Some rambling thoughts on technology in our hobby

MikeO

Active Member
I have a constant pull to the past for some reason. In more than just this hobby, I guess I am a very nostalgic person. In terms of this hobby it has tended to drive me towards vintage gear or at least towards traditional ways of building a system. My main system in my man cave is a mix of 70s, 80s and 90s gear with a Sonos connect for streaming. It takes up a fair bit of room and took me many years to figure out what I wanted.

I also have a couple of Sonos Play Ones in my living room for background listening when I am not tucked away in my man cave. The Play Ones are brilliant little speakers for low level listening but kind of fell apart as you turned them up. Again, perfect for background but not close to my carefully put together main system. Well, I had often read that adding the Sonos sub to a pair of play ones could make a system that could rival a fine high end system. The sub is not cheap and since I really only used the loving room for background listening I never tried it. Until this Boxing Day when a sale on the sub along with their easy return policy led me to give it a try.
They recommend running the True Play room tuning software before using it so I did. My first play my thoughts were, this is terrible. So bass heavy that it had taken all the best parts of the play one away while adding thumping bass which I really hate. Was honestly ready to take it back. But did some reading online suggesting that true play sometimes doesn't work correctly, and most importantly to this story to really play around with the sub settings and eq for the system.
So turned off true play, and much better but still way too bass heavy. Dialed back the sub in both the eq and volume settings and absolutely beautiful music was playing from them. Sound wise, very much on par with my basement system. It really made me wonder how powerful DSP and the ability to really fine tune a system to your liking without having to change equipment can be in this hobby. When software basically can take the place of hardware.

I am not going to be getting rid of either system any time soon. My man cave system is like a time machine for me. It almost takes me back to my younger days when we interacted with the world in a different way. I really don't want to give that up. But I can honestly say that this simple living room Sonos setup now is capable of rivalling the best system I have owned in 25 years of this hobby, at least in terms of sound. And in terms of flexibility, it far surpasses it.
 
There will always be various ways to approach listening to music fortunately. Unfortunately larger companies have to trend to where the masses are and right now less is more in terms of gear. Active speakers with all inclusive everything is the way of the future. Ask Pat.
 
I can tell you after using the SVS Prime Wireless speakers for the last 2 weeks on my desk top, I could absolutely see using these in my living room with a sub. These little speakers amaze me with the clear, detailed sound that remains composed even at (for their size) stupid listening levels. Add a sub to fill in the lower frequencies and I believe this little system could easily be at home in anything but large, open rooms.
At the same time, my Yamaha stereo receiver is not going anywhere. I bought it new in 1987 after lots of research and listening and it is my link to the past. It will be an integral part of my man cave system. I hope to find a reasonably priced set of speakers from the 70s to 80s era to complete my time machine.
 
I recently began the experiment of adding a DBX Venue360 to my main system. DSP to "fix" the room is a game changer, whether it's built into the speakers, the AV receiver or an outboard piece of gear like the 360. If you don't have the ability to do room treatments (not popular with SO's in many cases), this is a very good second option.

I am really digging it so far. The auto EQ gets you close and then you can tweak to your heart's content from there. The goal is to get it close enough that you aren't dialing it in for every song. I'm not there yet, but getting close enough to see the finish line.
 

mhardy6647

Señor Member
So -- for three years of my life, I found myself playing a major role in a small but disturbingly visible "technology strategy" group in a terrifyingly large and profitable Pfarmaceutical company that had bought out the biopharma company where I worked.
In those days, I formulated what I like to call :smoke Hardy's Law of Technology:

There is such a thing as too much technology.

:confused:

We now return you to the regularly scheduled thread.

:)
 
There is such a thing as too much technology.
I think this every time my wife tells me that something with the TV isn't working. We cut cable television a couple of years ago and got an Amazon Fire Recast (4 tuner version) so my wife could still "tape" her shows. Problem is the thing is glitchy and the tuners aren't as good as the one in the old CRT TV we have in the basement. So I'm either fighting with the thing because of signal strength, or it does something random like a spontaneous factory reset so that I have to figure out how to set it all up again, or I'm unplugging ang plugging the Firestick in to reboot the streaming... I JUST WANT TO WATCH TV!!! And I would be except for the fact my wife records everything! And then actually watches it. Okay, rant done. Thank you for listening.
 
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