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08-19-2007 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,543
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 1
Post ID: 5069
Reply to: 5069
The Classical Music Café syndrome...

When people ask me what I would like to do if I were not a software engineer I usually reply that I would like to work in Cat's shelter. I would like to be surrounded with hundreds Cat's who will even walk across me like I am a piece of furniture - what could be better!!! Sure the sad reality of Cats shelter is that they put Cats to sleep as that would make me very much impossible to work their. There is another job that I would like to do if I don't need to fulfill the pragmatism of adult life and would not need money. I was idolizing about it in past and told and even proposed to number people about it but it all was juts mouth running. However, yesterday talking with Yoshi and listening to what he was saying kind of refreshed my juvenile fantasies about my “would be a second job”.

Read the Yoshi article “Have You Been To "Naru"?”

http://www.sakurasystems.com/jazzcafe.html

The article describes a culture of public places where people go not just to eat, or not to listen the “elevator music” as a background of their bar’s smalltalk but rather the establishments where people enter and spending time with the only purpose: to be engaged in listening experiences. I think if a similar culture of “Classical Music Café” would materialize I would gladly work or run such a place.

I envision it in a way very much similar to some of the best FM programming from WHRB. A program with selected recordings is built, scheduled, announced and the menu and liquor list is adjusted according to the scheduled musical program. The food and drinks, along with any other house services are fixed and executed only when it is allowed or necessary, also they are executed in a “special fashion” (I will not go in details). Dining/listening room is filled with sixty-seventy people who pay just an admission price. A good playback installation is built and the play the performances prefaces with is a short, artfully crafted and anecdotes-stuffed introduction.

I fund that spending time as a “vendor” a place like would be very gratifying and very much fulfill some of my internal interests..

Rgs, The Cat


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
08-27-2007 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
yoshi
Jefferson (MA), United States
Posts 69
Joined on 05-04-2005

Post #: 2
Post ID: 5148
Reply to: 5069
Different times, different places
When I wrote that article about 4 years ago, I received responses from a couple of different countries asking about the feasibility of opening and maintaining such establishments today.  I had to give them a very negative answers unless they have enough money not to worry about writing all expenditures off as a minor business loss. 

They (Jass/Classical Cafe) depended mostly on regular clients and the majorlity of them were younger generations of late teens to early thirties who had enough spare time to spend hours at the Cafe.  In other words, students.  Japanese college system is very different from that of the US and the students can have enough free time if they wanted to.  Also, there were only a couple of Live Houses where Japanese players did a gig.  If you could listen to Mingus or Monk or Coltrane live at a club a couple of blocks down from your apartment, you wouldn't have to go to Jazz Cafe to listen to their recordings.  When they came to Japan, they performed at a larger, concert hall kind of venue.  Same for classical performers.  Their visit to Japan was far more scarce than what we have today.

And how relevant those music to the younger generation of the US today ? (I'm imagining of my kids!)

Yoshi
07-11-2008 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,543
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 3
Post ID: 7794
Reply to: 5069
The vinyl record listening sessions in Coffee houses?

It looks like what I was writhing above:

"Coffee houses and lounges in cities like Portland, Ore., are featuring vinyl record listening sessions. Stores like Urban Outfitters are selling portable record players. Last fall Amazon.com started a vinyl-only section. Vinyl record pressing plants are ramping up production, and some musicians are selling albums primarily on vinyl, including coupons for MP3 downloads of the songs for portability's sake."

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080711/ap_en_mu/vinyl_revival

The caT


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
05-13-2009 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,543
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 4
Post ID: 10509
Reply to: 5069
That is the idea more or less properly implemented.
fiogf49gjkf0d



"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
05-25-2009 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Joe Roberts
Posts 48
Joined on 01-12-2009

Post #: 5
Post ID: 10580
Reply to: 10509
Not your average music cafe
fiogf49gjkf0d


This is "Camerata"-- a listening space owned by In Yong Hwang, a retired TV anchorman. It is located in a beautiful museum
development in Paju near the North Korean border outside of Seoul.

I have known Mr. Hwang for 10 years and he is an old friend of the owner of Silbatone, who taught him about WE...he used to be a German gear dude (Note Klangfilm woofers in the wall).


