Wow - I never expecting this thread to take off the way that it has! I'm not complaining though
At this point, I have absorbed the information presented here as well as what I have been able to glean at other websites and forums and such. To be blunt, because of my own lack of technical knowledge, I still do not fully understand the entire situation - but that is no fault of the helpful people who have offered their opinions!
If anyone here will indulge me, I would like to rephrase my query as follows:
When I watch a movie, I can adjust the calibration of my display in many ways. For example, I can raise the "brightness" (black level) setting. Doing so will often "reveal" details in dark portions of the images.
The thing is - some of the "detail" is not actually meant to be visible!
The professional video monitors that were used to edit and create the movie adhere to very strict and clear calibration standards. The people making the movie rely on these standards so that they can decide the black level, the white level, the colors, etc.
If I want to watch the movie at home and see it the way it appeared on a professional video monitor, I can come very close by adhering to the same calibration standards. If it is my preference
to boost the black level, dim the white level, alter the colors or what-have-you, that is my prerogative. But if I want to see images that are accurate to what the makers of the movie intended, I can adhere to the industry standards for calibration and "see what I am supposed to see" as it were.How do I achieve this same sort of accuracy for audio at home?
That is my real question.
Time and time again, I see people advising prospective buyers to "let their ears decide". The common advice given is to "go out and listen" and "buy what sounds best to your ears".
I do not like that advice. I think that advice is a disservice to anyone who's goal is audio accuracy, not pleasantry.
If I were to only base my video calibration of "what looks good to my eye" and NOT on the well established industry standard calibration targets, I would have no idea whether I had correct black level, white level, greyscale, color point, etc. All I would know is that I "liked" the images, but that has nothing at all to do with whether or not those images are accurate!
, my logic
was that professional studio monitors have fairly universal sound characteristic design goals - those being flat frequency response, even tonal balance and little to no distortion at the listening position
By starting this thread, I wanted to know:
1) if professional studio monitors could deliver these same sound characteristic design goals in my home, and
2) if they can
, then why don't more people use them at home?
In both video and audio, I want to experience accuracy. I want to see and hear what I am supposed
to see and hear. I'm well aware that I can do all sorts of things to the images and sound to make them more "pleasing", but that is not my goal. If I am not supposed to see something in a very dark portion of a movie's image, then I do not want to see it! Similarly, if I am not supposed to hear some minute detail in the soundtrack, then I do not want to hear it. Conversely, if I am
supposed to see or hear a certain detail, then I darn well want to see or hear it! Even if it is "unpleasant"
I used logic alone to say, "if they use a certain type of speaker in the recording studio, then doesn't it make sense to use that same type of speaker at home?"
But I am also well aware that the speakers are only half of the audio equation and that the room (including the listening position) are the other half.
The "typical" recording studio is not traditionally like a "typical" room at home, so I am open to the idea that there could be a genuine difference between a "studio" speaker and a "home" speaker.
But I need technical reasons as to why they are different in order to be convinced that there is a difference. Simply saying "there is
a difference" is not convincing unless it can be explained what
that difference is.
And simply saying "one is near-field, the other is for listening at greater distances" is likewise not convincing. What is it about a speaker that can be used in the near-field that makes it inappropriate for listening further away?
On the flip side, it has been explained why a physically large, 3-way speaker will likely not work well for near-field listening. The reason given is that the sounds from all 3 (or more) drivers need to "sum" so that they appear to the ear as a point source. That is a technical reason - one that makes sense and explains why that type of speaker may work fine when the listener is a good distance away, but will not work well if the listener is seated to close to allow this summation.Bottom Line - How do I get accurate sound in my home?
Can I use professional audio monitors? If I can - are they a good choice for getting accurate audio? If I do not care about looks, I am fine with using XLR or RCA connections and a pre/pro and I am careful to choose pro monitors that are specified for my room size and listening distance, is it reasonable to expect that I will be closer to having accurate sound?