The position of ones Radio

  wee eddie 04 Feb 12
Locked

I have an old, cheap, Cassette Radio that follows me around the Flat. The Sitting Room and the Bedroom have their own Dedicated Sound Systems but the Cheapie gets plugged in wherever I am doing whatever I am doing. So I know its faults, its tones and its foibles, well.

To cut a long story short, I have just re-fitted the Kitchen and, because of my advancing years have fitted a Convector/Microwave so that it's Oven Door opens flat at Waist Height, so that I will not have to bend when I reach my dotage.

Immediately above the oven, at shoulder height, is a Metre Square piece of Worktop, the usual stuff, 30mm MDF, cheap and cheerful. Solid and, I would have thought, of no Sonic value.

However, if I place the Radio on that particular piece of Worktop, there is an incredible gain in reproductive colour. Lift it by an inch and that is lost, as it is throught-out the rest of the Flat, which includes putting it on a Table Top, which might also act as a Sounding Board.

The Moral of the irrelevant little tale is ~~~ It is worth experimenting where you place a Radio, the transmission of sound is a weird and inexact science.

  OTT_B 04 Feb 12

wee eddie

Solid surfaces like MDF vibrate and cause an effective amplification of sound, particularly in the low frequency range.

It's not uncommon for people to make speaker enclosures out of MDF for this reason.

  wee eddie 04 Feb 12

And yet the same effect is not apparent on a Teak Table Top.

Possibly the size, or shape, of the platform is the critical factor!

  OTT_B 04 Feb 12

Size, shape and support are the critical factors in the amount it can vibrate. Position will have an effect on how much of the amplified sound you can get round the room.

NVH engineering is far from an inexact science, but it can get quite complex.

  Bingalau 04 Feb 12

When you lift it your body contact is probably having an effect too. I know I only have to get within about two feet of my radio and it goes haywire. Sounds like yours has the opposite effect.

  morddwyd 04 Feb 12

We have a little novelty musical movement, about 1 in x 1/2 in.

Hold it in your fingers and wind the handle and a little tinny barely audible rattle comes out.

Stand it on the bookshelf and wind it and a solid rich sound fills the room!

  Aitchbee 04 Feb 12

morddwyd beat me to it, but....

http://www.swissmusicboxes.co.uk/

...might be an alternative solution. (The 3 - tune models don't come cheap)!

  wee eddie 05 Feb 12

I really posted this thread to get us all thinking about how we listen to our music. The Radio cost £17.99, if I remember rightly, so not exactly a "Top End" system. But, as I have only just discovered and given the right conditions, produces a wonderful, rich sound.

However, the "sub-sonics" that make-up that sound, have to be there in the first place. Digital Compression removes them.

So, is it One step forward? It is without a doubt that music on an MP3 Player is incredibly convenient, Two steps back? By Digitally Compressing our music we loose, not only the richness of the sound but much of the performance as well.

  Chegs ®™ 06 Feb 12

I recall hearing about a "Marconi" brand radio that claimed to be stereo,but in actual fact contained just one speaker inserted into a length of cardboard tube with the mesh over the ends to fool buyers into seeing "two" speakers.

  Forum Editor 06 Feb 12

"Immediately above the oven, at shoulder height, is a Metre Square piece of Worktop, the usual stuff, 30mm MDF, cheap and cheerful. Solid and, I would have thought, of no Sonic value."

Is this inside a housing unit - in other words, in an enclosure, open at the front only? If it is, I suspect the enclosure itself is responsible for the improved sound quality.

  wee eddie 06 Feb 12

The Worktop is the top of the Unit, but being in the corner of the room could, I suppose, be regarded as being in an enclosure and of course, being at ear height may be germane.

But it seems to be much to do with the nature of the Worktop, as lifting it as little as a centimetre, removes the effect.

I seem to be getting better reproduction than the Sony System in the bedroom, which was several hundred quids worth.

What a lucky find.

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