I was there last month, in fact. Yes, it freaking sounds great. Great vibe in the large and beautiful room. WE15A/555/597A/4181

A few more pics at http://www.silbatoneacoustics.com/koreatrip.html
05-26-2009 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,543
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 6
Post ID: 10590
Reply to: 10580
“Freaking sounds great” - good luck with that.
fiogf49gjkf0d
Although, I do admire the café as concept, audio-wide what is presented on the pictures is a damn nightmare, typically in-line with my expectation from that “type” of people. I am sure that you “freaking sounds great” is just your puffed up perception. The reality if that sound is not secret for any person who has sanes view on playback organization.

The Cat


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
05-27-2009 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Joe Roberts
Posts 48
Joined on 01-12-2009

Post #: 7
Post ID: 10613
Reply to: 10590
Sound of one lip flapping...
fiogf49gjkf0d


Well, I was there, which is more than The Cat can say. In fact, The Cat never heard a complete WE system first hand, so I'll have to take that into advisement when the expected foaming-at-the-whiskers rant.

I always wonder why people would give credence to either critiques or WE worship on this topic from somebody who never actually heard a big "properly implemented" WECO system. Either way is it projection of dreams onto reality. Speakers are, after all, experience machines and this is the proper way to frame the discussion of merits and failings. It is nice to fantasize and we all do it, but actual physical loudspeakers are pure reality.

I understand that not all WE gear is great but some most definitely is. Some of the WE multicell horns are a bit too forward for my taste, but certain units such as the 12A and 15A are superb. Some of the parts can be good in mix and match, but using the good WE horns with matching equipment in original configuration is another story entirely from trying one or two WE drivers with Altec horns or similar experiments.

Also, I can side with critique of people who think anything that says "Western Electric" is better than anything that doesn't, but that stupidity is not the point here. It helps when selling Western Electric resistors on ebay though. I got $50 for a pair of 600 ohm non-inductive wirewounds last year and bought myself a nice pair of sneakers.

A critical point is that the systems on my vacation photos page are complete WECO systems with all the matching crossovers and whatnot. These are not kludged together, half-hearted attempts. This is the real deal, factory configuration. As you said above "properly implemented"--including rooms big enough to let the system perform properly.

Two of the three systems I pictured on my link were really, really outstanding. The pictured "Mr. K's upstairs system" with 12As was quite possibly the best I have ever heard in my life.  The 15A system at Camerata was nothing to sneeze at either.

As you can see from the pics, they have a lot of extra stuff that they tried in order to identify what the "good stuff" is. It was very educational for me to A-B different horns in the same system. Got to say that the big wood horns with 555s strike my ear as the best of the lot.

I suppose by that "type" of people you mean super-rich Asians who could buy Romy the Cat with loose pocket money to feed to their dog.

Just because a guy is a billionaire who uses a Neumann cutting lathe as a turntable and has more gear than any ten people deserve, doesn't mean he's off the true path. Sadly, it may be true that money sometimes CAN buy knowledge, or at least it helps a lot.

I doubt that you actually know anybody like these Korean guys. Don't make the mistake of thinking that these folks are dilettantes...they have been in audio for decades, have tried it all, and they know what they are doing. These Korean maniacs are very smart, ultra-successful men who are as serious and driven about audio as anybody you will ever encounter. They all have 20,000 LPs and love music too.

Why, if they have literal warehouses of vintage and modern gear, American, German, Japanese, do they choose to foreground WE theater systems in their listening rooms and audio consciousness?

Their knowledge and focus is not theoretical but based on experience. The results are impressive.

Nobody is more sober and jaded on audio than me and I was stunned by those 12As with 4181s. They played large orchestral and Stevie Ray Vaughan, Joni Mitchell, whatever...everything I heard on that system was really an intense experience. The bass from a single TA-4181 per side in those WE baffles was insane, with no hangover or smearing, and the power of a locomotive when the signal called it up. The sense of scale and vividness was nothing like my meager attempts and I have never heard anything close.

You can believe it or not, but you won't know until you've heard something like this.  Some myths are true.

I can state, based on experience, that the big WE systems are on a level far above what most of us have ever heard. You can't get there with TAD, Altec, JBL, etc.

