How Has Your Finely Tuned Audiophile Dexterity Helped You in Your "Other" Life?

Listening. Observing. Trying. Failing. Perceiving the nuances. And, sledge hammer impacts. Developing a new vocubulary. (As well as using very familiar terms when things don’t go as expected), Sorting through tons of data. Skillfully differentiating between the things that matter, and things that don’t. To us, anyway.

So, how have these skills (and, being a generally good person) helped you in life? Or, others?

Here’s one to start:

Wine Pouring:

My wife and I like to drink wine. Landing a enjoyable wine in the single digits (after all discounts applied) is a big win for us. Our evening of wine allocation and enjoyment generally takes on the following cadence: Pour One. Pour two (making sure to save just a little in the bottle). Then, the highly anticipated "desperation pour". The last 2 sips for each poured from the bottle. This way we take a pause, and take the time to fully appreciate those last two sips. Silly, but it’s what we do.

Frankly, I’ve gotten pretty good at this wine allocation thing. Equal pours, every time. For a while there, I thought I was just "lucky" and timed it just right. But, recently, I’ve concluded it’s something more. My "finely tuned audiophile" dexterity.

As we have all observed, when you fill a vessel with liquid, the frequency of the sound changes as the space in the vessel becomes occupied with more liquid. I was unaware that I was paying attention to those frequencies and my brain remembered the frequency at the conclusion of the last pour. So, when filling the second glass, I just listened and stopped when the frequency of the last pour was matched. Seems to work for me (within a tolerance of a few Hz/Mls). This doens’t help when you’re camping in near darkness and miss the glass completely, but has worked for us in a workable domestic sense for quite some time. Now I thank Sal Marantz, Frank McIntosh, and others after those (nearly) perfect pours.


I'm able to keep a keen ear out for frogs, lice, flies, hail and locusts.



I believe that the right music can be extremely healing. There are stories out there about people using music to improve their health. If nothing else, the experience is very close to mediation when you turn the lights down, close your eyes, and let your mind let go of the day’s troubles. And we know meditation is good for you. I also think you can use the hobby to build confidence. Being really good at something (like building a great music system) helps me when I run into troubles elsewhere in life. It’s something to fall back on and think: I’m really good at this one thing, I bet I can get good at this other thing I’m struggling with. 

If anything, it has hampered my "other" life. At least the part that still involves music. Whether at a bar, theatre, stadium, or outside venue for amplified live or recorded music, it nearly always sounds like such crap compared to a decent stereo rig that I am hardly ever interested in venturing out to hear music any more, unless an intimate venue with a properly adjusted sound board (extremely rare). And if I just happen to be where it is playing, I almost always cannot tolerate the bad sound so much that I have to exit the area. I’d much rather listen at home to the same music, but with much higher sound quality. Especially if the music is amongst my familiar and favorite stuff. I’ve developed a zero tolerance level for most performances outside of my home. Sad.