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"Music Nights"


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I like this thread because I am also interested in how many of you have a time for a nice dedicated listen. I try to get in 3-4 nights a week, I really do try to make it a priority because having a good listening session is almost therapeutic for me. 

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Apologies for the long post, I was just going to make a comment and got carried away - must be the morning caffeine... 


My, how times change us.... I used to pull 'all-nighters' listening to music with friends in high school and college. Then, I moved to Baltimore with my (future) wife and spent the next few years finding my way to a profession and career and aside from live shows and concerts, I rarely listened to any music other than what the radio had to offer (although there were a few fine stations in my area). In fact, I'd left all my gear and records in North Carolina so I didn't even have the opportunity for dedicated listening. 


Once we settled into a house and work became stable, I began to miss those listening sessions and spent a lot of time with friends who had an audio set up. One weekend, I was visiting a guitar bud in NC, listening to and admiring his vintage tube system when he suggested that since I liked tubed guitar amps so much more than SS, I may be missing something with my wife's NAD set up... and the seed was planted. He added that I was the one that had gotten him into tubed audio gear when he heard my set up in college - a pr of McIntosh MC-30's, an MX-110 and a pr of Khorns that I'd picked up at a 2nd hand shop. I got the gear because it was cheap (I think I paid $350 for the lot back in the early 80's) and there was definitely a 'cool-factor' when my friends saw the tubes and big horns. I just hadn't put 2 and 2 together 'til he mentioned it. In fact, he 'inherited' the MX-110 when I left school and is still using it.


Within a year, I had cobbled together a decent set up - a Music Reference RM-9 amp, Audible Illusions 3a pre and a pr of B&W 801 speaks. I was again spending my evenings and on till the wee hours listening to music and really enjoying life. Then one afternoon when I should've been eating lunch, I stopped by another 2nd hand shop and came upon a few piles of records. My intention was merely to set them up properly so they wouldn't warp but once I started flipping through, I noticed an early Beatles' LP still in the shrink. I flipped a couple more and found the same record (I think it was the "Second Album') only it was still sealed! Soon after, I had pulled every Beatles' album on Capitol through the White album still in cellophane in pristine condition and all but the White album had an additional sealed copy. I was more than excited but the finds kept coming - the Who, Hendrix, Dylan. Many records I found I was too young to pick up when they came out but here they were, most in great condition and about 50, including the Beatle's were still sealed. I gathered myself and asked the lady at the counter as casually as I could muster... "How much for your records?". She said... "$1 each" so I started gathering LP's but soon realized, I couldn't go through them all as I was already late getting back to work. Finally and with a bit of desperation, I asked... "How much for the lot?" and after a brief negotiation, I bought everything for $75 (which just happened to be all the cash I had in my pocket). I loaded 250-300 records in my car and rushed back to work but I was worthless as all I could think about was getting home and looking through the stash. 


Of course, it had dawned on me that I had left all my records and turntable behind in North Carolina when we moved thinking that CD's were my future. Now I had @300 LPs and nothing to play them on but as luck would have it, that Saturday, we went to my mother-in-law's house to visit and do laundry. I noticed a yard sale going on where I found another box a quality records - including some Mobile Fidelity titles. This was an unprecedented week in vinyl for me! I bought 25-30 records and mentioned to the lady that I just go back into vinyl didn't even have a TT. She yelled for her husband and he called me into the house where he showed me a Thorens TD-160 TT. My prayers were answered and I picked that up along with a spare Shure cart and a box full of cleaners and accessories, including a GEO-disc. By that evening, I was spinning vinyl again and loving' it... I was on a roll and already planning to bring back all my records from NC.


I was once again staying up late, listening to music (mostly records) almost every night and began upgrading in earnest. For the next 10-15 years, a parade of gear passed through my system  - I discovered the revelatory experience of SET and as a result, rediscovered the merits of horns and found my way to this Forum. Along the way, I have met many audiobuds and quite a few have become close friends.


Times have changed (as have my sleep habits) and I don't listen to music as much I used to nor do I switch out gear nearly as often so those revelatory moments in audio are few and far between.There have been weeks, sometimes months when I can't be bothered to go down and listen to my main system and I content myself with music streaming in the background and the occasional live show. I think that's just age and there's a natural arc to a hobby like ours but I still love music and its a profound part of my life. Of course, when I run out of excuses and do manage to sit myself down, warm up the system and spin some records, I am easily taken by the music and remind myself just why I should be enjoying this experience every moment I still can - after all, we can't take it with us.

Edited by JBryan
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How many besides me have regular "music nights"? A "music night" is defined as an entire evening dedicated to NOTHING other than sitting in the sweet spot, sipping a favorite libation, and listening to music. Absolutely nothing else. I like to have them 2 or 3 times a week when possible.


As for me last night was one. The first in a while considering a recent move. I've missed them. But I sincerely enjoyed last night. My neighbors? Well... Not so much. Too bad.


Last night was a mix of Dire Straits, Mark Knopfler, Carlos Santana, and Ottmar Liebert. Yes... I like "guitar" music.

For many years every Friday night my wife and I would dress as though we were going to a club. However, we would stay in, run up the SPL's and sometimes listen until 4:00 or 5:00am.  


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