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Friday, 16 April 2010


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Gahh, don't you know anything? That is the "Non-Union" rule. You wouldn't find genuine union workers listening to that. The job boss would put an end to it immediately.

That's not that complex. Just lots of options. Bonus points for the direct USB iPod connection, though. If I had 3 grand to drop on a receiver, I would consider it.


They have to make these things backward compatible so that those with older equipment can hook them up to the new amp. My older Denon is not as bad as the one you show but it was a pain to hook everything up. I had to get a pre-amp for my turntable. One more set of cables to contend with. With vinyl making a come back they should build in pre-amps again.

Yesterday I decided to file my taxes and went to install the software and it will not install on my computer because I am running Windows 2000. The computer industry doesn't have a problem making us all purchase new hardware and software when MS comes out with a new OS.

I have to give credit for QImage because I just upgraded and it works just fine in 2000.

I bought the Denon AVR-3810Ci, or maybe it's the AVR-2810Ci, to replace my wife's old Pioneer stereo. Truth be told, I wasn't quite sure it would be OK for just two speakers, instead of 5.1 or whatever, but it's just fine.

The front's quite a bit simpler, and lots of controls are on screen if you connect the unit to a TV (this is assumed). But even crazier than the back is the remote (actually the amp ships with two versions of a remote) which has buttons on the front and back!

Sympathy for Mike.

Noise pollution is extremely annoying, destroys the quality of life, and a major cause of stress. The only thing that might get you relief(iPods are unsafe for the workers, a 'stereo war' would aggravate the neighbors) would be to jam their radio; It's probably fairly easy to build an AM jammer. But if it worked, it'd jam everyone else's AM radio as well...but, who listens to AM anyway???

Have you ever tried Etymotic ER-6is? Those things save my life every day.

Time for a bike ride. ch

I think they issue the boomboxes with the union card....
I wonder what it would be like if they were all into classical or jazz. Imagine Miles blastin' out of those boxes....hmmmm
In anycase,it sounds like a perfect time to head to Chicago and take in the Eggleston exhibit.

Possession of the boom box can be a big deal on some job sites. Kind of a turf thing. Whoever gets there first gets to pick the channel.

Call the cops. Why are you putting up with this?

Learn to love your Peltor Optime 105 sound isolating earmuffs. Deals with leafblowers, boomboxes and even the jackhammering we had last week and allows concentration, work and forgetting about the silliness. About $25 and worth more (I have no connection with Peltor other than as an earmuff user.)

Grab a camera and go someplace else.

Apparently, the noise spilled over by your "neighbors" also damaged your html performance; you should have started using a proper notation:


I've just moved to a much quieter place. No more neighbour's dogs barking every single day, no more loud neighbours.

I still hear men shouting, but now it's because they're over on the sports ground playing football (soccer) instead of because they are drunk, ignorant, or both, I don't mind.

So, my sympathies. It was the sheer lack of consideration displayed at the old place that really annoyed me.


You have all my sympathies. I really worry about the toxicity of so much of the talk radio in this country right now. No matter what your political views, we should be able to discuss things without all the hate talk going around. It's bad enough that it is on the air at all, even worse that you are forced to listen to it.

Hope the noise and the hate stops soon.

I wonder how you would have worded this post if they were blasting, say, Air America.

Noise Cancelling Headphones.

Noise pollution just drives me insane. - Me too. I agree completely - just why does every gas station, convenience store, etc. always have to play the most insipid songs at high volumes? Who also decided that in America you can't go 100 feet without a large TV in your face, at high volume, with the most distressing news.

PS - frothy-mouthed, Brontosaurus-brained Amerifascist demagogues also vex me too, but its Friday.

Nice rant. I feel the same way about noise pollution, and I'm happy to say that I have seen the issue come to (or at least near) the surface of public discourse in recent years.

Man, the back of that receiver is insane! Yet it all makes sense; it's mostly a matter of deciding WHICH of the various input/output methods you will use. Nobody will ever use all of those item, and if you use HDMI you can combine audio and video on a single cable (one for each device; Blu-ray player, DVR, game console, etc.)

The other good news about the receiver is that it's the kind of thing that you plug in once and then generally forget about. If you're really smart you label each cable going into the receiver so you can quickly reconnect it if you ever have to unplug everything.

Compare that with a digital camera, where you basically have to struggle with a user interface every single time you use it.

