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View Full Version : Big sound bargain



James Warren
2nd Nov 2003, 18:47
Last Christmas (yes I said it outright, "Christ mass," and I'm not even Catholic or particularly religious, the commies, anarchists and psychotic bombers out there will just have to live with it) I purchased a marvelous $400($US) book shelf / boom box audio CD / MP3 / c asset player-recorder with a great AM-FM tuner and two large side firing sub woofers intending it as a compact high end sound playback for my computer. This thing was obviously designed for hip hop fans to get that physical, pit-of-the-stomach, contra-bass punch so essential to that style. I reasoned that, for me, it would bring out the cellos and double bass violins better. It does! Bach's Toccata and Fugue in D minor, for example, is rendered with a physical presence that can be felt sufficiently to appreciate fully what a giant 17th century cathedral organ can do to the air.

This Christmas (ditto) The JVC HX-Z3 is replaced as JVC's high end book shelf system with the JVC HX-Z30 which sells for, again, $400($US). It has a little more audio output wattage and five independent cd trays instead of 3 but seems otherwise identical to the previous model. I think that the cd trays are far too flimsy (they have been crammed into the same space that the Z3 uses for it's 3 trays) and I can't imagine what MORE audio power will do for you. The Z3 can already blow the loose snot back into your ears if you turn it up just a little.

THE EXTREME BARGAIN IS, THEREFORE:
If you hurry you can get the now obsolete HX-Z3 in various places for about $260($US.)
I have two such systems now (I couldn't resist the almost half-off price this year) with which I am very satisfied. The output is powerful, completely clean and distortion free. You won't be disappointed. This would be a VERY efficient use of your music dollar.

In addition, you can connect your computer to the aux input on the back and a PAL to F (shielded cable) connector to the FM signal input and use it as the perfect audio companion with your computer use. You can play sound from your games or get a nice clean signal from a window somewhere away from your computer to listen to your favorite FM radio stations while browsing the net. Once while exploring in Morrowind the weather changed suddenly and the resulting thunder storm actually scared me (had it turned up a bit too high) and had my wife, who was in another room, running to the window to check the weather before comming to me to find out which component of the half-ton or so of electronic gear that I have in "my" room was about to burn the entire house down. Yes, it does truly have such a powerful output when it is cranked up just a bit.

Big Ragu
2nd Nov 2003, 20:38
That's sounds sweet, I'm in need for a nice sound system for my room. Thanks for sharing man.

gareis
2nd Nov 2003, 22:45
At last I have found someone with a sensible taste in music. I love the cello most; perhaps I will get such a system eventually for that reason alone.

Lawnboy360
2nd Nov 2003, 23:13
I assume you're talking about classical music. I'd like to learn about it, but I don't really have the time (posting on the DXIW forum takes so much time these days! ;) ) unfortunately.

I can't say I really like how most compact systems look recently ( http://www.musiciansfriend.com/srs7/g=home/search/d=tp?q=jvc+hx+z3&rsrc=00633 )... Sony has a few more "understated" ones though. I'm mostly happy with the 5 years old JVC system I currently use, although sometimes the CD trays won't open (it makes a clicking noise, then, after 5 minutes, it finally opens) and it can't read the "regular" tracks on a SVCD, and I can't read some CDs that have some interactive extras too.

Big Ragu
2nd Nov 2003, 23:33
Yeah I get you Lawnboy, most systems are pretty crazy looking. I like the look of the executives (http://www.musiciansfriend.com/srs7/sid=031102153031208180208232776061/g=hifi/search/detail/base_id/108620) but these are mostly underpowered watt wise. But the look of them is much cleaner looking.

James Warren
3rd Nov 2003, 20:20
Lawnboy360{
I can't say I really like how most compact systems look recently.
{
I'm 60 years old, own dark pin striped suits complete with red "power ties," have owned and operated my own businesses, have been married to the same woman for 32 years and have raised a child. I'm about as "conservative" as they come. I also was put off briefly by the "Ghetto Blaster" look of it but that IS the nature of the thing. If you listen to it with a sample of music that gives YOU joy, however, your ears will over rule your conservative style prejudices. Mine did. I have been so well served by the sound that I now actually LIKE the styling. Besides, the front of the thing makes a great night light as it is lit up so garishly with red and blue LEDs. Hey, up the establishment!


