As I write this, fall weather has come on just over a week ago here in Oregon. Two or three days of coolish, overcast days were followed by a day and a half of soft rain showers. Then, clean, crisp, coolish mornings gave way to a lovely slanting light of afternoon, warm and yellow, bathing the plum and Japanese maple trees, both on the verge of turning, subtle tonal colors of their varied green leaves shining in the rich luminescence of the new autumn. Things in the garden that had seemed blonded by the intense sun of summer now appeared somehow freshened -- hennaed tassels of corn fringed more deeply purple, yellow marigolds more golden, red and orange heirloom tomatoes shining as if lantern-lit from within. Even the colors of the earth seemed to gain gravity, their browns deepened with new umber. Time to put away gardening tools, fishing rod and reel, and get back into audio!
These past few years, fall has always meant moving away from summer life outdoors and back inside, to my study and listening room. Curiously, come fall, I seem to hear music better, the season’s intensification of floral colors echoed in the varied timbres and tonal lusters of the music I hear through my audio system. It’s especially the case with analog, where any change in the chain of amplification can intensify and transform listening, often revealing heightened details, the gorgeous splendors of playback having been suborned by memory and the summer’s distraction. Therefore, I think of the MC 4 step-up transformer ($2195 USD) from EAR as a kind of perfect autumnal instrument for my audio system. It does for music all that fall does to my garden’s living colors.