Personally, I dislike pretty much every camera user interface I've ever used. While you quickly narrow it down to just the things you use regularly, it's inevitable that one day you accidentally hit some button combination that throws you into some mode you can't get out of. Or one day you pick up the camera and you see some crazy icon on the screen that you've never noticed before and it takes you two hours to figure out what it means and how to turn it off.

One of the things I really like about the Lumix LX3 is the focus on physical buttons. Those two buttons on the lens barrel (for aspect ratio and focus mode) are brilliant.

I also really like the top of the over-priced Leica X1. Two dials, one for shutter speed (with an "A") and one for f-stop (also with an "A") are beautiful in their simplicity and are a real throwback to the analog days when it was easy to have faith that you understood what your camera was thinking -- because your camera wasn't thinking!

There is new technology to deal with this problem!
Just connect a set of noise-cancelling headphones to your own ipod and write away undisturbed.

Yeah, I know what you mean - I hate it when someone's got that obnoxious Stephanie Miller cranked up loud. ;-)

It's pretty simple. The boombox is a lot cheaper. That and have you tried doing some of that work with earphones? It's not very comfortable. Possibly not too safe either depending on the tools.

However, with that said, yes, they shouldn't even bother using a radio if their tools are drowning everything out anyway. Very very annoying.

I sympathize with you Mike, but there is a solution: grab your ipod and in-ear (or better: noise cancelling) headphones and play the music you enjoy!


When I'm in studio shooting I don't want cables in my ears getting in my way, but, I was helping a sculptor get ready for a big exhibition a few months ago and the funniest thing happened: We were shaping wood - good and loud - for our own protection my ears were muffed and his were plugged, and then he cranked the Slipknot up loud enough so that we could still hear it clearly. Go figure?

It's a good day to take some "street" shots of construction workers. Are there any projects underway in your neighborhood?


I own one of these and Denon has their own special "language" used in the owner's manual. Once you get it working it is worth the effort as the sound quality does not disappoint.

The really stupid part is that none of those construction workers earns enough money to benefit from the rightwing politics they apparently believe in. They're middle class or working class, and the rightwing parasite class is literally stealing their prosperity. The midwest is full of such chickens for Colonel Sanders. Indiana is FAR worse.

I work out of my house also (over 20 years). Neighborhood noise has always significantly affected my work as much of it involves just thinking. After a big hailstorm last year nearly everyone got a new roof and I know exactly what you're describing - and it went on for months.
It has gotten worse and worse over the years or I have gotten more sensitive. In fact, I'm moving this summer to a quieter area and noise was one of the top motivations.

Only one thing to do. Push the Klipsch Corner Horns up to the window and hit 'em with Art Tatum until they just have to stop and dance for a while.

Ok, this thing must power a UFO! Where can I check out a Denon AVR-4810Ci receiver? Or better yet, I can just google it again.

I wish there were stricter laws regarding noise. There are far too many airplanes, weedeaters, lawnmowers, etc, etc that make way too much noise! Can't hear the birds or the wind in the trees anymore!

It not really *complicated*. It is like my Mackie Mixing board, there are a billion knobs (and corresponding inputs and outputs!), but once you learn the basic functions for each channel, you know what 90% of them do.

If you can get Home Depot to sell a bright yellow industrial iPod, like they do BoomBoxes, you might be able to penetrate the contractor market. Of course, it is probably better to leave the BoomBox safe on the ground rather than risk dropping it from the roof...

I hear ya Mike !! If I could......
I have my own din going on outside right now.

Why is it necessary for my neighbor to use a 100 decibel
gasoline powered leaf blower to clean-up a freshly mowed lawn ?
He is wearing ear protectors, but I can hear the darned
thing inside with all doors and windows closed.
What happened to rakes anyway ??
They are faster and quieter.
Better for you too -- no fumes. Good exercise.

So I'm calling for a technological step backwards in this case.
Everybody gets new rakes along with their new iPods. "-)

Ban Boomboxes and Blowers !!


Really Mike, there is no need to insult the poor Brontosaurus.

Eric Ford,
The exact same way, because I couldn't hear any of the actual words. Just a disruptive irregular burble, like a television through the floorboards in an apartment building. One of the sounds I most hate.


