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Stereo In General
I've been sick for a few days - and just caught up on mail. Some of
my "catching up" posts will appear before this one...
Some comments about stereo and our approaches to it...we clearly have
a widely disparate set of priorities about money and sound quality
when it comes to stereo. We have many folks who are on the top end,
some in the middle, and maybe even some who would be happy with
speakers stuck to the C-pillars by their magnets!
The arguments seem (to me) to occur when those who have differing
approaches and priorities try to design systems. Personally, I
have lots of things to do with my money. The most money I have ever
put into a car system was $450 in cash money, plus trading for some
speakers. Sure, I'd love to have $1500 or $2000 for a big-time
stereo, but it's not worth it to me. (Cost/benefit = No Go.) So I
got a factory refurbished head unit with 6-disc hardwired remote CD
changer, bought a decent amp (for the rear speakers) at a police
auction for $39, put 2 new spekers and 2 traded-for speakers in the
car, and I'm done. (Here I'm referring to my 280ZX, not to the
ongoing saga of my Audi stereo.) Although from the description, it
seems like this system should sound like two tin cans being
banged together, the sound is really not bad, friends!
With almost 30 years in radio and TV production, I CAN hear the
difference between a few-hundred-dollar system and a couple-of-
thousand-dollar system....especially if they're side by side.
But when they're NOT side by side, I can be happy with the less
expensive system, as long as it sounds pleasing and performs as I ask
it to do. Fact is, 80% of my listening is to AM talk radio, so I
place high value on AM reception! Go figure - I'm a dinosaur! I
want reasonable, clean sound within a "cheap" budget, which is
possible if one chooses carefully. In the Audi, if Crutchfield
doesn't make that rackafratzin adapter sound GREAT for me, I will
bypass the Bose amps in my car and run the speakers directly from the
Sony head unit I'm putting in. And that's no cost except some 14
gauge wire (nothing exotic in wire, please - why pay?) and my labor.
Linus Toy spoke well: "If I want really good stereo, I sit at home in
my living room." If some on this list demand that quality on the
road, more power to 'em. Many do not.
And remember that regardless of the quality of the system's
electronic components, there are intervening factors:
1) The speakers used in the system; we really haven't discussed
this, but no matter what the components are, the sound won't be better
than the speakers used to reproduce it.
2) How well the owner actually hears! Many adult males are
(due to misspent "yute's" in noisy environments) somewhat short-
changed on ability to hear high frequency sounds. I tend to
question how much money it's worth them paying for frequency
response past 15khz (limit of FM radio) when they may not even be
able to hear it. (Of course, this is not the case for many...)
3) The listener's preferences and perceptions. Some listeners
really don't care if their systems have 8% THD vs 5% THD and won't
notice the difference, especially in an automobile at road speed.
They also may not care whether their CD changer is an FM modulated
unit vs. a direct-wire to head unit, especially if they don't
often listen to the higher-cost option.
I admire a truly fine stereo system. I also need a bench vise, a new
cordless drill to replace the one which just died, four tires for my
280ZX, a new roof on the house, three new panels of T-111 siding on
the house to replace the ones which are rotting in our TX climate, a
computer for the kids, and come to think of it, some $$ for a whole
week's vacation this year would be super!
I enjoy my list friends on this group, respect your opinions on
mechanics, stereos, and even movies, and understand that you have
differing priorities and values as regards stereos and other things.
Just because those priorities differ does not mean that any of them
are wrong....because we can all tolerate the foibles of our list-
friends as long as they keep the Audi faith.
Al Powell Voice: 409/845-2807
Ag Communications Fax: 409/862-1202
107 Reed McDonald Bldg. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
College Station, TX 77843-2112
W3 page - http://agcomwww.tamu.edu/agcom/satellit/rpe/alpage.htm