about the talking fish

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Writer. Wheelman. Occasional DIY mechanic. Walking collection of hang-ups. Hopeless romantic. Old-school. Analog soul in a digital world. I am all of these things and more.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Birth of an audiophile, part deux: Return to HCP!

Over the final days of December 2007, I decided to revisit the Honda Club of the Philippines forums after an absence of more than 18 months---purely on a whim. I had planned to just drop in and say hi to the few friends I made there in my years of being an active member.

Little did I know that I would end up staying again. I was surprised how warmly I was welcomed back into the fold, even by some people whom I didn't know very well. With the sheer number of newbies since I left, though, I felt like a newbie myself---having to start off from a clean-slate reputation.

Fast forward almost a month later and I end up going to the HCP Audio Get-Together (GT) for January at Automoville along Ortigas Ave.

Now a confession: In my previous three years in HCP I paid almost no attention to audio. I had my sights squarely on engine performance (but spent not one penny on it). Nowadays, however, I realize there's not much point in spending to raise your car's power output because of how clogged our streets are and how expensive fuel is. It would make much more sense to enjoy your stay in the gridlocked streets, so off I turned my attention to sonics.

I know next to nothing about car audio, though. This is why I found myself in Ortigas last night. I wanted to hear different brands of speakers and amps, and perhaps learn a thing or two about what I should look for in a high-quality setup.

I auditioned five cars, with varying amounts of expense and component brands. Two cars had Focal setups from different price levels, while Hertz, DLS and Polk Audio had one representative each. All of them blew me away, to be honest, but to my ears the Hertz units offered maximum bang for my meager buck, so that's what I'll likely save up for. Thanks to fellow KotseAudioClub members Pooch and Elco, I also learned a lot about sound staging, imaging and installation. Perhaps it was the optimized aiming of the component speakers, but I could now hear cymbals crashing on the left, vocals in the center and the keyboards over to the right---nuances I could never notice in the Jazz's stock speakers.

With all the fine automobiles and sound setups on hand there, it was a huge shame I didn't get to listen to more of them as I left close to midnight. That said, I can't wait for next month's audio GT.

And truth be told, it does feel good to be back.


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