My suspicion is that the field coil woofers in baffles are one special factor and big wood horns are another. I like to think that it would be possible to get in the same ballpark with giant in-wall horns with TADs or something (non-WE) like that. We have all seen pics of home constructed off-the-chain horn systems.  I haven't heard them but have I heard the Western theater gear and, thus far, WE "Wide Range"-era takes the prize for me.

The kind of speculation, wankery, and sophistry found on audio forums has its place, but let's not confuse that with direct experience and knowledge.

This is one of the very few audio forums I ever post on, because I like the air of insane passion about a tiny slice of audio reality, but whenever I do post, I have to be in the mood to make the same old arguments about experience vs. more or less informed speculation.

I simply stopped in to identify the pictured system, and say that if anyone winds up in Seoul, try to make the trip to Heyri Art Village to hear the Camerata system.  I like the fact that Mr. Hwang is sharing it with the music loving visitors to the coffeeshop, few of whom know about vintage audio. Most of these WE theater systems are in in mega-rich guys private listening rooms and impossible to access without social connections....this is a bit of a waste.

And, hey Romy, you were invited on this trip but you punked out!! Or, shall I say, you "missed out!!"


Best to all,

Joe Roberts


PS: The food was excellent also. Too bad you couldn't join us for barbecued clam at Incheon harbor.






05-27-2009 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,543
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 8
Post ID: 10621
Reply to: 10590
Those type of people...
fiogf49gjkf0d

Joe,

I have written somewhere else that based upon what you have posted at this site I recognize as you are in fact a quite superficial observer and in some case you do not even understand what the subject is all about. I did not call those Korean folks dilettantes, but I do call your reaction what they do very much as dilettante reaction. The fun parts is that you most likely know it yourself but you in the “special business” and the dilettantism is almost a requirement in your cheerleading mind-frame …

This is a musical section of my site and I would not argue the strategic and tactical blinders Mr. Yong Hwang made in his audio installation. I do admire what he does for the idea of audio café and this is why I posted it in this forum. Audio-wise I do not find what Mr. Hwang is stimulating. If you definition of audio is staying and drooling in front of a shopping window then it is not how I feel.

Perhaps if you make more intellectual efforts than it is necessary to write articles for another Ali G audio publication then you would recognize what I meant by saying “those type of people”.

The Cat


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
05-31-2009 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Joe Roberts
Posts 48
Joined on 01-12-2009

Post #: 9
Post ID: 10666
Reply to: 10621
"Those kind of people" are actually listening to music
fiogf49gjkf0d

Cat...your ability to look at a picture and diagnoseminutae of sound and even the character of the system owner is impressive.

As you know from previous discussions, I am a fan of direct experience as a discovery procedure over intellectual manipulation of abstract, decontextualized factlets. This comes out of the nature of musical experience, which is not an abstract thing but a unique physical event which we participate in.

If that is considered an anti-intellectual posture around here, I can live with that...but how can anyone know (or even pretend to yourself to know) how all systems sound without listening to them?

Equations, laws, and past experience haven't helped me out much in prejudging systems. I am often surprised. Thank god.

This stock in abstract critique is fantasy land. The scary part is that the fantasy is that pretty much everything sucks, except one or two approved items or approaches.

Hey, I'd rather be an upbeat cheerleader, especially when I like things, than a twisted evil naysayer trashing everything that comes along without even listening! But that's just me...

My heartfelt response to listening to Mr. Hwang's Camerata cafe setup was precisely, "Freakin great." It would be abnormal to switch into audio analysis mode and maybe even emotionally retarded because this had nothing to do with home audiophile setups. This was a public sound system in a huge room-- a beautiful, peaceful large music listening space. Beethoven was playing. The sound was huge, vivid, and, well, sounded freaking great. Very compelling, and very very different from a domestic hifi system. It was just right. This was a postive accomplishment to set this thing up and Camerata is worth the visit for sound and pleasant atmosphere.

Your "nudge, wink" you know "THOSE KIND" of people line above can be read only as a stupid, dismissive, generalization about people, places, and things you don't actually know zip about.

I assure you that the owners of those Korean systems are as perceptive and serious as any audio nuts you will find anywhere, and far more experienced than all but a few. Don't confuse the fact that they have a lot of stuff with lack of discrimination. They know what the highlight components of their collections are and the rest is experimenting and trying things out.

And, I can't blame them for choosing WESTERN ELECTRIC, because I haven't heard anything better. 

