Another shop comfort: Sound

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We have talked heating, lighting, storage, flooring for shops, and now I would like some input for a durable boombox-type solution. What are you guys using?
Heading into the Christmas season (SWMBO was in it back in April already) friends and family are all very busy trying to find out if anybody has any particular wishes.
The kid? Easy. She would like a cell-phone. She'll be 12 a week before Christmas, and we're allowed to 'double-up' the gift in order for her to rationalize the concept of greed looking like need. She has confided in me that not all phones are created equal. Although her mother is perfectly capable to set her own VCR, swap video cards, string ethernet cable through the house, and other technical high-wire acts, the kid still prefers to discuss those matters with me as I have a better idea of 'toy-value'. She has arranged a folder on my business computer with a whack of bookmarks all set to take me to the sites which feature all the latest phones. "Well, dad," (whilst rubbing my shoulders) " The one I listed with FIVE asterisks, will need a bigger memory card, otherwise all you get is about 20 seconds of 1.3 megapixel video, and if you already have 100 iTunes downloaded, well, you get the picture, right dad?" *squeeze, rub, and hug and a kiss* "Oh, by the way, is there anything YOU would like?" I heard a snicker from up the stairs. Little Shit's visit in my office had a dual purpose...she was on a spying mission. "I want better sound in the shop" I said without any part of that utterance having gone through my brain. She lit up: "Like a Blaster Boom Box??"....."COOL!!" She was gone, in two strides, up 13 steps to where she had heard her mother snicker earlier.
When you want to know what's on sale in Hong Kong, my trusty Grundig will dial in a SW radio station that will tell you. As is the trouble with so many geek-radios, they'll suck in a walky-talky discussion from two scientists swimming under the South Pole ice-cap, but the sound quality invariably sucks. Mine has a tone control, which changes the sound from awful/screech to awful/grumble. It is, however a capable piece and built like a tank, it just has a rough time setting my foot to tappin'. Music is in my blood. I have the bruises to prove it. Just a few days ago, Little Shit and I were in the mall walking past a store which sells things you can poke through your skin/lip/ears. The music, at that particular moment was Joey Ramone's version of Wonderful World, I automatically switched into headbanger mode and made a few dance steps culminating into a sharp pain on my upper right arm. Looking to where the punch had come from, I saw Little Shit, with her eyes bigger than I had ever seen them, hands on hips: "DAD, somebody here might recognize me!!"
Better sound for my shop. Needs to be loud, good low-end, preferably detachable speakers, so I can spread that image out a little. I have lots of speaker parts lying about, so I could cobble a few speakers together and go to the pawnshop and find me an old Technics receiver with 100 watts per side.....BUT... I don't have the time/will/inclination to go through that exercise. I guess I do want a boom-box. I wrote off the iPod idea as on a previous occasion, I found the earbud wires were getting snagged all the time. Bosch makes one, Milwaukee makes one, DeWalt makes one and I have seen others. None jump out at me. The Milwaukee sounded a bit better, but no CD, CDR or MP3. Bosch scored points, big time, when I found a video of them literally kicking the shit out that radio, throwing it down concrete stairs, no less.... but anemic sound--->no balls. Those job-site radios have stuff in them I don't need, GFI plugs and chargers, work lights and a 12-pocket tool pouch. *G*
So help me out here, folks.... please
TIA
Rob
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On Wed, 30 Nov 2005 05:25:30 -0500, Robatoy wrote:

I can always tell when people are yonger than me by their atitude towards silence :-).
One of the nicest things about hand tools in the workshop is their low or non-existent sound levels.
P.S. I love to listen to music, assuming that it fits my musical preferences. But when I'm working with tools that can hurt me, I don't want to be distracted by music - I want my attenion where it belongs.
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I appreciate your response. I'm a bit surprised that it wasn't mentioned earlier because it is a legitimate viewpoint. Distraction of any kind can be dangerous. For instance, when I do a full 1-1/2" bullnose (That bit is 'captive'..i.e. no wiggle room) around an island top for somebody, I concentrate to the point where I will lock the shop-door before I start, lest I be startled by somebody's arrival. I'm pretty diligent when it comes to safety. I will NEVER play air guitar with a router in my hands..but I have been known to do that with a sander.
My silent pieces come in big chunks in the summer at the shore of the Bay Of Fundy. 3 days to de-compress before opening that first Keith's beer of the season (I do not consume any alcohol during the rest of the year) and no sounds other than the diesel of a fisherman setting out his lobster traps, a bit of surf, and the fluffing up of the duvet because it's bed-time.
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Larry Blanchard wrote:

