Thursday, November 15, 2007

Duelling speakers...

It's a battle of the '80s!

Downstairs, the neighbors are going with Pink Floyd's The Wall. Upstairs at VFTP Command Central, tonight's selection is G&R's Appetite for Destruction.

On the one hand, I have an advantage in that my subwoofer is sitting on their ceiling, thereby using their whole apartment as a resonance chamber. In their corner is the fact that I have half a mind to kill my stereo and kick back and listen to "Mother"...


Carteach said...

'Meddle' was my favorite PF album... I'll have to go buy another CD of it. My kids swiped all my Pink Floyd..

"And no one sings me lullabies
And no one makes me close my eyes
So I throw the windows wide
And call to you across the sky...."

Anonymous said...

Something you don't usually hear in multi unit dwellings:

(Kicking the floor) Bam! Bam! Hey, could you turn that shit up?!

Anonymous said...

G&R FTW, definitely!

Rabbit said...

Wow. Back when I was in college(a damned long time ago), my roommates (two bearish brothers from San Antone via West Memphis) and I lived below 4 members of the basketball team. Occasionally the basketball dribbling over our heads got to be too much so we'd place all those Advent loudspeakers on the floor facing up, pull out the LP from the Jack Daniels Silver Cornet Band, crank the ol' Marantz amp up to 11 and play 'Dixie'.

Our friends (and we_were_all_friends) upstairs figured it out. Usually by the third replay it'd get *really quiet* upstairs and they'd go to bed.


Mark said...

Sorry, the previous comment erased due to a heinous typo that I stared at, thought "best fix that stat" and promptly clicked "publish" anyway. Damn it.

Anyways - whilst The Wall is indisputably a stonking album, "Wish you were Here" has to be the Floyd's finest hour.

Matt G said...

My roommate had the Alpha system on our floor of our enormous dorm at UT-- we rarely got challenged.

We once put on a CD of Electrifying Thunderstorms full blast one night, and turned it up to 11. Guys were walking out into the hall saying "It's storming, but I can't see anything out my window...?" Man, I'd wished that I had a portable flash unit with me at the time.

I first saw the video of The Wall courtesy of my father, who had seen the back cover at the video store and was interested in it, because there was a picture of a boy with a Webley in it. Heh.

Matt G said...

My perception of Floyd now is unfortunately tainted by the fact that on and off over 3 years of living in a little frame house, my (second) college roommate would slip a 6-CD magazine stuffed full of Pink Floyd into the changer, crank it up to 7 (as loud as it would go without the speakers cracking), and turn it to Infinite Repeat, when he was depressed.

I'll never forgive him for that. Not for the lost sleep (and there was plenty) and disturbed peace, but for the change it had on my perception of Floyd.

Anonymous said...

I still have the Klipsch Legends and custom JL Audio Subwoofer/coffee table. I'm just shy of a kilowatt even though I sold 2 of my Adcom amps (I had them bridged mono for each channel at one time). The last place I lived had a resonant frequency of 6 Hz and the downstairs neighbor just gave up hanging anything on the wall. Occasionally he'd call with a request too :)

phlegmfatale said...

Um, I have Panasonic Panapets in several colors. I had the knobs changed, because it went to 2.7. It has 2.7. Read 'em and weep, speaker pimps!

The Captain said...

I don't remember the details of my college sound system other than it had 100 watts per channel and nobody else in the building came close to that.

Ah, the things we were proud of in the old days...

Anonymous said...

At Ithaca College, there are two high-rise dorm building. You can see them in this photograph. They're about 150 feet apart.

In the mid-70's, they used to have stereo wars between buildings.

A friend of mine was a rich kid from down near The City: I don't know how he engineered it, but he got a student loan and spent the whole thing on a stereo that would have made a decent P.A. rig up to about five hundred seats.

He ruled.

theirritablearchitect said...

Can one of you here please explain the obsessive nature of PF followers?

Honestly, I never understood why it was that they were so popular. I didn't think their music was all that hot, and their lyrics and message? Please, it had been done before, and done better by at least a dozen acts.

What gives?

