Fix a Dented Speaker Cone

I remember when most speakers had metal grill covers. I’ve never dented my own speaker cones but here’s a CNET video showing a few tips on how to fix a dent. I would have used Scotch tape but I’m guessing it doesn’t work?

“Did someone poke in the center of your speaker? CNET’s Donald Bell shows you how to take the dents out of a damaged speaker dust cap.” – CNETTV

For more info: wikipedia.org/wiki/Loudspeaker

Adam at AES 2010

The key to what Mr. Capputo says is, “The A7X has twice the power and a considerably larger cabinet consequently better low frequency as well.”. The larger amp is what your paying for. The true power is what I look for first when shopping for monitor speakers. They have to be high powered for me to like them.

“Adam Audio U.S. Rep Robert Capputo gives us a quick tour of the offerings in the Adam AX line, talks about the success of the Adam A-series line, and the tweeter design in the new speakers.” – gearwire.com

For more info: adam-audio.com

Jawbone Jambox

As a musician when I play my songs to friends I want them to be loud. The problem is these days I’m usually playing music from my laptop, iPad or iPhone. I’ve used various little speaker systems in the past but the associated power cords and audio cable’s are a hassle to truck around. I’ve had my eye on the Soundmatters foxLv2 Bluetooth speaker. It’s a small portable speaker with Bluetooth and a rechargeable speaker and it has some rave reviews for it’s sound. This week Jawbone released a similar speaker using the same exact audio technology and trumped up tech specs. The new Jambox also looks modern and comes in black, blue, red or gray. Besides louder music the Jambox is also a good speaker/mic for conference calls. It’s $200… someone put one under my Christmas Tree ok?

“Meet JAMBOX by Jawbone the smallest, best-sounding wireless speaker and speakerphone on the planet. Just place it anywhere in a room to stream pristine wireless audio from any Bluetooth device. It’s the perfect way to make those jams on your phone or iPad sound, well, awesome.” – aliphjawbone

For more info: jawbone.com/jambox

Adam S3X

People often ask me about monitor speakers. For years I used Yamaha NS10Ms and a very powerful Crown Amp. I also had a pair of large Alesis Monitor Two’s. My own opinion is you need a really powerful Amp to drive any speaker. That’s what you pay for and that’s what makes a speaker sound good. I’ve been slowly saving a bundle of cash to build a all new studio here in NYC and it’s definitely time to make the NS10Ms secondary helpers. So money no object what would I get? Adam S3X’s! I’ve heard them a few places and in each room they were majorly tight, bassy, bright and beautiful. They have a pair hooked up at Guitar Center on 14th St. Would I spend almost $7,000 on speakers? I purchased my NS10Ms in 1995 from Sam Ash Pro. That’s 15 years of use and they are still going. 15 Years divided by 7k = $39 a month. Who need a new car anyway? In the end I don’t know if I will bite but it’s always nice to have a Lamborghini to dream about.

“With 800-plus watts of onboard amplification, the system is capable of SPLs exceeding 126 dB, offering plenty of headroom, which adds to the SX3-H’s superb transient response. Despite all that punch, any amp noise was almost undetectable and the SX3-Hs provided long sessions without listening fatigue. And besides simply sounding right, mixes made on the SX3-Hs translated effortlessly to other systems.” – Mix

Here’s a few links to dream on: S3X at Mercenary, Gearslutz thread, and a Mix review.

The GLA-55 Speakers

If you rent a room in Superman’s Fortress of Solitude or if you are a crystal meth dealer there is a speaker system designed just for you. The Harman Kardon GLA-55 has chrome tubing and touch sensitive volume controls. For those with $999 you can get a set via Amazon: click here. I admit some strange part of me likes these speakers. It’s the same part that like the new 2010 Hyundai Sonata’s design:

“Founded in 1953 by Dr. Sidney Harman and Bernard Kardon — two men with a deep interest in music and the arts — the company helped create the high-fidelity audio industry. In 1958, Harman Kardon introduced the world’s first stereo receiver, the Festival TA230, once again aimed at non-technical users in an attempt to make high-fidelity widely available. Stereo sound was achieved by using one channel from the AM Band, and one channel from the FM Band. The first true FM Multiplex Stereo Receiver was sold by HH Scott in 1961 with introduction of the Model 350 tuner.” – Wikipedia.org/Harmon_Kardon

So what do you think? Are these ridiculous or show pieces for your futuristic apartment?

