Sound system in workshop?

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Sound system in workshop?

Postby Matthew Lau » Tue Oct 16, 2018 12:54 pm

This sounds sorta funny, but I've found pretty much every good luthier that I know has music on the background.

Some guys are fancy, like Robert Garcia with his vintage audiophile gear worth more than my Honda Fit.
Others are practical but with good taste, Michihiro Matsuda and his vintage freecycle speakers (from my office)/amplifiers (not sure where, it's Yamaha).
Then, there's guys who just use it to fill in the space-- Somogyi and his flat boom box. Randy Angella and his talk radio.

Last night as I was jointing a top, I found it super pleasurable to listen to this:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HxGT5z6d-GA
On my home made speakers (S2000 kit in burled pearwood).

How about you guys?
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Re: Sound system in workshop?

Postby Peter Wilcox » Tue Oct 16, 2018 8:20 pm

Even bad luthiers like myself like music in the shop. John McLaughlin, Willie Nelson, SRV, others. I don't have a smart phone, nor internet in the shop, so I'm limited to cassettes and CD's. My "system" was about $15 at garage sales.
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Re: Sound system in workshop?

Postby Mario Proulx » Tue Oct 16, 2018 10:39 pm

I have everything out here in my shop. PC, tablet, stereo, etc....

My main sound system consists of a vintage Yamaha CR-620 receiver, a Yamaha cassette deck, CEC direct drive turntable and some really good bookshelf speakers. CDs are played via the connected PC, as is all streamed and digitized music. I also have a Sirius radio base that is always at the ready, and thanks to a hot rodded antenna, can be tuned from any FM radio in our home, also.
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Re: Sound system in workshop?

Postby Mario Proulx » Tue Oct 16, 2018 10:48 pm

And to round out the entertainment/ADHD satisfaction corner, I have this 1961 Trio(which would soon become Kenwood-Trio, then Kenwood) all tube AM/shortwave receiver... Combined with my homemade antenna that is hauled high up in the trees, I can pull-in all sorts of music, and nastiness, in languages I rarely understand... ;)
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Re: Sound system in workshop?

Postby Simon Magennis » Wed Oct 17, 2018 1:19 pm

Matthew Lau wrote:This sounds sorta funny, but I've found pretty much every good luthier that I know has music on the background. ....


I'm in trouble. Luckily I call myself a hobby builder and not a luthier. I can't stand having any additional "noise" when I am working. No radio, no mp3/streaming/CD/DVD.
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Re: Sound system in workshop?

Postby Brian Evans » Thu Oct 18, 2018 11:48 am

I also can't deal with background music. I try from time to time, but very rarely.
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Re: Sound system in workshop?

Postby Mario Proulx » Thu Oct 18, 2018 12:31 pm

sad......
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Re: Sound system in workshop?

Postby Bryan Bear » Thu Oct 18, 2018 12:49 pm

I always try to have tunes on in the shop. It's how I teach wood that it's supposed to make music.
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Re: Sound system in workshop?

Postby John E Giarrizzo » Fri Oct 19, 2018 8:22 am

Hello all. Haven't posted here in quite a while.

When making my violins I always had music playing. My favorite being Vivaldi's Four Seasons. As I shaped the tops and backs, I could feel them vibrating. After they were finished I would lay the plates against the speakers for hours getting them to vibrate to the music --- to put the soul of the music into them.
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Re: Sound system in workshop?

Postby Steve Sawyer » Fri Oct 19, 2018 2:46 pm

I have a dedicated inexpensive android tablet loaded with my entire music collection (something north of 7,000 ttacks) and running Media Monkey and a podcast app. Plays via bluetooth through a Lepy class D amp and Bluetooth receiver I got from Amazon for about $40, driving a pair of bookshelf speakers that I had laying around. Sounds surprisingly good.

If I'm in the shop, either music or a podcast is playing.
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Re: Sound system in workshop?

Postby Bob Gramann » Fri Oct 19, 2018 7:40 pm

I can’t stand bad fidelity. In my shop, I have a 40 year old Akai receiver (I can’t remember how many watts, but it was a lot at the time I bought it) connected to an archaic CD player and to a bluetooth receiver. I have a pair of Genesis speakers from long ago that a friend gave me. I don’t think you can buy equipment like this anymore. The fidelity for the CDs is pretty good. I use the bluetooth receiver to play podcasts of folk music radio shows (I like Rich Warren, Mary Cliff, John Wiengart, and Car Talk) from my phone. The fidelity on the podcasts isn’t always stellar, but it’s usually pretty good. The noise I make in the shop often makes the fidelity concerns moot.
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Re: Sound system in workshop?

