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difference between a boombox/minicompo vs. higheri-end audio system


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What's the real difference between a boombox (about $500-$1000 new) and a higher-end hifi setup (say, $5-10k new, or beyond)? besides the cost, the space taken up, and the WAF....sonically, what are the similiarities and differences? ::)

 

What are the things that a higher-end audio system can do that a boombox/minicompo cannot do with the type of music, the volume you play, and the room you listen in?

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What's the real difference between a boombox (about $500-$1000 new) and a higher-end hifi setup (say, $5-10k new, or beyond)? besides the cost, the space taken up, and the WAF....sonically, what are the similiarities and differences? ::)

 

What are the things that a higher-end audio system can do that a boombox/minicompo cannot do with the type of music, the volume you play, and the room you listen in?

 

I used to work in a Japanese Audio Company producing such Boombox/minicompo. The biggest difference in in the parts cost. For example in the minicompo , the speaker cabinets are plastic molded and the tweeters are actually a cheap piezo type, woofers have small magnets. but the designers are very smart they have nice speaker nets that a welded to the cabinets so that it looks expensive. Some of these minicompo have the appearance of a separate tuner, amplifer and a CD deck, but in actual fact there is only one main transformer and a main PCB and these units cannot be detached at all. Sound wise not too bad but the louder you blast it the distortion gets higher, low sustained bass can get the box vibrating like mad. Also if there are manufacturing defects like speaker net not welded properly, you can hear it rattling at higher levels......

But it's cheap, looks good , has a lot of functions and sell very well too ;D.....

 

 

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hmm...so far.. the advantages of hi-end.

Let's say the boombox is pretty big, and have detachable speakers. if we had set it up nicely with appropriate stands and room treatment, I should get almost as good (if not equal quality) a soundstage/imaging as a higher-end system?

 

Throw in some sensible speaker positioning and maybe play around with an existing graphic EQ (assuming it is there), I could get a pretty decent, if not ruler flat, frequency response?

 

(FWIW, tonality is slowly not becoming an audio issue as most have already decided to like what they like and not care about what is the 'real' sound anymore?!?)

 

Playing the music at medium to low levels, subjecting it to music with less dynamic fluctuations, hence minimising the distortion...and hence, we would not really feel the 'strain' of the system?

 

just my thoughts...

 

IMHO too much hassle and aren't we imposing quite alot of loudness and music restriction along the way. A much simpler and better approach will be to use a good pair of headphones. Headphones can sound real good that why I still keep my trusty pair of Yahama HP1 headphones. :)

 

Just my 2 cents.......

 

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Guest hifi1

Agree headphones are the best in certain respect.

Regarding the question, let me rephrase

 

1. Under what circumstances does the mini compo, boombox sound close to 'high end' expensive component??

 

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hmm...so far.. the advantages of hi-end..

 

1. can play louder without distortion?

2. low, low distortion, and hence more 'transparent'?

3. 'better' frequency response, hence 'better' tonality?

 

I would add - 'better' dynamics and transients.

 

Let's say the boombox is pretty big, and have detachable speakers. if we had set it up nicely with appropriate stands and room treatment, I should get almost as good (if not equal quality) a soundstage/imaging as a higher-end system?

 

Throw in some sensible speaker positioning and maybe play around with an existing graphic EQ (assuming it is there), I could get a pretty decent, if not ruler flat, frequency response?

 

(FWIW, tonality is slowly not becoming an audio issue as most have already decided to like what they like and not care about what is the 'real' sound anymore?!?)

 

Playing the music at medium to low levels, subjecting it to music with less dynamic fluctuations, hence minimising the distortion...and hence, we would not really feel the 'strain' of the system?

 

just my thoughts...

even if u do all these, the preamp of the boombox already muffled the sound...

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Besides 'better' tonality, perhaps 'broader' frequency range?

 

Almost all mini compo and boombox I heard can't produce real bass and true high exension, the frequency range is very "narrow" when compare with most reasonably competent hifi set.

 

The makers love to turn up the treble energy to give a false impression of adequate high frequency response and treat u with a whole lot of monotonous boom to give an impression of "solid" bass..

 

No matter how well u place them there is still a limit to what they can really achieve. :(

 

hmm...so far.. the advantages of hi-end..

 

3. 'better' frequency response, hence 'better' tonality?

 

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Most consumer electronics use plastic or cheap plywood for speaker cabinet, not to mention the thickness is so thin, sound can escape out from the enclosure itself(at higher volumes).

 

How about including cheap DSPs and bass boost circuitry that gives you a false impression of bass/surround/clarity, in actual fact is distorting/coloring(bad) the sound?

 

their subwoofers/woofers have bass reflex ports tuned to certain frequency(which goes booom boom boom), instead of tight, responsive bass.(more suitable for music like jazz or classical)

 

They may list their amp as 1000W PMPO, but in actual fact they are rated like 50W RMS(10% THD)

 

They list their frequency response as like 20-20KHz, but few audiophile subwoofers would even claim to reach 30Hz(at 0db).

 

Did I mention poor workmanship and reliability? how many times have your "mini hifi" cd player brokedown or refuse to read discs or just plain skips? You can expect better workmanship and reliability from a $200 Marantz CD4000 CD Player Deck.

 

 

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