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The Seven Bad System Dwarfs

These problem frequency ranges are friendly enough as a group, but hanging out with any one of them for too long can drive you to distraction; or worse...

The seven little gremlins—pictured below—like nothing more than to give your sound system their own distinctive voice.

Sure, they’re friendly enough when encountered as a balanced group, but hanging out with any one of them for too long can drive you to distraction – or worse.

Don’t be fooled by their diminutive stature and (sometimes) cute appearance – these little offenders have a long rap sheet filled with everything from simple charges of disturbing the peace to more flagrant offenses like system hijacking and mix vandalism.

Let’s meet them:

• Tubby. Low, slow and rarely on the go, but a formidable ally for getting a house rockin’ – when Tubby gets out of control, he has a bad habit of rolling around the bottom of your system and squashing everything.

• Muddy. Sure, you can hear him…but WHAT is he saying? And while it is true that he can be warm and embracing when you first meet him, Muddy is also the dwarf that always seems to overstay his welcome.

• Boxy. This guy certainly doesn’t suffer from claustrophobia. Boxy loves the congestion of enclosed spaces and is often criticized for his lack of openness. Given the chance, Boxy would remove all letters from your system’s alphabet besides the vowels “a,” “o” and “u.”

• Honky. A long-time supporter and admirer of Charlie Brown’s teacher, this little loudmouth likes to lend even the most well-behaved system that lovely “paging horn” sound. Honky’s one ambition in life is to show off your system’s horns – even when you would rather he didn’t.


• Barky. Never shy about giving you a piece of his mind, Barky can be aggressive about getting his point across. And mind his bite – you definitely don’t want this little guy to “sit” and “stay” in your system.

• Edgy. A known associate of lead guitarists and harmonica-wielding frontmen, Edgy has been known to display some serious “anger management issues.” Spend too much time with this sharp, irritable little fellow and your ears just may need a valium.

• Sibilant. Known to frequent clubs and discos with his pal Tubby, Sibilant is a great lover of all that “sizzles.” Unfortunately too much is often never enough for this high-strung dwarf. To be honest, we don’t even know if this little guy is from planet Earth. Seriously, just look at him!

Thanks to our friends at Rational Acoustics (Smaart, 10EaZy and more) for this little gem. You can download and/or print out the image from the “About Us” section of

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