B&W beauty and the “beastly” knob

I blew it.


I own a pair of bookshelf speakers by B&W; that’s Bowers & Wilkins, the British maker of high-end equipment.

One day possibly while cleaning, unbeknownst to me I accidentally shifted the receiver's volume control knob to full on.

Next time I turned it on, that volume could’ve rocketed the apartment into space. Which for that dark haunted place wouldn’t be a bad idea.

I raced over to dial it down but too late. The damage was done. That momentary blast blew the tweeter diaphragm, resulting in a staticy hiss that's displeasing to the ear of an audiophile and unpleasant to the soul of a music lover.

I wrote to B&W; they responded promptly and helpfully, earning high marks from this consumer advocate/watchdog. I can order the part and replace it myself. It’s not a particularly expensive part either — if one is employed.

So the speaker sits not doing what she is crafted so beautifully to do. It’s not right. I need music. And I need a job to get that part.

I love and adore these speakers. They’re on a short list of things to which I’m deeply attached and will have until I die.

I remember getting them seven years ago. I was living in Boise (ID) and had a decent income from a career job. Back and forth back and forth back and forth I went between two stores, one a chain, the other a small higher-end shop, listening to speakers. The guy at the chain store probably got sick of seeing me! I'd arrive with select CDs of various music from home, shut the door of the listening room and put discerning ear to ground.

I nearly went with floor speakers nearly my size (and possibly weight too!). So glad I didn’t. Not conducive to the lifestyle of a nomad.

The B&Ws didn’t come cheaply and at time I sorta cringed. That passed rapidly as I seasoned them the first night. They've paid for themselves a million times over in the the joy, the pleasure, the satisfaction and the soulful fulfillment they deliver.

In seven years, they've moved with me from Idaho to New Mexico to Utah to Washington state. Where I go, they go and they're treated like precious gold. Their large box, with thick molded styrofoam, can be a bitch to store in small confines. In the dearth of space, I'd simply drape an Indian cloth over it and call it and end table. (Same can be said for all boxes for my stereo components. Anyone who uproots as often as I is smart to think ahead and be ever prepared to transport precious cargo.)

The speakers are a joy musically and objects of beauty:


The shade's off; this better captures their warmth:

If heartfelt adoration and love of these speakers make me a fool, than a fool be I. A contented one. Their quality and craftsmanship speak sing for themselves. They deserve my passion and praise.

Oh speaker, I miss you so. Once employed, making you well is my first order of business. Let my costly mistake be a lesson. Watch that receiver knob! Even a blasted moment of the softest and most mellow femme music* can blow a tweeter diaphragm.

* i.e., Linda Ronstadt. I do not own or play Linda Ronstadt. 

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