the time me and my mother had a loudspeaker challenge

I was probably ten or eleven years old. I had this wooden speaker box with a tweeter, maybe a midrange, and what I think was a six-inch woofer in it. Maybe it was an eight. In either case, it didn’t get real loud on the overall scale of loudspeakers I’ve seen and heard in my life, but I was quite confident with it, probably amped on Stereo Review magazines and whatever audio system or receiver I had back then.

My mother had a Pioneer receiver from the 1970s, the SX-750 or one that looked exactly like it, which I practically grew-up listening to before it became mine years later. It was silver with wooden trim, just like in this photo (below) I found on the internet:

It was of high quality though, at least for my audiophilic standards at the time. I don’t remember how many watts it was; a quick internet check suggests a mere fifty per channel; but it went loud enough to work whatever speaker we connected to it back then.

She also had a speaker with a ten-inch or twelve-inch woofer, possibly a Pioneer that came with the receiver; bigger and more bad-ass than mine. I guess we both had two speakers to begin with, but, for some reason, it seems we were both down to one. But mono versus stereo didn’t really matter much back then, especially to her, as we were just happy to hear our favorite songs.

I don’t remember exactly what started it, but we ended-up having a short competition, a bass-off of sorts, to determine whose could go louder. I think I challenged her, but she might’ve challenged me. I don’t know. But I do remember her telling me beforehand, with a laugh or a smile, that hers would blow mine away.

I figured that too, but I didn’t admit it. Besides, it would be fun to go at it. So I played the loudest bassiest song I could think of at the moment; Beads On A String from the Jungle Brothers Forces Of Nature album, which I had on cassette. I played it loud and the drums were banging, but then she turned hers on with mine still playing. Whatever song it was she played totally blew mine away as predicted.

That was it. I lost that quick, to my own mother, in what I think is the only speaker challenge I ever participated in.

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the song lyrics to Ghosts by Michael Jackson

There’s a ghost out in the hall.
There’s a ghoul up under the bed.
There’s something in the walls.
There’s blood up on the stairs.
And it’s floating thru the room.
And there’s nothing I can see.
And I know it’s fled its tomb
because now it’s haunting me.

I don’t understand it.
Hey. I don’t understand it.

There’s a thumping in the floor.
There’s a creak behind the door.
There’s a rocking in the chair,
but there’s no one sitting there.
There’s a ghostly smell around,
but nobody to be found.
And a coffin, it lay open
where a restless soul is poking.

I don’t understand it
Hey. I don’t understand it.

And who gave you the right to scare my family?
And who gave you the right to shake my baby? She needs me.
And who gave you the right to shake my family tree?

They put a knife in my back, shot an arrow in me.
Tell me; are you the ghost of jealousy?

There’s a thumping in the floor.
There’s a creak behind the door.
There’s a rocking in the chair,
but nobody’s sitting there.
There’s a ghostly smell around,
but nobody to be found.
And a coffin, it lay open
where a restless soul is poking.

Don’t understand it.
Yeah-yeah. Don’t understand it.

And who gave you the right to scare my family?
And who gave you the right to scare my baby? She needs me.
And who gave you the right to shake my family tree?
And who gave you the right to take intrusion to see me?

And who gave you the right to shake my family?
And who gave you the right to (scare) my baby? She needs me.
And who gave you the right to shake my family tree?

She put a knife in my back, shot an arrow in me.
Tell me; are you the ghost of jealousy?

And who gave you the right to shake my family?
And who gave you the right to shake my baby? She needs me.
And who gave you the right to shake my family tree?
And who gave you the right to (take) intrusion to see me?

And who gave you the right to (scare) my family?
And who gave you the right to (scare) my baby? She needs me.
And who gave you the right to shake my family tree?

You put a knife in my back, shot an arrow in me.
Tell me; are you the ghost of jealousy?

1997

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