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Anna Logg

Italian version

Greetings to my fellow audiophiles, visitors and regular readers of this wonderful commercial-free web site!
I've been invited to join the fun and contribute to these pages, and I look forward to talking with you from time to time about a variety of audio topics.
I plan to serve largely as a sort of news reporter, but from the point of view of a kind of observer of the audio scene, if you will.
Also, with the exception of loudspeakers, my system is in dire need of upgrade, and I'll be taking you with me on my odyssey in search of great sound as I look for a new preamp, cartridge, amp, cables, and various tweaks and accessories. (For the time being, I am "La Belle Dame Sans CD," but after all other system needs have been met, we'll probably be looking at a CD player as well).
We'll talk too about the listening room as component -- the "final frontier" if you will.

In any case, I figure that all this stuff will provide enough to correspond about for probably the next decade or so . . . so plan on seeing me here for a while! ;-)
My credentials, if you will, include a 3 year tour of duty as the music and dance reviewer for THE SUN, a Gannett daily [newspaper] in San Bernardino County, CA, where I lived from 1979-1990.
In addition, I served as Editor of The Reference, the newsletter of the Inland Empire Audio Society there, and currently serve as Chief Cook and Bottle-Washer for the New Jersey Audio Society, including the writing, editing and production of their newsletter, The Source.
But for now -- and by way of an introduction -- I'd like to share the following story.

The Creation of an Audiophile

Imagine if you will a little girl of five or thereabouts seated in the balcony of one of the world's greatest theaters -- the "movie palace" to end all movie palaces, New York City's famous Radio City Music Hall.
It is the holiday season and we are here for the first time to see the famous and spectacular Christmas show.
As the film comes to an end, a massive gold satin curtain slowly descends from the arched proscenium in huge, gracefully scalloped folds to the footlights below.
Suddenly, a spotlight shines on a curtained balcony at stage left and the thundering sound of a mighty Wurlitzer theater organ explodes around her.
The curtain parts to reveal the man responsible for this delirium of sound, seated at the console of one of the most famous such instruments then in existence. She is mesmerized in a state of sheer aural exhilaration.
After the organist has finished his medley of carols and holiday songs and the applause has died, there is a hushed silence.
Suddenly, she hears the sound of a great orchestra playing full tilt, somewhat muffled at first but then rising, rising, rising -- as the very orchestra pit itself, filled with musicians, ascends, seemingly from some subterranean pleasure-depth, into full view . . . and full heart-thudding sonic splendor!

Of course, the little girl was me, and it was at that precise moment that I became an audiophile.
The rest was simply a matter of discovering ways and means. From my earliest memory, music was an integral -- and focused -- activity in our home, both "live" and recorded.
Indeed, the great composers, as well as the names of the foremost singers and musicians of the day (the 40's, 50's) -- Big Bands, jazz artists and Broadway shows, plus the great singers, orchestras and conductors -- were household words imprinted on the spines of record albums, in my world. Indeed, the first song I ever learned note for note -- at the age of 3!! -- was the Grand March from the great Verdi opera, "Aida" which was on a 12" 78rpm by the Boston Pops conducted by Arthur Fiedler. (And incidentally, it wasn't until they invented the LP that I learned that it did not STOP right in the middle! ;-)
How could such a person not become an audiophile?
I learned much about the care and reverence for phonograph records from observing my father tend to his "record library" and home musicales featured the above-average pianistic talents of my mother, and dad a somewhat lesser, but listenable, light on the violin.

Hooked On Sonics

So, I come to audiophilia by way of a quest for the music or, more accurately, the sound of the music. Which leads me to some caveats for you should you choose to journey down this road with me. . .
I am not terribly fascinated by the technical aspects of this equipment, and that may seem an anachronism since it is so important to my life. Indeed, this is not a "hobby" for me -- the presence of music in my life and the means to evoke it at will is a necessity, not a "nice-to-have".
However, while I fully understand and appreciate the fact that progress and improvement depends upon engineering and design innovation, I know that there are plenty of technically knowledgeable audio writers and reviewers with frames of reference it would be impossible for me to match that you can turn to if this is important to you.
I have only a passing interest in how or why things work (or don't, as the case may be) and even less interest in the generally macho, exercise in one-upsmanship type debates and controversies that dominates the discussions of those whose interests lay largely under the covers.
I am interested in the end result -- a component (or system) either brings you closer to the absolute sound . . . or delivers nice, but ho-hum (and sometimes horrible), results.
If I quest for my personal ultimate Truth Machine (within, my financial constraints, of course), I also give equal weight to the software.
I love the great audiophile recordings -- the ones that try to bring us as close as possible to the master tape -- whether or not they happen to also be great performances.
I am, after all, "hooked on sonics" ;-) . . . but I am also hooked on great performances too. I could easily be seduced by the promise of a Rosa Ponselle disc -- recorded well before the advent of the "high fidelity" LP, much less the stereo era.
So, I hope that this has given you some insight into where I'm coming from as I write about this audio pastime in the coming months, but hope that you will find my mental meanderings on the subject of at least passing interest.
And -- by all means, I will welcome your feedback and suggestions for subjects to discuss. Please do email me with your comments.

© Copyright 1998 Anna Logg

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