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In the Forum: Analog Playback
In the Thread: The last phonocorrector: “End of Life" Phonostage
Post Subject: The sentiments behind “End of Life" PhonostagePosted by Romy the Cat on: 5/29/2008

Here are some commentaries regarding my “End of Life" Phonostage.

The name of this phonostage derives from many factors. I am forty, winch it more or less a half live and in the first half I was playing a lot with different audio toys. The last 10 years I played more or less aggressively with phonostage as the RIAA stage were some kind of bottle neck of analog reproduction.  However, what I discovered that regardless what I did with RIAA filteres I always returned to a combination of Expressive Technology magnetic and EAR 834 phonostage. For whatever reason that sound to me is the most comforting of anything I heard or can imagine in LP sound. It has better sound then just good sound – it has some devilish musical magic that is so difficult to “get” in audio. So, from one side I had a very satisfying audio result. From another side I have a desire do not do anything with my references phonostages anymore (I have found a good “second rank phonostage” for my none-reference arms and will play with in later). From the third side I have a materialistic and rational presumption that it will no ever be any more interestingly sounding step-up transformers (available within my reach) then the Expressive Technology ET2 transformer… So, considering that I look forward to retire from my “reference” phonostage interests I decided to render a short “end of the RIAA desire” project…

Then, I got a phone call. It was a friend of mine, an audio guy, who was sick and who was kind of on his way out. Talking with him I got inflicted not by the sense of our own mortality but rather with a feeling of abnormal ratio that we practice on audio – the ratio between exercising of results and preparation of the results. We, at least some of us, spend a large amount to time and efforts to discover specific areas of sound understanding but the sad truth is that the time we invest in audio education of ourselves has a “price tag”. This tag is a removal ourselves from the experiences of actual consumption of musicality for the sake of learning about audio, or learning the rules of audio consumption via a playback.

So, I decided to end with it and I feel that I know in analog enough in order do not need to know or to care about anything else anymore. It is not that my analog setup is good or bad but rather it is about the fact that my results with analog sound are sufficient for me in order me do not invest more time or efforts in order have a desire to have better Sound. I recognize that the second part of my 40-years I have no interest to think that there is anything else out there in analog world that attracts my craving to try it. I understand that what I say is not the factual statement but it is rather my sentiment of self-delusion but I agree with myself in this delusion. Thinking about it all a few month back here is where the idea of “terminally beautiful phonostage” came to the existence. The dying friend proposed a good idea: his death will stop his peruse for his version of “better sound”, so I figure what why wouldn’t  I  declare the death of my analog desires right now, while  I still have 40 years ahead of me for actually practicing my analog expertise and practicing  my analog accumulations.

So, the “End of Life Phonostage” is my version of absolute RIAA references after which egos and sound have no needs anymore to be enlarged. I do not suggest that that the “End of Life Phonostage” performs better then other hypothetical phonostages I just state that I do not look forward anymore to answer this question to the rest of my audio life. So, I do not consider the “End of Life Phonostage” as a “Death phonostage” as it was proposed in the beginning of the thread but I rather feel that the “End of Life Phonostage” is a birth phonostage, the birth for a new level of audio practicing awareness.

Rgs, Romy the Cat

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