42 minutes 59 seconds + copper wire (and a little more) = bliss

Question: Why 42 minutes 59 seconds? Not 43 minutes. Not 42 minutes, 58 seconds. 42 minutes 59 seconds. Solution: Step One. New receiver. Step Two. Unpack old B&W speakers. Step Three. Strip casing, twist copper. Step Four. Connect all. Step Five. Insert album designed for stereo. Step Six. Hit Play. Step Seven. Bliss.

Answer: Dark Side of the Moon. Forty years old as of March 1, 2013.

I unpacked my speakers and set them up a few weeks back. Headphones are nice. They are portable. They are personal. They may even allow sound to envelop you. But not like speakers. Dark Side of the Moon was the first CD I bought. It is a great way to appreciate music engineered for stereo. I put the disc in years ago. Hit play. The next 42:59 was great. The same was true a few Sundays ago. I had a cup of tea (loose leaf, my mix of lapsong, Assam, and Kenyan). I hit play. 42 minutes and 59 minutes slipped away. That was a good, damn good day.

I recommend getting to a stereo and trying it.

(Even on your computer, check out Money, below, for the stereo fun.)

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6 Responses

  1. Spencer Waller says:

    I completely agree but does it really snych with the Wizard of Oz?

  2. Orin Kerr says:

    Or, listen to the whole album: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=328WhjAXpcs

  3. Howard Wasserman says:

    Actually, Spencer, it sort of does, in some neat coincidences. A writer from Slate also tried it with Oz, the Great and Powerful:


  4. AudioNerd says:

    Of course, you say “designed for stereo,” but the album has also been mixed for surround a number of times, including the quadraphonic mix done by Alan Parsons when the album was originally released, and the 5.1 mix released on Super Audio CD a few years ago. If you have the receiver and speakers to listen to it in that format, it’s like listening to it for the first time.

  5. Deven says:

    Damn fine point, AudioNerd. I recall a format for Sting’s The Soul Cages (I think) where there were instructions on how to position the speakers and where to sit. The claim was that it would sound like a live performance. Strings on one side, horns another, vocals in front. I thought it worked. I wasn’t sure about how well more than one could hear the album that way. And I may have been biased to believe. Still, it seemed like quite a new way to listen.

    I wonder if it says something about the composers when an album can be remixed so often? As in is there some music that is good but where such engineering would not have as much effect? Has attention to engineering gone down with pop, earbuds, and singles?

  6. Deven says:

    Orin, unless your computer is hooked up to good speakers, I think that the YuoTube version loses out here. I tested the difference in sound from a stream or iTunes compressed file and the CD is better. Maybe I should dust off the turntable. I have a great LP with Coltrane doing My Favorite Things for about 13 minutes.