Yesterday I wrote of neutrality and the fact it does not exist in loudspeakers. Today let's think about the opposite. The colorations we so love.
Mastering engineer Gus Skinnas sat down in Music Room One to master some of the CD we've been working on and was surprised at the level of colorations he found. Compared to his system, which is also colored - just not in the same way - he struggled to get a good mix of tonal qualities from recordings. The speakers in that room, the Infinity IRS V, are colored, like every other loudspeaker on the planet: some more, some less, some musical, some not.
We choose our loudspeakers and equipment that drive them based on the colorations we are most fond of. Like choosing a blue car instead of a black one, because it more closely fits our view of what works for us.
I always smile when someone tells me how neutral and uncolored their systems are. But don't misunderstand me. Some systems are so natural in their presentation of music that voices and acoustic instruments sound like the real thing. And that's quite an achievement, but one we recognize takes skill and effort to assemble. Like a painter that chooses carefully from her color palette to create a photo realistic view of the world, systems that sound live are collections of colored equipment, carefully curated so none stand out more than others.