Postby Pat Foster » Mon Oct 22, 2018 8:36 pm

+1 on the old Yamaha Natural Sound receivers. I have one in "storage" in the garage, and keep thinking I'll put it back into service in the shop. Currently in the shop is a Pioneer receiver from the 70s, 30 watts, driving a pair of Wharfedale Diamond I speakers. A Mac mini from about 2012 is hooked into the Aux inputs on the receiver, which I use with Audacity for looking at resonances, and Audiotest for driving the Chladni pattern setup. An old 32GB iPhone is fed into the Mac and holds a ton of music. I like this model Pioneer because of the watt meters--wish the Yamaha had them, which is why I haven't put the Yamaha into the shop. Trouble with having a computer is the temptation to stream movies while I'm trying to work. The two just don't mix.
I like to start slow, then taper off.
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Re: Sound system in workshop?

Postby Barry Daniels » Tue Oct 23, 2018 11:23 am

You guys are inspiring me to upgrade my sound system. I won a Sony boom box at a trade show about 20 years ago but it is getting pretty long in the tooth. Maybe I can find an older Yamaha receiver on the used market. I will look for one of those Natural Sound versions. Thanks.
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Re: Sound system in workshop?

Postby David King » Tue Oct 23, 2018 1:39 pm

I have a KLH Mono FM radio with the extension speaker from about 1968. Sounds great but no bluetooth and no aux input. I find it easier to work in relative silence these days anyway.
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Re: Sound system in workshop?

Postby Barry Daniels » Wed Oct 24, 2018 12:11 am

You can get a bluetooth adapter for about $20 that will plug into one of the inputs.
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Re: Sound system in workshop?

Postby Joshua Levin-Epstein » Wed Oct 24, 2018 5:58 am

I can't call myself a luthier and I'll not go into what I do call myself...

I started doing this stuff in my bachelor pad, so the speakers for the stereo were in the living room along with the kitchen table (and kitchen, for that matter). My girlfriend (now wife) moved in together and I got a piece of hall with a bench. I hung a rescued boombox but every other room had speakers. I dreamt of rigging up my old car stereo in a dedicated shop. We bought a "modest" place where you had to walk a flight of stairs to change your mind. The shop was in the cellar (not basement) and space was at a premium so the boombox remained. All my bachelor sound stuff was in boxes for the next 12 years. We moved again and not only did I get some real space, but I got access to the town dump which provided no end of old stereo stuff. I first rescued a pair of KLH 17s which sounded great with my old Sansui amplifier. I drove these with my Mini Disc deck I'd gotten to feed the next car stereo (which I still have in a box). I then found a pair of (large) Advents that needed to be refoamed which eventually happened. I am old enough that the Advents were my dream speakers, never to be acquired.

That being said, I get distracted by background music and talking (it covers up my muttering and tinnitus) so I rarely have anything on while I'm working. But I do have my recently acquired Markbass combo and will occasionally pull out a bass and play along with Exile on Main Street, tinnitus be damned.

As an aside, TJ Thompson has a high quality tube amp in a cupboard in his shop. He puts guitar tops about to be braced in with it to warm it for hide glue.
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Re: Sound system in workshop?

Postby Matthew Lau » Mon Oct 29, 2018 7:00 pm

I'm probably the least "luthier" of of everyone here.
For me, it's generally my mom's old semifunctional transistor radio from the 80's.
Or the giant sound muffler radio headphones for working with power tools.

I'm generally listening to the public radio station or the local jazz public radio.

Personally, I need some sort of distraction.
Otherwise, I'll be thinking about my patients and office, and what needs to be done at the office, and staffing, and urgh...
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Re: Sound system in workshop?

Postby Matthew Lau » Mon Oct 29, 2018 7:04 pm

Bob Gramann wrote:I can’t stand bad fidelity. In my shop, I have a 40 year old Akai receiver (I can’t remember how many watts, but it was a lot at the time I bought it) connected to an archaic CD player and to a bluetooth receiver. I have a pair of Genesis speakers from long ago that a friend gave me. I don’t think you can buy equipment like this anymore. The fidelity for the CDs is pretty good. I use the bluetooth receiver to play podcasts of folk music radio shows (I like Rich Warren, Mary Cliff, John Wiengart, and Car Talk) from my phone. The fidelity on the podcasts isn’t always stellar, but it’s usually pretty good. The noise I make in the shop often makes the fidelity concerns moot.


You know, the archaic stuff often sounds way better than the new stuff...

Stuff like Mario's tube radio and the $15 garage sale find....sounds way better than most of the new stuff nowadays.
However, if you wanted something good and cheap, you might want to build it yourself!

I'm pretty satisfied with my radio, since I don't like futzing around.
If I wanted big fidelity, I might build something like the Bagby Continuums and a subwoofer.
However, I'm really happy with my radio.
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Re: Sound system in workshop?

Postby Gordon Bellerose » Sun Nov 11, 2018 1:35 pm

I have a system in my shop. It consists of a pair of 42 yr old Akai speakers from my very first stereo, and a JVC receiver.

Those old speakers can really pump out the sound!
Sound System 1.jpg


Sound System 2.jpg
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