Now hear this!
Some things just make you feel good don’t they? A deep, deep blue summer’s day sky without a cloud to be seen along with a hot, blazing sun beating down. The smell of fish and chips or freshly ground coffee beans. I’ll bet you have your favourite sights and smells too, but great sounds are just as an important feel-good sensation for me as my other senses.
It is heart-warming to see the current rebirth of vinyl and a real thrill to see the young enjoying the warm sounds that LPs bring to their audio experience. I am still disheartened that the majority of the younger generation just don’t get what good-quality sound can add to their musical listening pleasure. They blithely listen to their favourite artists and songs on rubbish speakers or tiny earphones. Kids you are missing out! Argh, they won’t hear me rave on.
To listen to music on a good hi-fi adds more to the experience than can be imagined. You feel the air move, almost feel the breath of the vocalist, and can enjoy the sounds of fingers dragged over strings, again and again. But hey, we Sheddies know this, don’t we? We were brought up with great music; great change; and, as the dollars would allow it, we bought hi-fi after hi-fi to move that listening experience up a notch with each purchase.
This issue of The Shed just happens to have turned into a bit of a homage to quality sound. Not because of any great plan — it just happened that way. I have a valve radio in my shed and it brings a smile to my dial every time I turn it on to listen to RNZ or, even better, a full five-day test. Heaven!
The warm sound that the valve radio throws out makes me feels at peace with the world and brings on a contented smile — memories of Merv Smith, probably.
If ever I visit another shed or a bach with a valve radio, I can’t wait to turn it on to get that same feeling and enjoy its own distinctive AM hum.
This issue of The Shed has a few audio stories for you to enjoy and I hope they make you feel good too. We have a couple of clever sheddies restoring, preserving, and upgrading some glorious old radios, we have a Kiwi in London who had a crack at replicating some $150K speakers and was very happy with the outcome (especially the price), and we have the very talented Paul Downie building harpsichords that will create amazing music for many to enjoy for decades to come.
We hope you like the sound of all that and hopefully it will encourage you to repair — or plug in — that old valve radio in the back of your shed.
What was that spider’s name on