Originally Posted by gchanjam
Of course not but to see someone define a speaker as better solely because it measures better is reason to take pity on them.
A person who evaluates speakers in a controlled fashion needs not your pity. However, your pity is not misplaced for the person who blindly accepts objective measurements without checking with his/her ears. To be able to quantify your subjective requirements is a very powerful tool in selecting what speakers to drive x hours to in order to audition. As I mentioned earlier, ignoring objective measurements and simply going to auditions is a waste of time and archaic trial and error at best.
I listened to the CM1 and while it does measure "poorly" I can see why some people would like it. Some people claim to like warmer laid-back balanced speakers. The CM1 tends to this crowd and this can be seen quite simply in its FR. The boost in the upper bass grants the warm balance and the absence in the 2 kHz range where our hearing is most sensitive allows for the laid-back sound. While the FR graphs did not exist at the time I auditioned the speakers, they do make quite a bit of sense compared to my auditioning notes of the speaker.
gchanjam -- As for wine and cars, these fields are completely for subjective purposes where the human pallet comes into play and is the only concern for some people. There are people who are more serious and do objective analysis of these things. There is no Utopian wine or car. However, whenever you want either of these to "perform" to a certain degree, this brings in the science. There are factors that allow a car to reach a certain benchmark. While there may not be enough measurements to fully define all of the factors, the existing measurement techniques can lay out minimum requirements that need to exist in order for a car to have a hope of reaching that benchmark. For wine, tannic structure, residual sugar (if applicable), amount of sulfites, are things that can be objectively measured and can explain tenancies in people's palettes. Objective chemical analysis can also explain why once vintage might be favored over another.
Same goes for speakers.
While the science may not be able to explain all, it most certainly helps for those inclined to learn and understand.
Warpdrive -- you aren't the only engineer.
The objective measurements are plenty enough to narrow the playing field when it comes to auditions. A speaker like the Zu Druid, for example, is not worth my time to even consider for audition. However, a speaker like the Thiel CS 3.7 is, and I have. Narrowing the playing field is, of course, only possible if you have auditioned enough to be able to cross-compare subjective and objective notes. For me, most of my subjective notes have paired up well with objective data. Of course, even this process is not very easy as the room certainly has its own contributions which need to be considered.
For someone starting out with this speaker game, it is probably most helpful to listen to as many speakers as possible and then looking at their objective data (if available) to find trends within the audition notes and the objective data.