My Love of Hi-Fi



Hello. It’s Jason.

One of my many hobbies is Hi-Fi.(ハイファイ) Hi-Fi is defined as a set of equipment for high-fidelity sound reproduction, especially a radio or phonograph.

Ever since I was a very young child I’ve been into Hi-Fi. I think the very first Christmas I was old enough to ask for something I wanted I asked for a stereo to play my records on. From there I remember going to department stores and I would always beg my Mom to let me check out the stereos they had on display for sale. (It should be noted that this was a time that everyone had a stereo for music and a TV for TV programs. ) Listening to stereos that had substantially better sound than mine at home was something I thought was a real treat to listen to. Every few years or so I would ask for my birthday or Christmas for something new and better and as far as I remember I got it.


Fast-forward to April 1987. It’s my birthday and CD players had been something I’d been so excited about since they were announced at the Consumer Electronic Show in Las Vegas in 1982. They were expensive, but this was the 80s and anything with lasers is awesome to a 7 year old boy. Back to April 1987, I’m 12 and CD players have come down in price. There was a particular Toshiba model (XR-J9) that I’d had my eye on for some time. I played my cards right and that is what I got. It was amazing. The thing that attracted me to CDs was during quiet parts in the music records always had pops and click sounds. CDs don’t have any of this because they are sonically quiet. It was a dream come true back then.

To this very day I still love CDs and continue to buy them. Of course there are SACDs and 24 bit 96kHz or 192kHz lossless FLAC (Free Lossless Audio Codec) files you can buy at online music stores, but that’s all snake oil marketing hype. When they offer better mastering than a version I can find on a CD I will buy them, but not too often. I prefer owning something I can hold in my hands. I like taking out the CD, putting it in the tray, pressing play, and enjoying the album art and liner notes while I listen. Listening to mp3s or FLAC files just isn’t the same experience because it just doesn’t feel the same when there is nothing to hold.


Before I came to Japan, my wife made me sell all my equipment because she said we didn’t have space for it. I brought all my CDs, but instead of listening to them on a proper stereo, I have the next best thing with some nice headphones plugged into a USB DAC/amp combo. Maybe some day I will have a proper stereo again, but until then I’m doing alright for the space I have.

Happy listening everyone.


Currently Listening: