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Musical Instruments @ Best Buy: Finally, a reason to buy...


NoahZark

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I've been hunting for new PA mains for my band for some time and had been leaning toward a pair of 12" powered cabs by either Yorkville or QSC. After auditioning a bunch of different speakers and reading a bunch of online reviews/comments, they were the speakers that emerged on top.

 

Well, yesterday, I'm browsing through the "Musical Instruments" section of my local Best Buy store, and I see the QSC HPR122i on clearance for $699 (reduced from its regular MAP price of $899). Since QSC is also running a $100 rebate on these speakers through the end of the month, that seemed like a helluva deal! (Every major online e-tailer has them at the regular price of $899 before the $100 rebate.)

 

So, as of this afternoon, I am the proud owner of two of these bad boys. I was tempted by the new QSC K Series, but after listening to both the K12 and the HPR122i (albeit in different rooms at different times), I preferred the latter (a sentiment that seems fairly common in online forums). And for a cab that both sounds BETTER and costs LESS ($200 per speaker after the rebate), I am more than willing to sacrifice the extra labor to lug around the additional weight of the HPR and its real birch cabinet (60 lbs for the HPR122i vs. 41 lbs for the K12).

 

Time to go fire up the new speaks!

 

Noah

 

P.S. I think QSC powered subs might be on the GAS list next.

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Thanks, Tom.

 

I just spent about an hour and half playing my S90ES and singing through the new speakers and also running some MP3s through them. Simply put, they sound fantastic, although they do reveal the sonic limitations of iPod-based source material.

 

Couldn't be happier right now with my new gear!

 

Noah

 

 

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http://www.sweetwater.com/images/items/215/HPR122i.jpghttp://www.sweetwater.com/images/items/215/HPR122i.jpg

 

QSC HPR122i

 

Good on ya, Noah.

 

I'm sure those wooden speaker cabs sound different than the impact resistant ABS plastic.

 

http://www.sweetwater.com/images/items/215/K12.jpghttp://www.sweetwater.com/images/items/215/K12.jpg

 

QSC K12

 

I'm no speaker designer, but I agree that wooden speaker cabinets can offer sonic advantages over ABS in the lower frequencies.

 

Does the improvement justify the additional weight of the wodden cabinet?

 

You tell us after you've lived with them for awhile, OK? :cool:

 

The JBL PRX412M remains a contender for me.

 

http://www.sweetwater.com/images/items/215/PRX512M.jpghttp://www.sweetwater.com/images/items/215/PRX512M.jpg

 

TWO for stereo. And can be used as monitors or FOH. Add a sub, if you need it. :thu:

 

I couldn't choose among them without auditioning them though.

 

 

:snax:

"Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and that which cannot remain silent." - Victor Hugo
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My main concern with any of this is that we've already seen a dramatic drop in quality sales help in the killing off of the mom and pop music stores in favor of music super stores like GC, where the help is often as knowledgeable as the gum on the bottom of their shoes. What happens when the guy who sells you your keyboards is the same guy who handles printer ink and cell phones?

 

I'm not against saving money, don't get me wrong. But there is an overall cheapening and dumbing down of our lifestyles that I find disturbing.

"I believe that entertainment can aspire to be art, and can become art, but if you set out to make art you're an idiot."

 

Steve Martin

 

Show business: we're all here because we're not all there.

 

 

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What happens when the guy who sells you your keyboards is the same guy who handles printer ink and cell phones?

 

We consumers have had to do the research ourselves for as long as I can remember. I don't know anybody who would consider buying a product such as this from the advice of a guy at Best Buy, Guitar Center, or most anywhere else.

 

The manufacturer publishes the specifications & such on his website for us to peruse. Best Buy is another huge channel for sales. Why not go for it?

 

No. Who in their right mind would ever think that the sales guy at Best Buy would know any more than the guy who just put together your double cheeseburger at Wendy's?

 

What am I missing here?

 

 

 

 

"Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and that which cannot remain silent." - Victor Hugo
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I agree with Tom. The last time that I can remember relying on a sales guy to direct me to a particular electronic product of any kind was when I bought my very first "good" stereo system in the summer of 1987. That sales guy didn't steer me wrong, but ever since then, I've relied on my own eyes, ears, and research ability to figure out what I want when it comes to nearly every purchase that I make. (And, believe me, I research the hell out of this stuff before buying.)

 

Anyway, to me, the opportunity to audition gear at a place like Best Buy is very welcome, and when they also offer it at prices that beat their internet brethren, well, then, purchasing it there is not only the right thing to do but also a no-brainer.

 

Noah

 

P.S. Tom: The HPRs sound MUCH warmer and fuller than the Mackie SRM450s that they're replacing, and I just can't help but thinking that the birch cabinet on the HPRs (vs. the molded plastic on the Mackies) has at least something to do with it. They're also just aesthetically much more pleasing-looking (at least to me) than the Mackies.