I haven't heard everything but I'd say I have experienced a fair cross section of audio gear. WECO theater speakers are another planet from the run of the mill "pro" stuff we play with--Altec, TAD, JBL, Vitavox.

Here is a pic of Krzysztov Penderecki hanging out in the Silbatone listening room this week, along with violinist and audio buff, Mr. Chi.

The Maestro was quite impressed with the Mirrophonic Type 2 system, saying "Now that is the real sound of concert music."

Wait...forgot the exclamation points, here ya go: !!!!!!!!!!

Maybe he was simply being polite, which is not a human impulse I'd expect to encounter in this forum, but at least he heard what he commented on. And maybe he knew what he was talking about.

I don't want to deviate from the purpose of the forum, but I'm sticking up for actual listening here, which is a step in the direction of music.
05-31-2009 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,543
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 10
Post ID: 10669
Reply to: 10666
It is only if you know what you are looking.
fiogf49gjkf0d

Joe,

you know that after reading your posts “around here” I have an attitude toward to you judgment and in my view all that you do here (perhaps not only here) is just capitalizing opportunity to put Silbatone and Penderecki (I have no idea what he has to do with anything)  into a Googleable query. I think you get the inspiration who much credit I extend to you commentaries. It is not what my mind-set but it is your accomplishment. When a Third Reich officer saw Guernica for a first time he asked Picasso it he did it. Picasso replied “No, you did it”.  The same is with your credibility in my eyes about your view on audio. I sincerely feel that you do not understand what the conversation is all about. You for whatever reason defend the Korean guys, even those no one assault them. You are screaming about the WE even though it does not look like I care. You are trying to convince someone in something but I have no idea what and who.

Audio is not about a competition whos playback is better but a self-education about the things that you are blind in my view. So, I truly do not know how to react on your posts: from one point of view you use “interesting” words but if to look the meaning of what you says than I feel kind of “nothingness”. Probably you need a different level of audiences…. In fact I know that you have them.

In the end I would like to replay to your allegation about "THOSE KIND" of people.  I know that you do not “get”, which is fine… The “those kind of people” is multi-faced and relatively deep meaning - you do not get even the immediate implication …. I will give you a hint, think yourself if you wish… Do you remember the Antoine de Saint-Exupery’s story about the people who grow a garden with one million roses? Good luck…

The Cat


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
06-01-2009 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Paul S
San Diego, California, USA
Posts 2,156
Joined on 10-12-2006

Post #: 11
Post ID: 10675
Reply to: 10666
Fox; Henhouse; Wheat; Chaff
fiogf49gjkf0d
Joe, perhaps it is not true, and I hope it is not true, but it appears that your vast experience mostly serves an agenda, and you are marked as a shill.  Perhaps almost everyone generally accepts your enthusiasm for the products you pander; but also, perhaps, this is not the best place to hawk your wares?

You seem to be suggesting that your ideas should be considered as valuable simply because you and (accordiing to you) yours have given them your seal of approval.  But how is this more scientific than looking at the thing and picking holes in its visible manifestations, based on personal experience?

Who would spend so much time and money chasing something like this, based on such convoluted and arcane notions of antique hardware?

But I'm guessing that part of your agenda is to find this out?

Just as water seeks its own level, we draw to us and we are drawn into our inner perceptions.  I'm guessing some likely respondents are probably holding back until they figure out how getting involved will get them a piece of the action.  Good luck sorting the wheat from the chaff.

Best regards,
Paul S
06-01-2009 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Joe Roberts
Posts 48
Joined on 01-12-2009

Post #: 12
Post ID: 10677
Reply to: 10675
The hidden agenda
fiogf49gjkf0d

Any Google hits this site gets from my post is a gift from me to The Home of the Cat.
Can't imagine anybody searching "Silbatone & Penderecki"..a rather odd combination of terms stemming out of a unique event.

Or how about "Silbatone & Penderecki & WECO"??

I find it quite strange to view the world as a web of potential Google hits, but any hits will go straight to Romy's account, as deserved.

We have had this conversation before and I believe that what some might see as "empty" in my approach is the space I leave for the unique experience of listening to audio and space for others to arrive at their own conclusions.