Ed Hawco,
My preamp has *one* line input. And I bought a turntable so I could use it. [g]


If you were on Facebook, I'd recommend you join a regional group called "Okay, neighbour, what else you have to drill now, you moth****ker?" :)

Since quite a lot of people lives in apartment buildings, it is very annoying when people two floors down start drilling and the whole of the building reverberates. And that doesn't happen at 10 am or one pm. No. Nothing all day and then they remember they have to drill their walls at nine pm...

"Really Mike, there is no need to insult the poor Brontosaurus."

It was the only animal I could think of that has a brain in its ass.


that receiver just has lots of legacy inputs/outputs. if they dropped the sort that hasn't been used for a long time and just used modern ones it would be very simple.

i went with a two-channel integrated amp. very simple (and only need two speakers) and sounds fantastic.

best regards.

Rick, noise cancelling headphones only really work on constant noise, such as you get on an airplane (engine plus wind) or on a loud bus or subway. Doesn't help much for thumping music, hammering, and idiots yelling at each other.

Cut a three inch piece of film, tape it into a 35mm film camera, and take your one-shot camera out to some place you love. That will solve the boombox issue right there.

"I wonder how you would have worded this post if they were blasting, say, Air America."

One hopes Mike would have investigated the time machine being used to receive it, since that radio network no longer exists. :-)

And enforce local noise ordinances.

Every now and then the construction-worker noise is, well, quite wonderful: lo these 35 or so years ago, a worker repairing our fire escape in Ottawa at the break of day, singing ... loudly .... operatic arias! Needless to say, he was Italian. Needless to say, he had a great tenor voice. He can come and shingle my roof anytime.

My sympathies to you, Mike. I have little patience for unqualified, mean blowhards on the radio. Unfortunately, iPods and similar are not safe at work sites. Can't hear the "watch out below!" or the warning beeps of the trucks that are backing up.
Looks like you might have to spring for noise-canceling headphones.

Noise can be disgusting, yet here in the UK near Heathrow we had one of the quietest days. They grounded the planes and peace was astonishing, had never realized how much noise they made buzzing arround the sky!

Hope you have a quiet weekend.

Cheers Vic

In my neighborhood it's leaf blowers. From April 'till October, from 8 am until 6 pm, all you hear is that incessant drone of mini airplane engines moving leaves from one side of the property to the other. Don't gardners use rakes anymore?

You have my deep sympathy. Unfortunately, I know the feeling. It's more than annoying, it's a boorish assault. A glairing display of galactic ignorance. And rude beyond words. Thankfully, in your case, it's temporary. When the job is done it's over. In my case the louts moved in. Directly across the street from my house. Worse, I don't drink. Not that it would help much. I'd need something on the order of the Marlin Perkins charging rhino dose to bring my systolic under 200.

Michael, I write this hoping there's some comfort in knowing you are not alone.
paul kramarchyk
Barkhamsted, Connecticut

A cheapo boombox? Nothing that a Whamo-O Wrist Rocket couldn't take out. And they're silent.


You're in good company, Charles Babbage, inventor of the worlds first mechanical computer railed against street music and his campaigns against it resulted in laws prohibiting various types of street nuisance in the UK.

The following is quoted in a biography of him and then repeated on Babbage's Wikipedia page.

"It is difficult to estimate the misery inflicted upon thousands of persons, and the absolute pecuniary penalty imposed upon multitudes of intellectual workers by the loss of their time, destroyed by organ-grinders and other similar nuisances"

Looking forward to seeing the up coming photo essay


Who wants an iPod when you can use a boom box instead. I'm just saying ...

Mike, perhaps you could go across, say "hi" in a friendly manner, and explain that you've just come off night-shift (without saying that it was spent in your darkroom, or sleeping, or whatever) and then ask them politely to turn the radio down so you can get some sleep. You never know; you might even get some understanding and co-operation.

A friend of my partner once told us that, in a similar situation, she had gone over and just switched the thing off. And then expressed surprise at the reaction!

I like physical buttons and holes-plugs because they can be understood easily. Just a matter of patience (especially after the unit is moved in and you have to take it out to check/plug-in new device).

I like Nikon F4 much more than F5 type of camera. More can be less.


Bad about the noise but for the suggestion to use iPod, it may not be possible especially if they get good ear plug. They cannot easily hear others and also there is extra cable to care for.

I've noticed this loud radio thing with the tradesmen. I figure it helps
them to keep their mind off their work.