 

Have I mentioned that I'm happy with them? ;)

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I guess that I am finding it a bit wearing to have to get a degree in baking just to buy a good donut. Researching every single purchase is a PITA. I'd like to be able to go to a store, and say 'I want the best for $nnn", or "I need the following, which is the best choice for my needs and what does it cost?" and get a good answer. When I started to play guitar, the guys at the guitar stores showed me the models, prices, and told me their thoughts and preferences, from which I could make a reasonable decision among the choices in my price range. The stores carried major brands and budget brands.

"I believe that entertainment can aspire to be art, and can become art, but if you set out to make art you're an idiot."

 

Steve Martin

 

Show business: we're all here because we're not all there.

 

 

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Noah, congrats on the acquisition. :thu:

 

While it may be weird, the future of Best Buy carrying pro gear seems to be here.

 

I understand the sentiment but agree the age of research and knowing more than average salesman has been here for a while now.

 

The information superhighway is directly responsible for it. Unfortunately, that is also why our favorite music magazines are shrinking. ;)

 

Yet, these advances in technology, methods for buying and selling gear and gathering information prior to purchase, do not change one thing...our ability to play great music.

 

Enjoy your new speakers bro. Also, adding sub(s) will take that sound to the moon. Either way, hopefully, I'll get a chance to check them out on your gig. :cool:

PD

 

"The greatest thing you'll ever learn, is just to love and be loved in return."--E. Ahbez "Nature Boy"

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Noah, congrats on the acquisition. :thu:

 

Thanks, Brother D!

 

Also, adding sub(s) will take that sound to the moon.

 

I know! I'm oh-so-tempted to take the plunge now. In fact, there's a used HPR151i sub on DC Craigslist right now that I might just have to check out. The pocketbook probably needs to cool for a bit, though.

 

Either way, hopefully, I'll get a chance to check them out on you gig. :cool:

 

Well, if you're free:

 

Saturday, January 30th

9 pm - 1 am

Jay's Saloon

3114 10th Street North

Arlington, Virginia

 

Would love to see you there. :thu::cool:

 

Noah

 

 

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I guess that I am finding it a bit wearing to have to get a degree in baking just to buy a good donut. Researching every single purchase is a PITA. I'd like to be able to go to a store, and say 'I want the best for $nnn", or "I need the following, which is the best choice for my needs and what does it cost?" and get a good answer.

 

Bill:

 

I would love to live in such a Utopia as well. Alas, it just isn't meant to be in the 21st Century (and hasn't been that way for a way long time). Sad? Yes. But I don't see it changing any time soon.

 

Noah

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I guess I don't see how "trying" it is to go to google.com, type in a reasonably worded search and tap into the collective knowledge of many more people than the mom and pop store

 

One really good search in google is "KorgRolYamaha Item problems" (or reviews) lots of people with degrees in baking post their opinions all the time and you can make your judgements. Lots of time those people who are more expert than you will raise valid issues in their reviews that mom nor pop will know.

Korg Kronos 2 73 key,

Kronos 1 61 key,

Novation 61SL Mk2,

Novation 25SL Mk 2,

Access Virus TI2 Darkstar,

Ableton Push,

Akai APC 40 Mk2,

MOTU 896 Mk3,

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I guess that I am finding it a bit wearing to have to get a degree in baking just to buy a good donut. Researching every single purchase is a PITA. I'd like to be able to go to a store, and say 'I want the best for $nnn", or "I need the following, which is the best choice for my needs and what does it cost?" and get a good answer. When I started to play guitar, the guys at the guitar stores showed me the models, prices, and told me their thoughts and preferences, from which I could make a reasonable decision among the choices in my price range. The stores carried major brands and budget brands.

 

For me, I would much rather spend the time beforehand researching the gear and checking the honest online reviews from people who actually use the product than take the advice of some sales guy who don't know sh*t from shinola. You have to remember that he is trying to make a sale, so he will say anything to get you to buy.

 

With the tons of available free info on the web, I don't see how doing any researching beforehand can be a PITA.

Kronos 88 Platinum, Casio PX-5S, Subsequent 37, Korg CX3, Nord Electro 5D 73, QSC K8.2, Lester K

 

Me & The Boyz

Chris Beard Band

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"For me, I would much rather spend the time beforehand researching the gear and checking the honest online reviews from people who actually use the product than take the advice of some sales guy who don't know sh*t from shinola. You have to remember that he is trying to make a sale, so he will say anything to get you to buy. "

 

Yes, that is the way that it is today.

 

"With the tons of available free info on the web, I don't see how doing any researching beforehand can be a PITA."

