Note: This article was originally written in November 1997.
Yep, no use denyin' it. It's winter time here in Northern America. Can you say snow? Well, it is time i put away my cheesy skateboard and buy my very first snowboard. Sounds simple doesn't it? Read a few magazines, ask a few folks what they like, then just go to the store to find a board that looks like it'll do the job. And let's not forget to get the cloths to keep warm, and like, you're there! Sounds simple right? Ha!!! That couldn't be further from the truth!!!
And you felt that the tubes versus solid-state or vinyl versus CD group gets hot and bothered. Just mention the word Burton to a big group of snowboarders and just sit back for the reaction! First off they're relatively expensive compared to the other boards, gear and clothing. Like "high-end" audio, mention an item that's relatively expensive and watch the "bang for the buck" folks tell you how "X" is just as good and then hear them ramble on for awhile as to why they feel the way they do. i mean, all i want to do is snowboard and not buy junk or get ripped off!!!
So what does this have to do with "high-end" audio? Well, i almost said "forget this sh*t" only because all the bickering back and forth made me wonder what kind of nuts or fanatics these snowboarder dudes must be! All we're talking about is a simple sport! Ya know, just for fun. REMEMBER FUN?!?!?!?! So what if, say, a normal person went to the rec.audio discussion forums here on the Internet and asked what's the best music reproduction system for $2000. Please keep in mind to the average person $2000 is a lot of money for a system. When they see $1000 Dolby Pro-Logic rack systems at their local "Hi-Fi Hut", two times the price should get them a really good system right?
Oh, but buying a snowboard isn't enough. You need boots, bindings and cloths too. That should be easy to find what's good right? Ha!!! Like music reproduction, you get more arguments back and forth. And just like snowboarding you need to have accessories too, right? So in music reproduction we got our folks who gotta chime in and say you need to spend a few hundred on cables! Oh man, then the "all cables sound the same" versus the "cables sound different" folks. Yeah, there we go. Like if we didn't argue about the amps, preamps, vinyl, CD, solid-state, electrostatics, horns, etc aint enough. Hit 'em with the cable stuff too. Atta a'boy!!! So what would you do? Yes, i've been so guilty of arguing some points that i oughtta be imprisoned. But what would you do when you're so passionate about music? What are the snowboarders to do when they really love their sport?
Oh yeah, i forgot to mention, you need some kinda wax or some such to keep the bottom of your board nice and slick. You got your hot wax, cold wax, special "Boardin' Bob's Secret Formula" stuff... Audio you ask? Well, we, got your green ink pens for CDs, your special RCA cleaners, special vinyl cleaning formulations, your secret tweaks (yeah, snowboarders got tweaks too), add ad-infinitum (or is that add nauseam?). So while we argue and argue what does this say to the "outside world"?
Well, it possibly shows that we are very passionate about things that bring us joy in life. That we care enough to have traveled a "road" and then to share our opinions/experiences about it. And above all else, that we may be nuts. Just so ya know, a relatively inexpensive snowboard setup can cost a dude $400 (not including clothing). So how do you tell a guy to spend, say, $750 on just a board??? Man, that's almost like twice the righteous bucks!!! After all, the inexpensive stuff looks a lot like the more expensive stuff. Then when you finally get to the store the salesperson goes on and on about formulations and parts and weight and "state-of-the-art" snowboard construction and... Well, i kinda understood what they meant... kinda.
Well, i could go on and on yet you probably get the point. Maybe the image of self-proclaimed "audiophiles" could use a tweak or two? Maybe? Maybe snowboarders need to keep things in check too. Maybe monkeys will fly outta my butt and a cow jump over the moon? Oh well, got me a full Burton snowboard setup courtesy of a good friend who likes to see me "get stupid" on the slopes. Glad he didn't see me after i took that spill on my skateboard last month. Stupid me was holding on to an accelerating car and when we hit about 30 mph i lost it due to speed wobble and dumped onto pavement (youch!). Hmmm... for snowboarding where is that big tree, bigger rock and worst of all, that possible avalanche on the ski slope again? Are we having fun yet?
As a side note: i did see some things that looked a lot like small "tone cones" for about $14 for a set of three at the sports shop! Then there was these small titanium bolts that would fit my cartridge. Oh yeah, there was also this other stuff which... Please GOD help me, i'm NUTS!!!
As always, in the end what
really matters is that you...