by the technical quality and could focus 
on the music itself.   Can I hear difference between it and my brother's 
Audio Research pre-amp, Moscode tube amplifiers and Snell speakers?  Of 
course.  Does it make the music more enjoyable?  Only if I really think 
about it.   Does it make a poorly performed piece sound better?  
Definitely not.

But, a Stradivarius, well, it certainly has an unmistakable tone that 
still wows me.  I recognize one far faster than picking out what slides I 
shot with a M-6  when laid side by side with my Canon stuff.  

To get this back on topic, Leicas are Leicas and whether they are the 
worth the money or not is not the point as we've all spent a relatively 
small fortune on Leicas.  A lot of great photographs have been taken with 
them and many more have been taken without them.  Photography is still 
about making images, not about owning expensive pieces of equipment..  
Technical quality, while important, doesn't make lasting images out of 
useless information.  Passion about the subject and being at the right 
place at the right time does.

Duane Birkey

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