Mike Fremer welcomes us into his home on YouTube

Mike Fremer welcomes us into his home on YouTube. Went up day before yesterday. We liked it. 🙂

A few comments:

So many records!

Here is somebody who listens nearfield to large speakers, people. Everybody with small rooms [us too, now], take heart!

Comparing analog with digital on that system is somewhat disingenuous – his analog stack is significantly superior to his digital stack. The best digital comes MUCH closer to the best analog than his digital.

The uncomfortable cautionary tale about the stroke victim really is some sage advice to us all to tell our significant other to hire an ‘expert’ friend-of-the-family’, or at least a ‘trusted expert’ to sell the records [and gear!] after such a tragic incident [assuming we did not want to listen to music after a stroke, which you know, is so WRONG].

I presume the making of this video, and Mike’s mention of each component he has bought and paid for, was prompted by a rash of reviewers whose whole system is on semi-permanent loan [and saying good things about that gear, and only that gear]. This says something about his sincerity when he says he likes these things, and lends authenticity to his recommendations. These sort of distinctions seem to be beyond the ken of many people these days – as we grow more and more accustomed to consuming bite-sized opinions on FB, Twitter and YouTube as facts – but glad someone is shining a light in the darkness.

Stereophile is not paying Mike enough. And the weird thing, for me, is that people seem to think that being an ‘underpaid journalist’ is to be expected, even for someone who is at the top of his game as the preeminent journalist in all of high-end audio. Stereophile, the top publication in high-end audio, should pay their top journalists enough to afford a mortgage on a modest home / apartment [in Joisy, of all places] and to purchase tools-o-da-trade like this level of system, which, seriously, is not all that outrageous of a system [the analog signal path seems quite well designed, in fact]. Certainly over the course of his tenure at Stereophile, just his salary should be enough to cover this level of investment in gear and more, IMO.

So many records!

 

 

San Francisco Opera in the Park

We attended the San Francisco Opera in the Park yesterday. Sharon Meadow, Golden Gate Park.

Sharon Meadow was filled up…

We were up-prepared for it to be so unnaturally sunny (for SF) and unnaturally warm (for SF), so all by itself, that was memorable.

The quality of the performance…  was shockingly good. I mean, we listen to a fair amount of opera and classical music here. In my opinion, the sum total of the performance, the musicians taken together as a whole, was better than just about anything I have heard before. Perhaps many albums focus too much on ‘stars’ as opposed to performances?

The quality of the sound… it was amplified. A lot. It was perfectly loud back where these were taken. So, not very high fidelity. There was good immediacy, but the midrange sometimes had a ‘falsetto’ washed out color to it, and the upper bass had minimal decay and sounded more percussive and dead than it should. Similarly the upper mids could not handle much complexity at volume, which is somewhat familiar as many classical CDs have this problem – maybe to do with the microphone being overloaded?

Copland’s arrangement of “At The River” sung by Jill Grove, San Francisco Opera in the Park [sorry about the abrupt start]. There were many others I should have recorded, which are more my cup-o-tea, but this is what we got.

 

The view from Hippie Hill. We *love* San Francisco! [and the air was better here than in Palo Alto. What’s up with that? There wasn’t much of a breeze at all from the Pacific either, but maybe it was just the proximity to the ocean that made the air a little more human-friendly].