 

Quality of the information. Wadding through the BS to find someone who knows what he is talking about. When I went to the trade shows a couple of times a year I knew what was what about pro audio gear and who was kidding. I'm out of touch now, and there aren't too many places where you can get an unbiased review of items about which I know... one of the most popular is a sycophantic back-patting droolfest as the readers stumble over each other to worship at the cult of personality. I KNOW that the information there at least bears careful examination. So what happens when I want to buy something that I -don't- know about?

"I believe that entertainment can aspire to be art, and can become art, but if you set out to make art you're an idiot."

 

Steve Martin

 

Show business: we're all here because we're not all there.

 

 

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It's a bit of an art to wade through the user reviews people post online. Was that complaint/bitchfest someone posted as a 1-star review useful or just whining because he got a bad unit, bad service that had nothing to do with the product, he didn't read or understand the product's intended use, etc? The same but opposite goes for 5-star reviews.

"I'm so crazy, I don't know this is impossible! Hoo hoo!" - Daffy Duck

 

"The good news is that once you start piano you never have to worry about getting laid again. More time to practice!" - MOI

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It's a bit of an art to wade through the user reviews people post online. Was that complaint/bitchfest someone posted as a 1-star review useful or just whining because he got a bad unit, bad service that had nothing to do with the product, he didn't read or understand the product's intended use, etc? The same but opposite goes for 5-star reviews.

 

It's not really that much of an art. You are an experienced user, and already know a great deal about the technology of which you purchasing. So, it isn't that hard to weed out the BS from the useful reviews. I've actually found a good portion of the online reviews I've read to be pretty useful, with very few ones that were bitchfests. If you really look at it, it's really not that different than going to a music dealer and listening to their BS, except that their BS is less negative, it's their job. With everything I need to know being only a click away, it doesn't take very long to get all the info I need to make an informed buying decision.

Kronos 88 Platinum, Casio PX-5S, Subsequent 37, Korg CX3, Nord Electro 5D 73, QSC K8.2, Lester K

 

Me & The Boyz

Chris Beard Band

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It's not really that much of an art. You are an experienced user, and already know a great deal about the technology of which you purchasing.
For musical instruments, perhaps. But say I'm looking into buying a new stereo receiver, HDTV, refrigerator, LCD monitor, digital camera, or something else with which I'm less familiar. Then I do have to cull thru user reviews and determine what reviews are useful and not, and since those products have a wider audience, the reviews tend to have more of the problems I described earlier.

"I'm so crazy, I don't know this is impossible! Hoo hoo!" - Daffy Duck

 

"The good news is that once you start piano you never have to worry about getting laid again. More time to practice!" - MOI

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Experience helps when reading consumer reviews and trying to separate truth from marketing fiction.

 

Go on Amazon.com and read what people write about products they have bought. Try Newegg.com... HarmonyCentral. Take them all with a grain of salt.

 

I've found the reviews on cnet.com, TomsHardware.com, and Anantech.com to be excellent (and exhausting).

 

For digital cameras, I like DPReview.com, but there are a few other good sites.

 

I dunno. That's how I do it. I suffer much less buyer's remorse because of it. I'm not putting down the sales guy at Best Buy. There is no way that he is going to know about everything. And that's OK.

 

So I do my homework.

 

That's just the way it is.

 

Tom

 

 

 

"Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and that which cannot remain silent." - Victor Hugo
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So I do my homework.

 

That's just the way it is.

 

 

Yup.

 

Same here. I enjoy product research and negotiating prices. It's fun. :D:cool:

PD

 

"The greatest thing you'll ever learn, is just to love and be loved in return."--E. Ahbez "Nature Boy"

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It's not really that much of an art. You are an experienced user, and already know a great deal about the technology of which you purchasing.
For musical instruments, perhaps. But say I'm looking into buying a new stereo receiver, HDTV, refrigerator, LCD monitor, digital camera, or something else with which I'm less familiar. Then I do have to cull thru user reviews and determine what reviews are useful and not, and since those products have a wider audience, the reviews tend to have more of the problems I described earlier.

 

I've learned to develop my BSometer over the years. :thu: Here, I'll translate:

 

Original poster: I have Pro Tools, Sonar, Ableton, Performer and Cubase. Cubase is the BEST. The BEST. Smokes all the others.

 

Translation: I illegally downloaded every DAW I could find. I couldnt get any of them to work. Finally, I figured out how to play back a midi file with Cubase. It's the BEST. :laugh:

 

Here's another:

 

Original poster: A "real" pro would NEVER use that. All the pros use ________ keyboard/software/kit/etc. An ARRANGER KEYBOARD???? I wouldnt be caught dead with one. You would never see a "real" pro use one. It's a crutch, I write my own damn music and don't need a cheeze machine to write it for me.

