Alon’s Big Idea – SFAS Focus Groups and Other SFAS Initiatives

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SFAS Initiatives:

Alón’s Big Idea- SFAS FOCUS GROUPS

Since its inception, one of the prime directives at SFAS has been to build a robust, interactive community of music and gear enthusiasts.  We must have done something right, since our gatherings have proven to be wonderful and warm experiences that brought many new friends together to share stories and wisdom related to our collective obsession.

Enter Covid. Stop everything.  No gatherings, no visiting friends, no dealers you could walk in on unannounced, and alas, no audio shows.  In a matter of weeks, our world turned upside down.  The only good news of Sheltering In Place was the free time we suddenly had to catch up on our music listening, finally organizing our records, and for the very ambitious, taking apart our systems and putting them back together after a thorough cleaning of every connection (the difference in sound quality is obvious to any who have done this).

We don’t know when life will start to resemble what we knew as “normal” just a couple of months ago –– or even if we will ever get back to that freedom.  Most of us took it for granted.  Had someone told me in January that this would happen I would probably have laughed.  This has been one of the most surreal experiences of my life –– you can probably relate.

So, back to community building.  I’ll be the first to admit that the member forums on our website have not gotten enough traction to achieve critical mass. Forums are a bit old-school and by today’s standards seem lackluster and don’t allow a real connection.  And since the Zoom video conference platform makes it easy to have real-time, online gatherings of dozens of people who can see and interact with each other and the host, we’re going to use that technology.  We recently launched the Friday Happy Hour gatherings using this video conferencing, so if you need a high-end audio fix after your workweek… join us. Just get yourself a wee dram of your favorite drink, and charge yourself half price.  To expound on that idea, we’re introducing a new live meeting for disseminating knowledge, stories, ideas, and opinions on what we’re calling SFAS Focus Groups.

These groups will be led by a host focusing on a specific topic each month.  As an example, the Analogue group could hold a discussion about tonearm selection, cartridge issues, turntable suspension vs. mass, record cleaning machines, etc.  The Digital group could tackle SACD, Streaming, File formats, and the like.  A Cables and IC group would be interesting –– you get the idea.  Participants will be able to ask questions that may be answered by the host or any member on the video conference. We plan on rolling out the first Focus Groups soon.  If you would like to host a group on a specific subject, all you need is some knowledge and enthusiasm.  We will help set you up on Zoom.

I know this is not as good as in-person gatherings, but we have to face the reality of a new normal to continue growing our community. Have any suggestions you’d like to share?

Write to me at alon@sfaudiophilesociety.com

Other Initiatives
  • Establishment of an International Audiophile Society
  • Creation of an International Audiophile Society Museum of High End Audio

At SFAS we are focused on enriching the lives of existing audiophiles, nurturing new and budding audiophiles, and supporting manufacturers and distributors.  As part of that holistic approach to the world of high-end audio, we are considering creating an organization that would connect all of the audiophile clubs around the world to share global audio ideas and information.  As a follow on to that effort, we are also investigating creating a museum to preserve iconic working high-end gear and pay tribute to the designers that created this equipment.  The museum would serve multiple purposes:  It would be a place where we could preserve and display the iconic gear, a place that audiophiles can gather and share their enthusiasm with each other, and a place to expose the public to the audiophile world.  Hopefully, sparking enthusiasm with the public would encourage audiophiles and budding audiophiles to utilize the museum to share and incubate ideas in a facility geared to foster interest in all things audiophile.

We would love to get your feedback on both of these ideas.  This is a large endeavor and in order to pull it off we are going to need some enthusiastic volunteers.  If you would like to be a part of the team that helps make our global society and museum a reality, please reply to the Muse.

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San Francisco Audiophile Society

San Francisco Audiophile Society