Sunday, October 21, 2012

The Sound of Music

"The drummer boy from Illinois went crash, boom, bang,
    the whole rhythm section was the Purple Gang.
 Let's rock, everybody, let's rock.
 Everybody in the whole cell block was a dancin'
    to the Jailhouse Rock . . ."
-- Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller

Making a short story long ...

I'm not an audiophile. For starters, my hearing is crap, with both moderate hearing loss and tinnitus going back years, and my brain has never been wired for parsing spoken English well. (I didn't figure out why Andrew had an "R" in it until around first grade. I could always spell it fine. Go figure.)

But I like music, and I especially like while I am at my desk. My audio toys have grown over the years from the family cheap all-in-one stereo (sorry, Dad) to my own first radio (a Radio Shack Astronaut-8) and on to my own successive stereo components. Unlike the 13 different desktop computers I've bought and surplused over the years, we've still got most of the audio components. Those go back to a cassette deck and a pair of Boston Acoustic speakers (now in the library), acquired before the close of the first Reagan administration. The stereo receivers in our home offices are relatively new -- they date only from early in the second Clinton administration. The living room is more modern; all the gear down there was bought for this house except the previously mentioned cassette deck, a CD player, and a second, larger pair of Boston Acoustics speakers dating from the first Clinton administration.

The speakers, alas, have not held up as gracefully as the solid state electronics. In early September a grill got knocked off a living room speaker, and the material around the woofer looked abused enough to have been assaulted by feline claws. On second look however, while it torn up enough, the damage was too specific to the rubber gasket -- a feline assault would have nailed the inviting felt cone as well. The final verdict: old age. This was confirmed by looking at the older pair of BAs in the library, and while their shelf location makes them inaccessible to the cats, age had no trouble reaching them as well.

Repairs were in order. This required a bit of a shuffle of our remaining toys. Katherine's office and the bedroom kept their speakers, the library was silenced, and the bookshelf speakers in my office went to the living room. My office fell back to my cheap Altec computer speakers.

Fortunately, Seattle has a repair shop called speakerlab, so both pairs got to go the spa for three weeks for professional TLC.

Parts issues turned the three weeks into five.

Finally, this our speakers came home this week, and my office got its speakers back.

It's good thing Whitey can sleep in my office with the stereo cranked, because he is and it is.

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