About a week ago I went to retrieve my Astell and Kern AK100 portable player and it wasn’t where I expected it to be. Usually it lives in a small bag tethered via two large FIIO black rubber bands to my Stax SR-001 earspeaker energizer, but when I looked there was the Stax, but no Astell and Kern.
Not finding the AK100 set off a solid week of looking. First I looked where I thought it might be – on a shelf with other portable devices and earphones, but no luck. Then I looked in all the other portable cases and bags I use to transport audio gear, but it wasn’t there either. I looked through all the pockets of every jacket I own, thinking that perhaps I’d been listening to it while walking around the house and had left it in a pocket. Nope.
At this point I was beginning to wonder if I had hallucinated ever owning an AK100 in the first place. And I began thinking about what I would sell to generate the funds to buy a replacement (yes, I like the AK100 THAT much.)
Of course I also began thinking about the problems of pricey devices that are too small and too easy to misplace. I once lost a pair of Shure 500 in-ears during a plane trip. I had them in a small black bag that must have fallen out of my main bag. I was so bereft at the idea of trying to complete my journey sans earphones that I bought a replacement pair at full boat from an airport shop. Ouch.
Subsequently I changed my travel rig so that the earphones live in a somewhat larger brightly colored bag that is far harder to misplace. That was my first experience with the perils of small, expensive audio gear.
After a couple of nights of waking up at 4:00 AM and having my mind go immediately to the problem of the lost AK100, I looked through all my bags again, this time including even the soft headphone bags that contain larger over-ear headphones such as my limited edition Audio-Technica ATH-W3000. Much to my delight when I fished around the bottom of the A-T ATH-W3000 bag there was the Astell and Kern AK100. It was then that I remembered that I had put the AK100 in with the ATH-W3000 almost a month ago prior to a band practice so that I could play a particular high-resolution track for my bandmates. I don’t think I ever played the track, and obviously I’d completely forgotten about it. Getting old can be a bitch…
The positive outcome of all this (besides finally finding the AK100) is that my equipment storage shelves are all much better arranged now, and hopefully in the future I’ll pay a bit better attention to where I put small, valuable audio gear.