Originally Posted by R Harkness
I also enjoyed The Audio Critic, and have actually been going through back issues again over this last year.
That said, I'm glad there were alternatives to The Audio Critic and to his viewpoints as well. (If the Aczel's ran the audio world, the offerings would be severely restricted from what we have now, and there would be no tube amps ever made after the first decent SS amps were designed. And he would utterly poo-poo the comeback of vinyl. And...I really enjoy tube amps, and vinyl has revitalized my music listening!)
What audiophiles are talking about, of course, is a component changing the *perception* of tempo. When it comes to speakers, depending on the design, how it's interacting with a room etc, I've certainly experienced this. If you lean out the bottom end, for instance, the instruments in the bass region can sound "faster" less turgid. I demoed a speaker in my own home with a whole bunch of tracks I've played forever on my systems and I was utterly taken aback by the weird way this speaker seemed to slow apparent pace of the music, mostly due it seems to how it handled the bass frequencies. If I flipped back and forth between my existing speakers and the new one, it was bizarre because it really did give the perception that the bass player was playing in a slower, lazier way, where the other speaker sounded taught and fast and propulsive, making the energy feel "faster."
It's true that audiophiles have believed a lot of untrue things. But I do reject the idea that the descriptive terms and concepts they have come up have no relevance. We hear sound. It sounds different. We like to talk about it and communicate about it, so we come up with words and concepts to do so.
If an audiophile says a speaker sounds "dark" or instead that it has an "airy high end" I *know* what he is getting at. At least, how it sounds to him/her.
I think what I say a lot sums this up....
The best speakers in the world listened to in a racquet ball court will sound bad....any decent speaker in a great room will sound better than that....…..
When we place a speaker in a room and describe what happens we are no longer talking about the speaker, we are talking about the room.....to get super technical, how the speaker interacts with the room,...….in most cases a poor unsuitable room.
Fix the room or crutch the speaker where it interacts well with the room...……….I will fix the room.
Take the best speaker you can get, that would be one with great measurements, not constructed of unicorn blood, then put it in the best room you can...…..do a few measurements to detect any gross interactions, correct those as best as possible, then season to taste.
Choosing the best speaker and choosing the best speaker for my room are 2 very different things when talking about measurements...….
Who knows what will sound best in a given room and speakers should not be designed for any single room...…….they should be designed just like they are being discussed in this thread as they might find themselves in any type of room from dead to a racquet ball court.
This will allow us to narrow down the field without listening to every speaker in the world and then when you find a good speaker for your room, you can then locate others that might sound as good by aligning the ones with the same measurement.
The unification of measurements to a repeatable scale is to allow comparison.
The measurements do not obligate you to do anything in design....you can make them shrill, a huge bump in the mids or have a crazy tilt in the low end......whatever a manufacturer wants to set them apart from the crowd...crazy exotic materials and poetic words in the brochure.
Why some one would discard tests that show what people like/buy and the measurements inside I do not know...…...Bose used this to sell billions, you might not like them, but they sell a lot of product and people swear by how good it sounds.
I just see a lot of people thinking measurements are some how a borg trap to make all speakers part of the collective...…..or some how obligate us to conclude no one can like anything different sounding......or that the room plays no part. It plays a large roll...…
I see people all the time throw speakers at a room until something sticks...…….shrill speakers seem to work well in super dead rooms for some, and neutral/muffled speakers seem to work well in racquet ball court rooms...….then they subjectively come to conclusion X is better in a speaker. They then move, realize X speaker now sounds poor in the new room, then throw more speakers at the room until what they want to hear happens....then subjectively conclude X speaker is better than the last speakers.
In the end, with full disclosure and a unification of scale, you almost choose without listening , which speakers will sound good in the racquet ball court or in your room and be able to discard the choices that will not have a high chance of success.
This is not directed towards your comment as much as it is to the subject...…..your comment was just a catalyst for my comments.