I've gotta seriously wonder about this argument. I mean, how much time (percentage-wise) are you guys actually working with tools when you are in your shop? For me, that amount is relatively small (10% ?), with the rest being taken up by cleaning, assembly, planning, organizing, laying out, marking, etc.
I've got an old boom box that I sometimes plug my iPod Shuffle into right now, with plans to move an old unused laptop (with a dead display) out there for MP3/AAC/whatever access (side note... check out http://pandora.com ). But right now, I usually leave it on the one FM station I can pick up that isn't absolute crap. When I'm running the ROS or another noise making tool that I feel comfortable semi-zoning out with, I use those ear-muff type things with the built-in radio (GREAT for mowing the lawn, BTW). When I'm using any tool that could be slightly dangerous, the ear-muffs still go on, but I leave the radio in them turned off.
-John in NH
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Robatoy wrote:

It's not a boom-box, but I'm nicely set up in that dept.
I have a tag sale stereo with four Wharfdale speakers. Receivers that don't have surround or AV capabilites, but still have decent sound and power are a dime-a-dozen at yard sales. {don't these people have garages? <G>} Attached to the receiver is an XM tuner and a $3 yard sale CD Walkman.
The sound system is located at the cleaner end of the shop, in an area with little air flow, and it gets surprisingly little dust on it. When I remember, I blast everything out with dry compressed air. The speakers are simply hung from j-hooks driven into the ceiling.
Not counting the XM capability, the whole rig was less than $100. Did I mention that it included a remote? <G>
Out of the shop, the XM and CD player connect to a DeWalt charger/boombox that I literally found on the side of the road.
Barry
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Wed, Nov 30, 2005, 5:25am snipped-for-privacy@BULLtopworks.ca (Robatoy) burbled: <snip> I would like some input for a durable boombox-type solution. Whatare you guys using? <snip>
You've got to be joking, right? I go to my shop to relax. Sometimes I even do some woodworking out there. It's a small shop, but I've got the perfect sound setup. It's a small, used, portable radio, hanging off a nail, with a power adapter plugged in. It's turned down low, to either classic rock & roll (50s, 60s, 70s), or classical, bluegrass on Sun evenings, when I remember to change it. Turn on a machine, and it's drowned out - perfect. The only difference I'd make with a bigger shop, is "possibly" turn it up a bit higher. It's the replacement for the prior used radio, that died, and it'll get replaced with something similar when it dies.
When I'm not doing anything out there, but just sitting, enjoying the wood smell, watching the birds and squirrels outside, it's at just the right volume. As far as I'm concerned, it's a perfect sound "system" for my shop.
The first one lasted I don't know how long out there, and this one's been out there at least 6 years probably.
JOAT A rolling stone gathers no moss...unless it's a hobby he does on the weekends.
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I do what JT does in the sound department. I just have an old used radio that I put on a shelf. I don't have it turned up very loud. When I start a machine, the music gets drowned out, as it should. I want to hear what is happening when I am cutting, routing, drilling, etc, not what is on the radio.
Make more sawdust,
Woodworkerdan Dan Harriman Orange, Texas
snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net (J T) wrote in (Robatoy)

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Come ON! Without joking too much, I built my shop so I could make sound things (speakers). My first projects were speakers. I ended up buying bre-built JBL theater speakers (15" + horn) for $125ea, new. The amp is a Klipsch (for computer speakers) 4 ch, 60w per amp that drives these babies in bi-amp mode, home made active X-over, etc. It used to be the loudest thing in the house (evil grin) 'til the last speaker project was finished.
Chris
--
Chris Richmond | I don't speak for Intel & vise versa


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snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net (J T) wrote:

Dude...I *never* joke around...
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wrote:

My receiver used to be in my wife's PU truck. It had tape instead of a CD player so I found a CD version on ebay and swapped them. It sits on top of the beer fridge and is powered by a 12V supply I already had.
The speakers are a pair of old 10" Fishers that came with a packaged "hi-fi" rack system many years ago. They were in the living room before we spent $6K on an Ethan Allen entertainment center that isn't going to hold a modern wide-screen TV when the US Gummit forces the changeover to DTV that I won't be able to receive in my fringe location.
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One word: DirecTV
I live in the midst of numerous trees, no yard at all. Still could put up the satellite antenna and get a fine picture.
Steve