 

Translation: I can't play a G major scale. I can't play "Come to Jesus" in whole notes. I can't even play Chopsticks. Fark, I can't even play the top line of Chopsticks. Therefore, I better figure out some sort of defense mechanism before my secret is revealed. Oooh, I know: I can talk about "real pros" and that fancy keyboard I bought but can't play. Yeah, that will do it. Oh wait, even better: I can talk about how I would never use an Arranger keyboard, even though I've never written a song in my life and wouldnt even know where to begin. Yeah, that'll throw em off.

 

 

:D :D :D

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It's not really that much of an art. You are an experienced user, and already know a great deal about the technology of which you purchasing.
For musical instruments, perhaps. But say I'm looking into buying a new stereo receiver, HDTV, refrigerator, LCD monitor, digital camera, or something else with which I'm less familiar. Then I do have to cull thru user reviews and determine what reviews are useful and not, and since those products have a wider audience, the reviews tend to have more of the problems I described earlier.

 

Correct, but the discussion was specifically aimed at buying musical instruments(a PA in this case), if I'm not mistaken.

Kronos 88 Platinum, Casio PX-5S, Subsequent 37, Korg CX3, Nord Electro 5D 73, QSC K8.2, Lester K

 

Me & The Boyz

Chris Beard Band

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I'd much rather have the environment we have today where there are so many easy to access resources for evaluating and getting opinions on gear vs relying on someone at a Mom and Pop store for their opinion. They might have ulterior motives to sell me a certain brand or piece of gear and push me in a direction that I'm not interested in. Regardless of reviews at online stores, you can post a question here about a piece of gear, someone who has that piece will respond and tell you what they like or don't like. I buy most of my gear online as the couple local stores(and not even local, all are at least a 30 minute or more drive away) only carry certain brands, and are more expensive. I don't trust their salesmen any more than I'd trust a kid at Best Buy to help me with my purchase. I go into a purchase knowing what I want and having done my research ahead of time. This goes for anything- vehicle, motorcycle, music gear, big screen TV. I narrow it down to 2 or 3 choices and then check those out closer, then make my decision.

Live: Korg Kronos 2 88, Nord Electro 5d Nord Lead A1

Toys: Roland FA08, Novation Ultranova, Moog LP, Roland SP-404SX, Roland JX10,Emu MK6

www.bksband.com

www.echoesrocks.com

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uhhh... okay.....

 

I buyin g a home in Florida. It needs a pool heater. There are many choices, but I've decided upon solar.

 

There are many types of solar panels, some good, some not so good. Which do I buy and why?

 

But on top of that, if ti choose to spend a little more, the closed system solar panels are much more efficient and can handle the water needs of the house, as well.

 

Not that I need to change the hot water heater, but I will in a few years and if I am looking to improve my energy efficency lower costs and become more green, it makes sense to do it now.

 

But not too far int he future the air handler will need replaced.

 

So I could go with any number of systems, including a heat pump, or a geothermal heat pump. and these systems will also handle hot water, and if properly designed, maybe even the pool.

 

Or I could put in three small 'on demand' hot water heating systems, a smaller heat pump, and a separate pool heating system.

 

Ball is in your court, internet surfers. What do I do and what brands do I buy... oh, and will I get a guarantee with that?

 

"I believe that entertainment can aspire to be art, and can become art, but if you set out to make art you're an idiot."

 

Steve Martin

 

Show business: we're all here because we're not all there.

 

 

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uhhh... okay.....

 

I buyin g a home in Florida. It needs a pool heater. There are many choices, but I've decided upon solar.

 

There are many types of solar panels, some good, some not so good. Which do I buy and why?

 

But on top of that, if ti choose to spend a little more, the closed system solar panels are much more efficient and can handle the water needs of the house, as well.

 

Not that I need to change the hot water heater, but I will in a few years and if I am looking to improve my energy efficency lower costs and become more green, it makes sense to do it now.

 

But not too far int he future the air handler will need replaced.

 

So I could go with any number of systems, including a heat pump, or a geothermal heat pump. and these systems will also handle hot water, and if properly designed, maybe even the pool.

 

Or I could put in three small 'on demand' hot water heating systems, a smaller heat pump, and a separate pool heating system.

 

Ball is in your court, internet surfers. What do I do and what brands do I buy... oh, and will I get a guarantee with that?

 

This took 5 seconds:

 

http://www.poolspaforum.com/forum/index.php?showforum=8

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"This took 5 seconds:"

 

and provided no answers.

 

You must read incredibly fast. :laugh: It's a pool forum with thousands of posts. On one glance I saw many that dealt with heater issues, and I don't have no steenkin pool. :laugh:

 

I'm no car guy, I barely know how to put the gas in. That said, our Beetle had a problem and we couldnt get it out of park. Five minutes of reading and I figured out how. We then took the car to the VW place. They couldnt figure out how to get it out of park. I showed them. :rawk:

 

The info is there. You, too, can spend an hour doing research and you'll end up knowing more than the pool guy.

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