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October 2005
Enjoy the Music.com Review Magazine
What, Or More Precisely Who, Is Enjoy the Music.com?
Reviewer Spotlight
Article By Steven R. Rochlin
Click here to e-mail reviewer

 

Press Hat  It is hard to write this article on many levels yet it is time we begin at, where else, the beginning. In this day and age of the Internet there are a vast array of websites, yet Enjoy the Music.com's focus is our love of music and audiophile goodies. We are a team here with many truly outstanding longstanding and well-respected journalists. Our team works in concert to insure that we are your servants. Endless pandering to manufacturers, including but not limited to those who advertise, is not considered. It is our deep love of music and in being of service to our readers that is of utmost importance.

With so many advertorials, false prophets, marketing specialists, and venture capitalists looking only to reap in the dollars from this industry, how are we audiophiles to discern from the honest website to those who offer nearly endless positive comments and countless awards? The former is usually made up of well-respected audiophile journalists providing expert assessments while the latter panders to manufacturers with endless marketing prose and awards. So what makes Enjoy the Music.com tick?

Naturally it is you, our loyal readers, who have helped us to realize a dream formed by a gathering of desires that has been guided by a vision. Over a decade ago, when the Internet was still young, many audiophiles found each other through CompuServe's CEAudio forum or The Audiophile Network (TAN). Frankly, there was no real money to be made on the Internet so scammers and false prophets had no real interest. Today we all are experiencing spam e-mail and phishing, a type of e-mail that hopes to gather sensitive financial information, in hopes of making a fast dollar. Sadly, over the years false prophets who appear to be more concerned with marketing prose while pocketing large sums of money from the industry in exchange have also duped us all over the years. This may also go hand in hand with not hiring truly experienced writers nor paying journalists, as why would someone desire sharing funds with their content providers? Worse still, hiring anyone who will write for free. And this brings up a good point. Yes there are some great websites by enthusiasts who gladly wax lyrically for free, yet over the years an experienced writer is not swayed by the lure of free equipment loans or industry accommodation pricing. 

Virtually all qualified reviewers know their skill is worthy of payment. They work very hard to insure their finding are tried and true, expressing their experience with said product in a clear and precise manner. Sure there are some good guys who work for free. The fact of the matter is long-established writers with many years of experience, and with a vast experience of various equipment, rise to the top and can get work for established magazines. Over the next few months i will highlight various personalities who gladly share their joys of music. Since this website began by Yours Truly it makes sense to begin with the guy with a vision shaped with the aid of readers.

 

About Steven R. Rochlin
Wow, this is really hard for me as nearly every fiber of my soul is forward thinking versus one that looks at his past. In fact it took nearly an hour to find that thing called a briefcase in my home. Within it holds quite a bit of personal lifetime achievements. In fact i shutter at the thought of opening it, yet it is only fair for you to ask us "Who are the guys writing for Enjoy the Music.com?" Yes we provide information on the writer's biography page (as seen here). The last thing this monthly Reviewer Spotlight series hopes to achieve is some dreadful self-serving prose. Quite frankly, there are many other journalists for Enjoy the Music.com who have achieved so much more than myself, yet that will be covered within future articles in the coming months.

Taking a deep breath while opening the briefcase — i am not really sure what i will find inside said black box — my eyes glaze over. It is akin to seeing your life flash before your eyes just before nearly being hit by a 1972 Cadillac after rolling on the street pavement at 35 mph as someone cut you off on your motorcycle (another life experience of mine). After opening the briefcase i took a ten-minute break to go outside and catch my breath. No, not from the smell of crusty old documents, but from the vast amount of memories flooding my head. Will make this as painless as possible and touch on a few details. While there is a good amount of information within my biography (seen here), i feel the below may also be of interest as well. Shuttering in pain, since i and would rather look towards the future than the past...

