Cuttin-Edge, On-the-Spot Reporting

New Noise #8: Audio Oopsies

Since I’m mostly* unable to spend paycheck money on this hobby, I tend not to hold on to extra gear for very long. Freeing up old and unused gear on Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace is a great way to meet like-minded local enthusiasts, but it also allows me to fund other, later purchases. It was with both these thoughts in mind that I listed my Ortofon 2M Bronze ($419, all prices USD) moving-magnet phono cartridge for sale, even though it saved my butt for a few weeks recently.

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New Noise #7: Connective Tissue

November 11 is Veterans Day in the United States, the day we honor U.S. military veterans. Despite occurring during cold, grey November, it’s a happy day—as opposed to Memorial Day, which is not a happy day, since it’s the day we mourn those who have fought and died while wearing our nation’s uniform. Conversely, that day occurs in May at the joyous onset of summer . . .

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New Noise #6: A Fall Arriving

Our new-to-us forever home is a mid-century modern designed by architect Carter Sparks for builders Jim and Bill Streng, Sacramento’s mid-century modern specialists. Sparks studied under Joseph Eichler’s architects, the former designing more than 3000 homes in the Golden State’s capital. Ours features a post-and-beam aesthetic, east-facing sliders and windows, and a large internal atrium skylight with exposed aggregate walkways and three internal garden beds.

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New Noise #5: Moving, in Stereo

We’re moving.

It feels great to finally say it. We’re moving. We’ve been in our current house on the wrong coast for eight years (plus another year in an apartment), the longest we’ve ever stayed in one place. It’s a lovely little mid-century modern at the top of a cul-de-sac in a great spot—near trails, good schools, and community comforts that we value.

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New Noise #4: Little Box #2

Sometime after the last Leo’s Stereo closed, my father would take me to The Wherehouse on Saturday mornings to shop for CDs. When that chain of stores folded, he moved on to Target or Best Buy or Sam Goody at the local shopping mall. That one could own music, a tangible thing for personal enjoyment, shaped my upbringing. What we didn’t know then was that store shopping—seeing the newest displays, rifling through plastic letter dividers and name placards—was an endangered endeavor.

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New Noise #3: A Little Box

The term format agnostic has been showing up lately in certain hi-fi circles. I’m no linguist, but I am a fan of words and the creative ways we use them. These two words, in combination, caught my attention.

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New Noise #2: An Unexpected DIY Surprise

On the morning I submitted my previous (first) column, I stepped outside to my backyard workshop shed and unfastened the wood clamps from a fun little project I had no intention of keeping.

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New Noise #1: Embracing the Unexpected

I’ve long felt that a kid who doesn’t know what he wants to do will soon find out exactly what he doesn’t want to do. That is, there is no greater motivation for suddenly embracing (any) plan B than first being confronted with a disagreeable plan A.

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