I agree completely with you regarding noise pollution. It drives me nuts. Obnoxious, ignoramuses who don't give a damn about anyone except themselves.

Yes, noise canceling headphones etc can help, but sometimes you just want some peaceful time to yourself without having to endure man-made noise. Just being able to enjoy a little time relaxing outside where all you hear is the wind and birds......until some idiot on his unmuffled Harley roars past ruining everything. But of course..."Loud pipes save lives" - what a load of crap.

I run a Denon AVR-888 (I think) with just 2 speakers; works fine, except for the lack of pre-amp. The Denon manuals are not great, but if you follow the steps, it's fine.

But it ain't valves ...

When I was a trim carpenter, the drywall guys liked to listen to Steve Dahl here in Chicago. He seemed to play "My Sharona" (or whatever it was) every 20 minutes. After months of this, I thought I was going insane. Then an odd quiet set-in which had something to do with the router I was using. I look back at this whole episode now with curious affection. In the meantime, Mike, get some noise-cancelling headphones--the construction will be gone soon enough . . . unless they don't know what they're doing. . . .


The same thing happens in Sydney - building workers, house painters etc, all blasting out moronic talk back radio. Surely they're aware it must be annoying the neighbours? The other thing I've hated is going on a tour bus & they play bland MOR music radio.

Tradesmen need boom boxes loud enough to hear over their tools. You're lucky they're not SINGING loud enough to hear themselves over the boombox which is loud enough to hear over the tools. (From the bathroom remodel of 2008).

Just be glad they aren't playing the hate-filled spew of MSNBC on big screen TVs.

Er, noise cancellation works only with regular tone sounds, not speech and other effectively random frequency sounds.

Anyway, does anyone make those classic old boomboxes anymore? The things you could hear 4 city blocks away and that you had to be well muscled to carry over your shoulder? I'd love to get one for my rec room.

Noise IS pollution be it audio or in a digital image.

The new Denon is very logically laid out, should be easy to assemble the cabling.

Mind my Bryston amp and pre-amp and Magna Dynalab tuner are equally well laid out, but then they are old technology. Ditto my belt-drive turntable Revox open reel tape decks and Panasonic cassette units.
I don't own a CD player, no need as I still listen to vinyl.

BTW invest in a good set of custom earplugs.

Here in Canada radios are not allowed on most jobsites. One of the reasons that DeWALT et al designed the battery chargers to be a radio/cd/iPod player. When the boss is not around just crank up the 'battery charger'

"In my neighborhood it's leaf blowers. From April 'till October, from 8 am until 6 pm, all you hear is that incessant drone of mini airplane engines moving leaves from one side of the property to the other. Don't gardners use rakes anymore?"

The very lowest circle of hell is reserved for the inventor of the leaf blower. I am not a man of hate, but I *hate* leaf blowers. Loathe, detest, despite, abhor, execrate, abominate.


Ah yes, nothing like a mid-fi receiver with 500 lights, and buttons, and dials, and switches, and "graphic equalizer" sliders, and inputs on the outside, and two dollars worth of electronics on the inside. I guess they sell a lot of these things to people who don't like music.

Noise pollution is a topic I could rant upon endlessly. My fondest dream is to own a huge piece of real estate so as to escape from all the bondo beaters, car alarms, Harleys, barking dogs, screaming kids that drive me insane.

Mike, you may have not seen the patch bay end of a studio mixing desk, which elevates the complexity somewhat fold. I was a witness to a poor soul getting the sack on the spot for a mispatch. As a client I wouldn't have had a clue.

Regarding your second rant (and I agree, my neighbours are renovating and so far no radio, I'm pleased to say) I saw radios made specifically for heavy duty use by builders etc. for sale in local shops. Perhaps the sound quality is better and even more penetrating.

My added rant: when did our local cops give up on noisy motor vehicles, including those awful AMERICAN Harley Davidson motorcycles?

Apart from their patented (patented for heaven's sake) racket none of my generation (yeah I know) of motorcyclists would have even contemplated riding one of these bulbous, bulky, heavy and neanderthally engineered dinosaurs, when classically stylish British machines were available. Viva Velocette!

Regards - Ross

Can I add the noise nuisances I detest the most? 1. Music in decent restaurants whose food I like!!!! Why do so many restaurants do this?????? Grrrrr. 2. The ambient noise of restaurants kitted out with hard surfaces, making conversation impossible without yelling. 3. A combination of 1 and 2.

