Part 5 of a Series, by Steve Graham
The sharp eyed among you will have noticed (in part 4) that I said the Altecs stayed in my listening room for a week or so. Why such a short stay? Well there’s a story. Though not apparent right away, my nearly fifty-year-old Altecs have a certain ‘bouquet’ residing in, or on, their cabinets. An oenophile might say they have heady mixture of cigar smoke and old MDF, with a finish of mild but insistent mildew. I’ve removed the drivers and crossovers from the poor Altecs and have banished the cabinets to the garage.
The other thing is, my quasi-dedicated basement listening room (it also shares space with the TV) needed some rework. My dear wife (she is a gem, I may have mentioned that already) lets me decorate and arrange this room just about any way I want. Well, the room, though sounding acceptable up to this point, does not entirely suit the Altecs. The room needs a redo to suit my dancers. I’m referring to the Altecs, in case your imagination is headed in a different direction.
If you build and decorate your own home, as my wife and I did, you have to make a large number of decisions in a short space of time. A few years after completion we began asking ourselves, “What were we thinking of when we made that decorating choice?”
All the recordings and audio gear were stashed in various closets, nooks and crannies around the house. Acoustic treatment was removed from the walls and ceilings. Down was torn the blue industrial-looking vertical blinds, up was ripped the blue carpet glued to the concrete floor.
The only thing remaining in the room was the TV (clamped to a Workmate), two chairs and two foot stools. The TV was nearly impossible to watch, or should I say listen to. The sound of a room with naked drywall and a bare concrete floor was just abominable. My wife and I could barely understand the TV dialogue.