Mon 10/26/15 9:40 am. The promotion of guitar equipment and
“high-end” hi-fi obviously have much in common. They are both
of $4 scam normal people avoid, but nevertheless arouse surprising
loyalty in their niche acolyte populations: mostly decrepit
baby-boomering-no-mores. The hi-fi magazines usually openly lament the
absence of youth; the guitar bunch pretend their ranks are frothing
with the starry-eyed young, but it’s just a slightly more plausible
then occasional eruptions from the hi-fi fanatics in the same vein. ...
I have enjoyed the propaganda of both, and joyfully purchase
an occasional (cheap) talismanic guitar
even a fairly substantial chunk of the allied keyboard
equipment racket. Indeed, I have wandered into many
consumer-lust fields with comparable pleasure, in particular the enthusiasts’
magazines and the beautiful ads.
But high-end hi-fi is wearing-off! I am becoming more “normal”, and my reaction to the high-end magazine puffery is trending towards an average disgust, that anyone would try to gull people this way. And I am fearful that it is a mundane question of price: both guitar and hi-fi magazines propagate the same kind of shameless puffery, but somehow it’s more galling with the hi-fi, and maybe it’s just as simple as $1K-$1M hi-fi compared to the more modest $500-$30K guitars — and in guitarland the 5-digit prices almost all apply to the precious antique equipment, while just the opposite is true of the high-end hifi.
But I am troubled. I’ve given-up on Absolute Sound. ... Stereophile used to be less irritating, but in a recent issue the editor stood squarely for the total-objectivity of global warming propaganda and, most ridiculously in such a context, income inequality whining! ... But then again, maybe it’s just that, along with the perfectly-normal intellectual bankruptcy, the high end hi-fi ads have gotten dull.
I hate to even think
of such a possibility, but maybe the high-end has just gotten too
silly! ... Currently they’re promoting “analog” 33⅓
records at the same
time they’re trying to flog the only modern media left standing of
suitable scam-worthiness, high-definition lossless downloads. It’s
too wacko. ... To be sure, the guitarists have their analog cult too
— all the hot guitar amplifiers
are tremendously-expensive tube
jobs, because of that so-cool analog sound — but they don’t
attempt to promote super-digital at the same
— I mean the guitar pedals are almost all super-digital, as well
Kemper super-modeling amplifier, but it’s rarely touted as a plus in itself. ... But the high-end
hi-fi floggers feel obliged to
puff everything as being super
special better ’n’ ever and, maybe, it’s just too weird?
So I turn to Digital
Machinist and the old reliable Model
Railroader, who puff their wares almost innocently
— I mean, there’s no excuse for latter-day machining or
model railroading, although the model railroading is and always has
been a purer excuseless activity
— the machinists occasionally claim
be doing something useful, which does taint their faith....
I suppose the art form I’m celebrating here is the enthusiast magazine itself, with the enthusiastic articles of strangely-holy joy. ... Long may they puff. ... But like any art, it can go wrong, and I fear high-end hi-fi is somehow straying off the holy path....