Originally Posted by Floyd Toole
Ericglo said: "Did you read the whole article or just the clip?"
What a lot of words! An interesting survey of technologies over the years, with lots of opinions on the audible consequences but a serious lack of (a) trustworthy measurements and (b) unbiased listening evaluations. He would learn from the measurements in my book, especially Chapter 18. He seems to think we hear waveforms.
Yeah, Lynn was wordy. He was of the mind that measurements only take you so far and then you have to dial it in by ear. I would be curious if his thinking has changed over the years.
"What do you consider the most significant advancement(s) in speakers over the last twenty years?"
Check out the figure attached to my post #50
and I think it is obvious that the 30 year progress has been in the refinement of transducer performance combined with better, computer aided, system design. Computer modeling figures powerfully in all of this. Good results require a faith in the existing science, not golden ears.
For the love of J. Gordon Holt and Harry Pearson!
I was thinking along the same lines. Computers have not only gotten better, but cheaper. That puts the tools in reach of anyone that has an interest.
As for drivers, I was thinking that they have not only become better, but more consistent. I recall one manufacturer responding to a question of why he didn't use the latest and greatest from a certain Danish manufacturer with something like "the measurements of each driver are incredibly inconsistent. No way I could have a speaker to speaker variability like that."
"What research has been most interesting, significant, impactful?"
At the risk of tooting my own horn, I would like to think that the most consequential research has involved meaningful double-blind listening tests, combined with accurate and comprehensive anechoic data on loudspeakers. The correlation between the two domains is strong. Few - almost nobody - in the industry has had the facilities, time, money, etc. to do the necessary research that has now nailed down the basic performance targets for loudspeakers that listeners reward with high sound quality scores. The Canadian government and then Harman International invested in the problem and the results are published for all to see The problem is that such measurements data are so scarce. See the Figure attached to my post #220
DBT isn't easy and even doing some basic tests is tough. Just ask John.
"what areas of research do you consider important, interesting, etc going forward?"
The source of greatest variation in what we hear from the best loudspeakers is in program material, the circle of confusion is real. We need psychological research into why so many people - professionals and consumers - are science deniers. Too many choose instead to follow their own sighted, biased, opinions of the moment, or the stylish writings of subjective reviewers who do nothing defensible in their subjective commentary and, for the most part, do no useful measurements. If we made absolutely no progress in loudspeaker design beyond where we are now, that alone would elevate the standard of sound quality everywhere.
A second line of research would be to explore methods of delivering more credible spatial illusions from two channels, which it seems we are stuck with for life. Flexible multichannel upmixing directed by metadata in recordings may be a practical route.
Seriously? A quote from the father of quantum physics Max Planck comes to mind.
A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it.
Honestly, I find a lot of people only pick and choose the science that agrees with their pre-conceived beliefs. Instead of the science taking you to a conclusion, they already have a conclusion and they want the science to confirm it. It is something I call Science of Convenience.