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MC-1000: Best Speaker in the World?


Addicted to Fun and Learning
Sep 24, 2020
I am not defending this radio shack speaker by any means, but having heard a few dozen radio shack offerings from the 70s and 80s, admittedly this MC-1000 is surely a very mediocre speaker, but I have also heard worse stuff for sure.

I am not sure I can get my head to wrap around how low the rating is though.
Sure it is very blah sounding overall, but where would that put the stuff I heard that was even worse?

Justin Ayers

Oct 5, 2020
They also owned an AMC Pacer, which could hardly be called a "fine automobile", but AMC's marketing program snagged them - just like the Bose marketing efforts.
The Pacer is underrated today and was well-received when it was unveiled. One mistake that AMC made was changing the grill to be less attractive. It was mainly a victim of the fuel crisis. As I recall, it was the original cab forward design and was supposed to have a Wankel. The poor fuel economy of the Wankel forced AMC to use a simple engine. This resulted in also poor fuel economy, due to the Pacer's weight in particular. However, it was a very reliable engine, unlike some of the competition. I believe the Vega had serious problems and GM did a fantastic job when it tried to use a gasoline engine in diesel vehicles. The Pacer also didn't sport Ford's exploding Pinto gas tank.

As far as the Pacer's looks go, they were also well-received when it debuted. Personally, I find the car much more appealing than anything on the market today. Today's angry dystopian vehicles don't impress me, nor do the snarky ones (VW's most recent Beetle). I'd rather drive a car that's friendly and happy. But, that's not allowed these days unless you spend $150,000+ to get one of those celeb SUVs or whatever the tiny Porches cost. The little guy has to be angry and petulant.

As for people demoing speakers... do shops provide identical soundproofed treated rooms with identical equipment (other than the speakers)? Are the speakers carefully placed to maximize the sound quality? Or, are most showrooms characterized by a lot of equipment being stuffed into a small space that isn't well optimized for sound in the first place? Or, if the showroom is set up well enough, is there much choice? I don't expect many places will have thirty identical rooms so people can demo 30 speakers with no setup time other than popping in a CD. It's easy to blame buyers for being stupid and lazy but if they don't have ready access to high-quality demo facilities what are they supposed to do other than flail around with the flailing word of mouth? They have to rely on measurements from a site like this. Objective measurements are critical when the optimal showrooms I describe aren't available, especially within reasonable driving distance. Of course, how are buyers going to, for instance, know whether or not Martin Logan's electrostatic speakers are a good idea based on the data here? There is no comprehensive resource anywhere that I have seen. Dealers seem to have a small selection of brands they want to showcase and want to do so in the "jumbled room" manner. It's commendable to provide the data the way this site does but one person who isn't a millionaire is going to be hard-pressed to cover the entire industry. If I were wealthy, though, I would send some speakers for testing, like the MLs.

Perhaps I'm quite unusual but I would like to see the objective data and be able to subjectively demo a wide range of speakers in optimal conditions. I am wary of relying on what others think. The evidence, for instance, shows that hearing damage is widespread among young people due to their heavy use of portables in noisy environments. Older people have unavoidable hearing degradation due to aging, in addition to whatever damage they've done. A huge number of people are content with the dreadful YouTube audio, including many posts praising the sound of 480p max videos. People can tell me I'm wrong but I do hear the difference between 320K mp3 and AAC (versus lossless), even on cheap equipment. Statistically random samples also sometimes fail. The sweetener cyclamate was banned because one man of the sample digested it in a manner that caused his body to absorb a much greater amount of it than anyone else studied. If he hadn't been included by accident then cyclamate would have likely not been banned. Outliers can matter.

Also in terms of Radio Shack, despite Consumer Reports giving them good marks, I remember that the quality of their cassette tapes was quite poor. It was no Maxell competitor.

Also, in terms of one poster's complaint about the humorous tone of the review: Your complaint is way over the top. The humor in the review is perfectly harmless. I also think it's very good to have older designs in the data for perspective. I am a big believer in learning from history, understanding the present with more accuracy by having better context.

I also recall a generalization about audiophiles wanting to spend money and buying things for the novelty factor rather than for performance. Of course, this is true for some of them. It's not true for all of them. I have never had the money needed to purchase even one high-quality sound system, even though I care about sound quality very much. The fact that some affordable speakers are well-rated here is heartening, although I will need to get subwoofers. I am a bit concerned about hiss, though. Is it generally the case that relatively-affordable active speakers tend to have noticeable hiss? That's my impression based on the research I've done (reading reviews and comments, not scientific research).
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Ears of Tin

Jul 23, 2021
Don't let the low price of US $59.95 fool you. This speaker used state-of-the-art components, far better than anything available today. Besides, that was the price in 1978. Today, it would be $5,595
Awesome! That means the pair of MC-1500 I've had in the attic for 40 years will fetch at least $8,000. Any offers?
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