Drug-like Experiences at Shows

We’ll get back to the Drug-like component discussion shortly, but I was writing about our Audio Note room this upcoming CES and got to thinking about whether I could expect people [aka you all] to experience drug-like experiences in the AN room, in which room I expect there to be a very drug-like sound.


“Does the ambient stress and presence of strangers and their talking Decrease, or perhaps even Increase, the chances of a Drug-like experience in a room with Drug-like Sound?”

In my observations at shows, the experience can definitely be affected SIGNIFICANTLY by the show itself (this is all just from my point of view. Other people may have other triggers):

Negative Show Vibes:

* Somebody yacking loudly about pricing or other business matters [this tends to activate my practical brain which just loves kill any kind of enjoyable experience for me :-)]

* Somebody commenting about how they “don’t get it” or other downer comments about the sound [this activates my “what is the world coming to” brain. OMG this part of my brain is working overtime these days]

* The exhibitor in the room talking to me about the technical aspects of this and/or that. [this activates my “WTF you talking about?” part of the brain. However… based on numerous comments on Forums about shows, this seems to enable many people to be convinced that what they would hear if the exhibitor was not actually, in fact, talking to them at the time would be great]

Positive Show Vibes:

* Friends and/or acquaintances in the room [perhaps grooving to the tunes, which, in our culture here in the U.S., means they are not getting up and leaving. Since just about every room has a friend or acquaintance for me these days, this is a big advantage. These people make me able to relax a bit and not worry so much about nutcases coming up to me demanding an explanation for why I gave their system last year with the speakers on the floor and their components piled on top of the speaker a less than positive review]

* A well setup system [I like to see that the components were chosen and setup with some attention paid to how it is going to sound. This communicates to me that they care about my musical experience in their room. There is a whole continuum of how well these rooms are setup. (Maybe I should rate rooms ONLY based on this aspect of their system? Acoustic Zen would rate very well. Merlin would do pretty well – unless we rate them for whether they dust their components from year to year :-)). Many high-end systems pay little attention to vibration control or use racks that are much worse than putting things on the floor. In general many choose components from vendors that are inferior to what they are primarily trying to exhibit. This tells me that they are not focused upon providing me a drug-like experience. ]

* Somewhat less detail than I normally insist upon [my ears are raw from listening to many not-very-good systems and the ability to relax to a more laid back sound helps me be receptive to any drug-like sound the system may have.]

No Vibes:

* Room appearance [I have no memory of any room whose appearance affected how receptive I was to a drug-like sound … except… mattresses leaning up against the wall is kind of icky… and the NFS (Not For Sale) room with their light show and 24 hour party and heavy drinking and warm welcome and all makes me have a drug-like experience even when, no PRIMARILY when, they are not playing any music. ;-)]

I’ll try to think of other things that affect whether or not people may have a drug-like experience at a show. It is hard, for me, to have one in my own exhibit room, even after hours surrounded by new and old friends, because I am so worried and stressed at some level about how it sounds and am I forgetting something and what if we did this or that etc.