Anonymous said...

I like to put on the Wall and crank up the Magnaplaner's. 4000 watts of raw power. I ended up having to get dual 30 amp plugs run to separate lines just for the stereo when I had this place built. My wife and I popped the single 30 amp breaker too often in the last house which would usually trip the house breaker also.

Weird when you are cranking hard, its dark out, the house is rumbling and then all of a sudden silence as the house goes black and all that is left is the red led's fading to black. Normally, with a few beers killed, I always wonder if I should just go to sleep and not mess with it till daylight.

If you have never listened to Maggies with a high current bi-amped setup and a big powered sub-woofer you have not enjoyed music.

Anonymous said...

"Can one of you here please explain the obsessive nature of PF followers?"

Well, everybody gets to speak for themselves, but to me, they're a unique and great blues band.

perlhaqr said...

One of my many former lives was that of "nightclub organizer". But we were throwing the nightclub at a space that did other things during the week. So all the gear had to come home after every night.

With 4 speaker cabs approximately twice the size of a refrigerator each, and cabinets full of rack mount amps, I only ever had to play "speaker wars" once. But it was a decisive victory.

Anonymous said...

I confess to not having given Pink Floyd more than an hour's attention since Ummagumma. But I did really like 'Set the controls for the heart of the sun.'
I can remember several friends feeling sold out when the group started to produce "songs."

Anon, you neglected to name the source of your "raw" power (as if raw were a good thing in a music system). Hint: it comes out of those glowing things in the box. Two boxes, I guess, since you're all biamped and shit. And you spelled your speakers wrong, to boot. I find that telling.

Anonymous said...

Yah know what? You are dang right. If you had a set you would know that the logo is a little 1.5" square stick on down in the lower corner of the speaker. If you read the manual for the 20.1 you put the sticker on the outside so you can tell right from left. I assume you know about the tweater right?

It is really magnEplaner. Sorry for the faux pax. I actually had to get down on my hands and knees to see label.

Also, Biamping is easy to do. It is only money just like maggies. Buy two matched 2000 watt speakers. Top amp, right speaker mid/tweater goes to left, top amp right woofer goes to right and so on. Just keep in mind the 4 ohm aspect of the problem. Normal amps down work well at a 4 ohm resistive load like the maggies.

By the way, if you experiment with bi-amping, I found it best to not put both woofers on the same amp. It will pop the circuit breaker faster then if you dedicate an amp to a side.

The real problem with maggies is once you get used to the sound, then nothing else works. Thus our home stereo is maggies also.

Anonymous said...

But there is, like, an amplifier (or two) actually involved here, right? And that "4000W of raw power" would be...?

I tried ribbon-and-plate speakers in the early 70's and found them unpleasantly bright. All right for an apartment or a rented house, where space is a factor, but not what I'd build around. "Normal amps down work well," I don't understand. Amps have to push uphill against ohmage; that's why you have separate taps. If you mean what it sounds like about "down work," then the little thick spots in the ink that function as tubes nowadays are going to get Heat Disease. It's only money.

For my system, we did what seemed like a complex Ohm's formula, since I power two (commutatively) 4-ohm Bozak Concert Grand arrays, two 8-ohm Klipsch horns L-padded down as back channels, and a 2-ohm passive-filter 12" subwoofer, with the filter leads tapped and crossed as a phantom 5th channel to a 400 RMS Ampeg that drives the 18" Cerwin-Vega subwoofer alone, using passive low-pass coils to limit its range (I don't go much for those separate-preamp linear-adjustable subwoofers; my feeling is that below middle-C, you pretty much adjust for 'presence' with bounce-angles and cubic-footage, which is why Alexis Badmaieff was my architect).

That was enough math for me to get a real engineer to check my figures before I turned it on. You don't worry so much about mismatches with McIntosh; in the shop, they weld with them. A single dedicated 30W circuit has always been sufficient, since to unburden the 64-foot folded horn, I must unbolt some panels from the house. I'll do it if provoked; Valkyrie Ride still works on rappers. Up against Bruckner and Delius, the Led Zep brigade gave in years ago.