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Posted: 01 December 2012 08:55 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]
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Dunno, I wanted noise canceling headphones for plane rides and the like, and found Bose to be much better than others I’d tried. Of course, they have to have plastic enclosures in order to block out the noise. (As well as active canceling, of course). I’ve also been very impressed with tabletop Bose units. I know they don’t have great frequency response on paper, but I find them attractive sounding in person. OTOH I have listened to some supposedly “better” responding speakers (the kind that CR recommends) that sounded awful to me. No idea what’s up with that.

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Posted: 02 December 2012 05:39 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]
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I’m a bit of a Luddite, and, while I know better, I’m going to offer an opinion.  It seems to me that the pursuit of the perfect sound reaches the ridiculous status of the quest for the Holy Grail.  While there are undeniably better and worse systems I think audio equipment is subject to the 80/20 rule, i.e. for 20% of the investment you get 80% of the value, but you will need to invest the other 80% to get the remaining 20% of value.  For most of us a carefully positioned set of decent speakers and a good quality amp in a quiet room that has decent audio properties, will provide a sound quality that we Luddites can’t discern from an extremely expensive system.  So much of the quality of what we hear depends on factors other than the equipment.

This is a topic, which in slightly different circumstances, really pushes my buttons.  I play a little music, very much an amateur, primarily harmonica, some bass, Chicago blues and a little classic rock .  I find it exasperating dealing with guitar players with thousands of dollars of equipment and no chops.  I think there is a temptation to look for a “silver bullet”, the amplification system that is going to make you sound as good as you think you are, while in reality if you practice really hard, learning to listen to, and respect the other musicians, and turn the %#@$% down, you can play through some pretty basic equipment and make great music.  I was in a band a number of years ago, around the time of the second space shuttle disaster, and we were looking for a guitar player.  A guy showed up to try out and took forever to hook up a huge array of effects and pedals through a huge amp.  Our bass player took a look at all the switches and blinking lights and, straight faced, asked him, “Hey, did you find a piece of the Space Shuttle?”  And my prejudices were reinforced, the guy couldn’t play.

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Posted: 02 December 2012 07:02 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]
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Jeciron - 02 December 2012 05:39 AM

I’m a bit of a Luddite, and, while I know better, I’m going to offer an opinion.  It seems to me that the pursuit of the perfect sound reaches the ridiculous status of the quest for the Holy Grail.  While there are undeniably better and worse systems I think audio equipment is subject to the 80/20 rule, i.e. for 20% of the investment you get 80% of the value, but you will need to invest the other 80% to get the remaining 20% of value.

I believe it is 90/10, but it is a bit more complicated than saying a $200 system sounds 90 percent as good as a $2000 system: it won’t. However, there is a point of diminishing returns where one need spend 90 percent more to achieve a 10 percent increase in sound quality.

For most of us a carefully positioned set of decent speakers and a good quality amp in a quiet room that has decent audio properties, will provide a sound quality that we Luddites can’t discern from an extremely expensive system.  So much of the quality of what we hear depends on factors other than the equipment.

I’m not a Luddite, and I agree. Room acoustics play a far larger role in a system’s sound than most people realize. Carefully placed sound absorbing panels will improve the sound much more than even buying new speakers, let alone esoteric cables.

This is a topic, which in slightly different circumstances, really pushes my buttons.  I play a little music, very much an amateur, primarily harmonica, some bass, Chicago blues and a little classic rock .  I find it exasperating dealing with guitar players with thousands of dollars of equipment and no chops.  I think there is a temptation to look for a “silver bullet”, the amplification system that is going to make you sound as good as you think you are, while in reality if you practice really hard, learning to listen to, and respect the other musicians, and turn the %#@$% down, you can play through some pretty basic equipment and make great music.  I was in a band a number of years ago, around the time of the second space shuttle disaster, and we were looking for a guitar player.  A guy showed up to try out and took forever to hook up a huge array of effects and pedals through a huge amp.  Our bass player took a look at all the switches and blinking lights and, straight faced, asked him, “Hey, did you find a piece of the Space Shuttle?”  And my prejudices were reinforced, the guy couldn’t play.

Keep it simple. I have friends who can do amazing things with beat up old acoustic guitars.

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Posted: 02 December 2012 10:39 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]
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I didn’t mean to ignore you, Doug. My comments about plastic speakers referred to theater equipment. Headphones are a different subject. My wife has a pair of Bose noise canceling headphones which I find quite pleasing for extended listening. I have a pair of Shure headphones that cost a but more than half what my wife’s Bose costs. They sound different, but neither better nor worse than the Bose. They aren’t noise canceling though, which accounts for much of the price difference. And yes, the Shure headphones have plastic enclosures. I also have a pair of <$100 Bose earbuds which sound as bad or good as any <$100 earbud, depending upon how you look at it. No cheap earbud will sound as good as more expensive units, and the Bose are no exception. I had a pair of cheap Shure earbuds and returned them within the 30-day window because I was not happy with the sound. The Bose earbuds do not sound any better, but they are far more comfortable.

