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Monthly Editorial by Marc Mickelson
October 2003

No Music, No Cry

As I've outlined in earlier editorials, I am in the process of moving from one house to another. Right now, I'm in deep limbo, with only a small number of my possessions not boxed up and in storage. For the longest time, I didn't even have an audio system set up (for those wondering, I wrote reviews during that time from notes taken while my audio systems were connected), but that has changed recently, although my reference equipment is still waiting for its day in a new listening room.

As you can imagine, I missed listening to music during the time I was without, probably all the more because I continued to buy music -- that's a habit I need more time to curtail. I accumulated a number of CDs and SACDs that I would look at longingly and think about the time when I would be able to unwrap them, take them from their cases, and insert them into the Esoteric DV-50 universal A/V player or Mark Levinson No.37 transport. Aaahhh.

But here's the thing. During the time I was musicless, although I did finish work on a few reviews, I was able to concentrate on topics other than "the system." I read, watched movies, took a couple of trips, and visited an audiophile friend to listen to his system. In short, I began to hear other things, including interests that are easy to neglect when you're into the audio hobby: people and places. In retrospect, my time without music at home wasn't all that bad. It put me in touch with how this avocation fits into my life, not how I fit into it.

So you're probably wondering how things are now that the music is back. Really good, a reunion of sorts. I've been doing more background listening while I do other things, not my preferred method but an acquired skill in my current living situation, which doesn't include a dedicated room. This will change once I move for good in the upcoming weeks, but I suspect I'll also want an audio system that's in more of a public place than the listening lair, where music can be shared with others and other activities.

I remember talking with Jeff Fritz about his new house when we were in Denver a little over a month ago. I was surprised to discover that Jeff's listening room, which will soon house Wilson Audio Alexandria X-2 speakers, is a main room of his house, perhaps the room in which he and his wife spend the most time. That's never been the case for me, but it's an idea whose merit is easy to understand -- now.

...Marc Mickelson

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