Yesterday morning, I stopped by Gorilla83’s basement to witness the beginning of a get-together that included a very intriguing twist—all of the speakers in the comparison were behind an acoustically transparent screen during the audition, and the participants did not know which speaker they were listening to. It made for interesting results, especially for the AVS Forum members who had their speakers in the comparison, yet were as blind as the others when it came to the listening.
The track list was extensive, with clips chosen to highlight a broad range of musical styles. Each speaker’s evaluation occurred under the same conditions, and the audience had to guess which pair was behind the screen. The results are interesting and worth checking out. It sounds like a fun way to run a get-together and I hope events like this catch on.
I wished I was an active participant in the blind comparison, but I was too slow to request a slot. I appreciate that the group invited me to observe even though it was tough to fit everyone in the basement along with all the gear. When I did audition the sound, it was honestly as good sounding as what the pros are doing—the information you can find on AVS Forum can teach you a lot if you are willing to learn. These guys (yeah, it was nothing but guys) have aced it as far as I am concerned. Speakers and amps get only so much credit—it’s the science that goes into the setup that really makes the difference between good and great sound. What I heard was great.
There was some other cool stuff there, a whole separate system was set up in the living room, where I got a first look at a new 24-inch HS-24 subwoofer from Stereo Integrity that is an absolute monster. I can’t wait to see the (inevitable) insane DIY subwoofers that will utilize such an enormous transducer.
Enough of my chatter. There are no spoilers in this lead-in. If you are intrigued, Check out the results thread, where you can see the track listing as well as the votes of the participants, along with their observations.
“Participants: 15 listeners, 11 of which were blind. Vendor/designer support from Mark Seaton, Matt Grant, and Rick Craig (and his son). Newscoverage early in the day from Imagic – Mark.
-Start time for setup – 7:30AM. After a brief coffee and donut session, we begin breaking down my existing setup and screen in preparation for the days activities.
-Setting up the Equipment: Marantz 8801 pre-pro for all equipment – balanced XLRs to all. Peavey IPR7500 used on all passive setups. Selah’s used their own proprietary active eq/crossover setup and a Marantz amp. Ben (rush) provided a HTPC and a DAC for all tracks. We used my DIY Seymour XD based 130″ AT screen to hide the gear being played – including speakers and amps. My 8 X 18″ sealed setup with 10×10 minidsp coupled with a pair of DTS-10s and 2 X FP14000 clone amps were used to cover the LFE. We really weren’t lacking in those areas.” –Gorilla83