A few days ago I spoke of the possibility of a bass suckout, perhaps a bass peak in your room—and how predistorting the signal's not my preferred method of dealing with it. We all have room-related bass problems. A reader asked how they might be measured.
It's a great question. When we first built Music Room One we ran pink noise and looked at a spectrum analysis. That took sophisticated equipment. Today it's much easier. There's an app on my iPhone called RTA (Real Time Analyzer) that makes the pink noise and then shows you where the peaks and dips are. I think I might have paid $5 for the app.
But there's actually a better answer. Listen. Here's how this works. Take 10 tracks from different artists, hopefully even different genre. Don't necessarily use your favorites: the ones that sound perfect on your system. Play them at the level you're used to playing them (every track has a perfect level for your room and system). Listen in the bass regions for similarities. If one note, one region of bass frequencies seems to stick out as deficient or bloated on all of them, it's likely you have identified the region of the room that needs work.
I have a group of tracks I use just for this purpose, but they may not be appropriate for you.
Just take 10 diverse tracks and take notes. It's easy and it works.
Fixing those problems…now that's a whole other can of worms.