When I was seventeen, I was lucky enough to visit Abbey Road recording studios. My school had funding from the British Arts Council to send one student to join a group of others from around the country on a tour of the EMI music group, including the famous recording studio. My music teacher put all the students’ names in my music Technology A level class in a hat, and he picked my name.
The two things I remember about Abbey Road studios were that we had to start our tour at 8:00 so we could be out of the way by the time the working day began at 11:00, and every room seemed to be full of Bower and Wilkin’s 800 speakers. Each of the recording studios and mastering suites had a 7.1 surround sound setup, and the live rooms and corridors had seemingly randomly placed speakers throughout the building.
B&W 800 speakers are iconic; they have large rounded cabinets, a large ‘turbine head’ for the midrange, and a ‘Diamond dome tweeter’ mounted on top. A pair of 8000 D3s costs £23,500 and represent the ‘pinnacle of audio perfection’. I will never forget the awe we felt as a group of working-class kids who has probably never listened to a stereo costing more than £100. We were standing in the most famous studio in the world, in a perfectly prepared room, listening to a surround sound mix of an orchestra through possibly the best reference speakers ever made. I have been a B&W fan ever since.
I have owned various B&W products since that day. I started with a set of 303 bookshelf speakers when I began working as a Music Technology lecturer, then upgrading to 606’s around ten years ago when I started to earn a bit more money. Then I got a set of P5s headphones for my train commute and office working. These speakers and headphones are great. The 606’s speakers are now connected to my living room TV to enjoy films as I no longer make music of my own. I recently upgraded the P5s to the PX7’s, and they are on a different level.
In 2020, I set myself the challenge of running 2000 miles in the year and decided that the PX7 headphones would be my reward. My final run was an eight-mile time trial up to the highest local hill and back on Christmas morning. Before leaving on the run, I ordered my prize, and they arrived after a couple of days. The sound quality, even when using Bluetooth, is like no headphones I have heard before. The only word I can use to describe them is Beautiful; they even brought a tear to my wife’s eye when listening to one of her favourite songs – A little love by Celeste.
So in a deliberate effort to enjoy music during these crazy times, and inspired by my good friend ‘Sein’s Twitter account and the #ForTheLoveOfMusic hashtag, I will start posting a daily song on my Twitter to share the tunes I am enjoying over time.
I am starting with the song I listen to more than any other on Spotify: You & Me – Flume Remix by disclosure, Eliza Doolittle, and Flume