Thursday, June 23, 2011

I'm Just An Old Pair of Speakers

Dahlquist DQ-10
My common sense is telling me not to write this blog post. Blogging is a little bit like sending an email: one should wait and count to 10 before it's sent. Because once it is out is out there. But what the heck! I am still feeling the funk and mentally processing the difference between the truth and the lies. And it is all because of the speakers that I love: My Dahlquist DDA 1T's!

I had a conversation with my wife earlier today about selling a three speaker arrangement that I have had for years, but is currently not being used. I have been a fan of Dalquist speakers since the middle 70s and used to drool at the end of Emerson, Lake, and Palmer'sLucky Man” when played on a pair of DQ 10s. The rumble of the 20 cycle note and the air around the synthesizer is just pure bliss. So my wife said something that stuck me like a knife earlier today. I have a paid of Dahlquist DDA 1Ts that tower beside a Pinnacle monster sub-woofer. It's Nirvana for the ear drums. She said that because those are so old, they aren't worth anything. I retorted that those three are a $2,000 system that are extremely valuable because you can't get them anymore. I don't know why I put them up there with the treasures of Tutankhamen and the Mona Lisa as far as value goes. Maybe because they have given me so many years of pure audio pleasure. Maybe because in my mind they are still new. But the reality is that they are simply old speakers that were great in their time, but now have been passed up by a new generation of trendy, cool, hip, happening speakers. The new stuff is flashy and valuable to this Ipad generation, but they sound like crap. And this alt/bro generation has neither the time nor the inclination to value what is older.

Pinnacle Sub-woofers will punch you in the chest
 I went online to see what they are worth to try to prove a point to my wife. But as usual, she is right. I can't even find them anywhere. I did find a discussion thread where old geezers reminisced about audio equipment from the bygone days of yore. It made me feel like I was at a D-Day Invasion reunion. I remember when Tom Holman was a real guy, and not just a big THX roaring in at the start of a movie. Saul Marantz, Amar Bose, Paul Klipsch, and Henry Kloss all had active parts in the R&D of their companies. Now they are just logos on some venture capital Korean consortium that uses their name for marketing recognition. And today it dawned on me that I am old at 52. I look at myself with the same eyes that I see my Dahlquist speakers. And I see beauty, ability, and technical perfection. But the world sees me as something that might not even get an opening bid on Ebay. I thought I wasn't supposed to be worthless until my seventies. What I see as career “prototypes” the world sees as failures. What I espouse as “Edison's 1,000 ways how not to make a light bulb” the world sees as career instability. I'm such a loser!

Paul Klipsch
Then I pulled a David at Ziklag and started looking at ages. Abraham was 75 when God told to leave Haran. Harland Sanders started KFC with his first social security check at age 65. Noah was 500 when he started building the ark. I even shook my head in amazement as I watched a Bob Proctor video yesterday. He admitted that he was 77. He is amazing. So that gives me hope.
I, like my speakers, put the air around the strings of Beethoven's 7th that contribute to it's melancholy tone. But I live in a world that wants to blare Snoop Dogg at ear bleeding levels. Like my sub-woofer, I hold my auditory integrity during the cannon shots of Tchaikovsky's “1812 Overture”. But I live in a world that wants it's speakers to be hidden while they jack cars in “Grand Theft Auto San Andreas” on their 3D televisions. I secretly want others to see the value in me. But I know that the younger, better looking, smarter, more tech savvy uber-man is what the world is attracted to. So I'll finish this day with gratitude that I am still in the game. Solomon did say that a live dog is better than a dead lion. And an old speaker that will give me goosebumps during “Braveheart” is better to me than a new and fresh e-speaker.


  1. Anonymous11:46 AM

    Jayne says...I like old things. They are well broken in and very comfortable...

  2. Dude, :) Live the life you have, love who loves you, and piss on the rest. I'm 49, I love Dahlquist. I enjoy what is comfortable to me. I know the world keeps changing and if I don't change with it, it will pass me by like a warm summer day. Keep kicken it, rest on your experiences, and smile and nod at the blissfully ignorant.....youth.
    Love you Bro!

    1. Thanks Randy! That is some sound advice.