Yesterday I was looking through “The Absolute Sound” off the stand. There was one moment in there that made me to pay attention and to comment about the read. In the very beginning of the magazine, in the reader letters section, there was somebody who had issue with the validity of the expression “Absolute Sound”. I was attracted to this as I myself frequently use the term “Absolute Tone” and I would not have problem to use the term “Absolute Sound” if it not was blemished by the name of the habitually dummy publication. I had no problem with the TAS reader questioned the validity of the phrase “Absolute Sound”, after all, most of the readers of my site also have no understanding of my use of the phrase “Absolute Tone”. So, I was wondering what the TAS folks would reply. They did reply and I call the reply idiotic. (Who would expect it from me!?)
I did not buy that TAS issue, so it will not be a quote but rather an abstract of what I remember. I think it was Robert Harley who replied, or HP or one of their matriarchs….Anyhow he said that instead of reviewing audio elements based upon their comparative performances, one of the magazine’s founders came up with a “shining” idea to review audio in relation to sound of unamplified acoustic instruments. This sound they described as the “Absolute Sound”.
Well, it is certainly a creative play upon the feeble minds of the TAS’s reader. If the sound of unamplified acoustic instruments is the Absolute Sound then what is has to do with the tasks of audio reproduction? If the goal of audio (according to TAS) is to reach the Absolute Sound by artificial ways then I presume audio shell be mimicking the unamplified acoustic instruments, right? The problem is that live sound of “unamplified acoustic instruments” is one thing and any sound of audio reproduction is very different thing. They have the same external sonic manifestations but generally they are as much similar as smell of ocean similar to the smell of fish department in “Bread and Circus” (for foreigners - believe me or not but it is the name for a popular US food retailer). It is not that that I say that Audio sound is not good – it is different and has own expressive means and own effectual values. The worst thing a person can do is to “externally compare” the live sound with audio sound. This is EXECTLY what the TAS’s people propose: they invented the concept of Absolute Sound, the concept that understood ONLY in weighing of live against reproduced sounds but at the same time the concept that is completely incompatible with the comparing premises. In the muddy wetter of the endless and even theoretically not accomplishable comparing between live sound of “unamplified acoustic instruments” and the audio sound surrogate TAS magazine right along with the entire stupid high-end industry throw the fishing net, the net constructed with artificial and faulty audio requirements and with gullible fished-out consumers completely misguided in this their peruse to the faulty mirage-like goals
The ambiguity and confusion that TAS flaks created with the deployed of their marketing bogusness is not too accidental and it has two layers. First layer is the primitivism of the people who run the TAS. Yep, folks, you will be surprised to know that behind the all pompous blubbing, their funny “40 years in the business experience” and patronizing attitude most of those people are very limited in understanding of what is important and what is going on. They are in a way the victims of own invention where the metastases of “audio comparing” that they injected into audio industry have concurred, enslaved and spoiled this own frail minds. The second layer is that only in the environment of comparing live sound with audio sound trios people and their idiotic industry can actually sale something. Do not forget that anything those people do has the only one motivation - to maintain audio saleable. Those people cannot afford to think about audio and the ways for an individual using the means of audio to address own interest in sound (which is THE Absolute Sound). They cannot afford it because it would be nothing for them to sell. You can’t build an industry based upon expansion of listening awareness and simulation of interpretive-listening consciousness. Those TAS people need to have a brown UPS track monthly to deliver some kind of new crap to the cretin who subscribes the industry’s rules of the game. It is very much like health. How good a pharmaceutical company would do if people live healthy and in clean environment? Probably let people to eat previously eaten food, to drink gasoline and to breathe gas is something that helps to the pharmaceuticals to peddle their medications…
To “eat previously eaten food, to drink gasoline and to breathe gas” - was it the sonic equivalency of the TAS’s late recommended audio components, wasn’t it? Sure, it was what I call the TAS’s Absolute Sound of Audio Idiocy.
Rgs, Romy 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