I've been touting my blog in various places on the interwebs, and have been getting some nice responses since starting it back in May of 2012. I want to thank all those who have taken the time to follow along, especially those who have commented, and responded to my posts in various cool places over the years (here as well as the forums). I never have really made a list of the places I hang out online, and now's a good time to actually review the various places one can go to talk about audio and learn a thing or ten in the process. I've been seriously spending lots of time everyday on the internet trying to learn as much as I can about music, audio, systems, components, and all related things, for the better part of the last two years in a more concerted way than before the www's existance. Everyone knows that I've been a musician since 1967. At the age of 9 I started on my life's journey with music as my focus...
My main hangout is a place where there are over 100,000 subscribers, audiokarma.com. There are some of the most intelligent diy-ers in the entire world there. A common thread title subject there is the "scroe". What is a scroe, you may ask? A scroe is when you have just returned from your local thrift store or secondhand audio salon with an incredibly unbelieveable bargain on old or new audio, frequently donated to these stores who are usually affiliated with charitable organizations (common ones include Goodwill, Salvation Army, Veterans Villiage, Amvets, etc.). They receive donations and offer merchandiseable goods at a mere fraction of retail going rates. Some have smartened up over the years and do their own online auctions (hence more revenue incoming!) but deals can still be had, by and large. The term "scroe" (acknowledged as such by major encyclopedias as the correct spelling) is actually a typo on the word score, by someone who is in the throes of euphoric rhapsody over an excellently priced purchase, and the excited poster misspells "score" in a feverish rush to brag about his or her good fortune! I've also followed threads there for years as someone actually services a receiver or turntable in cyberspace with experts! Amazing in itself... Lots of posts about pictures of puppy dogs and kitty cats around listening rooms (and killer listening rooms without puppy dogs and kitty cats) are there as well. Just a really nice homey kind of place. All audio, no attitude (except from the likes of me!). It was because of them that I started this blog! I don't piss and moan there as much as I used to.
Then there is audioasylum.com. They are hardcores, less manners and more attitude. You go there to get the real scoop on what to plan your purchases around, and no holds are barred there. Other sites are run more tightly but this place is refreshing for a change. Not so much a put-on of politeness and a bit more edgy conversation. They also have a Classified section that rivals the best of them, including audiogon and ebay.
Next comes a place to hang out if you can afford it. audioaficionado.com sports the richest audiophiles on the planet, with the bling bling audio jewelry, and they aren't afraid to willywave it in your cyberface. This was my first stop on the cyberaudio trip, and I quickly found out that they were totally out of my league. audioaficionado.com's where you go to see how the other half lives, and many there sport multinational setups the likes of which could comfortably fund a large third world nation. Ostentatious and garish are the systems reviewed and actually owned there. Rumor has it that the site was started by expatriots from audiokarma.com who were ostracized for their extravegant audio obsessions (and homes and automobiles and recording studios and ...you get it). You know what they say...audiobirds of a feather flock together...I blew that popstand quick-like.
There's a guy who calls himself Romy The Cat, another expat (this time from audioasylum.com) who clearly states on his site, "Do not speak to each other, speak to the topic". He's a self-proclaimed expert. I signed up, then decided against posting, knowing that anything I would have said would have been immediately shot down with supreme authority and claims of supreme knowledge. I'm not into audio supremacy... my choice of headphones would have been viewed as a hate crime! Later on that scene.
There are sites devoted to buying and selling that also feature some forumspeak and blogosphere as well. audiogon.com has recently undergone some renovation and new ownership, and the jury's out on them. They never had a great rep as far as being totally honest or buyer-centric, but they have been the biggest audio-specific selling spot (online) for ages. You can buy, sell and trade there, as well as enter into discussion about whether an item is worthy of your money and attention.
Ebay has championed the buyer in its short history with its policies, and it's no wonder they rule the auction roost. They literally invented the term Buy It Now (BIN). Retail giants Amazon, Musician's Friend, J&R, B&H, and their ilk provide a quick, easy experience for whatever tickles your audio fancy (as long as your plastic's green), and Music Direct caters to those who prefer MoFi recordings (Mobile Fidelity Sound Labs) as their source of high definition analog. For years they have been the state of the art as far as audiophile recordings of familiar pop music titles go. The familiar "Original Master Recordings" are ubiquitous in the industry as the last word in high-definition vinyl. HDTracks have expanded on the idea, licensing and selling high-definition downloads of much the same material, as the costly licenses to time-homored material become available to them. Not cheap, as you can imagine! This is bigtime business on bigtime levels of the music we grew up with, and its true and perceived value rises hourly, much like any similar commodity that changes hands for dollars nowadays.
There are plenty of sites that cater to whichever set of niches (vinyl, tape, analog, digital, pro audio, consumer electronics, acoustic treatments, do-it-yourself, you name it) dominate your domain and tickle your fancy. There are literally millions (BILLIONS!!!) of these outlets for the music fan/audio junkie in all of us. Google's your friend, and BadassBob's your uncle!
Keep your tubes hot and your antenna up! See you next time!