My February Colorado Audio Society Presentation

Two years ago, shortly after I moved into my current abode, I hosted a Colorado Audio Society meeting. It was well attended and everything went smoothly except for the unknown person who managed to clog the guest toilet's hydraulic lift waste system with paper napkins... 

AR-myroom1acopy.jpgI'm about to hold another Colorado Audio Society meeting on February 24th, but this time, instead of a random assortment of music, I'm going to have a very particular playlist culled from Tidal, that will consist of ten or more excellent-sounding extremely well-recorded modern pop selections. The title of the presentation will be "And You Thought Modern Popular Music Sucked..." 

And how did I come to this arcane subject matter? That was pretty easy since almost every day I see at least one post of comment on Facebook about how all new music is poorly recorded, has no dynamic range, suffers from "the loudness wars," and is in no way on the same artistic level as the music produced in the past. My usual response to these forms of audio sour grapes is "You really need to get out and listen more." 

AR-popmusic1a.pngThose brave souls who will venture into my primary listening room near the end of February will be regaled with just how good modern pop music can sound AND the high level of musical and intellectual artistry that goes along with the sonics. What will the playlist be? To be honest, I'm still working on it - so far, I've narrowed it down to 25 songs. Next week I'll make the final cuts. My criteria are simple - what are the ten songs that best personify the width, breadth, and overall quality available in popular music. 

Last time I hosted the CAS I didn't bother to schedule specific listening time slots. The result was that folks spent far too much time waiting, upstairs, to listen to the main system. This year there will be specific time slots so that people can sign up in advance for a time slot. I plan to do four thirty-minute sessions with five sign-up slots for each session. Yes, that's not a whole passel of people, but instead of trying to give more people an inadequate experience I want to make sure that everyone has enough time in the sweet spot listening position so that each listener can get the full measure of what the music, system, and room can do together. Also, I'm interested to find out how many old audiophiles think they can stand 30 minutes of new music...Given that they will be listening to the new Spatial X-2 (which some CAS members had a chance to hear several months earlier at a meeting in Colorado Springs) I don't expect a lot of walk-outs. 

AR-popmusic2a.jpgTo keep people somewhat occupied on my main floor I plan to set up several headphone listening stations. One station will have four similarly-priced earphones all getting a feed from the same source (with matched levels) and all powered by the same multi-output headphone amplifier, the Samson QH4, which I've written about here. I'll also have several portable player/headphone set-ups for auditioning. It will be the world's smallest CANJAM meet... 

How will this all turn out? At present, I have no idea. And since I'll be spending the vast majority of the meeting downstairs, doing my directed pop music demo all afternoon, I will have to rely on other attendees to find out how it all went, upstairs. But hopefully, this year no matter how many times the toilet is flushed it will still run as vociferously as a rocky mountain stream...and I'll let you know how I think it turned out after it's all over... 

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