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Remember the days when we visited a half a dozen or so "high end" audio shops in our neighborhood to test out the latest  equipment from some of our favorite audio brands? The owners and salesmen generally had a good report with their clients, had solid knowledge of the products they sold and gave sound advice based on trial and reputation. 


Head_Fi is the closest thing I know to that "neighborhood stereo shop."  When you add a strong community base what you end up with is a virtual public place to meet with seasoned veterans, connoisseurs, enthusiasts, professionals, hobbyists, and newbies. Discussing the objective and subjective nature of a particular headphone or how an amplifier has wonderful synergy based on an individual or group's interpretations or tastes. It can be helpful but ultimately does not replace the objective and subjective listening session that we were all afforded in the days when there were places to go to and listen. 


The internet is a wonderful tool to help educate the public on the subject of high fidelity music reproduction and the art of listening. This has come at the unfortunate expense of our inability to access places to physically hear, touch and "feel" the music. There has been a paradigm shift in the last fifteen years or so from physical public space to virtual public space. Bringing the virtual world together with the physical environment would allow this hobby to flourish and reach more people, creating neighborhood spaces to learn and discuss audio. "A Head-Fi Neighborhood" in your community where you can physically go to hear your favorite headphones or meet with a group of enthusiasts to discuss a design that they've created. 


Monday night would be an open invitation to attend a workshop to learn the basic concepts of amplifier design. Tuesday will be a mini-meet where the neighborhood could come to see some of the latest designs and some true classics from the past. You can bring your son or daughter to hear a pair of classic original headphones from a great veteran designer. Wednesday evening, local designers will be invited to give a talk on a subject of interest related to their work. Afterwards a discussion will develop with questions and ideas. Thursday will be set aside for local artists to display their work in relation to audio. An art show could develop with wine and cheese that evening. Friday will be a great night to have a storefront party with draft beer and tables set up with some headphones and great music. There might be some singing later! Saturday will be an afternoon for analog. You can bring your favorite LP's and listen to some great headphones and turntables. It could stir up some nostalgia for the older folks in the community and introduce the younger ones to that unique LP analog sound. 


These physical, "public places" would invigorate the communities and neighborhoods and encourage creativity. It would offer an alternative to isolation and yield a more social environment. These public places could serve as educational centers, inexpensive solutions to educate our communities in the arts and sciences. The strength of our neighborhoods will be determined by our incentive to build with architects who design such communities. Virtual public space is a good beginning for our initial needs. Real, physical, "public places" are more rewarding socially and ultimately create the fabric of our neighborhoods!

Edited by arte arquiteto - 3/24/14 at 1:27pm