…when you’re right? It’s a great question. If we design by listening and that listening is performed on an imperfect system, playing in an imperfect room (as all are and do), how can you design by listening? Wouldn’t the biases of the system and room enter into each of your designs?
Indeed this is a problem, one faced by any designer. There are two answers to getting around the problem: careful measurements and consistency.
Careful measurements are a given. When we forgo measurements and excitedly jump into the listening room with a new design it can bite us in the butt. Waiting for the new unit to go through its battery of tests on the Audio Precision is a prudent, conservative, necessary step: one I have had to learn to ‘hold my water’ until it’s done. With the assurance of careful measurements in pocket, we move forward with the listening.
But then there’s those pesky biases of the system and room. So the trick with this phase of design is rather simple, yet tedious. I have a suite of recordings I turn to for consistency. These ten or so recordings vary from the very old to the more recent and embody all types of music: Pink Floyd, Mahler, Buddy Holly, Dallas Wind Symphony, Turtle Creek Chorale. So varied in content are these choices that if the design displays a consistent problem or emphasis it’s quite obvious within a few moments. Too much this, too much that, not enough of whatever.
In your own life and experiences no doubt you do the same thing: constantly this pattern or rarely that pattern, you see a consistent result emerging.
The beauty of this method is that it works for you at home and for me in Music Room One. It is the basis of all design decisions.