For more info: harmankardon.com

via futuremusic

Largest subwoofer ever?

Who doesn’t like bass? How about a lot of bass? A ton of bass? Check out some of these photos from an Italian room built with a giant subwoofer into it’s basement.

“Royal Device has on its own developped and built in Italy the biggest subwoofer of the world for an AUDIO/VIDEO room that can be also considered as the greatest AUDIO ROOM for private music listening of the world. The audio reproduction is focused on the speakers output capability more than electric power output of the amplifiers with no need of KWatts power supply lines, releasing more than 110 dB/1W/1 meter sensitivity starting from below 10 Hz focused on the listening position.” – curiousphotos.blogspot.com

To see the full set of photos: click here

Lightbulb Speakers

Lightbulb Speakers

This week I noticed two seperate articles about Lightbulb Speakers. Both the Altec Lansing concept and the Soundbulb from designer Hoang Nguyen use electricity from a light socket and wireless technology. There’s no doubt this is cool tech and it makes me wonder where we can apply this new combined concept.

“Created by Altec Lansing, these light bulb speakers feature a wireless attachment that can be connected to a variety of audio devices, including Apple’s iPod. Users can also wirelessly stream music via Bluetooth to supported devices.” – techeblog.com

I want a studio monitor version created using sun lamps!

via Gizmodo

Event takes on Dynaudio and Genelec with Opal.

I always held Event monitors in high regard. My brother had a pair of nice sounding 20/20s and I’ve always lusted after the highly regarded ASP8’s. This past July in Las Vegas, Event announced their new flagship speaker the Opal. As with most active speakers with high powered amps these are not bargain priced (about $3000 for a pair). The claimed frequency response is 30 Hz to 10k Hz and they can handle 1,000 Watts. They incorporate a lot of new technology and some of it sounds like stuff you would find in a Audi R8 such as a carbon fiber speaker cone! As a 15 year+ Yamaha NS10M user I am pleased that the Opal’s entire HF unit (tweeter) can be rotated so the speaker can lay on it’s side.

“Many remarked on the clarity of the critical mid-bass regions, while the upper mids in the range of the crossover and the highs seemed nicely balanced. And there were plenty of comments on the well-defined imaging within the stereo soundstage.” – mixonline.com

Your studio is only as good as it’s weakest link. I always say spend your money on good sound treatment first and once you got that out of the way spend high on speakers. Try and find a dealer with a good return policy because speaker taste can be quite subjective.

Read the forum thread about the new Opals on Gearslutz: click here
Ty Ford’s Opal Road Trip: click here

How to place a subwoofer in your recording studio.

When I first started making music I worked at a ridiculously loud volume. I had to feel every kick drum in my chest even if I was working for hours at a time. Over the years I learned my mixes came out better if turned the volume down below eleven. Today I work very quietly; slightly below talking level. This lets me work for long periods of time without fatigue. However, I think it’s a good idea to have a subwoofer with lots of power to check the low frequencies of a recording from time to time. The best scenario is to have the sub attached to a speaker selector so you can turn it on and off separately from your nearfields. I use a Presonus Central Station with the CSR1 remote control for speaker selection. Another good option is to have the sub attached to a foot pedal. M-Audio BX10s are a an example of a subwoofer that has a foot pedal attachment.

A subwoofer can cause audio mayhem unless it’s placed properly. Here’s a good way to find the spot on the floor it should be placed:

1. Create an even full bass sound in your DAW.

2. Record that bass note stepping up over a low octave.

3. Move the chair you sit in while you work out of the way and put the sub-woofer in that spot.

4. Play your low bass octave. Have it looping continuously.

5. Get on the floor, on your hands and knees and move around the room listening to the scale. In some parts of the room one or more of the notes will feel weaker or less loud. Those parts of the room are bad places to put the sub. When you find a place that every note has equal volume and quality you found a good place to put your sub!

I should point out the better your room acoustics and treatment the easier it will be to find that sweet spot. In general most small studio rooms need a serious amount of Bass Traps. Room acoustics is another full post (or book!) but if you want my fast recommendation I would say go spend 2.5k at RealTraps.com. Take a look at their Mini and Monotraps. You can make your own traps for less money but it will take some research and sweat and they wont look nearly as nice as the RealTraps stuff. For a huge amount of info and help regarding room acoustics head to the John Sayers forum: click here

photo credit: phunkstarr