An audible improvement

I already mentioned how this machine, coupled with a tetchy network card, a vastly oversized hard drive and a right proper console-only installation of Debian is somehow a remarkable piece of work.

Add to that a decent pair of speakers, and suddenly it’s a work of art.

I mentioned that I planned to invest a little bit in speakers for sound — the old, beat-up secondhand radio I was using for years for music playback went southward not long before I moved. So a replacement was in order.

These are Sony SRS-M50 speakers, which were overpriced at around 4200 yen like-new, but fit my requirements for playback — small footprint, AC adapter, volume control and power switch at a reasonable location, and a standard TRS headphone plug.

Sound is very good though, and I mention that in part as a nod to a 13-year-old laptop, which has rotten on-board speakers, but has clear and clean sound through the headphone jack.

The moral of the story? Don’t be afraid to invest in a solid pair of speakers for a machine that would otherwise be at the bottom of a garbage dump. Ten-dollar computer, US$40 speakers. ;)

Now the opposite of that would be a shame. :D

P.S.: Before the audiophiles in the audience go all sassy on me, yes, I know I commit heresy by placing the speakers that way. What you can’t see is the arrangement of the room, where the cabinet sits in relation to the corner and the … oh, never mind. I can’t win this one. … :|

P.P.S.: First album? Sketches of Spain, of course.

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8 thoughts on “An audible improvement

  1. Mike Lockmoore

    “Sketches of Spain”: That’s a good one. I also like “Kind of Blue” when I’m coding. Although most of my coding is to Joe Satriani.

    I’l a seven-month lurker who’s read through all the archives here. I love this blog! Though I must admit, I’m more of a lightweight GUI (e.g. TinyCore) guy than a console guy. ;-)

    Keep on keeping-on! (To use a phase about as old as Davis’s popularity.)

    Reply
  2. steve

    Interesting about the speaker jack performance vs onboard laptop speakers. I must try that sometime.

    Something I have noticed over the last 10 years or so is the steady decline in the quality of laptop speakers. So much so that at this point, I don’t think they could get much worse. This compaq M2207AP (ddr era) has far better sound than my partners NEC ll550T(? iirc) that is of the ddr3 era.

    Reply
    1. K.Mandla Post author

      I would agree really, although most of the laptops I see and work with just have poor quality speakers altogether.

      I did have a Dell XPS M170 a long time ago, and it had a subwoofer in the base that made things quite a bit more tolerable.

      On the other hand, some Compaq Presarios came armed with JBL speakers and had phenomenal sound.

      So I suppose it depends on the model after all. … :|

      Reply
  3. bpalone

    “On the other hand, some Compaq Presarios came armed with JBL speakers and had phenomenal sound. ”

    Yes, they did and do. A few still show up on ebay from time to time and some end up going for a reasonable price. I have two of them right now. The second one was bought for parts, but it still worked and was in decent shape, so I didn’t have the heart to take the knife to it.

    They are set up for portable entertainment systems for when I work on the road. My music sounds pretty decent from these old computers. Then I got thinking that they would serve well as emergency back up computers if main (newer) laptop laid down. So, they now have all my required software installed, so I could move and not miss a beat. Even have Galpon installed, so I can access the internet without exposing the Win 98se to the nasties out there.

    Reply
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