Originally Posted by imagic
While I agree with the science, this all ignores the reality that a well-designed speaker is ultimately going to be subservient to the room (well, Toole does not ignore the room, obviously, but in terms of THIS discussion). These speakers sound good and measure well, so there's no point in having yet another long-winded discussion about the validity of blind tests because... The reality is no consumer is going to install the necessary turntable and put in the necessary controls and execute proper scienctific blind speaker testing in their living room.
The reality of measurements posted my reviewers is they are not ultra-precise. Unless taken in a huge anechoic chamber with a mic and robotic automation to enable the hundreds of measurements needed to reduce measurement errors, they will never be precise. Those charts should include some qualifier, like a margin of error.
So anyhow please, feel free to judge speakers based on charts. There surely is correlation and for folks who enjoy reading them, it's an easy way to sort through speakers to create a "short list" for auditioning. I'm not flying some subjective flag here, I'm just saying that the "Floyd Toole 101" lecture a stale conversation and that if a speaker is fundamentally a decent design you can move on and consider other things like personal taste and budget and aesthetics and also raw capability, i.e. output and extension... and not dwell of dispersion characteristics and exactly what kind of response curve the speaker has because this is not 2-channel "purist" audio and we've got bass management and room correction in the mix. Plus here we're judging a whole system not a single pair of speakers.
I don’t think it is a stale conversation because most people have no idea about the science in audio. There are many opinions on what products sound best, but very few facts. Because of this, most people are confused when making decisions on what gear to buy.
Not sure I understand your comments related to room acoustics. If you’re trying to say it doesn’t matter how speakers really sound since the room will alter their sound anyways, then I guess all bets are off, so what are we all doing here?
The fact is, above the room transition frequency (~200-500hz), it is the direct sound of the speaker that dominates our perception of how it sounds. Below the room transition frequency, we do need bass management to make any speaker (or sub sound good).
Those links I provided are measurements that were done in an anechoic chamber, which are extremely accurate. How they measure above the room transition frequency shows exactly how they will sound in any room.
Your review concludes that these speakers sound good. But I guess my point is - compared to what? Well, not compared to Paradigm’s older models. That is a good point to make, in my opinion.