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Our motto: "Critical thinking in the cheap seats." Unbiased, honest classical music and opera opinions, occasional obituaries and classical news reporting, since 2007. All written content © 2019 by Paul J. Pelkonen. For more about Superconductor, visit this link. For advertising rates, click this link. Follow us on Facebook.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Of Pianos, Laptops and Aluminum Vibrations

Those of you who read this blog on a regular basis know that I'm hopelessly addicted to my IPod, using the little silver guy (current model, a 160-gig Classic, cute little David Horvath sticker on the back) to manage and play music. I know it's not the same sound quality as LPs or CDs, but for my purposes, I often settle for running my Pod off a dock attached to the stereo.

So my laptop has an awful lot of music in its hard drive--six months' worth if you count all the genres packed in and sorted into various and sundry libraries.

Most of the time, I peruse this vast library with the help of my trusty stereo, or my headphones for most listening when the significant other is about. But for writing about piano music, I take a special pleasure in the two, humble speakers built into the work-surface of my MacBookPro.

Now, these aren't great speakers. They'll never show up in Stereo Review or Audiophile. They're smallish, they lack low end, and they don't handle loud volumes well. That said they sound really good in mono.

And they make my wrists vibrate as I type. They're resting on the aluminum skin of my computer, material which picks up the vibration of the music like a tuning fork, sending the sound back up my arms and through my nervous system. The biofeedback produced becomes wonderfully like playing, or leaning on the piano during the performance.

When it comes to piano music, there's a certain joy in using them, especially as I write posts like this one. Right now, they're doing a very credible job reproducing Wilhelm Backhaus' blazing performance of the "Waldstein" sonata--in glorious mono sound.

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Critical Thinking in the Cheap Seats