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During the Winter 1992 quarter, my college housemate Doug bought Genesis' We Can't Dance. That CD was over 71 minutes long, so we had to fast forward through many parts. Still, there was a lot to like. I've already written that our first-floor wannabe hippie neighbor, Heather, would bring her acoustic guitar to our apartment. She would artfully play along to "Tell Me Why."
Doug and I scrambled, to cobble together a Sony CD player, Denon integrated amp, JBL speakers, and Monster ICs and Speaker Cable. That system was disjointed, but Genesis' "Hold On My Heart" played nicely enough, that I optimistically dreamed about an Audio Alchemy CD transport, Theta DS Pro Prime DAC, Conrad-Johnson PF-1 preamp, and Thiel CS1.2 floorstanding speakers.
For the Memorial Day '92 weekend, I left college, and returned home to San Francisco. That Saturday, I went to Audio Excellence, then located across the street from the Transamerica pyramid. Alas, they did not have a demo pair of the Thiel CS1.2. Walkman in tow, as I got to Montgomery & Washington, with only a slight mist in the cool air, KOIT played "Hold On My Heart." I then headed a few blocks to Ultimate Sound. I do not recall which products I checked out on that visit. After that, I went to Grain D'Or (now Andersen Bakery), where a couple of my friends worked. They packed a bunch of sandwiches, which I'd then take to Rossi Playground, where I'd meet up with a horde of friends.
I am pretty certain it was not that Saturday. Rather, it was the next day, also at Rossi, where I was introduced to, among others, Patricia. While her girlfriends didn't say much to me, she made small talk, which would lead to her becoming my summer fling.
After finals in June '92, as Doug was packing up, We Can't Dance and "Hold On My Heart" were among the last to be played on our Sony/Denon/Monster Cable/JBL system. Sigh...
At the end of July '92, Patricia, Ken, Roy, and I embarked on a road trip down the Central CA coast. That first day, we stopped in Monterey. I forget the name of the restaurant, but at dinner, Ken and Roy, best buddies since elementary school, sat in side-by-side chairs. Patricia and I sat opposite of them, across the table, on the bench. As dinner progressed, Ken and Roy increasingly talked to each other. I think we were done with the appetizers, waiting for the entrees, when Genesis' "Hold On My Heart" came on. As Ken and Roy continued to talk to each other, Patricia and I melded. Just like in the backseat of the small 2-door Honda Civic hatchback, Patricia rested her shoulder on the side of mine. She even, at times, put her arm around my waist, or held my hand. It felt like our surroundings melted away, leaving just me & Patricia. Magic.
But ever since then, Bay Area radio stations, despite playing a plethora of Genesis, forgot about "Hold On My Heart." I would then use "Hold On My Heart" to audition audio products. The goal was for the product to get the hell out of the way, and let the heartfelt ballad recreate 1992. Does the product capture the optimism and excitement, as we made the transition from mid-fi to high-end audio? Does it make me wistfully saunter down Montgomery Street? Does it make us once again say good-bye to housemates, as the school year ended? Does it place me in Patricia's arms, at that Monterey restaurant?
For the rest of the audiophiles, "Hold On My Heart" is another moving ballad. Each audiophile has his or her own personal story and/or connection with it. It has become another solid addition to our pop music library, arsenal, and play lists.
-Lummy The Loch Monster
"I Can't Dance"
Laughing...we all used Monster Cable back in those days.
How did the Thiel speakers sound back then?
By the time I graduated from college, Thiel were phasing out their CS1.2. It would be replaced by the underwhelming CS.5.
In 1994, I visited a guy who had the CS1.2. Alas, he showed me that the plastic binding posts were located underneath the speaker. His (I think they were off-green in color) AudioQuest speaker cable, however, had bananas. So the cable was compromisingly bent, in order to hook up the CS1.2. Somehow, the binding post, not the AQ cable, broke.
How disappointing, as we were eagerly anticipating what Whitesnake's "Judgement Day" would sound like via the CS1.2. I never got to hear a properly functioning CS1.2, and am not at liberty to comment on matters of sound quality.
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