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Tuesday, April 13th, 2004

Speakers Are Speaking In Code

Hey – I dunno if there’s any audiophiles reading this thing, but if so, I could use some help. I currently have a pair of small bookshelf speakers which sound wicked good for music but are finding themselves overpowered on the low end when I’m watching movies – like the woofer making flapping noises. Not so good. So I’m looking for a new pair of speakers – bookshelves, ideally, since I like compact and have a good pair of stands anyway. I’m not prepared to dive in on a whole home theatre 5.1 setup, both because of finances and practical considerations (no room!) and will be keeping my good old NAD 302 for an amplifier. 25 watts doesn’t seem like much but it’s plenty of juice for my needs right now. So, with no sub, what’s my best option for good full-range bookshelves that will do music and movies well? I’m more interested in detail, imaging and accuracy than I am in artificially boosted bass or excessive ‘warmth’. I listen to– aw hell, you know what I listen to. Price, of course, is a factor but not the most limiting – I’m willing to invest some money to get a good pair of speaks that’ll last me a long while, including when I do get around to doing the home theatre thing. The Szabos I will hang onto for a music-only system down the line. And, if no one has a specific recommendation to make, even manufacturers or decent websites with reviews that will help me make a decision are appreciated. I’ve always tried to avoid getting too into audiophilia because it’s the sort of thing I could really get carried away with, but it looks like it’s time to at least dip my toes in the pool, so to speak.

The reunited MC5, now known as DKT/MC5, will be at the Phoenix June 9 to promote the release of the Sonic Revolution: A Celebration of the MC5 DVD scheduled to come out July 6. In addition to original members Wayne Kramer (guitar), Dennis Thompson (drums) and Michael Davis (bass), they’ll be joined by a variety of rotating guest vocalists. So far North America will be getting Mark Lanegan (Screaming Trees, Queens Of The Stone Age) and Marshall Crenshaw.

Aversion chats with Snow Patrol. Will I regret not going to their show next week? I’ve put it on my ‘maybe’ list – I’m liking Final Straw alright, but I’m not over the moon about it. And while a good rock show is nice, so is not being up till 2AM on a work night. Convince me. Interview link from Largehearted Boy.

4AD seems to have gotten around to erecting their own Pixies minisite. Not a whole lot in the way of content, but there is a contest to win cool Vaughan Oliver-signed stuff. Huh huh… I said ‘erect’. From The Real Janelle. Oh, more on Pixies – tickets for the Toronto/Mississauga show at Arrow Hall November 24 will be a reasonable (relative to my worst fears) $35 and be available this Thursday at Rotate This and Sonic Temple in addition to Ticketbastard, so I’ll actually be able to go for under $40 (less transportation). Not bad.

Delusions Of Adequacy talks to Kevin Drew of Broken Social Scene about Beehives, politics and pop culture in general.

Some dude at The Independent compiles his top 10 movies about music. I’m not sure what I’d bump, but I am aghast that The Commitments didn’t make the cut. From Tbonedotcom. Gothamist is also hosting a spirited discussion about the list.

Okay, now stealing the presidency was one thing. Being asleep on the job when 9/11 happened? Hey, that wasn’t the fault of just one man. Invading and occupying Iraq under false pretenses and making a debacle of the whole thing? Boys will be boys. BUT BUMPING 24 FOR A SPEECH ABOUT AND FILLED WITH CRAP?!? For the love of God, people south of the border, vote this guy out in November. It’s obvious that he’s totally out of control and must be stopped. Fingers are crossed that Global will still be running the new episode as scheduled, otherwise we’ll have to wait till Sunday at 9.

Some links from Kyle, who needs to start another blog that he won’t permit me to link to. A Whole Lotta Nothing has a big-ass mp3 of Jon Stewart appearing on Al Franken’s radio show last week, and The Eye has a large repository of nice and long live and interview Quicktime videos for your, er, eyeballing pleasure. Like what artists? Too many to write – click on the link and see for yourself.

np – Centro-Matic / Love You Just The Same

By : Frank Yang at 9:56 am
Category: Uncategorized
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  1. sam says:

    the press conference doesn’t appear in the Global tv listings, not even for Fox, CBS, etc. i guess we’ll have to wait till later today to know.

    it would be cool if they ran with 24, wouldn’t it? :) could be. do they have a history of airing all the president’s boring press conferences?? nope. this isn’t the ‘war with iraq’ announcement.

