[SoundStage!]Audio Hell
Back Issue Article

April 2002

Audio Astrology

Why do women seem more interested in this astrology thing than men? Is it because men are rational, concrete, and have a scientific approach to everything? Naaahhh!

My wife and daughter have always told me that I’m "such a Leo." That’s Leo, as in the lion of the astrologer’s charts. I’ve always considered it to be such bunk, but I would still find ways to use it to my advantage. "Of course I’m a Leo. You must be recognizing my generous attitude and brave nature," I would say. The resulting barrage of comments made it quite clear that I was not the "king of the beasts" in this household. Women rule and men drool (as well as participate in other vulgar activities).

Anyway, I thought that if this astrology thing talked more about fi than feelings, then more of us men might take an interest. So I’ve donned my crystal-studded psychic’s hat and fired up the incense burner. I now present to you the groovy stereophonic readings of Medium Bill (although I’m more of a large to XL).

Aires: March 22 to April 20. Let's see -- Aires is a ram. When I think of a ram, I think of that commercial for Mountain Dew where the guy butts heads with the ram. I guess this is what rams do. They like to fight. I think an audiophile like this is probably one who will approach hi-fi in the same way. "Who says I can’t drive those 80dB efficient speakers with the 2-watt SET amp? Well, we’ll just see about that. " This is the competitive audiophile that always has to be better than anyone else. My amp is better than your amp.

Taurus: April 21 to May 21: The bull? This could mean a couple of things. Bull could refer to what this guy is full of. He professes to be the expert on everything, doling out unsolicited advice to unsuspecting neophytes. Having two Taurus teenagers, the bull could also refer to bullheaded. "Cables do not make a difference." "CD players all sound the same." "Any amplifier over a thousand dollars is a waste of money." This is a mixed bag because Taurus may spend less time and money tweaking his system just so, but he may also be missing out on some major improvement in sound.

Gemini: May 21 to June 21. Gemini is the sign of the twins. This guy definitely is not into mono or 5.1. A two-channel guy in the strictest sense. Think in twos. Dual-mono or monoblocks are preferable. Likes two independent volume pots on his preamp. Two ways with simple crossovers are his bag. A real biwire fan. D’appolito all the way.

Cancer: June 22 to July 22. A crab huh? Must be a real unhappy audiophile. This one spends lots of time in Audio Hell trying to get things right, but he is never quite happy. Probably a real upgrade junky. Crabs get their claws pinched off a lot, but they grow back. This audiophile will not be dissuaded by any setbacks. If one thing doesn’t work out, he’ll trade out or up and keep searching for that sonic nirvana.

Leo: July 24 to August 23. Lions are from Africa, a nice warm continent of mysterious qualities. Definitely a tube person. Likes a warm, spacious sound good for resting under the shade of a baobob tree after a nice romp with a lioness or a zebra steak snack. Will sacrifice a little detail for a sweet-sounding top end as long as the spaciousness of the Serengeti remains intact.

Virgo: August 24 to September 23. Like a virgin touched for the very first time. Hmmm…a new audiophile? This is as good as it gets for an audiophile. Virgo never finds himself in Audio Hell. He lacks the jaded attitude that eventually touches most of us. Every new interconnect is approached with innocent delight rather than dulled cynicism. Is it true there are kits to restore audio virginity to the rest of us?

Libra: September 24 to October 23. Always looking at things from every point of view, Libra is the confused audiophile. "Tubes have such a nice midrange, but what about the bass control of solid state? Those minimonitors sure do disappear, but the transparency of those electrostats sure is desirable. And what about those new digital formats?" I think there’s a little Libra in all of us. If the Libra is a tube lover, he probably is a rabid tube swapper.

Scorpio: October 24 to November 22. The scorpion doesn’t like to be messed with and would kill itself rather than let someone else kill it. Sounds like a real control freak to me. This is the audiophile best left alone. Don’t try to criticize or even make gentle suggestions to this audiophile. His system is beyond reproach. He knows best -- just ask him. We’ve all met this guy.

Sagittarius: November 23 to December 22. I had to look this one up. Half man and half beast. If my memory serves me right, the centaurs were the scholars and intellectuals of Greek mythology. These must be the audiophiles who have to read every piece of information about every possible choice before making a decision. They trust what they read more than what they hear with their own ears. In some ways, they are the most informed, yet also the least informed.

Capricorn: December 23 to January 19. A Seagoat? A real hybrid here. Probably is a great lover of MartinLogans. Tube preamps mated with MOSFET muscle amps are the ticket for this creature of two worlds. Looks for the best of all worlds, a difficult but rewarding process.

Aquarius: January 20 to February 19. Bearer of water. Loves Purist water-filled cables. A wet-sounding, liquid midrange is a must. Avoids anything with a dry presentation, but doesn’t mind a little MOSFET mist. Wet cleans all his records and bathes his tweeters in ferrofluid.

Pisces: February 19 to March 20. Pisces is supposed to be the most spiritual of all the signs. Perhaps this is the audiophile who pays more attention to the music than the equipment. He loves the hobby but realizes it is a means to an end, not a means to obsessive compulsive disorder. I don’t quite get the fish part, but my grandfather always said that fish was brain food. Perhaps this is true of an audiophile with a more balanced attitude.

Well there you have it -- the wisdom of the stars. Take it for what it’s worth, and go out and buy yourself a CD out of the dollar bin. And if you’re still looking for a more favorable reading of the planets, may I suggest a recent release of the Holst favorite on the Hyperion label? A new composer has added Pluto to complete the Solar System. Finally, the planets are aligned. Happy listening.

...Bill Brooks


[SoundStage!]All Contents
Copyright 2002 SoundStage!
All Rights Reserved