Sunday, March 25, 2007

Audiophiles

There's a blog I read authored by a prof at MIT if I recall correctly. Somewhat eclectic, I got turned on to it by the guy's photography reviews. Well, he's got a very opinionated review of his new Infiniti, but what I particularly liked was his Bose bashing (my bolding):


Lexus went to Mark Levinson, makers of $100,000 home stereos that sound fantastic, for their premium sound system. Infiniti went to Bose, makers of a $300 table radio with a one-note bass. How does the fancy Bose stereo sound? Not too bad, but it still has that one-note bass. Instead of a big expensive subwoofer, the Bose system in the Infiniti M has a cheap mid-bass bump. Almost any kind of bass content will excite this mid-bass resonance. The theory behind this design, which has worked great for selling table radios, is that people who don't know anything about sound will be fooled into thinking that they are hearing deep bass.

6 comments:

CarlBrannen said...

You know, ever since Bose came out with those little speakers with the big bass I haven't carefully looked at speakers or read reviews, etc. Subconsciously, I was afraid my old MartinLogan electrostatics were obsolete.

Angry said...

Hah! Funny. Electrostatics are awesome. I've always liked Martin Logan's, but my favorite speaker has always been the Quad ESL-63.

CarlBrannen said...

I looked up the ESL-63, and it makes me suspect you of being an old fogey like me.

The MLs were an impulse purchase that I could not afford. Back when I designed logic, I listened to rock and roll on headphones at work.

I dropped by a high end audio store to see if they had any really nice headphones that would completely cover the ears (so I don't hear anything less than the fire alarm), and have sweet sound 20 to 20k.

When I wandered into their speaker room, they had a pair of MLs softly playing NPR radio. I couldn't believe it.

One of the things I always hated about even pretty nice speakers is the tendency for the room to have spots where the spectrum has slightly different color.

It's not that I prefer one color over another, but that I'd like to be able to sit in a rocking chair and not have to listen to the sound interact with position. The MLs are very good at this.

CarlBrannen said...

The only other speaker I've bought recently was the Klipsch KG4. I used 4 of them with a juke box at a black bar, "Uncle John's Tavern" in the Seattle. The selection criteria were high efficiency, good tone, and immunity to damage.

They are supposed to be floor speakers, but I hung them upside down from the roof. Best sound was fairly close to the corners of the rather long room. The midrange was particularly sweet in vocals.

The Rockola juke box speakers were horrible. I turned them off, except for the extreme low end woofer, (as I recall) which helps where the KG4 lacks.

Early in the quiet of the day, while the morning staff cleaned up the Friday night partying mess, I would count and split the money with the owner ( John Clayton) and listen to R&B or rap at the sweet spot in the middle of the hall. As mentioned in that last link, John Clayton's business was closed down on trumped up drug abatement charges.

Angry said...

My friend has those Klipsch, and they're certainly good for what they do (and for your purpose). As for the Quads, it's not that I'm old, I just got turned onto good stereo sound early!

Pro Audio said...

Wow, is Bose really THAT off-track now? The name used to be known for hobnobbing with the likes of these.
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