Thursday, August 20, 2009

Enterprising audio

For about 3 years we've been planning to put a small but good sound system in our bedroom. We often sit in this room - either to work at the desk or to ponder the view across the urban sky line. There's also some lounging on the bed reading or whatever.
We wanted a system that brought out the best in our CDs (sorry no vinyl here) and yet didn't cost an arm and a leg. As well it had to be a small, un-intrusive system, the room's not that big.
We decided on the speakers about 3 years ago, but for some reason (maybe cash availability) we've procrastinated. Whatever the reason the moment came to do something about it.
The first step was to snatch a couple of shelves from a component rack that housed the main system in the living area. That effort segued into a major re-organisation of the TV, surround system, speakers, power wires, power amp, speaker cables, furniture, floor rugs and just about everything else in that room. A day and a half later we were pretty happy with that revamp. There was still some grumbling about the weight of components and the seemingly insurmountable problem of making all the cables and interconnects neat and tidy. How do you make that happen? I can't work it out, particularly in an old house.
So having freed up the component shelves we thought we needed we then set forth on the bedroom. That again turned into a major adventure in moving, removing and throwing stuff away. Good for the soul!
All this work meant that I was ready for a serious listening session to sort out whether I did really want the speakers I thought I did and to decide which amp and CD player to put with them. This is where our local hi-fi place is so good. The crew there are pretty Rabid when it comes to being passionate about hi-fi and they are happy to lug speakers and components around while you say "can we just try those speakers with this amp now please?". How they cope with all the different tastes in music is beyond me but cope they do with exhortations to "turn it up if you like".
The first marathon session re-confirmed the speaker choice from 3 years ago (albeit a newer version) and settled on a modestly priced amp and CD player. Now for the hard part: the second session involved my significant other listening to my choice and giving assent or otherwise. She's not one for deep analysis, it tends to be "yes I like that" or "that doesn't really do it for me".
We started with a "hi-fi mini system" which sounded good and then moved our way up to the amp/CD player I had chosen. At each stage she could hear a clear improvement and we ended up listening to and choosing the next amp up in the series from the one that I had chosen. It was so clearly an improvement that it was the obvious thing to do LOL.
The good part of this story though is the speakers. They are little - and I mean seriously small - "bookshelf" mini monitors. They are also seriously good. They're designed and made in Australia by a guy who has proved that you can make a business like that work here without resorting to sweatshop labour in Asia somewhere. When we got them home the speakers just came alive in our room. It was a case of the room and the speakers really suiting each other. They are so transparent and clear that you really do hear stuff that you didn't know was on the track. The speakers are Legend Acoustics Joey 6 SE. I really applaud Rod Crawford and the way he has built his business and the way he constantly seeks improvement in his speakers.
The end result is that I'm sitting writing this blog listening to a CD that I've had for ages and yet really enjoying it all over again. The CD's Yothu Yindi, Tribal Voice. For those who object to Amazon, there are other and better places to get it such as here.

No comments:

Post a Comment