I’ve heard four or five of those Bose “acoustic wave” desktop systems, and imo they sound like leftover salmon smells. Bose’s marketing makes it sound like they invented an incredible breakthrough in speaker design, when the reality is they’re using the same transmission line design my early 1980s vintage DCM speakers use. For the price of those plastic Bose systems you can get a decent digital amp and a pair of bookshelf speakers that will blow away the Bose and not take up much more space.

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Posted: 02 December 2012 11:31 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]
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Ah, the advantages of being an old fud.  I grew up used to $4.00 bakalite plastic table radios with their tinny sound, and my first audio experience was playing old 78s on my grandmother’s crank up Victrola.  While my hearing limit was 18,000+ cps in college, it’s drifted down to where I now find my car radio just fine for sound quality.  LOL

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Posted: 02 December 2012 11:37 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]
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DarronS - 02 December 2012 10:39 AM

I didn’t mean to ignore you, Doug. My comments about plastic speakers referred to theater equipment. Headphones are a different subject. My wife has a pair of Bose noise canceling headphones which I find quite pleasing for extended listening. I have a pair of Shure headphones that cost a but more than half what my wife’s Bose costs. They sound different, but neither better nor worse than the Bose. They aren’t noise canceling though, which accounts for much of the price difference. And yes, the Shure headphones have plastic enclosures. I also have a pair of <$100 Bose earbuds which sound as bad or good as any <$100 earbud, depending upon how you look at it. No cheap earbud will sound as good as more expensive units, and the Bose are no exception. I had a pair of cheap Shure earbuds and returned them within the 30-day window because I was not happy with the sound. The Bose earbuds do not sound any better, but they are far more comfortable.

I’ve heard four or five of those Bose “acoustic wave” desktop systems, and imo they sound like leftover salmon smells. Bose’s marketing makes it sound like they invented an incredible breakthrough in speaker design, when the reality is they’re using the same transmission line design my early 1980s vintage DCM speakers use. For the price of those plastic Bose systems you can get a decent digital amp and a pair of bookshelf speakers that will blow away the Bose and not take up much more space.

No worries. I don’t have a desktop unit because I don’t need one and the Bose are wildly expensive for what they are, as you note. The only thing I own and use regularly from Bose are the headphones.

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Posted: 02 December 2012 01:01 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]
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I think that I may be one of these so-called Luddites.  I would be most content to pay the 10%, for the 90% of possible sound quality, for a surround sound system.

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Posted: 02 December 2012 02:12 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]
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Ah, the advantages of being an old fud.  I grew up used to $4.00 bakalite plastic table radios with their tinny sound, and my first audio experience was playing old 78s on my grandmother’s crank up Victrola.  While my hearing limit was 18,000+ cps in college, it’s drifted down to where I now find my car radio just fine for sound quality. 


Being the generation immediately following yours we listened to LPs on a monoral HiFi, no stereo at all. Dad needed something to play his jazz albums. It played 78s, LPs and 45s. Later We were amazed when the transistor radio was invented. It was a miracle toy. I could get exotic stations from Chicago, Boston, and Nashville. Now, reading these posts makes me feel like a dinosaur! My daughter and son-in-law have a surround sound system and the quality is incredible. What do you Trekkies think of Dolby?

 

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Posted: 02 December 2012 02:20 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]
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Apparently I am unable to reply to your comment, “the computer thinks your input might be spam”.

Phoey.

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Posted: 02 December 2012 02:32 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 25 ]
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jj - 02 December 2012 02:20 PM

Apparently I am unable to reply to your comment, “the computer thinks your input might be spam”.

Phoey.

Honestly I have no idea how the spam catcher works. Do you have links? Try rewording it or something.

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Posted: 02 December 2012 03:29 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 26 ]
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I looked up “Luddite”.  I want to be clear that I am not against further advances in the technology of sound quality.  I just don’t want to pay extra for technology that is beyond my ability to appreciate in any meaningful way.

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As a fabrication of our own consciousness, our assignations of meaning are no less “real”, but since humans and the fabrications of our consciousness are routinely fraught with error, it makes sense, to me, to, sometimes, question such fabrications.

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Posted: 02 December 2012 06:58 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 27 ]
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Ok, the web site is doubleyou doubleyou doubleyou dot aes dot org slash sections slash pnw slash ppt dot aich tee em and the slide deck is soundfields vs. human hearing.

Maybe this way will work.

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Posted: 03 December 2012 09:11 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 28 ]
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TimB - 02 December 2012 03:29 PM

I looked up “Luddite”.  I want to be clear that I am not against further advances in the technology of sound quality.  I just don’t want to pay extra for technology that is beyond my ability to appreciate in any meaningful way.

That’s known as being sensible and not a techgeek fanboy.

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Posted: 09 December 2012 07:39 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 29 ]
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Blose.

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