March is slowly approaching its end, and this reminds me that for quite some time I haven’t written anything in this blog. The reason is simple, not much is happening here, though some interesting bits are circulating in my emails to Biju and Peter recently. I find writing to a real person safer and easier than to an abstract audience. Writing for the general public is like wielding a two-edged sword – you never know how the effect of your writing will reflect on you. Email communication is enjoyable, but it is a private thing, and there is not much left for you, dear reader.
I have to confess I was growing impatient lately, counting the days left until the opening of the main audio event in northern Germany – Norddeutsche HiFi-Tage. The fact that the city I live in hosts the second biggest audio show in Germany makes me feel lucky, because it is great opportunity, that costs basically nothing, to align one’s expectations and internal reference to what is considered top-notch in terms of audio reproduction nowadays.
Recently my attention is being focused more on the artistic interpretation than on the reproduction quality. I think this is a good sign. The decisions when to hit the string and how long to let the tone ring, as well as how intense each stroke should be are aural expression of the artist’s interpretation of the music at the moment of transferring an idea into a sound. As an amateur guitarist I’ve been confronted with that matter throughout my own experience and I realize that even a simple three-chord progression might be performed in many different ways by slightly varying the timing and the intensity of the strokes.
This is some beautiful music I encountered guys – Beethoven, Chopin & Liszt: Piano Works – performed by the talented young artist Alexei Melnikov. I don’t remember when was the last time I had a toe-tapping experience with Beethoven’s music, but the fact is that this record brought the shiver back. It is simply stunning what Alexei is doing with the keyboard of the beautiful Shigeru Kawai EX grand piano.
Some time has passed since Audio Note OTO SE Signature took over the amplification task in my audio system, and as it usually happens when a new component of higher quality has been introduced, some deficiencies intrinsic to other links in the audio chain are being revealed. Armed with some new knowledge, obtained during the communication with Peter Qvortrup, I went through a process of system optimization evolving around this single-ended amplifier with the main goal to bring the best out of it. I am glad that the end result is a level of enjoyment that surpassed anything I used to know.