Originally Posted by mthomas47
I think this is a very well thought-out and articulated description of speaker vis-a-vis room, vis-a-vis EQ. The only thing I might add is that I am not really sure that there is such a thing as the pure clean sound of the speaker, even in an anechoic space, as most speakers are designed to interact with room modes. And different speakers have different sonic characteristics irrespective of environment. So, I think I know what the OP was asking, but the truth is that the whole thing is a bit of a crap-shoot.
We choose speakers that are well reviewed, or that we personally like the sound of. We hope that those speakers will interact well with our rooms, even if we are doing extensive room treatments. And for music listening, too much room treatment may actually be counterproductive. And then we add Audyssey, or some other version of EQ, to enhance the room/speaker interaction, and hope that helps. For the vast majority of us, including myself, it does. The worst scenario for me would be to turn-off Audyssey and like the "pure clean sound of the speakers", because that would mean that Audyssey was failing to improve the room/speaker interaction. And in most cases, although not all, that would likely be due to user error.
Sorry for going on a bit, but I thought this was an interesting issue.
I agree with what you say. My objective in choosing speakers is to opt for the most neutral and transparent designs I can. I tend to believe, and this is controversial so others may (and will) disagree, that 'pro' speakers are designed for neutrality as far as this is possible, and 'hifi' speakers or 'audiophile' speakers are designed around a 'house voice' which the makers are proud of and which their enthusiast buyers like. On AVS all my comments only ever refer to HT sound and never to music (I do enjoy music but I listen on high quality, but old, 2 channel gear in a separate room to my HT setup)
. For HTs where music is not an important separate issue, eg my own, I just want as much transparency and neutrality as I can get, and speakers with a Pro heritage do that for me. I don't want my speakers to 'enhance' the sound, or to make it 'more beautiful' or more 'musical' or more easy on the ear (all of those things I can tolerate happily for my music system). Then I want my acoustic treatments and EQ to remove as much of the room's malign influence as I can, leaving the mix and the m/ch presentation to do its stuff.
Incidentally, I have used REW extensively to help me determine where to place treatments and so on.
And before anyone else leaps in and says "there's no such thing as a speaker that is good for movies but not good for music, and v-v" or "the speaker doesn't 'know' what it is playing", I am not prepared to debate that
. Movie soundtracks are different to music soundtracks and require different operating parameters to be observed - eg bass that goes flat to 10hz and at 115dB. Speakers for music only need not concern themselves with that (unless you are the one person in about a million who listens extensively to pipe organ music of course LOL).