Why is it, I wonder, that in every rental car on the planet, both the bass and treble settings on the radio are cranked to the max. This may be optimal for Early Nineties Norwegian Death Metal, and also possibly Balalaika and Bassoon Ensemble compilations, but it makes most normal music sound like a box of nails bouncing down a large heating duct.


Comment feed for ongoing:Comments feed

From: Jim Ancona (Sep 19 2007, at 05:51)

Because that's how the guys who clean the cars like it? I always assumed that's why the radio is tuned to either a Hip Hop or Latin station when I pick up a car.


From: len (Sep 19 2007, at 05:53)

Partially, frequency range discrimination of listeners have been degraded by mp3s. They think that is good quality audio.

The rest of the answer would be considered inappropriate for this and most other forums.


From: Derek K. Miller (Sep 19 2007, at 08:06)

I think most people don't know what a stereo is supposed to sound like, and are also trying to compensate for the often-anemic bass and treble response of rental car sound systems.

Not that doing that is a good solution, but it's my guess.


From: Paul Clapham (Sep 19 2007, at 08:31)

That's how the people who wash them and sweep out the fast-food debris after you return the car set the radio.

Then those people drive home in their own cars; you can hear them a block away because they sound like a dinosaur with an upset stomach, and as they pass you you can hear the sound of two handfuls of metal coat-hangers being banged together.


From: Mark (Sep 19 2007, at 08:49)

That sounds like my settings. :-)

I basically took my audiology test printout from my ear/nose/throat doc, and reversed it in a custom equalization curve for iTunes. Sounds good to me, tinny to younger people. I named it the "Hearing Test" curve.

I think we're about the same age -- have you had a hearing test lately? It's a good idea to get one every couple of years when you reach middle age, and get it printed out so you can keep it and compare it to later tests.

For people who use an iPod, I'd recommend it even if you're younger.


From: Eric Scouten (Sep 19 2007, at 08:56)

"... a box of nails bouncing down a large heating duct." - That is a precious analogy!


From: Mark Colburn (Sep 20 2007, at 18:19)

This post was beautiful. I laughed out loud. Norweigan Death Metal indeed.


author · Dad
colophon · rights
picture of the day
September 18, 2007
· Arts (11 fragments)
· · Music (108 more)

By .

The opinions expressed here
are my own, and no other party
necessarily agrees with them.

A full disclosure of my
professional interests is
on the author page.

I’m on Mastodon!