In yesterday’s post, I proposed we craft an aggregate measurement system to wrangle sound quality into a numeric rating system. It is certainly not a new idea. Engineers and marketers have been trying to do the same thing since the beginnings of our industry. An ad for HiFi equipment of the 1950s would have you believe full range sound can come from a single woofer. In later years low distortion and full frequency range were all that was deemed necessary for perfect sound until we understood more.
Each attempt at quantifying sound quality into an inclusive rating system adds more to the pie. THD, once the be-all to end-all measurement was extended to include IM. Frequency flatness needed to be adjusted to include phase accuracy. And the list grows with our level of understanding.
When we feel confident enough to gather all the parameters relevant to measuring sound quality and crafting a scale people can rely upon who will decide when it works and what to include?
If we believe it would be engineering types that know more than the average listener how would that possibly work? Most listeners serve as better measurement tools than engineer’s meters do now.
Fact is we’d need a combination of measurementist and listener to pull this off to anyone’s satisfaction.
In our divided culture, I wonder how much common ground is available?