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Date: 1st February 2013


Somewhere near our house lives a pigeon which has discovered the joys of bass reinforcement.

It comes and sits on our roof, and shouts its pigeony musings down the chimney. The chimney cavity seems to act as a sort of transmission line, creating the rather disquieting impression of a six-foot pigeon about to emerge from the fireplace, like some sort of dada-ist Santa Claus. Our dog is used to it now, and ignores it, but living in the pigeon equivalent of Speakers’ Corner can be irritating when you’re watching TV or listening to music.

It did get me thinking, though. We all like a nice bit of deep bass but, like a six-foot pigeon, it’s not always true to life. So, don’t fall into the trap of listening to the sound a hifi system makes, listen to what the music is telling you. While we may find deep and powerful bass appealing at a first listen, if the musical effect is to make it sound like the bass player is playing over his mates in the band, that probably tells you something much more important about the way the system communicates in a musical sense.