 

Love Of Music Began...
Heathkit ElectronicsMy audiophile desires began at age five or so as dad's then new tubed system with Tannoy 12-inch dual-concentric Gold monitors in custom cabinet made the music sing. This was naturally during the same time dad would take the family to many live concerts. My first real music 'gotcha' was when dad brought us to see the Atlanta Symphony play 1812 with the climax featuring live blasting cap explosions! The year 1974 began my classic training in drums and percussion. My first day job at 19 was for Heathkit Electronics and showed me not only how to build kits, but also how to operate a Bulletin Board System (BBS). To back track, perhaps my love of music began at age 1 or 2 when my mother would change my diapers and i would sing "Can't Take My Eyes Off You":

I love you, baby,
And if it's quite alright,
I need you, baby,
To warm a lonely night.
I love you, baby.

 

Fast-forward about 17 years and my joy of drumming included earning many Superior medals for solo, ensemble, concert, jazz, and also marching band. Naturally i was also a member of various bands of the years including a few guys you may have heard or, many others no one has, and even had a meeting with Elektra in NYC for a recording contract.

Technically, Enjoy the Music.com started on one of CompuServe's servers over a decade ago, as we were granted free Web space. The Mosaic Web browser was in use, though an early virus devastated those efforts and even the Internet's Wayback machine appears to not have logged my efforts. The basic vibe was to help others and share information, just as is still true today. An Internet website as old (is a decade really old?) as Enjoy the Music.com began more as an enthusiast page. There was some vision and hope of what will one day evolve.

With jobs including mid-fi and high-end audio sales, merged with trying many combinations of equipment, taught me about system matching and synergy. My favorite sales story was in having a customer come in for a new CD playback system. This was during the 'DAC Of The Month Club' spouted by the mainstream print media at the time and sure i provided a nice audition for the customer. As he brought an album on CD we also had on Mobile Fidelity vinyl, being a true music lover versus format-phile the Mo-Fi vinyl was placed on the then Sota midline turntable with Ortofon MC cartridge. This setup was about one third the price of the digital playback and the music on vinyl was light years better than the proclaimed CD playback system that garnished some letter accolade in a print magazine. The customer left the store bewildered as to how some unrated vinyl system could handily beat the Class-rated CD playback system. Hmmm... class rating seems a bit like British snobbery to me, but will avoid that whole debate for now.

The years past and over time i became an independent photojournalist whose writings and/or photos have appeared worldwide, in one form or another, in the following magazines:

Boston Audio Society
Car Stereo Review
C/NET
CompuServe
Gadget World
Hi-Fi News
JAZZIZ
JazzTimes
Klar Text
Musique et Technique
Playboy.com
Positive Feedback
Primyl Vinyl
Rolling Stone
Secrets of Home Theater and High Fidelity
SoundStage!
Stereophile
The Audiophile Voice
TNT!
Ultimate Audio
Various Newspapers
Western New York Audio Society

 

During the 1996 WCES, i was a panel member of the very first CES workshop dealing with Internet issues. Other accomplishments include being a longstanding member of the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences (N.A.R.A.S., better known for their Grammy Awards), having a Masters Degree from the Academy Advancing High Performance Audio & Video (AAHPAV), a Member of the Consumer Electronics Association Citizen Action Network (CEA CAN), an International Auto Sound Challenge Association (IASCA) sound quality judge, a supporter of the Music Cares Foundation who assist those musicians in need of assistance due to chemical addictions, financial or medical needs...

Frankly, all the above is my pleasure as it is humbling to sit at a table and discuss music and how to better reproduce or record it with the likes of Henry Kloss, Paul Klipsch, Joe D'Appolito, Bernie Grundman, Bob Ludwig... or the countless musicians i have shared a stage, met backstage, or simply enjoyed their music. It is these people who truly are innovators. We are simply admirers of their talented gifts and handiwork they happily share with us all. And this is why it brings me joy to be part of "Enjoy the Music" and not having named this site differently. For in the end it truly is about enjoying the music!

My music preferences are wide and varied from classical to techno, opera to rock, and from bebop to break dancing. Virtually anything goes, though naturally the truly talented musical artists are mainstays. As for tweaks, the Heathkit builder in me has a good understanding of technicalities; yet feel that cables do indeed make a difference. Am a pessimist towards what appears to be snake oil and will express my opinions accordingly, yet allow other writers to express their opinions freely without censorship. No pandering allowed, as if something sounds great i will say so and if it sounds horrible will express that as well. In fact i nearly lost my job at a high-end store due to expressing my opinion about a brand of loudspeakers. So again, no censorship allowed! Speaking of censorship and what i felt was the state of the industry many years ago...

