Sunday, August 23, 2009

the devil wore behringer

Our amigo, Juan Calypso, over at Viva Veracruz, has donned his Beelzebub outfit.

So far, he has not tempted me with "all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor." But he has come close.

He is in Las Vegas. And one of his first stops was Fry's Electronics.

He described, in almost sensual detail, the joy of walking the aisles of one of the best electronic stores in the United States. I hope to follow in his footsteps next month in Oregon.

One thing I have no intention of buying while I am there is a set of speakers to improve the sound produced by my computer. I use it (once or twice) to watch movies. I brought along two Sony speakers that are better than the internal laptop speakers, but not by much. If I want to risk shutting out the world, I can always resort to my headphones.

But I do miss my full audio system in Salem.

Some of you may recall that Calypso, Felipe, Babs, and I had a long-running discussion on the reduced quality of most MP3 sound files. That was the genesis of my Hamlet routine concerning my speakers.

I have a friend who recently graduated from video school. When I was preparing to move, he tried to talk me into buying a pair of expensive studio monitors.

I demurred. The speakers undoubtedly would produce great sound. I simply did not have the room to haul them down. My plan was to restrict my possessions to the size of my SUV. I want to be able to put all of my possessions in my truck within an hour. Speakers simply did not meet the priority or size limitations.

Well, my friend finally purchased his full setup, and he claims the speakers are better than a new girlfriend.

But here is the irony. We were going to set up a video call so I could see them and hear them.

The seeing made sense to me.

But listening to quality speakers through my little plastic bookends would be a bit like pumping a Placido Domingo live performance through the radio of a 1957 Buick Roadmaster. Interesting, but hardly satisfying.

So, here I sit in Melaque with some great music -- and even better soundtracks attached to actual films -- and I have to wait until I get back up to Oregon to experience some good sound.

Even as I write this, I hear Calypso's whisper over my left shoulder: Buy the speakers. Buy the speakers.

There are certainly worse things I could do with my money.

Now, how do I get them on the airplane?


Al said...

Oregon next month? Lunch?

Calypso said...

Large speakers are indeed a dilemma. I have a wonder pair of handmade Snell speakers as well as some fine Acoustat electostaics in storage in NEW Mexico. Both pairs are unreasonable to even consider getting down to Mexico.

Like my recently sold BMW motorcycle they will probably go that same way . Music is an important part of my life - but then so is Mexico ;-0

Steve Cotton said...

Al -- Certainly a possibility. I arrive on 19 Sep; depart on 2 Oct. The weekend between, I have Kroc Center grand opening activies. Do you want to contact Nelson?

Calypso -- Like you, I will choose Mexico. But you are at least settled in one -- or two -- places.

Constantino said...

Invest in a pair of Bose earbuds, you can turn up the volume for Pavarotti and not disturb anyone besides Harvey.....unless you cooked him for dinner.

Steve Cotton said...

Constantino -- I have a very nice pair of noise-suppressant Bose headphones. I just hate having things on or in my ears in this heat. The buds would be better for that concern. Next, you will have me hooked up to an iPod. and that is where this whole discussion began a few months back.

Anonymous said...

Hi Steve, I would recommend that you buy an I Pod touch. Then you buy a good dock with great speakers....they are small enough to put in your carry on bag! :) Then if you are on wireless you can download aol music or pandora radio and you can have all the music you ever dreamed of! It is really amazing. The small dock units can generate big sounds! It is amazing. Check them out at Best Buy while in Oregon. We travel with ours and where ever we get wireless we have our own music.

Babs said...

It sure shows the difference in the sexes. Remember when I wrote the blog about my brother taking me to Fry's and I didn't know what I was looking at and what I did look at seemed too expensive? So I only bought a handheld telephone.....

Hysterical. My brother is still shaking his head at me.

Steve Cotton said...

Anonymous -- This is where the discussion began. I do not like the MP3 format -- at least, its compressed option. Far too much of the color gets lost -- very much like the flat digital photographs that pop out of many a digital camera. CD compression is as far from live that I would like to go.

Babs -- I recall the story. There must be some gender issue here. My brother could spend days in Fry's -- and go back for more. I intend to do that next month.

Anonymous said...

I have a pair of Bose speakers I bought at Sam's Club. They are designed for use with computers. Just about size as standard computer speakers. One of the best $100 investments I ever made.

Laurie said...

I also love my Bose Speakers for my laptop here in Honduras. I love em' lots.

Howard said...

Remember that whatever you buy will a short lifespan this close to the ocean. One of the costs of living in paradise.

Steve Cotton said...

Anonymous -- I listened to the Bose setup. Almost bought the next step up. But they have the same problem most Bose products do: the bass does not equalize well with the the other ranges. At best, it is transparent. Of course, going down this path merely leads to dissatisfaction until I set up a home theater. And that is not going to happen with my current gypsy routine. Maybe some day.

Laurie -- I know lots of people who like the Bose speakers. I just find them unsatisfying. (My Bose head phones have the same issue.)

Howard -- A very timely reminder. Just today, I was cleaning the highly-corroded USB connectors to my computer. In four months, they look as if I had stored them in salt water. I suspect my fancy little laptop may be eaten away by the salt air before I can get to the highlands.