Listening is really never exactly the same, but when I describe these experiences, they become similar on the page, fitting into slots.  I always felt weird talking about how systems sound and I am ever more hesitant to do so. Beyond the easy ones, like Corian slant front box with 6" woofer and titanium dome tweeter, generalized notions and scientific predictions block my way to what I am looking for, which is something new or something that will move me beyond what I think I already know.

Same with manifestos and listening analysis programs...what if you want something you have not discovered yet? What if it comes from a speaker you thought was stupid and misinformed?

For example, Jean Hiraga had some fantastic Altec coaxes at the Munich show. I played with 604s and 605s a lot and could never get them to work. Hiraga had them singing. When I saw his speakers I kind of chuckled but the first tune changed my mind fast. They were fantastic for Altec coaxials, and extremely good regardless of what they were.  I wanted to go back and learn more but sadly the room caught on fire overnight and they were gone the next day

This kind of surprise, unexpected learning experience is what I am looking for in life and in audio. If somebody makes 604s work for music, when I failed so miserably,  I need to learn from that accomplishment.

Penderecki/Silbatone/WECO is a social example of the kind of strange but evocative juxtaposition that life hands us to ponder for a few minutes before the next wacky experience comes along. Try to grab something from the passing opportunity.

I have numerous agendas, but the least of these is equipment sales.  Silbatone is already selling as much as they can comfortably make. The company is not set up as a for-profit business, but as a creative outlet and avocational venture.  The goal is to possibly break even someday, but that might take some years. In any case,  I don't expect anybody here to buy.

Actually, I would be the first to argue that buying anything audio in the Silbatone price range is insane, unless you have truly excess resources, as some few have.  In fact, I argue for DIY as the educated choice at any price level.  I personally would rather use my own homebuilt stuff over anything of manufactured high-end nature, because that is the big fun for me.  I could not figure out how to spend Silbatone money on a system if I won the budget on a game show.

My foremost agenda, I like to celebrate and promote creative pairings of people and technology to do interesting and rewarding things with music listening and equipment.  Romy the Cat Home fits within  this broad area of concern, although a bit prone to tunnel vision. I don't always like the sound from some"interesting"  projects, but as long as they are having a good time with the creative process, that is cool with me. The world is not only about what "I" like.

Secondly, I like to share my experiences, like hanging out at Camerata or listening to some of those big WE systems. This was quite an interesting and educational experience for me, and and I thought I would share some pics with other people who might agree that these are interesting attempts at system design. Who else can I tell about it? My wife? This is a forum so I'm sharing info, such as to initially identify the pictured system and add some relevant comments about the accomplishment.

I have heard a lot of audio gear of various levels of performance. My perception that WE gear accesses another realm of music listening continually surprises me, even though I have been playing with WE odds and ends for 25 years, starting with a pair of 755As in the early 80s. The complete theater systems are remarkably engaging and frankly blew my socks off.

Behind the constant, tedious drone of me talking up WE theater speakers, maybe there is  good reason for the enthusiasm.  In short, I am arguing to keep an open mind until (and if ever) you actually hear some,  because otherwise it is nothing but speculating out the ass. 

Also, I am selling the idea of listening before critique. And I am still encouraging people, as I always have as an audio persona, to try something different, especially if it clashes with common sense and received practices, because that is where fun and discoveries lurk.  

So, in view of this agenda, one can see how dismissive comments about "those kind of people," certain kinds of never-heard equipment,  the old Romy lines "you don't get it" or Your 're not there yet" and so on appear to me as precisely the kind of head in the sand, self-focused ignorance I am out stumping against.  Without relevant experience and direct knowledge, I don't see where the authority for these speculative, self-aggrandizing positions arises.

The smart people in any field, and certainly the happiest ones, are those who realize that there is too much to learn for one lifetime.  Note how those who believe they already have the answer, spend their lives fighting off "challengers" and progressively boxing themselves into a corner and eventually become ignored, crazy, and out of touch.

So, I say "Listen!"  Hiraga's Altecs, WECO, Silbatone, Feastrex in a back horn made out of frozen porkchops, whatever... maybe you can learn something where you least expect it.

That is my core agenda.  I never made more than nickels and dimes from audio and doubt that I ever will, but I have learned a little bit and had good times.


