Almost August and off to College

Yes folks, the time is closing in on back to school and we have some great ideas for back to school!  Those of you who will be leaving home. regardless of the level of schooling you are entering, be it first year or last, will be on a search to “take your music with you”! And Yes, we do have some ideas.  Particularly those of you who will be staying in residences will likely be looking for something easy to pack that will play your MP3 or iPod Music. 40 years ago, it was a different scenario as we packed up or planned to purchase  hi-fi systems complete with turntables, cassette recorders, amplifiers and speakers. This was ok if you were fortunate enough to rent an apartment or the basement of a house, but when we tried to shoe-horn the system into our residences, it kind of left us with no place to sleep or study. I guess that’s why God created Libraries!

In today’s world, things can be much easier as our music can simply be stored in a digital music player even with a portable CD player – if you can find one that sounds decent!  From earlier posts, you may comment that I am not a fan of digital music – however as I have always said, there is a time and place for everything. Some digital players are simply amazing – no, they are not hi-fi but even a large one takes up little space, allows one to store favourite music in a tiny box and they usually sound good as well.

Here are a few ways to enjoy your music;

  1. Headphones: Do yourself a favour, don’t go to big box stores because they usually have no clue what is comprised of good sound. Find a dealer who sells Grado, Shure or better quality Sennheiser or AKG headphones. These phones are all easy to wear – little fatigue and sound great. Buy a good pair as you will be using them a lot.
  2. I-Pod Docks are probably the best known devices. They can be very small but still sound great. A perfect example is (NO not the B word) the Model S from Geneva. Very small but fabulos sound and it’s under $300.00. Another fabulous unit is by Kanto, sells fopr about $300 and sounds unbelievable.  This unit will also allow inputs for a CD /DVD Player. OR… consider the NAD iPod dock that actually cmes complete Component video outputs for digital video!
  3. Headphone amplifiers; these are usually built in to or included with a small DAC. If you have good headphones and want to hear your digital music at it’s best – these are a great device! One of the better sounding ones that I have auditioned is the Teac series newly released. Great Dac and has Optical, Coaxial and USB inputs.

And Finally, if you just have to take your favourite CDs along as well, consider a good quality All-In-One piece of gear. Great units are available from NAD, TEAC and the “grandaddy of them all” April Music. This unit combines a 50wpc amplifier, good sounding tuner section a fabulous CD player and a DAC. This is a fabulous system, not really a “Make-Do” Still very compact so easy to store and of course will play your i-Pod. With any of these all-in-one systems you can use headphones or speakers!

Hope that you can make use of these suggestions.

With Great Respect, as always…… Gord

gord@allthatjazzhifi.com