Classic Album Sundays-
I continue to get this question as I share the event with more and more people and wanted to take a moment to explain what it is and where it came from.
First off, this was not my idea. While attending a trade show and the associated seminars at the Rocky Mountain Audiofest last year they mentioned this type of an event as a way to share music in a way that is often lost in our busy lifestyle. The events encourage people to take the time to sit down and truly listen to an album all the way through. Without distraction and with a sound system that allows you to hear the smaller details these are opportunities to better appreciate the musician and their art form.
It appears to have started in May of 2011 in London. Sharing a classic vinyl album in a public space on a great “Hi-Fi” sytsem typically worth more than most households will spend in there own home, temporarily set-up for the event. Allow time to mingle before the primary album is played, but kindly ask that everyone respects the music without distractions like loud talking and obnoxious ring-tones during the featured music (they are a bit more firm on this than I am locally). Recommended listening and reading is provided through social media and Colleen Murphy’s website. It has continued to grow and expand to similar events in other cities including New York and Japan.
Very Important is the format the music is played back on, vinyl. Here is where people seem to show the most amount of excitement when I share this detail with them. I consistently hear comments about how they miss listening to their own record collection, most often collecting dust with no table to play it on or a collection long since given away or sold. Some will mention the scratchiness or “noise” they recall from the format. Whatever someone’s experience was, the reality is that good clean vinyl can exhibit traits closer to live music and provide a similar emotional experience. This isn’t to say people can’t enjoy CD’s, however many variables exist with listening to a digital system that effect what you hear. A far more unfortunate format for providing music in an engrossing way is an MP3 file. Again, not to say every downloaded file is worthless to listen to. However, one must seek out websites like HDTracks in order to find a music file similar or possibly even better than the CD version. Again, Vinyl=Good, MP3’s=Bad, CD’s=Good if the system it is played on does it justice (I can help with that).
@ The Fieldhouse Cafe
Sunday 17th, 6PM
The Jimi Hendrix Experience
Relax to the entire album played on vinyl!
Enjoy coffee, desserts and related music until 7 when this album begins.
Listening Rules Apply.
For information: call 860.3282
@ Harper & Madison
January 27th 6pm
Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band
With limited seating, bring a cushion or pillow and relax to the entire album played on vinyl! Enjoy coffee, desserts and related music until 7 when this album begins. Listening Rules Apply.
@ Harper & Madison
December 16th 7PM
With limited seating, bring a cushion or pillow and enjoy the entire album played on vinyl! Arrive early for beverages & pastries.
More information call Micah @ 860.3282 studiosky.com
@ Ernie November Music
November 25th 7pm
Bring a chair or cushion and enjoy the entire album played on vinyl!
For more info see Ernie November 919 Grand Ave @ 2 4 8 . 5 8 2 1
or Micah @ 8 6 0 . 3 2 8 2
One of the highlights of being in the audio industry is getting to hear many products that produce amazing sound. Have you ever put on a track of music and had it give you goosebumps? Maybe you have heard this same track before, but this time the realistic way it is being reproduced is better than ever. Possibly you heard a new detail within it or it just enveloped you again and reminded you why you liked it to begin with. Whatever the reason, it’s an enjoyable experience and it always puts a smile on my face to hear great sound.
Unfortunately, one of the disappointing things about this industry is that this same great experience is often accompanied by the reality of how difficult it is to enjoy that same sound in your home. Often the quality of sound that you just experienced is directly connected to the cost of the system producing it. Maybe the environment (placement of speakers or acoustic considerations) you listened in cannot easily be duplicated in your home. Like any industry, a quality experience is not created by chance. Significant time and expense is spent by companies to develop something that sounds better than the previous. Cost of materials used is a balancing act for all but the most top-tier companies/products. Never can quality speakers and components be haphazardly thrown together hoping they will reproduce the desired sound, even if a significant budget is spent.
At times, however a quality product comes along that is more easily attainable by the majority. For whatever reason, a manufacturer has found a way to offer performance that belies the price asked. Enter the Sjofn-Hifi speaker called (the clue). This unimposing bookshelf sized speaker (they call them a “brace”), from an admittedly difficult to pronounce company, has been designed with a typical lifestyle and environment in mind. Traditional loudspeaker placement guidelines recommended putting speakers a third the way into the room from the wall behind them, but no matter how pleasant or neutral a speaker may sound when placed in this position, it seldom is a realistic placement. The Clue was designed not to minimize acoustic issues when placed against the wall but take full advantage of this placement. So, do you think a modest sized speaker can’t create a spacious, enveloping sound with tremendous bass? You must hear these speakers in your home. This won’t be your typical experience hoping the product you just spent your hard earned money on performs like it did in a store with who knows how many differences to your own room. Contact us and we can prove how Sjofn-Hifi has figured out how to create a product that performs far beyond it’s price. We thoroughly enjoy demonstrating amazing sound and, just maybe, giving you “goosebumps” again.
Aside from the implementation of efficient lighting fixtures, dimmers, and lighting control systems, there is another consideration for rooms with a television. While training with The Imaging Science Foundation (ISF) I came to understand an essential part of the viewing experience that is often overlooked. While I could offer proper calibration of many televisions creating the most accurate picture possible, few people consider how their viewing environment affects their experience. Our perception of color and contrast as well as our comfort while watching something in the dark can be improved with a fairly simple solution called bias lighting.
So what is this exactly? Bias lighting in this application is placing a light source behind the television. However, it is not just as simple as finding an unused fixture in the home and placing it behind your television, if it would even fit. The light source must display the proper color “temperature” in order to not change your perception of colors on the screen. The light source also needs to be able to be adjusted in brightness for the correct 10% or less of the brightest white that your television displays. Ideally, you don’t want to have to turn the light on and off separately from the television. The light would simply turn on with your television.
The Ideal-Lume lights I install create the most accurate color temperature and are thin enough to be placed behind televisions even when mounted on the wall. They include a simple solution to adjust brightness. In addition, I install bias lights with a switched outlet device that turns them on and off automatically with your television.
What are the proven benefits of correctly implemented bias lighting?
1. Reduces or eliminates eye strain and viewing fatigue in dark viewing conditions.
2. Eliminates image contamination due to reflections, haze and glare on the screen from conventional room lighting.
3. Enhances perceived black levels, contrast ratio, and picture detail by enabling dark adapted viewing.
4. Preserves correct color perception of the video image by the viewer.
5. Prolongs monitor phosphor life by enabling dark room viewing and lowering of screen brightness requirements (phosphors are used in CRTs, plasmas, and LCDs with CCF or white LED back lighting).
6. Provides a low level of illumination in the room for movement and peripheral activities.
Here is an implementation of bias lighting in a StudioSKY project:
Feel free to give me a call and ask any questions about bias lighting, how it may be implemented in your home or visit Cinema-Quest’s website for more technical information. StudioSKY is the authorized local dealer.