Friday, June 22, 2018

Tweek Geek Summer Intern Alex Tells The Story of His First Encounter With Hi-Fi

"Kramerica's Intern" episode from Seinfeld. Not too far from an internship at Tweek Geek...

I've been lucky enough to find some help over the summer with an intern. Part of what he will be doing will be writing blogs from a perspective that I simply cannot give. One of a young person who loves music growing up in the post-CD world. His first blog entry covers his exposure to high resolution sound through better than average gear.

It's great to have been able to snag such a smart, hard working and talented young man. It's even better that he understands the reason for listening to music through a good system. We've already had some great discussions on the technical and philosophical aspects of our hobby, and I look forward to reading his contributions on Tweek Geek Speek.  

My motivation was the hope that Alex will make music a part of his life that he will take time to appreciate it thoroughly, that it will help him in some way be a better person. So without further adieu, I would like to introduce Alex.

My First Hi-Fi Experience

Hi, I’m Alex and am a 19 year old Physics Engineering student at a small engineering university in Golden, Colorado. For better or worse--with Mike’s influence and insanely intricate audio setup--I have seemed to develop a “need” for high end audio. I say for better or worse because listening to high end equipment completely changes my perspective and appreciation for music. Even songs that I have given little attention to sound so much more refined and expressive--I’m probably preaching to the choir here, though, so I’ll move on. I say for worse because that quality of audio isn't cheap! I was lucky to have Mike as a neighbor, or I might not have been exposed to high-end equipment. I’m only about two weeks into this summer internship with Mike and am learning all the “tweeks” he uses to get to that point of audio nirvana.

Mike recommended, for my initial post, that I share my first experience with high-end equipment. I was maybe 15--so really only about 5 years ago--when I borrowed a pair of Mr. Speaker Ether headphones and an LH Labs Geek Out DAC/Amp. The first song I played was Pink Floyd’s Any Colour You Like. I had never experienced music like this. On a side note, I learned what open back headphones were because, as it turned out, my dad could hear everything I was playing just as clearly as the TV show he was watching.

That was my introduction to high-end audio. What fully hooked me was Mike’s set up with the B.M.F.s (nicknamed as Big Mother F*****s in my neighborhood) and an array of components. I would dog/house sit for Mike, and he would give me full reign to listen to his setup. The first time I was there, I must have sat for at least two hours listening to pretty much anything and everything. His setup sounded crazy good. Mike told me the goal of an audio system was to have the listener “enveloped by the music”. The actual speaker locations seemed arbitrary to the listener because the music could be heard throughout the entire soundstage of the room. I think I started listening to 90s groups like Blind Melon, then jumped to some modern indie, and then went down to 70s, finally stopping with 1980s New Wave. All of it sounded incredible.

Below are a few of Alex's musical selections when he first listened to the Tweek Geek system.


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