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July 1, 2009

Audio Oddities: Frequency Ranges of Male, Female and Children’s Voices.

Even novices in audio recognize that vibrations of one kind or another are at the root of all sound, and that the frequencies of the vibrations must occur somewhere between 20 Hz and 20,000 Hz in order for humans to hear them through the air as “sound.”

But what is less well understood are the actual frequency ranges of some of the most familiar sounds that each of us hears every day—specifically, men’s and women’s voices, and those of children.

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Question of the Month: Connecting Two Amps to the Same Speakers

Filed under: Question of the Month — Tags: — Alan @ 12:47 pm

Q. So here may be the dumbest idea you have heard all week. I am a confirmed 2-channel guy. I recently bought an Axiom subwoofer that I plan to use only when watching movies. I have been toying with the idea of going “all the way” and setting up a 5.1 system to use separately from my 2-channel system when watching movies. I want to continue to use my existing 2-channel preamp and amp when listening to music. It seems silly to buy new main speakers when I have my existing speakers. I am trying to figure out a way to share my main speakers between a 2-channel setup and a 5.1-channel setup. It’s not possible (is it?) to run 2 amps (2-channel and 5.1- channel) into one speaker as long as only one amp is powered up at a time (two sets of speaker cables to each speaker’s binding posts)? Would this cause a short? I am trying to avoid having to switch speaker wires back and forth every time I want to switch from movies to music. If this is a really silly idea, can you think of any other workarounds? – Mike

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Question of the Month: System shuts down at half volume.

Q. I have a Yamaha PianoCraft-E810 Micro Component System that uses its original manufacturer’s speakers. Its specifications are: 55W+55W Minimum RMS output power per channel (6 ohms, 1 kHz, 0.1% THD). My problem is that the system plays well, but as soon as I try to raise the volume (not even reaching the halfway mark of the volume dial), it cuts out and automatically switches off. Do you have any clue as to what the problem could be? – A.M

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The Frugal Audiophile: Five Stratagems for Great Sound and Video in Precarious Times

Filed under: Audio Knowledge — Tags: , — Alan @ 12:25 pm

In an uncertain economy, as companies run lean and lay off workers, most everyone except the super rich rein in their spending one way or another. And certainly a case can be made that elaborate high fidelity and home theater surround systems are relative luxuries, although I won’t be the one to make that case. Having my music and video entertainment presented attractively and realistically in my own home at relatively little expense over the long term isn’t a “luxury.” For me, it’s essential, to keep me calm and sane in a jumbled world. It’s a retreat, and an escape, like falling into a great book or sitting in the dark and getting lost in an adventure through the eyes of an imaginative director, writer or composer.

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