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Robatoy wrote:

I've got an used stereo receiver I picked up on ebay for $25 along with some older 10" 2-way speakers. I started out looking for a boombox solution but after I priced them at the stores, realized that I could have much better quality for less money by looking at used stereo equipment.
--
Mortimer Schnerd, RN

snipped-for-privacy@carolina.rr.com.REMOVE
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Robatoy wrote:

I have a cheap $100.00 CD, Radio, Tape deck. The unit is in an overhead Cabinet with the two speakers hung on the wall. Good sound and no dust in the workings. Clean the speakers, just crank up the volume :) regards John
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I'll second, third, or fourth the used equipment idea. Picked up a JVC system off a local newsgroup with a 5 disc CD player, don't-know-how-many watt receiver, couple of tower speakers, and a stand for $25. Works great, the kids can open the garashop door and listen to the music when I'm not around, life is pretty good. The neighborhood kids used it for an air band at the street BBQ this fall, and it sounded not bad. The dust in the shop may not be the best for it, but at $25, who cares. Blow it out once in a while, and life goes on.
Clint

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Robatoy wrote:

Speaking strictly for myself, if I put a system in the shop where I had concerned myself with "image spread" I'd be listening to music into which I was too involved.
That has happened to me a few times when I had a cassette player in the shop - got so jazzed by the music I was playing that I lost my concentration and screwed up.
So now I have a shoddy old AM/FM and I keep it on classical or sometimes a little folk. I want to unwind, in the shop. Get in the groove. And do some decent woodworking.
Just my opinion for myself.
Gregg
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Yes, the music should be 'background" without being distracting. It is too easy to screw up a project or have an accident when not paying full attention.
That said, I listen to classic rock as background. Part of the reason to escape to the workshop is so that I can listen to my music without my wife complaining.
I use iTunes as my music source, running on a computer in the next room with speaker wires passing through the wall and some indoor/outdoor speakers that seem less bothered by saw dust. I have about 300 CDs ripped into my library so I put iTunes on a random shuffle most of the time and let it do it's thing.
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Netgear wireless media player in the clean part of the garage/shop. Speakers mounted to the ceiling. 300 cds on a hard drive. I can make a play list or just choose a genre to play.
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Mmmmm...wireless..... that got my attention. My shoppe is approx 180 feet from my house... doable. Self-powered speakers..no muss no fuss.
RealAudio radio... stations from the Caribbean/Netherlands/Detroit/BBC/CBC via the net..ohhhkay!
Do I leave the laptop at the house..or stick it in a bag at the shoppe? These days, I have to go home to check my mail/messages..and I always raid the fridge doing so.
Thanks Duke!
Search is ON!!!
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I would do a combination of suggestions. The Duke has it right with the media player, and XM is a must. I've had it in the car for about 4 months now and don't know how I lived without it. Anyway, I would find an old PC, Get a wireless adapter for it and some decent speakers and put that in the shop. That way you could stream music off the net, or talk to us here. You can even stream XM, albeit with less quality. If you do decide to rip the CD's somewhere, spend the extra $ for a second hard drive and a RAID controller so you can mirror the drives. 300 CD's is a lot of rippin', if the drive goes you're back to square one. For the ~$125 difference it's cheap insurance. I just built one of these for a friend, so let me know if you want details. iTunes has great radio, and it's free.
-jim
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"Robatoy" wrote in message

Besides a radio for general background, I have two music setups for when I am in that mood:
An single unit "iBoom" that holds and charges my iPod, and a pair of small Klipsch self powered speakers, to which I can also plug the iPod, either directly or through a dock.
The iBoom was a gift and is light on both volume and bottom end, and only has an FM radio reception with two channel presets ... I would not recommend one.
Those two little plastic Klipsch suckers are loud, have an amazing bottom end for their size, and sound good enough that we picked up two extra pair - one for the TV in bedroom, and one for the island in the kitchen, the latter to which the whole family danced this past week at Thanksgiving.
Interestingly, both retail for the same $99.00 price.
Anyone contemplating something for an iPod, particularly in shop setting, should definitely check out the Klipsch before springing bigger bucks for Bose et al at four times the price ... and for those golden eared wannabe audiophile snobs, don't bother with your self-delusional guffaws... this is for shop/casual listening environments.
--
www.e-woodshop.net
Last update: 11/06/05
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