A scary tale

Today I visited my dealer around the corner. There were a couple that was auditioning some AVR. Their main request was to have a device that plays louder than their vaccuum cleaner. Their previous AVR died twice last year and they decided to abandon it.
The stress tolerance of the dealer guy was impressive - they were testing if the AVR was louder than their previous one.
What a hell! Looks like there are two types of byers - those, who need quality at small volume, and those who need the volume regardless of the quality. If I was that dealer I would request a week of vacation in some dead silent bunker.
Please, share some hifi nightmares here.


I once popped into the Sound Organisation to have a quick look at something, and Derek asked if I’d like to hear “something silly”. Turned out he’s been demoing the top of the line SME (30 then?). SME V, Kiseki. top of the range Audio Research amps into top end Sonia Fabers. We listened to a piece of chamber music recorded live, it was all I could do not to applaud at the end it sounded so real. Derek then said through gritted teeth he’d been to the guy’s house, he had one album and it was “Andrew Lloyd Weber’s f’ing Requiem”. I could see his pain.


Don’t see the problem really. It is not a sin to not be an audiophile. An avr is all about volume and ability to portray movie soundtracks surely?

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I would be advising a new quieter vacuum cleaner.


I would go a step further and advise no vacuuming whilst watching TV


My brother is always asking to go listem to his home cinema, I am a two channel guy for manny years and also have an home cinema setup that rarely use, my brother is a home cinema guy since I can remember and two channel audio is not his thing.

But I rarely go the his home to listen to the system, I am always giving him excuses, because when I go there my brain almost explode with the soundtracks and big shots and explosions at high levels, his four subwoofers almost massage my internal organs, and after the experience I come home and not even think to listen to my system.

Sometimes I push my volume but not too much, but I am a lot more moderated, I want to listen to music for some hours so volume has to be interesting but not uncomfortable.

He has a very expensive cinema system, but as much I like to see a good film, I do not want to feel the sound of a real explosion 5 meters away of me.

As I said, home cinema his not my thing, also do not want to become deaf lol.


A chap came into the shop once and started auditioning headphones. He cranked them so loud you could hear them upstairs apparantly. I was a couple meters away and it was uncomfortably loud to me. My boss stepped in, “Sir I think you’ll find the speakers are at the other end of the shop.

In a similar scenario, I was auditioning headphones and amps a few years ago. The customer next to me told me he was a mastering engineer at Sony. He then proceeded to audition HD-800 into a Classe headphone amp cranked all the way up. It was deafening. He listened like that for 15 mins. I don’t know how he wasn’t deaf afterwards.


Strange concept - home cinema is for watching, the sound system simply supporting the movie, that is unless it is a film of a concert, or similar. Why not go and watch a movie you like with him, and if you feel it is too loud (it might not be - just your fear), ask him to turn it down. If it is set up right, you should simply forget there is a sound system, and be engrossed in the film.

That said I have known people ‘overblow’ the sound, especially the sub volume, and your brother might be one of those - but you don’t know till you hear, and if he is you could simply have a discussion about sound balance, and if he insists the overblown way is the only way you then can simply say you don’t like it and you can then forever cease being invited to hear his cinema system so no longer having to make excuses, and maintain good relations with your brother keeping away from that subject.

I was exaggerating a little, his home cinema system is really good, one of the best experiences I have came across in many years, even plays music very well.

But I do not give that much importance to home cinema, I have one home cinema system that is not bad but for some motive I rarely use it, my projector is collecting dust on the ceiling, he upgraded and gave me his old one.

But what I notice is that most of the time the home cinema experience on most users is made at higher volume than the users that listen to music. And the exposure to high volume is longer most of the time.

Nice joke!

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Maybe he had been already a bit deaf before. However, such mastering engineer can explain why there are some issues with Sony sound :slight_smile:

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I have a home cinema setup - 12ft (3.6m) wide screen viewed from 11ft away, with a fairly basic surround sound system. The sound is secondary to having a large screen that correctly positions peripheral pars of the image at the periphery of vision. It is not 4k, just plain 1080p, but very immersive. The sound simply complements the visual, nothing overblown (because to me that detracts from the visual). I prefer it to going to the cinema, other than iMax, because many cinemas have small screens, and noisy customers!

I also have a 3 meter screen and a 13.1 channel system, mostly my kid used to play on the ps5, now he gone to his new house, and now I rarely use it, the projector is OK an epson tw9400, and is a good experience for cinema.

I have it on a separate system from my audio, and mostly use the audio system more, this summer maybe watched tree films on the projector using 4K Blu-ray’s, because my wife likes Netflix tv shows, the most used screen here is the TV on the bedroom.

Since the kid has gone the house feels empty.

People are impressed by different things, my brother looked at my hi fi and complained it did have any flashing lights. I never bothered playing it for him as I felt it probably would have been lost on him.

I also have a few friends who play their cheap stereo really loud and seemed to enjoy the distortion. They generally have the bass up to the max as well.

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