Starting Out – Music or Movies?

Too Many Choices By cwgoodroe on FlickrChoosing a Hifi can be a daunting experience, when you look at the sheer number of products available from one brand alone it is easy to get confused, let alone comparing multiple different electronics brands, with numerous speaker brands and ranges… We often get asked for advice, and that is what we are here for, that is our job as a retailer, to find an ideal system for the customers need to “Get more out of the music (& movies) you love”. We find customers usually start with a budget in mind and come to us asking for a recommendation. Its great to have a budget but we tend to put this to one side until we get a little more information out of the customer.

The first question we ask is: Is this a music system, a movie system or does it need to do both?

The reason this is the most important question is that many systems can adequately reproduce movie sound tracks because that is mostly high freq effects and upper bass from explosions, for movies quantity is more important than quality and such sytems will struggle to make music sound like, well music! Because for music, you need quality more than anything else…especially at lower listening levels.

This is normally the case with sub/satellite systems, where the satellite speakers cannot reproduce midrange frequencies very well, and it is these frequencies that make the guitars in Smells like Teen Spirit sound like real guitars. With technology advancements small speaker design is enabling greater frequency response from these satellites, but sometimes you just can’t compete with Physics!Unless you’re are auditioning home theatre subwoofers, I always advise customers to use Music to compare speakers and amps etc. Because music has it all, it show cases tone, something that makes a male voice sound like a male voice, not a chipmunk. It’s tone that makes bass sound tuneful, rather than boomy, i.e. you should be able to hear every note the bass player is playing, not just boom boom boom every time he plays a string, regardless of the note.

The most important thing you can do when auditioning Hifi is use Music tracksthat you are familiar with. If you come and talk to us, sure we will play you some of our favourite music but lets be honest, we won’t play you something that is going to sound bad on the system! We like great sound so it’s natural for us to play something that showcases the best of what the system can do. If you’re a massive Celine Dion fan then bring along Celine,  if you’re a massive System of a Down fan then break out Chop Suey.  I think you get it.

The other reason I suggest music for auditioning is that if you are happy with the music performance of a system, I’ll almost guarantee that you’ll be happy with the movie performance too.  Ok again I’ll separate subwoofers from this, as for home theatre it’s pretty much bigger the better (amplifier power, driver size and cabinet volume), whereas for music you’ll want to be looking for bass slam and tightness, and seamless integration with their other speakers and here its best to go for sealed enclosure type sub with a quality driver.

We hope these tips help in your quest for great sound, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. If you don’t know where to start drop us an email or give us a call on 09 473 5009, its free!