Re 1: I asked our waiter at one place I went to whether he would turn the needlessly loud music off - there were no guests but us - and after a brief consultation, he returned to tell us that he wouldn't as the staff liked to have it on. Of course we left.

The workers are just expressing themselves Mike, and you just damn well better know it.

That Denon receiver takes the complicated cake, but home recording isn't too far behind.

A usable laptop, hop in your Ferrari, and drive off to a quiet location maybe and get some work done?

Mike Bailey

Talk Radio? I thought the rule was they had to play Rap.

On their side. Those guys where mentors to a lonely teenage kid. They put me to work, hard. I learned to love the life of those who are frequently looked down upon by the more sophisticated and educated. Frankly it just wouldn't be the same hauling mud (mortar for bricking) without that noise. It is apart of the culture. Each team has their own flavor, culture and ideals. I would hate to put an end to that.

There's no need to be a construction worker to make such noise! My neighbour is carburating with oil, all his hobbies use oil under any form: chainsaw, big boat, his 4 wheels, the thing used to blow on leaves at fall... everything he does use oil. ON top of that, he has the radio on loud and distorted. We live in the Oil Era. People consume oil. Noise is their God fighting against their own thoughts.

Safety rules in many places prohibit electronic headphones; oddly the same set of rules often require hearing protection

Stick to cameras; unionized worker bashing and opinions of talk radio make me want to delete your blog from my RSS reader.

"My fondest dream is to own a huge piece of real estate so as to escape from all the bondo beaters, car alarms, Harleys, barking dogs, screaming kids that drive me insane."

...Or a nice apartment in a well-built luxury high-rise, which can be surprisingly peaceful. I almost bought a condo in D.C. when I lived there, new construction, 10 stories, and when I inquired about noise from the neighbors, the contractor asked me to get down and put my ear to the concrete and wait. Which I did. He then disappeared, and a few minutes later I heard a faint noise. When he reappeared, carrying a broom. He asked me if I'd heard anything, and I said, "Well, I THOUGHT I heard a faint clicking or tapping." And he took the broom and rapped it smartly on the ceiling. "I was doing that directly beneath where you had your ear," he said, adding, "I absolutely hate noise."

My kind of contractor. Turns out the floor was 13 inches of concrete. I could have grown old in that place....


"Noise is their God fighting against their own thoughts."

What a great line...but then there's Brian White's comment, too. I do tend to be intolerant of noisemakers.


I have a single counter-example.

We occasionally (that is, when we can get him--there's a waiting-list) employ a housepainter who is retired from the newspaper biz. "Kenny" brings in a small clock-radio that's tuned to J-pop (where he even finds that on the dial I have no idea), which he sets to a very modest volume. He's the least offensive tradesman we've ever met. He's so personable we're tempted to invent work just to hire him!

Noise pollution is indeed a real problem. Sometimes you only notice it when the noise is absent: for the past two days, there were no airplanes flying above our house nearby Frankfurt airport here in Germany. Thanks to Eyjafjallajökull, we've had a very calm, almost noise-free spring day. What a relief!

Yes, there are a lot of inconsiderate folks out there. They seem to think that everyone within ear shot wants to listen to whatever they have blasting away on their radios. Whether it's a boom box in the backyard, or a trunk full of speakers in their car vibrating down the road. Rude and boorish behavior.

You could always just sit in the new Mercedes. I hear they're pretty well soundproofed.

Connected to our 40 inch Sony Bravia HD televison and our new Sony Blu-Ray player is a Yamaha AV receiver we bought in 1999 for $1,000. Multiple people have assured us that new models will give us better sound, so I am planning on buying a Denon 590 model this week for $550 as a replacement. It comes with a microphone that will be used to calibrate all five Bose Acoustimass speakers in our den. It will be interesting to determine if there will be, indeed, a marked improvement in sound!

I bought the Denon 590 AV receiver at Best Buy last week for $375, successfully hooked everything up to it, and now we are experiencing an awesome, vast improvement in sound coming from all five Bose speakers with phenomenal clarity that we never experienced with the old Yamaha receiver. We are truly amazed every time we turn on the Sony Bravia and 590 receiver!

I would argue that the back of that receiver is actually a good deal more clear that most digital camera menus. You can see everything at once, so you grasp the gestalt. You can read the labels for each connection. And you can see the process as you work it!

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