Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Horny Men

It was late when I received the invite to join three other men on a trip the following day to a private hotel in the country to indulge in some serious sensory pleasure. For such an invitation, one could simply not refuse

We duly arrived at the hotel, a former stately home deep in the east of England after a two hour drive, in the late morning. The entire hotel had been booked for the event and all rooms allocated to those who wished to share their charms with the likes of the curious and the besotted. Around a couple of hundred people must have squeezed into the creaking three hundred year old building, with parking over-flowing onto the street and grass verges outside.

The corridors of the hotel were cramped and filled with men shuffling from room to room, peering at sheets of paper tacked to doors listing the delights on offer inside. I passed only three women amongst the throngs of men; their heads down, eyes lowered and looking slightly glazed. Nobody spoke as we shuffled passed, just the occasional nod of the head and every now and then a smile of satisfaction or perhaps bemusement, as men (and the occasional woman) left one room and headed off to the next. Nothing however, was for sale. The delights on offer were freely available for as long as anyone wished. If I'd have heard snorting, I wouldn't have been surprised; the pigs were in heaven and the trough was over-flowing.

The demographic was definitely late middle-aged; old enough to have saved enough money to participate in such esoteric pleasures. I did not count myself amongst the devotees or the seriously wealthy, being merely a curious voyeur. So perhaps it was unsurprising that more than a few men sidled up to me having spotted my camera's famous red dot, to enquire in hushed reverential tones. These people definitely are consumers of the exquisite and expensive.

So to my first sensory experience at the hands of some horny men. About four of them had conspired to produce the biggest horns I've ever seen. Several men and one woman were in the room, swaying trance-like in wonderment and awe. But the experience however impressive, left me decidedly unsatisfied. So I left them to their pleasures and rather warily cracked open another door and entered the next room in hope of finding some nirvana waiting. Here, I found a man with a horn somewhat less large but beautifully fashioned and who gave a very spirited performance but, it was in the end, all rather tiring. And so it continued. Equipment proudly displayed, but enjoyment in truth was difficult to be find. The last horny man I saw was the best. Not too large and not exactly beautiful, his equipment producing a more natural and enjoyable experience than the others.

But the closest to sublime satisfaction came not through these horny men and their digital or vinyl predilections, but in the form of some venerable and impressively proportioned equipment in the last room I visited. No horn here, just weight and power effortlessly produced. I found my eyes closing as aural pleasure washed over me. The music was probably key. Previous experiences in other rooms were encased in power rock or jazz. Here, waves of filmic sound from the hand of Hans Zimmer, taken from the film score of The Thin Red Line, and specifically the track 'Silence' were truly breathtaking.

Sourced from a Nagra reel-to-real tape machine and using thirty-year-old BBC Monitor speakers made this oldie a definite goody. The warmth and effortless quality of equipment expertly tuned, allowed the music to swell and seduce my aural senses with emotion. The high-end digital was shown to be hard, bright and lacking warmth in comparison. The vinyl experiences were better, but they inevitably suffered from crackle and pop, despite their turntable decks costing in excess of £10K. And in the end it was the music that swayed me, gave me that desired emotional response and satisfaction, not the esoteric and horrendously expensive tech. It seems, I'm happy to have discovered, that we oldies still have the edge where true pleasure is concerned.


This is the man and the reel-to-reel tape equipment responsible for my audio heaven experience from LodgeSound.

And these are the horny men and their equipment that I was previously talking about...


Browellm, the chap standing here between his AvantGarde Uno horn speakers, came second in my audio pleasure experience. Gear was Acoustic Audio Solid Wood Turntable and Audio-Note AN Arm III and Kondo M7, LV Argento and Allnic H-1500 amplifiers. Expensive...


A large horn doesn't guarantee utmost pleasure. But it get's bloody close. This exhibitor, Russ Abbott showed how sublime his gear could be. Personally a little tiring and bright for longer listening I felt.


Digital or Analogue? Cold or warm? You pay's yer money ...


And the award for the biggest horns ...



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