Have fun,

Joe Roberts

06-01-2009 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,543
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 13
Post ID: 10679
Reply to: 10677
Joe, are you running in 2012?
fiogf49gjkf0d

I kind of feel that I am in a middle of a conference where different architects and different home builders collaborate how to build houses in order felines feel good in there. They what to build home that would inspire Cats in there to feel very secure and comfortable and at the same time to feel natural, reminding them Namibian savannahas, Tanzania’s serengeti, South Africa’s grasslands or American prairies. Then Joe the Builder shows up and suggests that he knows about homes, cats and how it all works together. When he asked to tell something about the subject he says that any house has a roof and last week he saw a house with a wonderful naked blond sitting on the top of the roof. Everyone appreciate the story about the naked blond, even though no one has idea how Cat’s habits and homes contraction relate to it but Joe the Builder keeps taking about her leg and breasts…

Anyhow, the Little Prince still lost himself among the garden with 1.000.000 roses…

The Cat


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
06-01-2009 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Joe Roberts
Posts 48
Joined on 01-12-2009

Post #: 14
Post ID: 10680
Reply to: 10679
What's not to like?
fiogf49gjkf0d


Are you saying you don't like naked blondes?
06-01-2009 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,543
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 15
Post ID: 10681
Reply to: 10680
....… the fact running mouth about...
fiogf49gjkf0d
.... that naked blond on the roof would not make Cats to feel homey in that house....Was it too difficult to figure out?


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
06-01-2009 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Joe Roberts
Posts 48
Joined on 01-12-2009

Post #: 16
Post ID: 10686
Reply to: 10681
Where are the smileys?
fiogf49gjkf0d

Yo Romy, face it... you need a smiley menu on this joint. For this exchange,  I could use the one with rolling eyes and the one where one smiley whips out a hammer and konks the other smiley on the head with it a few times.

Your cat architecture parable illustrates my point perfectly, with minor modifications as follows...

Say you went off to the Munich cat architecture show last week, granted that cat architecture is a worthy endeavor, you have some useful ideas about practical cat architecture, and you're pretty excited about the whole event. Totally into cat architecture and all the heavy hitting cat architect nerds are in town, ready to get down on it. This is where you belong.  Life, at this moment, is good.

Then as you leave the U bahn station in a crowd of fellow cat architects carrying portfolios and whatnot, you spy a beautiful naked blonde on the roof of a small house next to the station. Let's say she has a cat on her lap also, just to make it topical. The cat looks very happy and content, and obviously couldn't care less about the cat habitat planning summit taking place down the road because this cat already has it made.

Is this experience not all the better for springing into existence at an unexpected time and place, just to shake things up a bit? A bit of wry humour and timely commentary on the business of cat architecture, coming from outside the concerns numbered in the official program of the Munich Katzenhausfabrik 2009 show, but fully relevant to the topic at hand?

The emotion I'm trying to evoke is delight, perhaps most tasty when unexpected and taking you off to unexpected places. Surprise!

Hiraga spun some vinyl on the Altecs and voila--it was a delightful moment. Really a peak experience of the show for me.

I got a similar feeling of elation listening to Mr. Hwang's cafe system. Out of the ordinary and kind of left me in wonder.

I suppose what I am campaigning for --or cheerleading for-- is a rather obscure vision of the process of audio discovery that means a lot to me right now, having had a few mind expanding experiences in recent travel, after some years of being burned out on audio. I got where I wanted to be, or close enough, and got lazy. Being out there interacting with audio explorers perked up some dormant impulses, I guess.

This is about encountering human freedom and creativity, an inspiring flash of realization about what you and people like you are doing. A higher level of philosophy than mere cat architecture but one which includes it and governs it.

Appreciation of these unexpected lessons from actual happy cats, can only make for a better cat architect and ultimately better feline housing design, than modeling the Serenghetti Plain as an ideal cat domain, then trying to reproduce selected qualities of that environment using approved housing materials and a CAD program.

But I guess if you are committed to the Serengetti school of cat design, any successful and happy cat who has no need for your perspectives on the path to feline happiness because they found another way independently, is not only useless but subversive to the Serengetti school's message and self-image.

Meanwhile, the vast majority of cats care not a whit about swirling controversies in cat arhcitecture, being too busy being cats and doing alright without the self-enshrined experts who don't pay attention to what they want anyway.

A garden could have more than one flower, that's what I'm saying. It might be best to withold prejudgement and go around and try sniff them all before declaring which are the better varieites and individual specimens. There are a lot of flowers out there and there is always something nicer than what any of us are growing at home in any particular point in time.

For me, some of "those kind of people" you dismiss with a cryptic snort above provided valuable lessons. Just giving credit where it is due.

Alright now, back to the previously scheduled programming...who or what are we supposed to trashing this week?


Joe Roberts 2012
06-02-2009 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,543
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 17
Post ID: 10687
Reply to: 10686
No smiles, no rolling eyes, no spreading lips…
fiogf49gjkf0d

Well, it is nothing about trashing. The problem that I see is that you, Joe, do not recognize the architecture solutions that those allegorical house builders implemented in order to satisfy the Cat and get attracted only with the easiness of that blond. In fact, it is apparent that for you her pubic hair is the answer to the architecture challenge how to build a house for felines.

What the Camerata people built sentiency deserve appreciation as the playback-cafe notion that is why I posted the link – I was writhing about this idea and proposing it to some people long before I knew that it already exist in Korea.  In fact I would love to “work” in such place and not necessary in audio department. However, applauding to what the Camerata did as a “Classical Music Café” I very much not happy to see what they did audio-wise. I know that for you – the windows shopping listener – a pile of  audio gear is an opportunity to make a pictures but it is not where I see excitement. 

The warehouse arrangement of Camerata inhalation is in fact does not attract but annoys me. I generally feel that having a multiple playbacks is a “sigh”, of cause people do alloyed to “collect” the things but it has nothing to do with audio.  Do the Camerata built any specific “loaded” sound in there or they just keep the visitors as the hostages of random sound of their “accumulation hobby? I am not the person who would answer but with my experience I see many signs that give me some ideas. If I see a multi-wave installation with 3-4 JBLs that are not only not aligned but randomly dumped god know where then I would call it idiocy. Do you think if it is not JBL but Western Electric then I need to kiss them into the asses as you do?

I think if you stop to parent that any of your readers are fucking idiots  and remember that  sound from playback is not the equipment but the people/actions behind equipment then you will stop to stress this Western Electric paranoia. You are not the only one who heard Western Electric, and BTW you are not the only one who provide a feedback about the Camerata sound. Since I posted the link above I got 4 emails from people who visited Camerata and shred with me their observations. The most indicative was a guy who claims that during his visit they run horribly sounding Linn speaker, charging admission as it was the “fool bloom WE systems”. In that room it would be hardly make any difference anyhow….

Still, it is funny that you feel some kind of exclusively and behave like a overly-impressible newcomer.  You are not the only person who heard something in not the only person who know people who stupidly inversed a lot of money into this shit. I hope that your with your Western Electric experiences learned something that you feel is important for you. Frankly from all numerous posts you made on this subjects I did not found them educational or making me to think. No smiles or rolling eyes sings - just what it is.

The Cat


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
06-02-2009 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Joe Roberts
Posts 48
Joined on 01-12-2009

Post #: 18
Post ID: 10690
Reply to: 10687
Luck of the draw
fiogf49gjkf0d


Wait...are you saying that FOUR people who have been to Camerata wrote you offline (within two days!) and they neglected to enter into this relevant discussion?

Strange! H'mmm?

If I were the guy mentioned above, I would have been in here screaming "Roberts, you f*cking wacko. I went to Camerata and they were playing Linn Keilidhs!"

What did the other three say?

It can indeed be a gamble to walk in to Camerata looking for an audio experience. For one thing, the workers are not allowed to play the WE 15A system, only the owner can operate it. Where Mr. Hwang is out golfing or whatever, they play vintage German gear. Very strange equipment which I can't begin to identify. It is OK but not outstanding, according to what I heard there. It was still quite acceptable for the cafe music experience but didn't have the impact of the WECO speakers.

Also, one of the 46C amps blew a tube three or four months ago and they did have modern gear in as a backup during repairs. I heard the system after the amps had been fixed and upgraded, but it seems your informant may have visited at an unfortunate time for tube audio listening.

Building in the audio system was the brainstorm of Mr. Hwang, who found a good way to combine his hobby and a retirement business in a socially and culturally worthwhile enterprise.

