As with all such matters,
‘Tis dangerous when the baser nature comes
Between the pass and fell incensed points
Of mighty opposites.
I should leave aside matters that are clearly of a personal nature since I don’t imagine I will ever have the first-hand evidence to make up my own mind about Mr. Weiss and his product line is of really no interest to me.
To close a discussion that will almost certainly achieve nothing, a couple of points, if I may.
I would like to point out that Frank does mention that he came close to falling out with Mr. Weiss:
Many years ago, Mr. Weiss attacked me and my product publicly with equal rudeness(he does have a bad temper from time to time, but you ain't no slouch either :-). Instead of firing back even harder, I approached him to see if I could get him to listen to my position and he did. He has treated me with respect ever since and unless he changes this attitude, I see no reason to follow your position. Especially since you seem to project your hostility onto my person, without ever having met me.
If that’s true, I am not too sure Mr. Weiss demonstrated the professionalism one would expect from one who makes a living from the audio industry. If that’s true, my reaction might have been quite different to that of Frank, and almost beyond doubt different to yours – I imagined you would have used Macondo as a battering ram. But Frank wanted to see if reasonable and civilised behaviour could prevail. He swallowed his pride and tried to end the whole sorry episode with both parties coming out with what look likes a mature and mutually acceptable solution. Apologies were extended, notes made of what gave offense and promises to behave better in the future followed, one would imagine. It’s about being human, we make mistakes, we say sorry, we make amends, we move on.
I just wished you would find it in you, out of fairness and common courtesy, to keep the thread within the boundaries within which it was raised, that is a technical discussion on the approach of Frank Shroder to the design of his tonearms. Remember some of us, like you, may not assiduously frequent some of the other forums populated with maybe less ‘interesting’ contributors. Some of us, unlike you, may not have the funds to spend on a tonearm that cost as much as a decent second-hand car or feed a whole village in a developing country for a year. Irrespective of Frank Shroder’s pricing strategy, however, if one was looking for one’s very last tonearm, then $7000 may be in that context a reasonable price to pay. Given that the true masters of the art of making tonearms are a declining and dying breed, it would appear a good thing if one would make Frank Shroder feel welcome to take part in a technical discussion without fear of being attacked because of the virulence of your feelings for a third party with whom he has merely a business relationship on the face of it.
Let me quote from yourself Romy, to reiterate what I thought was in part the point of your website.
Performed music is music contaminated, or in some instances enriched, by a fused awareness of many people: conductors, musicians, various environmental variables, listeners and few others. To observe the delta between the raw "primary musicality" and "live" music delivered to us as a "Symphony Hall’s product" is one is the most fascinating parts of dealing with music. However, in case of a Recorded and Reproduced music there is something else on a picture. Sound reproduction injects into a sandwich of the "delivered music" one extra level of contamination – the interpretation of the original musicality/performing intentions by the soulless algorithms of a sound reproduction chain. Any humane interpretation, even corruptions or aberrations, have own causes and motives; they can be related to because they are based of a common to us sense of humanity, reasons and consequences. Contrary to this, the mechanisms of "unconscious" sound reproduction: the eclectic and mechanical conversions themselves can not relate to the initial musical initiatives (although there is much more in here to talk) and their injections into the Reproduced Musicality introduce a permanent de-humanized layer, that is an unfortunate obstacle for our humane listening consciousness, and that obstacle impedes our ability to find a relation between our own experiences and the experiences of the expressed musical idea.
Maybe I just don’t get it but this seems to say that all music, at all its various stages, is concerned with interpretation and it is our shared culture that makes us react in a certain way to the musical event. We may not like the composer, Romy, or the manufacturer , or the ‘Weiss-noise’ but surely the human element cannot be eliminated and is always essential whether we like it or not. Frank Shroder may not have the creative power, or the inclination, any more than you or I do, to compose music but he is no less an important part of our hobby’s landscape. We may not like his business relations, but these are not the same as affiliations, and we ought to listen in case he has something interesting to add to this ongoing debate about audio that will continue long after you or I have left these mortal coils. You do seem to have a fondness for Richard Wagner as a composer, even though he authored Das Judentum in der Musik ("Jewishness in Music", 1850), a polemic directed against Jewish composers in general. Sometime we need to look beyond our immediate gut reaction or there is a lot which is good about life, and people in general, that we will miss in our too short lifespan.