Quote of the week

Ezra Dyer’s notes on the audio system in the Pontiac G8 (Automobile Magazine, February 2009):

Here are some audio components that have more power than the G8’s door speakers: Hearing aids. Audio greeting cards. Teddy Ruxpin. A Speak & Spell. Two cans connected with string. Two cans connected with nothing.

Get the message? Well, there’s more:

The last time a speaker sounded this tinny and artificial, it was producing the voice of Thomas Edison saying “Mr. Watson, come here!” This might fly in Australia, but not in the U.S.A. Here, stereos have names like Shaker 1000 and Monsoon. That’s right, we need to appropriate the names of natural disasters to describe the power of our stereos. If the G8’s stereo were named for a weather phenomenon, it would be called Partly Cloudy. Or maybe Steady Drizzle. Actually, scratch that: steady drizzle might make a pleasant noise.

He could go on. And he does:

The stereo has so little bass, it makes Barry White sound like Bindi Irwin. Bindi Irwin being chased by dingoes.

I note for comparison that Gwendolyn’s Bose stereo, with its occasionally-rattly subwoofer, rates as Distant Thunder on the meteorological scale.

And finally Dyer comes to his senses:

Then I fiddled with the settings and realized that someone had put the G8’s stereo into baby-asleep-in-the-back-seat mode, i.e. the fader cranked all the way to the front. I adjusted the fader, discovered that the Blaupunkt’s sound quality was actually fine, and I capped my page of vitriol with a subdued, “Oops — never mind.”

Miss Litella, your car is waiting.

1 comment

  1. McGehee »

    4 January 2009 · 11:27 am

    I dunno that “Partly Cloudy” necessarily works for his purposes either. Around here when it’s partly cloudy, there tend to be birds singing. “Nighttime in Cicada Country” might be more to the point, but I understand some people like that noise too.

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