Originally Posted by Jurukk
But seriously, don't you want a recording to sound as close as possible to the original?
Well, what do you mean? How does the original "sound"? Do you want it to sounds like a live, unmic'd performance? Indoors or out? From which row? Center or off to the side? Or do you want it to sound like a live, amplified (and, yes, EQ'd) concert? Indoors or out? Where in the arena/stadium? Floor or nosebleed? Or do you want it to sound like what the engineer heard with his particular speakers in his particular editing room with his particular ears? Either way, perfectly flat speakers or a flat in-room FR are not going to assure any of that, necessarily.
Any recording, live or not, is going to have been recorded and manipulated in some way by an engineer (or engineers). Even a recording of an orchestra with 2 or 3 mics has to be engineered and mastered (and even mixed if it is a 3 mic recording). A "live" arena or stadium rock concert recording is not made simply with 2 microphones. It is usually matrixed from both several audience microphones and a soundboard feed. It is recorded, mixed, and mastered by engineers. And a studio recording is, of course, very heavily manipulated, so there really is no "original".
But no matter what sort of recording it is, if you want to hear it exactly like the engineer heard it in the editing room, you won't. Most recordings are not engineered in an entirely neutral environment (it's not an anechoic chamber) and the engineer uses speakers which, no matter how hard he may try to avoid it, DO have a characteristic sound. Besides, everyone hears differently and we don't hear "flat", anyway.
Originally Posted by Jurukk
Deliberately using nonlinear speakers seems like going to a concert with an equalizer attached to your ears.
Sometimes, with some of the shows I've been to, I WISH I had an EQ attached to my ears!
Even in an anechoic chamber, is there a speaker that measures absolutely perfectly flat? Even if there was, would it sound the same to you and me in there? No, we all hear differently. Do all speakers sound the same to you in your home? Would any one particular speaker sound the same to you in different rooms?
So, should you use EQ to alter a speaker's response so that it measures as flat as possible no matter the conditions or situation? I don't know the 'correct' answer and do not think there is one. As I said, personally, I do not want my speakers' characteristic sound to be heavy-handedly altered by equalization. Treat the room, alter the speaker's positioning, etc., but don't alter my speakers' sound. I'm sure others feel differently.
Does everyone like the sound of a perfectly flat response, anyway? You'd be surprised. I think that's why Audyssey includes other settings besides 'flat'. And a perfectly flat response alone still does not guarantee a neutral speaker, if that is what you are after. If everyone preferred the same exact sound, speaker manufacturers would go out of business.
Want me to start a thread? I think it'd be interesting.