Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Speaker Systems Can Put Your Desktop in Good Voice

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Speaker Systems Can Put Your Desktop in Good Voice

Article excerpt

The first computer I bought 12 years ago had a one-voice sound generator that played through the speaker of a TV set. With the right programming, it could give a pretty good rendition of a bad calliope playing the Star Spangled Banner.

A few years later, somebody vfigured out how to program it to produce four voices simultaneously. The first time I heard it play the William Tell Overture in four-part harmony, I was nearly in tears.

For quite a while, that was pretty much the state of the art. chat

Today, most home PCs come equipped with sound cards that can produce an astonishing variety of music and sound effects. They can record your voice, play back digital recordings stored on your hard disk, generate their own musical instrument sounds, and - if you have a CD-ROM drive - even play your music compact discs in the background while you work.

Unfortunately, the cheap speakers that come with many multimedia kits are better suited to the William-Tell-Overture-on-a-calliope era. They can't match the performance of the sound boards behind them. In fact, by almost any standards, they're awful.

But take heart: the shelves of computer stores are full of self-powered speakers, sa priced tat $75 ato $150 a set, that provide pleasant listening - possibly on the order of a decent car radio. I've enjoyed the Yamaha YST-10s on my computer, and my kids like their Sony MCS-50s, both of which sell for under $100.

But because these speakers have to be small enough to fit on your desktop, ipothey have their limits. They don't produce much bass. So when you blow up the evil Romulan battle cruiser, it goes kathwop instead of KABOOM.

This may not seem like a great loss to you (it certainly didn't to me), but the computer bass gap has caught the attention of the audio industry. So the latest and greatest computer speaker systems now have three pieces - two stereo desktop speakers and a subwoofer that goes on the floor. …

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