Lawnboy360{
I assume you're talking about classical music. I'd like to learn about it, but I don't really have the time (posting on the DXIW forum takes so much time these days! ) unfortunately.
}
Life is far to short to worry about what kind of music you SHOULD be listening to. Listen to what you LIKE. Your musical tastes WILL change and evolve over time much like your tastes in FPS games changes over time as you experience the same trite motifs again and again.

Lawnboy360
3rd Nov 2003, 20:46
Lawnboy360{
I can't say I really like how most compact systems look recently.
{
I'm 60 years old, own dark pin striped suits complete with red "power ties," have owned and operated my own businesses, have been married to the same woman for 32 years and have raised a child. I'm about as "conservative" as they come. I also was put off briefly by the "Ghetto Blaster" look of it but that IS the nature of the thing. If you listen to it with a sample of music that gives YOU joy, however, your ears will over rule your conservative style prejudices. Mine did. I have been so well served by the sound that I now actually LIKE the styling. Besides, the front of the thing makes a great night light as it is lit up so garishly with red and blue LEDs. Hey, up the establishment!


That does make sense... :)


Life is far to short to worry about what kind of music you SHOULD be listening to. Listen to what you LIKE. Your musical tastes WILL change and evolve over time much like your tastes in FPS games changes over time as you experience the same trite motifs again and again.

Again it makes sense, ;) but it's not that I think I *should* be listening to it; it's that I've listened to it a little and I like it, so I'd like to know more.

Big Ragu
3rd Nov 2003, 22:27
Do you know if you can connect the system to a TV?

James Warren
4th Nov 2003, 02:15
Both the X3 and X30 have an Aux input on the back consisting of 2 RCA plugs for Left and Right stereo input signals. With the right combination of patch cords and connectors you should be able to mate that to just about any pre-amplified stereo sound source.

Big Ragu
4th Nov 2003, 04:10
Thank you Mr. Warren, as you have added yet another thing I must decide to get. Right now, it is between yet another guitar, that stereo, a new tv, or just save (who does that). Need suggestions!

James Warren
4th Nov 2003, 05:06
Lawnboy360{
. . . it's not that I think I *should* be listening to it; it's that I've listened to it a little and I like it, so I'd like to know more.
}
I was born in the middle of WWII and grew up listening to radio. My first experience hearing a full symphonic orchestra was the opening of a radio program called "The Lone Ranger." I came home from school one day and turned on the radio to discover this show which sounded interesting to me so I stayed to listen and it opened with the overture to "William Tell" as the intro or "bumper" music as they call it today. I'm sure you know the part I am talking about with the cascading trumpet voices! I couldn't believe my ears. I had never heard such dramatic and complex music before and I loved it. My parents liked the big dance band music popular at the time which is all I ever heard until then. I guess I wasn't impressed with it because I never thought about music until I heard this amazing layered sound with the many types of instrumental voices singing to and echoing each other with such variety of melody lines all in perfect harmony except for the occasional deliberate dissonance adding bite to the sweet sauce. Even the rhythm was varied and complex like someone telling a story with great feeling and pausing here and there as if to gather the substance of the next phrase or to tease with a suspenseful delay.

I have sought out "symphonies" on the radio ever since then. Where I live now, a national public radio network broadcasts the full range of the enormous musical heritage we all share. No matter what I have gone there to shop for I never leave Frys electronics or Kmart or Wallmart without looking at the variety of 5 dollar "classical" CD compilations or "Best of" offerings for what I still don't have and wish that I did. I even bought a 3 dollar CD from Starbucks once called, of course, "Baroque blend" which I still play and enjoy. If you use google to search for "MP3" or "sample" plus the composer or orchestra it will often find something for you that will let you hear the music in question. Think of it as an educational adventure game, "Where in the world is Bach and his many children?" Take your time and savor the game.