 

Phew!
There was a voice that i felt needed to be heard and this was after over five years of Enjoy the Music.com online presence (yet offering no official reviews). Dick Olsher and i discussed matters during a show and so began what now accounts for a staggering assortment of reviews (see our archives) by what is arguably the best grouping of journalists on the Internet. This is not a self-serving statement, as over the passing months you will learn more about other writers within our staff earning accomplishments including:

One journalist was the editor of major audiophile print magazines and is now our senior editor.

Another is the owner and editor of the most respected pro audio magazine.

Yet another writer is in his 36th year as a broadcaster while also earning the prestigious Peabody Award for NPR's 75th Anniversary celebration of the music and life of Miles Davis.

Another journalist for Enjoy the Music.com is a contributing editor to high-end print magazines for many years and also provides monthly acoustic instrument columns in Vintage Guitar Magazine and regularly helps with technical articles for Acoustic Guitar Magazine.

We are all blessed as one of our writers has decades of experience that began with Hi-Fi Answers (latterly Audiophile) and currently contributes to Hi-Fi News, Gramophone, Hi-Fi Choice, Home Entertainment, and The Star.

 

Over A Century Of Experience
The above are only five examples of the over thirty music lovers who gladly share their wisdom with us. In each of the upcoming months we will feature a writer we feel you deserve to know more about. Not as some self-serving prose, but so you can better understand the qualifications of our journalists. On the Internet nearly anyone can start a magazine, perhaps pander to manufacturers, and provide nearly endless awards. It is entirely a different matter in having a group of writers with a combined experience of well over a century offering truly expert assessments on both equipment and music.

As we stand today at approximately 3,000 Web pages containing well over 5,500,000 words, the past decade has indeed been quite busy. Enjoy the Music.com is undeniably a World Wide Website with over 1,000 reviews and 68 show reports. This is only some of the content to be enjoyed as our Lust Pages, Senseless Ramblings (8 years before blogging), DIY projects.... No other Internet destination for audiophiles can make the same claim. Add to this the tens of thousands of free cartridge alignment tools and strobe discs we have given away for free plus our past contests... 

Still, there is much more to be accomplished and more to be said and done. Today is simply the first day of our continuing journey. Hope you have a better understanding of who i am, though must admit it is humbling to be surrounded by such a talented veteran group of journalists. In the end what really matters to me is that we all....

Enjoy the Music (Christopher Cross "Sailing" right now),

Steven R. Rochlin

PS: On a personal note, only three week ago my true soul mate and i got engaged as we were atop the Eiffel Tower in France and eloped the following week in Bellagio Italy. Our honeymoon the following week in Barcelona Spain included celebrating the country's Mercè05. A grand party with countless live music events, Dragons and Giants, captivating museums, we joined in the Fire Run(!)... and concluded with a dazzling fireworks display overlooking spectacular waters! So indeed this website, as it was with my marriage to an amazing woman, a world experience indeed!

 

"Well, it's not far down to paradise, at least it's not for me
And if the wind is right you can sail away and find tranquility
Oh, the canvas can do miracles, just you wait and see
Believe me

It's not far to never-never land, no reason to pretend
And if the wind is right you can find the joy of innocence again
Oh, the canvas can do miracles, just you wait and see
Believe me

Sailing takes me away to where I've always heard it could be
Just a dream and the wind to carry me
And soon I will be free

Fantasy, it gets the best of me
When I'm sailing
All caught up in the reverie, every word is a symphony
Won't you believe me?

Sailing takes me away to where I've always heard it could be
Just a dream and the wind to carry me
And soon I will be free

Well it's not far back to sanity, at least it's not for me
And if the wind is right you can sail away and find serenity
Oh, the canvas can do miracles, just you wait and see
Believe me.

Sailing takes me away to where I've always heard it could be
Just a dream and the wind to carry me
And soon I will be free..."

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

     
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