“What did the little birdie say? Cheap, cheap, cheap! You get what you pay for,” he said. “Sh*t in, sh*t out,” he said. “Always remember to stare with your ears,” he said. “Money talks and bull**** walks.”

Ah, yes — the whimsical advice of my audiophile uncle, The Spirited Uncle M (you'll hear about him a lot in my reviews). Little did I know that when I asked him for some tips on how to get better sound out of my little entertainment system it would set me off on a journey to find the elusive state of Audio Nirvana.

You see, at the ripe age of 28, I was finally welcomed into The Sound Lab — my uncle’s dedicated listening room, where he mixes and matches countless pieces of high-end audio gear in search of the “perfect” eargasm-inducing combination.

It’s a room where truly magical sound is created. If you close your eyes, you’d swear you were on stage or in studio. Lars nearly knocked me out of the listening chair with his kick drum on Metallica’s “Enter Sandman.” No matter what’s played, the sound encompasses you, takes over your senses, and, well, it is simply amazing. That experience changed it all for me; it was like I never heard music before, or at least I had never heard GOOD SOUND before.

After that, there’s no going back, and so now I too am on a mission. Whether it is through my headphone rig or two-channel speaker setup, I’m in pursuit of a higher state; I’m in pursuit of Audio Nirvana. And I want to share those experiences with you.

Forget the esoteric marketing claims, technical mumbo-jumbo, and pretentious prices that bar entry to many. I care about the sound, and helping other music lovers hear — and see — what they’ve been missing. After all, it’s all about the music, the feeling, and the experience. So always remember to stare with your ears.

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