Friday, April 13, 2007

Early Summer Fun

It's going to be such an awesome summer this year! On the 21st I get to go shooting with some good friends and the OLP photographers at Wichita MWR. It will be my first real shoot with the new IR camera. There is a Bluegrass Festival from the 26th to the 28th and a friend from highschool will be there performing. I haven't seen him in years so I hope I get a chance to at least say hi. May is my birthday at the beginning of the month, and a really good friend from Oregon will be on a road trip and hopefully stopping in for a few days at the end of the month. He likes photography too and I want to tow him around to all the scenic parks and just hang out and have fun. June brings TT-West 07 and a 2000 mile drive to Ashland Oregon for a great weekend filled with amazing drives and some of the best friends I've ever known. Life is good. :)

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Sucked In By A Black Hole

A little known fact about me: I do love my music. Not only music but the gear used to play it. I've a love affair with high-end audio. Like any good audiophile I strive for that 'absolute sound' reproduction that is musical and involving, dimensional, dynamic and as close to life as possible. Like a good many audiophiles I know this sometimes involves a tweak here and there. I'll admit a good many tweaks and gimmicks are just that, and don't provide much of anything for your money spent (except maybe a lighter wallet). I just found something that is the exact opposite though.

After a glowing review from an acquaintance online I gave in and picked up a Black Hole CD mat from Herbie's Audio Lab. The cost? $4.50 for the mat and $.50 for a little case plus priority shipping for a total of less than $10.00. The performance was astounding. It cleaned up some upper midrange/lower treble glare and beefed up the thin bass on some discs. It also really brought out previously veiled micro-dynamics. Imaging on good discs is downright eerie in it's 3-dimensionality. I did what could be called the audio version of a double take on more than one occasion. My so-so discs now sound more like my great discs did before the mat, and my really bad discs are at least now listenable if not somewhat enjoyable.

The price to performance ratio for the Black Hole is off the charts. I'll probably buy a few to leave permanently on my favorite discs, and keep a couple more for swapping between less listened to CDs. It would be inexpensive enough to do. Herbie's Audio Lab Black Hole: Five stars and two thumbs up from me.