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December 2023

Enjoy the Music.com Review Magazine

A Musical Joy To The World
Ways to spread holiday cheer to music lovers.
Article By Roger Skoff

 

Musical Joy To The World! Ways to spread holiday cheer to music lovers.

 

  Christmas, Chanukah (or Hanukkah), and Kwanzaa plus other celebrations are fast approaching and, if you haven't already decided who on your holiday gift list gets what, from where, this year, try giving music.

Everybody loves to hearken to the herald angels singing and, if the stories are true, old Wenceslas really was a pretty good king. We also love to hear about merry gentlemen resting without dismay; about how Jimmy Dodd saw his mommy kissing Sana Clause; and how, even despite the Grinch's efforts in a different story, the light from Rudolf's nose saved Christmas eve.

 

 

Some of us even like to remember that old dreidel we made out of clay... or new fuses for our audio gear.

All of those old chestnuts are long-time favorites, and I'm sure, we'll all want to keep them roasting on an open fire for many years to come, but even though it seems to start with Thanksgiving and to continue through the coming of the new year, the holiday season will eventually be over and our thoughts will again turn back to more everyday things.

 

 

We'll all still be listening to music, though. So, instead of just giving the music, itself, to our friends and loved ones for the holidays, why not give them a way to play it? Buy them a hi-fi component or even a whole system. Or, if they already have good systems and love to play them, why not give them something to make their systems work or sound even better?

Either way, your gift will be something that they'll be able to enjoy all year long, instead of just during one particular season and, unlike that fruitcake you were planning to send, you can be sure they'll like it.

As we've seen in the magazines, at dealers' showrooms and at hi-fi shows all over the country, there are a lot of new hi-fi products out there at every price point that could make good gifts and that offer real value for their price. Why not get one of those?

One thing to consider if you're going to be giving gifts to people who don't already have the ability to play analog music is a record player. These are of all kinds and all prices and even include complete low-cost systems (sometimes even including their own speakers) that will play LP discs and convert the cartridge output to a digital stream that can be recorded and kept on any computer or telephone.

Or keep it all analog and buy a record player (at anything from very cheap to very expensive) that will leave the signal analog in all its glory and have your loved one singing "Hallelujah" at every chorus.

 

 

LPs are not only outselling CDs to mature audiophiles nowadays, but younger people have discovered them and now represent an ever-growing fan club for the black discs. That makes the odds pretty good that a phono-based gift will be appreciated by just about anybody, and it doesn't have to be the player that you give: How about a stylus pressure gauge? Unless you give it to someone who has a record player with a fixed cartridge and no adjustments, (and, really, who does?) they're going to want to make sure the stylus pressure is correct, if only to prevent damage to their record collection. And how about a stylus cleaning kit?Or a jeweler's loupe magnifying glass so they can see if the stylus is really clean or if sound-and-record-damaging crud is building-up or effectively being removed?

 

Soundsmith EZ Mount Cartridge Screws

Soundsmith EZ Mount Cartridge Screws

 

Or, instead of just cleaning the stylus, how about giving a vacuum-type record clearer to clean/wash the entire disc? Those are great for removing annoying clicks and pops and making sure you get just the music through your speakers.

Or, why even speakers? If you're giving a gift to someone (like a student, for example, or a parent with very young kids) who needs to worry either about his/her own privacy or about disturbing others, why not get a pair of headphones or a headphone amplifier? Or even a longer or better headphone cable so neither the listener nor the music is on too short a leash?

 

 

Streaming equipment (or a pre-paid subscription to a streaming service) is another possibility worth considering. The right one would allow the person you give it to a virtually unlimited selection of music practically any performance by any performer or performing group of any piece of music the might ever want to hear.

And, for people on your gift list who just want to listen and not to have to worry about picking what they're going to hear next, there's always radio, either broadcast or online.

 

QRT AC Enhancer / AC Line Harmonizer Plug-Ins QKOIL, QSINE, QVIBE, And QWAVE

 

Listening to radio means just picking the station and having someone else pick all the music and do all the rest for you without you ever having to do anything at all except to just listen. And, having radio access, either through a computer, a streamer, or by a high quality FM tuner (Yes, they still build them, either as separate components or as part of a receiver) means that if the DJ, whether pop, classical, or whatever keeps up with such things and plays them, the listener will have a constant source of new music or new performances of music already known to add to his list of things to buy when or if he ever decides to buy physical copies for his collection.

 

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Music really doth have charms to soothe the savage breast, so why not bring a little joy to the world? When you buy your holiday gifts, think how great it will be for your friends and loved ones when they can open what you've given them, smile, and then...

 

Enjoy the music!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

     
 

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