  2. Matt says:

    You should check out the Paradigm Reference Studio 40s. I bought a pair about three years ago and they sound superb. I compared them to so many other brands, and nothing else came close for the cost (they run $800-$900 a pair U.S.). You can check out the speakers and numerous 3rd party reviews at http://www.paradigm.com. A bonus for you – Paradigm is a Canadian company!

  3. Five Seventeen says:

    I just went to the 24 Forum. Someone there called Global and they said they weren’t going to air it. http://…/

    Now, if I can find a place in Toronto with the Panic Room Special Edition, I can watch THAT tonight instead.

  4. Five Seventeen says:

    Also Frank, think about the 5.1 sound. I haven’t got it, but I sure wish I did. I figure it’s inevitable. You’ve seen my ceiling mounts for my speakers right? Get a few of those and space is no longer an issue.

  5. Frank says:

    belive me, I am thinking about 5.1 but I’m not anticipating myself staying in this apartment for THAT much longer – and if I’m going to go surround, then I have to get a new receiver as well, and then I’ve got basically another stereo system sitting around. I’m trying to avoid accumulating too much stuff right now. I’m just going with the front speakers right now.

    Those Paradigm References look real nice, but are a little out of my price range. I’m trying to stay around the $500-$600 mark, I think, though that might shift after I’ve gone out and done some serious shopping around. I’m finding a lot of stuff that gets rave reviews at the $200-$300 price point, but am still feeling out the middle range. I’m particularly interested in PSB stuff right now – there are a lot of great CAnadian speaker manufaturers right now, so it probably makes better sense to buy domestic than import.

  6. another mark says:

    I’ll probably hear some groans, but I prefer JBL’s myself. Their northbridge series is affordable and quite high quality. Anything like a JBL E 30 or JBL E 50 should suit your needs. Great low end with a big woofer, and crisp high end too.

    However, I’ll also recommend Cambridge SoundWorks "Newton" series M80. Those are super nice with great 8" woofers.

  7. Brandon says:

    I find that I can’t stand to listen to reference-style bookshelf speakers without an adequate sub to pickup the lower part of the spectrum. You miss so much without a full bottom end. But, I find that a sub is generally a bad idea in an apartment. The neighbors don’t tend to like bass being transmitted through the floor. The best answer to that is a good pair of floorstanding speakers with decent 10-12" woofers in them. They’ll fill out the bass register without pounding into your neighbors ceiling. I’m in a similar situation, with a relatively small room for listening. I find that in a small room 5.1 gets lost. You’re right to spend your money on a good pair of stereo speakers, as stereo will pretty much saturate the sound stage in a small room. Plus, buy the right pair of stereo speakers now and eventually when you do have a proper listening room they can become the front L & R channels of a 5.1 or 7.1 setup. I’ve been doing a lot of research into this myself lately as I’ve reached the end of the road with my current speakers. My ears are demanding more than I can get out of them. My current favorites and what I will probably buy when they fit into the budget are the Swan 6.1’s. They get rave reviews all over the place, and the company that sells them gives you a 30 day no questions asked guarantee on them, so if after breaking them in you find you don’t like them, you can ship ’em back. http://…/ They’re available in a beautiful real Rosewood veneer or the cheaper faux Black Cherry I linked to above. I will probably buy the cheaper faux Black Cherry option myself since the Rosewood won’t really match my furniture. At least with the cheaper PVC covering on the Black Cherry cabinets I won’t feel bad about covering them up with something else. I like to cover speaker cabinets in tweed. It’s classy and relatively cheap. I wouldn’t consider myself an audiophile. I don’t go in for all of that $200 speaker cable mumbo jumbo. But I do have increasingly sensitive ears and wouldn’t hesitate to spend a reasonable amount of money for decent speakers and the right amplifier. Let us know what you decide to do.

  8. Brandon says:

    It’s probably also worth mentioning that if you’re on a budget you can find some excellent deals at AudioGon.

    http://…/

  9. Awryter says:

    I cannot believe they didn’t have ‘Almost Famous’ on that list! That is one of the best MOVIES I’ve ever seen, and certainly the best one about music. Bloody sacrilege!!