INSPIRATION AND MY NEW AUDIO SYSTEM by Richard Karsmakers
This article should not be read by people that hate even the
most modest forms of exhibitionism or snobberish tensions to show
off one's property.
Editorial note: This article was written some time ago, but we
forgot to publish it in the appropriate issue of ST NEWS. So here
it is, after all.
Small and less small shivers are running up and down my spine as
I have this afternoon acquired that which is commonly found to be
needed for the purest possible music enjoyment: A new audio
system. Upon me now rests not only the task of breaking this to
you in a more fantastic and fanatical fashion than our beloved
editor did in an earlier issue of ST NEWS, but also the task of
keeping you interested in this zillionth semi-exhibitionistic
confession of yet another computer freak that found the ultimate
The brand I selected was Pioneer, unlike Stefan's Kenwood. There
just happened to be an extremely competitive audio+video shop in
my home town that had some pretty mindstaggering Pioneer offers -
and I also liked the design of its components. I really didn't
have much wishes when I went there: I merely wanted a good CD
player (four-fold oversampling was my only limit), a fairly
powerful amp (2 times 60 Watts or more) and a double cassette
deck. A semi-automatic turntable would also be handy for playing
my many old records (many of which are not even available on CD -
especially the Heavy-Metal ones).
When I left the shop, they had sold me some pretty neat
machinery and typing this article is a very happy and utterly
content ST NEWS correspondent. Now, I would surely have enough
inspiration again to last for a long time writing articles - you
should never (NEVER!) underestimate the factor of inspiration for
people like myself who have to write many articles: Lack of
inspiration and human dedication is what keeps most other disk
magazines rather dull and prevents them from appealing to their
audience. That's why I found it necessary to reveal this article
in ST NEWS - as this newly acquired audio stuff will probably be
a big source of inspiration and will make sure that much of my ST
NEWS writing will be better than it would have been without it.
And it also accomplishes some 'human interest', but that is of
Anyway. Where was I? Ah. I had just left the shop with some
pretty neat machinery, and I was about the reveal to you WHICH.
Well, the most important component for me to gain compatibility
with the high-classed digital audio freaks of course was the CD
player - in my eyes a miraculous device that would finally
annihilate the problem of ticks and scratches I used to have on
all my records (particularly my favourite ones). Also, I could
now finally enjoy MUSIC with a capital 'M' which had previously
not quite been possible (you never believe this until you have
got a CD player yourself: Quality is MUCH better and you hear
sounds not even hinted at on your regular records!). It's a
PD4100 type player, with four-fold oversampling, three-beamed
laser, and all other standard tricks (as well as random play). I
can assure you that it's quality is quite overwhelming (Jean
Michel Jarre's "En Concert in Houston/Lyon" is simply heavenly).
Another very important component of the tower is the amplifier
(actually a tuner/amplifier) without which the earlier mentioned
magnificent digital audio player would not even be able to give
forth as much as random noise. It's an SX1300 type machine, and
it has got nafty LED displays, lots of lights and switches.....
just to the taste of the average computer freak, let alone yours
truly! Anyway, the lamps in my room have trouble burning as
bright as they used to when I pump up the volume real hard,
there's 24 pre-set radio stations, a graphic equalizer
and...YES!!....an on/off switch! At the moment, it is getting
hotter and hotter (it's quite hot and sticky outside as well) by
re-creating analog air vibrations from Queensrÿche's digital
The cheapest component, of course, is the record player.
Originally I wanted one of those linear tracking things that are
fully programmable (Stefan has one of those - grumble!), but I
decided that I was probably going to dream away on digital music
more than on my older records - so I bought the cheapest
turntable Pioneer offers, the PL-480. There really isn't much to
say about this device (it doesn't even have the highly acclaimed
on/off switch), so I will go on to the final component in my
latest acquired 'toy'.
The cassette deck (a double-deck - speaks for itself) listens to
the type CT-W700R. The guy at the audio'n'video shop told me that
it was the most expensive model Pioneer offered and that it was
the last one left in the shop (and, as a matter of fact, I had
better buy it fast since it was bound to be sold to another human
loitering around if I would but falter! - Salesmen talk like
that). Anyway, I had to admit that it looked pretty exciting and
elaborate in its options and I finally fell for it when the
salesman switched it on and I saw....LED displays and lights!!
More features of the deck include: Synchro dubbing (normal/double
speed), auto tape select, relay play, timer record/play, a
digital tape counter (LEDs!) and.....YES!!...another on/off knob
as well as a PLAY button...
I am beginning to sound ridiculous once more. To prevent you
from thinking I am writing this article with the sole purpose of
adding quantity to ST NEWS, I will therefore stop. It was just
meant to show off my recent acquirement as well as to clarify to
some extend the impact that such purchases may have on my
Have fun! And don't forget to buy a CD-player yourself....It's
Second editorial remark: I for one am still lost in the Ken Wood
after purchasing a mind-paralyzing Stereo Dual Graphic Equalizer
GE-910. It has a hypnotizing Spectrum Analyzer and 5 preset and 5
user memories. Great!