While I can’t hold Indy’s dislike of the Stones’ “Satisfaction” against him, being a cat, it might be that his tastes in music are affected by my choice in audio equipment. I’ve always considered myself a bit of an audiophile, but rarely allowed myself an opportunity to fully appreciate the music I love. As a young man, I had a nice stereo system and decent speakers, but when money got tight, I sold most of the system, replacing it with something rather cheap. I kept the good speakers, but when I attached the cheap receiver to them, I proceeded to destroy the speakers (in much the same way urban kids destroy car speakers; pumping massive amounts of harmonic distortion through their speakers will destroy them, no matter their power rating).
I used to think I did better in the car, and I recall reading that some rock musicians don’t consider an album ready until it sounds good cruising, but unless the car is sound-proofed and tuned, you just can’t get the right sound out of car speakers. Engineers have tried for years. Yes, they can sound pretty good, but not to an audiophile.
I’ve been a fan of Bose speakers for years, but could never afford the classic speaker installations, much less the various audio sources that would do them justice. Indy’s break came when I caught on to the iPod craze. At first I only had the Apple ear buds, which didn’t offer much better than the old Pioneer headphones of my youth, but a visit to an Apple Store made me re-think Bose. It was the Bose SoundDock Series II, and the music in the iPhone 3G I was carrying never sounded so clear… until I got it home. Oh, sure, the notes were all there, and beautiful, too. But the SoundDock, for all of Bose’s magic, couldn’t give proper stereo separation for songs created to take advantage of that separation (you know the ones I mean, if you’re a fan of 70’s rock).
Still, the SoundDock served a purpose, even providing better sound for my HD TV than its own speakers would provide. As my wife was liking the idea less and less of my detaching the TV so I could appreciate my music in the lanai, she bought me a Bose SoundLink – portable, Bluetooth, impressive sound for a device that small, but still a single until unable to handle the stereo separation. Indy would never really get the drum beat at the start of Journey’s “Anytime” the way it was intended, at least until I could afford another upgrade. It might even require an upgrade to my house, as the living room is not an engineer’s dream (more of a nightmare, with sliding glass doors on one side and the dining room on the other).
But I think I have found nirvana while hanging out around the Bose web site: the Bose MIE2i earphones. Finally, I have the Bose experience – musical detail I had been unable to hear in the past (Melissa Etheridge’s Breakdown album comes to mind), and real stereo separation. This was what I wanted back in the days of the Pioneer headphones, but had never been able to get.
And Indy, being a cat, was never going to get it. I can’t picture any cat tolerating ear buds, but Indy was definitely not getting his paws on my Bose earphones!
“Indy, get that smirk off your face!”