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Real music deserves real power [Tuesday 15th August 2006 at 8:50 pm]

[Tags|, , ]
[Feeling |thoughtfulthoughtful]
[Playing |Davy Jones ~ Hans Zimmer/Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest]

I normally listen to my music quietly, with both the windows mixer and the real volume control turned most of the way down. This is partly because I tend not to listen to my music loudly, and partly because I know what it's like to hear the thud thud thud of someones speaker set at one in the morning.

There are a few, a very few albums on here however that really deserve to have more power from the speakers. Both Pirates of the Caribbean soundtracks, the instrumentals in the Lion King soundtrack, a couple of Evanescence songs, parts of the Narnia soundtrack, and a pair of pieces from the Andrew Lloyd Webber Premiere Collection (the real 1989 one with the actual casts from the musicals, not one of the many imitations).

These tracks are not played loudly because of the thumping bass (mainly because there usually isn't any), or because it's "cool" to do so. They get played loudly because they deserve the extra power behind them, and the extra depth that the increase in volume brings out.

Looking back at this, most of these concentrate largely on tribal-style drumming, though there's a few chillout/trance ones which have little or no bass, and a few chillout/trance ones that have *real* bass (not some cheap thump thump thump).

Is there a point to this stream of thoughts? Not really, other than to say that real music deserves every bit of power you give it. The track I'm listening to right now (Tia Dalma, from the Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest soundtrack) has barely any volume to it, but an awful lot of depth that only appears once you give it some real power.

And for the record, the bass boost on these speakers is enabled. Real speakers need no more than a slight tweak of the bass and treble. These speakers (IBM-branded, came with an IBM Aptiva in 1995), while good for what they are, are not real speakers. They are better than a lot of computer speakers, which says a lot about the quality.

I am seriously considering, as and when I have the time and money, getting hold of a real amplifier, a real soundcard and a real pair of speakers. Not sure what to get for the soundcard, but as far as speakers go if I do this I'll spend the best part of a day at Richer Sounds with my sister and a fistful of CDs from classical to rock, and the current people I'm looking at for the amplifier are NAD. They know their stuff - it's very telling when you see their kit used in the Royal Instution Christmas Lectures.

And yes, it'll be horribly overkill for what I want, but that works in my favour. It should sound better than most of the stuff out there, and still sound that good over 20 years from now.
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[User Picture]From: jecook
Wednesday 16th August 2006 at 4:17 am (UTC)

I can't help you much here.

The last dedicated sound card I bought was an AWE 64 waay back when.

I think my next rig will have another dedicated sound card, though. the onboard is reasonbly decent, but I could do better.
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From: (Anonymous)
Sunday 20th August 2006 at 12:58 pm (UTC)
We bought our NAD kit in 1980 (before you were born, boyo!) and it's still there - well the tuner and amp are - the cassette deck eventually died and CD players hadn't been invented..... x k
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[User Picture]From: pleaseremove
Sunday 20th August 2006 at 10:38 pm (UTC)
I could not agree more. In fact I listen to my music most of the time through a pair of Sennheiser ear phones which you know full well are impressive. You may also remember that I often tweak the bass on volume levels accordingly per track as I know some songs just need a bit more power or a bit less to them. Some songs are real background stuff and then there are others which should always have pride and place above anything else.
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