Understand that audio is a sideline at Camerata...they play music all day but it is a general cultural center with live performances, cinema screenings, etc. And a working coffeeshop. Probably less than 5% of visitors even noticed or cared if they were listening to Linn or Klangfilm or whatever. They probably cared more about the musical selection on the turntable rather than the type of turntable, for the most part.

This idea that you have retreated to that people who have extra equipment are somehow confused and aimless probably condemns you, me, and 95% of visitors to the home of the Cat. 

Yes, the art of system building is about people rather than gear. That is exactly what I am saying. Among 1000s of bad vintage systems, these guys made things work to a very high level of performance, or in the case of Camerata, doing interesting things with audio gear. My kudos are not ass kissing but giving credit as due.

You dismissed both the people and the gear, based on inaccurate stereotypes you dreamed up without meeting the people or ever hearing the gear they set up.

One of the first points I made was just because these guys are rich collectors, does not mean that they don't know what they are doing. Just because more stupidity is generated about Western Electric than any other audio gear, does not mean that there is some truth behind the myth, even if most devotees never get to experience it.

Had you taken us up on the invitation to visit Korea, you would have heard what I did, and perhaps you would have more grounded observations to offer and you might recognize that there is possibility beyond the highly-predictable conclusions in your posts.

I don't doubt that you could find something to pick apart even when listening to that great 12A system which is one of the very best I have heard, but I suspect that you would have been impressed with some aspects of the presentation. The LF was truly remarkable to my ear...very difficult for me to fault. Maybe you could even relate to the sincerity and dedication of the owner, his sense of pride.

Or maybe not, but I don't see how condemning it all before the fact, based on photos and speculation, in any way promotes growth of knowledge and understanding for anybody.

One one point, we are agreed. It is a good idea to move some of this stuff out into a cafe type setting and play music. Some might come for the music and some few for the audio or even coffee and a lunchtime date, but it is a worthy use of theater gear to set up in a nice space for public enjoyment. More socially rewarding than being in some crazy dude's private listening room.

I didn't and wouldn't say that the Camerata 15A system was the greatest (two of the others I heard were much better as picky audio experiences) or that the setup or room was ideal, but as a listening cafe, it was quite magical compared with the average Starbucks. It had a really good vibe and for a relaxing interlude with a nice coffee and good music, it was spot on. The big horns in a large reverberant space created a very engaging listening environment. It was a special place and the realization of a very good idea indeed. It felt good to be there. Revitalizing.

It might be possible to pull this off in certain settings in the USA and I'd like to see it happen, but like Camerata there would have to be a draw other than an audio system---because so few care about this.  Of course, WECO gear isn't necessary and might not even be the best choice in terms of practicality and economics for such a music cafe, but good sounding and visually impressive horns would be a plus, I think....appropriate technology for the job. Even second-tier hornsAvant Gardes might work for this sort of non-audiophile context.

Maybe one of us will do this someday.


JR




06-02-2009 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,543
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 19
Post ID: 10692
Reply to: 10690
The worthwhile enterprise of a mind….
fiogf49gjkf0d
 Joe Roberts wrote:
… in any way promotes growth of knowledge and understanding…
Well, when your agenda include growth of knowledge and development of understanding instead of pimping catchy hype for gullible simpletons then let talk. For now, I am bit worn thin from this conversation, Not to mention that your habit to acknowledge the only things that were extended right in front of your face does not help either…
 Joe Roberts wrote:
… You dismissed both the people and the gear …
Wrong again. I am dismissing your critiques but it is a whole another story…

The Cat
 


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
06-02-2009 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Joe Roberts
Posts 48
Joined on 01-12-2009

Post #: 20
Post ID: 10694
Reply to: 10692
Yes, this is pointless
fiogf49gjkf0d


I agree...this is a tedious exchange. I feel sorry for the readers, if any.

If can't defend myself against Romy arguing with me about what I heard, based solely on photographic analysis, in an entertaining manner, I must be losing my touch.

There is no communication here. I'm not sure we are even talking about the same things.

I'm talking about how some very impressive horn speaker installations I saw/heard and he's telling me they have too much gear in the room and they are not the right "kind" of people or something.

Maybe I'm just not tuned in to this discussion properly, but it seems rather absurd to me.

Whatever. For the benefit of the pained audience,  I withdraw from this thread.

Romy...you should have been there. Stay classy, guy.


Have fun, y'all

Joe Roberts

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