The world is confusing and often hurts. Art is doubly so. People act irrationally, books fall flat, plays lose the plot in the third act, and TV is full of lies. But music? Beautiful music is eternal, perfect and always there when I need it.

My relationship with hifi has goes back to my father’s hifi system. It looked like something from That 70’s Show – huge, silver face with prominent VU meters and wood veneer sides. I remember hearing the hiss in between tracks and the crackle from the turntable. Starting then I’ve lived most my life with some sort of quality musical reproduction. And for some reason I’ve always owned an entry level set of Bowers and Wilkins speakers. Don’t ask me why.

When digital obsoleted my CD collection I gave into convenience and lived with a bluetooth speaker for a couple years. But that old fire never completely extinguished. When I discovered headphones as an accessible entree into hifi I spent most of 2019, 20, 21 and 22 in an endless loop of learning, comparing and upgrading. Like many I started with a reductive, measurement focused outlook from a certain site with a brown background. Luckily, the easy, over-simplified fallacies of measurement reductionism gave way as I learned from listening, and also from many truly wise audiophiles I encountered along the way. You know who you all are. Thank you.

As R2R dacs and discrete amps replaced the .00001% THD dacs and opamp based amplifiers I felt like Dorothy landing in Oz. I was hearing in colors that didn’t exist before. If you’re reading this you have had a similar experience, or are currently seeking one. I can’t tell you if the journey is worth it for you..but it was for me.