OMG OMG OMG OMG. This is the COOLEST THING. This is sure proof that I am a geek, for I get way excited about the Neuhaus Laboratories T-2 Amplifier, which connects right to your computer to play all those thousands of songs you have on there, "you" being "me" and maybe also being you, but certainly me. It's a GAWJUSS vacuum tube amp that has a digital-to-analog converter built right into it, which means it takes the data straight from the original files in your iTunes or whatever, brings them into the analog tube amp, restoring the depth, warm, and clarity that simply cannot be provided by any speakers connected to the computer itself or a solid-state amp. Think of it like the difference between your favorite musical artist crooning to you over the telephone, or sitting in your lap, smiling and singing just to you. Hopefully your favorite artist is not Susan Boyle.

As explained on their website and confirmed by ME, that's "ME" as in Marianne, not MissSeven who is also ME on blogspot because her blog is linked to mine and such, tube amps RULE for sound. There is nothing, not even the very best and most modern digital approximation, that can touch the immediacy and power of an old tube amplifier. They are loud and noisy and hot and prone to problems, those old guitar amps, but MAN. Best sound ever.

I play music almost exclusively through my laptop or iPod now. I haven't even had a stereo set up in my house since I moved here five years ago, although I want to just to be able to play some of those of records I have hauled with me in VERY HEAVY BOXES through every move since I was a child. It would be a pleasure to hear everything more like the artists and producers intended from all the digital content I have now.

Now the tough part: it's $795.00, in whole real American dollars. For some of you, that is pocket change, and by "some of you" I mean the people across the street in the garish Moorish-Palace McMansion. For the rest of us, this is a chunk of change to dig up. But still, I am passing the info on and maybe Aunt Minerva will kick the bucket choking on a fruitcake slice this Christmas and she'll leave you a grand and maybe a couple of doilies to boot. You could then buy the amp, set it on the doilies, and play "Oh, Canada" through it in her honor. It doesn't matter if she wasn't Canadian. Like she's gonna know.