Is deep bass necessary or desirable? Yes, in our opinion it is not only desirable, it is a critical part of the audible spectrum. “High Fidelity” products are designed to reproduce the original sound of an instrument or soundtrack as accurately as possible by faithfully preserving the character of the “live” sound down to the last nuance and detail. When reproducing the sound of large bass instruments, such as organ pipes or the synthesized low frequencies present in film mixes, the sonic benefit of adding a sub-bass system is immediately obvious. Higher frequencies, you may think, are unaffected, because they contain no bass. In reality every note comprises a “fundamental” frequency and “harmonics” which embrace a much wider frequency spectrum than the fundamental, and combine to distinguish a note played on say a piano, from the same note played on a violin. All musical performances will produce very low frequencies in addition to those expected. A REL will ensure that your system is wide band width, ensuring that it more closely resembles the live performance. This principle is valid with all sound reproduction media. In all cases, deep bass is both desirable and necessary. Another example; walk into a large building, such as a cathedral. Immediately you sense you are in a large building simply by the way it “sounds” – it has a special ambience. Our ability to perceive this type of ambience comes in part from a subliminal awareness of the very long wavelengths (low frequencies) that are reflected all around us. These aural clues will be missing in a music or movie system of limited low frequency bandwidth.

REL Home Theater and Stereo subwoofer

“The REL shores up the organ entries in recordings of Mahler Second (Resurrection) or Eighth symphonies, and allows them to breath in a way you might not have expected to hear outside the concert hall. But the benefits reach much further than that. The REL equally contributes to space around and substance to the sound of solo piano.” – Alvin Gold, Gramophone

If you want better picture and sound out of your home theater or home audio system, look to your wall socket.

The power coming from your wall outlet may be fine for your refrigerator or toaster but in most cases it can do some really bad things to the quality of the picture and sound coming from your home theater or home audio system and shorten your home theater or home audio systems’ life. While some electrical issues come from outside your home, most of them originate in the home. The 1960’s marked the beginning of the era of non-linear loads which now include electronic ballasts, computer power supplies, fax machines, lighting dimmers, CFL lamps and cell phone chargers. These non-linear loads put a lot of harmonic distortion and current issues back into your home’s electrical circuit. While most home theater and stereo components were built to withstand some of this, the number of non-linear power supplies and the amount of distortion in homes continues to increase.

Adding a power conditioner to any home theater or home audio system can dramatically improve the picture and sound quality of your home theater or stereo. By providing power that is free of harmonic distortion the soundtrack from your home theater will be clearer and more dynamic and the music from your stereo will launch from a deep quiet background. The image from your home theater projector or flat screen TV will make you feel like you just took off your glasses and cleaned them. The blacks will be blacker, the picture more stable and film like and the image will draw you deep into the background.

Today’s home theater and home audio sources are more dynamic than at any time in history. CD’s, SACD’s, DVD’s, and Blu-Ray’s are giving us real-life sound reproduction that was once reserved for idustry proffesionals. To meet this demand power amplifiers have increased in size, power, and efficiency yet most homes do not have clean stable power these amplifiers desperately need for stable peak operation.When a power amplifier is reproducing audio content with big transients (ie : a quiet classical piece that suddenly demands your attention with a crash and striking of cymbals and timpani on your stereo, or; a loud, sudden explosion in an action film on your home theater), it will need a sudden large draw of current to reproduce the signal accurately.

Furman Home Theater & Stereo Power Conditioner with Power Factor Technology

Furman has developed Power Factor Technology in their power conditioners which stores a reservoir of energy while lowering the high frequency AC impedance. This circuit acts like a massive “fuel tank” for your home theater or stereo equipment providing up to 80 amps of power at a moments notice to feed your home theater or stereo equipment. Adding a Furman to your home theater or stereo will greatly increase the dynamics of the sound while cleaning up the quieter passages as well.

At Soundings Fine Audio Video in Denver, Colorado we can help you get the most out of your stereo, home theater or home audio system.  For more information on power conditioning or for a live demonstration, visit our showroom or click here.

Sound and music are parts of our everyday life. Just as we have eyes to see, we also have ears to hear. We seldom take the time to consider the characteristics and behaviors of sound and how we hear. Sound is created when an object like a violin vibrates the air, and those vibrations travel through the air until they reach our ears. Our hearing works much like our vision. With two eyes, not only can we clearly see objects, we can also measure their distance from us. Likewise with hearing, we take a mono source and we hear it with stereo hearing so that we can measure it. Thus we are able to not only tell what the sound is, but also where it is and whether it is coming closer or moving away from us. Have you ever heard an airplane in the sky, and before you could see it, you already knew where it is coming from and what direction it is traveling in? That’s stereo hearing.

When you place two speakers in a room and play them, you divide that room into two pressure hemispheres, which immediately start to compete with one another. You find yourself listening to two girls, two guitars, and two trumpets, etc.., each one coming from each speaker – this is stereo sound. Your ears were never designed to hear stereo sound. In order for the sound to be pleasant and involving the speakers must work in the room together as one, and the pressure from each speaker must reach your ears in mono. In other words the girl singing from both of your speakers MUST arrive at your ears at the same time with the exact same pressure. Even a slight deviation from this will result in distortion. Although the distortion itself can be hard to detect, it does manifest itself in ways that you are familiar with:

  • The speakers sound loud and aggressive. Ever wonder why your wife won’t sit and listen with you, or why she keeps telling you to turn it down? Women have far better hearing in high frequencies that men do, and since most of these distortions occur in the higher frequencies, it’s painful to them – It isn’t loud, it’s distorted!
  • There is a very small “sweet spot” that you must be in. And if you move from this position the sound changes radically.
  • The tone of the sound is uneven. The bass is boomy but only on certain frequencies, and the voices are shouty, bright, and harsh.
  • Because distortion increases with more complex passages, you are left with is a system that is either too quiet to understand the dialogue or the small nuances in music, or far too loud and boomy during the important passages. You can’t watch a movie or listen to a piece of music without turning the volume up and down several times throughout the piece.

Anyone can sell and install a home theater or stereo system and get it to work (sort of). Unfortunately any home theater or stereo, even a very expensive one, that is not critically set up has no chance of disappearing and letting the emotion of the story or piece of music take you over.  Then comes the classic scenario; you self-diagnose the problem and make plans to self-medicate by buying yet another piece of equipment that you’re sure this time will be the answer to it all. And, surprisingly enough, it isn’t.

The point is this: There are many high quality speakers on the market, all of which have the “potential” to thrill you like you have never dreamed of before, but if they are not critically setup in your home this will never happen. The finest guitar or piano in the world cannot make beautiful music unless it is tuned perfectly. Why then can ANYONE expect fine speakers to make wonderful music in your home without being critically set up?

Master Set™, the only systematic speaker setup method that works in every room with any system.
Visit us at Soundings for a dramatic demonstration of what Master Set can do for your home theater or home stereo system. Or to read more about Master Set™, click here.