Originally Posted by beaveav
Originally Posted by BufordTJustice
I think that is very eloquently stated and I agree.
I think a day will come in the future when we can measure audio in real time just as we measure video now. This will open up new worlds for consistency in live productions and also increase sound quality for virtually every live show. That will, in turn, carry over to loudspeaker design.
That will be a good day. But who knows how far off it is.
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We can measure both quite easily. You seem to be confusing the art
of the production
side of audio with the science
of the reproduction
There is not nearly as much science on the reproduction side as you are asserting. Sure, modeling and measuring are vitally important components of the development process, but they cannot in and of themselves create a speaker that really dissolves reality for the listener. That requires a human being to do that. Especially when you have companies like Bowers and Wilkins (pioneers of Audio research in their own right) admitting things like this despite being on the bleeding-edge
of audio research technology:
"The parts of a speaker doing the hard, mechanical work, the drivers, act on the signals distributed to them by the electrical processing part: the crossover. The thing to look for is its simplicity. Some speakers demand complex crossovers to compensate for the shortcomings in their drive units.
The better the mechanical design, the simpler the electronic design can be. We are still working to understand fully why and how certain components influence the sound of a speaker. Different manufacturers’ versions of nominally the same component significantly alter the character of the sound, the only solution is to put our trust in our ears and to choose what sounds best. We carry out exhaustive listening tests rigorously assessing the performance of each component until we find the optimum component for each position in the circuit.
Fine-tuning by ear is only possible if the crossover is simple and the section of the crossover that perhaps benefits most from our policy of listen-and-learn is the part handling the signal for the tweeter. In most Bowers & Wilkins speakers, it is carried by a single, ear-chosen component that preserves the very finest detail.
The video says it all (link also contains the above quoted text):
They go on to say in the video that tuning by EAR is the only way to make sure that their end goals (creating an "illusion of reality") are met, especially when two quality manufacturers of components can make crossover components with IDENTICAL values that even measure the same
, but that do not SOUND THE SAME.
But what does B&W know about audio anyway?
The video essentially sums my point. You can't measure your way to a great speaker, you have to bring it home by performing final tuning according to what you hear
. So says B&W.
Also, since Arx crossovers are no more complicated than required, tuning is a very effective technique with even measurable differences being observed between identically rated components (on-axis FR, off axis FR, impedance curves, etc.).