Monday, January 26, 2009

How The Other Half Lives (Part 1)

The other half doesn't painstakingly measure speaker positions to within 1/10th of an inch from each wall and toe-in to within 1/4 of a degree. The other half has too much interest in domestic harmony to place large imposing speakers in living rooms smaller than some peoples' walk-in closets. The other half doesn't call his wife on the way home from work and ask her if she'll switch the phono stage on so the tubes will be nice and hot by the time he gets home. The other half doesn't wince at paying $1000 for a new mattress to replace the one he's had since college while not having so much as a 2nd thought about spending 3 times that on a set of speaker cables. The other half doesn't tolerate CS3.7s taking up valuable floor space in a townhouse livingroom. Hrm...I think the other half is actually around 98% of the population.

This weekend, I slipped unnoticeably away from my Audiophile caravan to join the masses. Rob came over Friday after work and helped me quietly pack my CS3.7s away. Out with them, the Krell KRC-HR, the Synergistic Research cables, and the Butler amp. I have been married precisely 1 year and 8 months, and the big stereo is a gonner. Not that marriage had anything to do with it.

zöet is coming along quite nicely, and after a fantastic showing at CES (not one crash), it's time to turn down the home stretch of debugging and beta testing. Since zöet is quite intentionally a lifestyle product that isn't meant to be thought about as much as simply enjoyed, the best trial is to run it at home. So, the aforementioned audiophile big-rig got traded in for the agile and ergonomic zöet. This isn't exactly the marriage influenced decision it appears to be on the surface - just don't tell my wife. zöet is not the economical and unstylish family sedan of audiophile 2 channel. It's more like the very fast and sporty luxury mid-size that happens to be large enough to fit a carseat. This was not the emasculating trade that it may appear to be at first glance. THIEL doesn't build minivans.

More to come...

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