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Editorial Musings with Basil Ramsey

Sounds ever upward

A friend who has now acquired the considerable facilities of DVD came very close in conversation yesterday to a confession that this, for him, could be the grand finale to a long-lasting dribble of hi-fi refinements coveted and then bought over a period of some years. I'm not certain whether congratulations or commiserations should be applied as an appropriate response to the ending of such a specialised journey.

The risk inherent in this lies in our endless quest for something closer to perfection than we have previously experienced. People take a stand about it as a precisely balanced digest of sound for their ears. As we all know, there are many variants of 'perfection' with which some argue endlessly, whilst the music they desire in some extreme quality sound issues from banks of loudspeakers like aerial warfare. Yet other musical perfectionists are wafted on high from the quality emerging from a no-nonsense hi-fi. Do we all know precisely what quality is perfectly matched to our very own receiving apparatus? Does a disembodied voice, again from some secure HQ, offer a professional opinion?

Apart from an exhausting range of choices and personal quibbles, frantically sought after as a compromise quarried out of endless variants, there is the sensitive mission for the ideal that embodies the characteristics most suitable for our reception. The resource is really too wide and of such sophistication to be capable of an absolutely sure decision. Yet a splendid result may be reached to keep us close to high quality.

Perhaps not so long ago the hi-fi market store was offering a mishmash of equipment where reproduction ranged more widely than expected. Today more than ever, spend money wisely and quality is ready and waiting. I hear from various sources that the CD market is declining. If we might consider the years of pressings flooding out from world manufacturers it is startling that this flood does not match an ocean in quantity.

Copyright © 14 March 2003 Basil Ramsey, Eastwood, Essex, UK



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