Auditioning techniques?

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by Steve_B, Jan 1, 2004.

  1. Steve_B

    Steve_B Auditioning

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2003
    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I've been struggling through some of the classic decisions that quite a few of us are faced with... Receivers vs. separates.... If so, which brands.. Models...... Prices... etc...

    Now I have narrowed down my budget and some options and have started to listen to a few of my choices. So, here is my question... What is the best process to listen to and compare equipment? How do you hook up the pieces being auditioned for the best review/comparison. Quite honestly, by the time I listen to "A", swap everything around and then compare to "B" it is difficult to compare critically. Am I really hearing differences or hearing what I expect to hear, or thought I heard?

    Is there any type of switching device that would let me hook speakers up to different sources and switch quickly for comparison? What has worked and what has not in your experience? Auditioning speakers seems like it would be much easier than source equipment.

    Thanks for the help!
     
  2. Jason_Els

    Jason_Els Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2001
    Messages:
    1,096
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    A lot of better a/v stores have switching equipment so you can do a direct a/b comparison with just a press of a button. You could bring along an SPL meter and use a frequency sweep on a test CD/DVD to see response levels at a given frequency but that won't begin to tell you how the system sounds in your home.

    The best way I found was to bring material you are very familiar with. I am fortunate in that one of my cousins is a professional singer so I can play one of her CDs and know very clearly what it's supposed to sound like. I can listen for how prominent instruments are or if her voice sounds like I know it. I also use the usual demo DVDs and CDs.

    There really is no substitute for trying things on loan. If you can manage it, bring home the equipment for a few days and see how you like it in your room but that isn't always practical. Sadly there is no magic I know of to discovering which you will like best in your HT.
     
  3. John S

    John S Producer

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2003
    Messages:
    5,460
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    On audio equipment, I take Jurassic Park, and a few redbook CD's with me.

    On HT side:
    If the first time the T-rex makes an appearance and it does not litterally scare you, then the system is not good enough.

    On the music side, listen for improvements over your current setup.
     
  4. Bill**H

    Bill**H Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2002
    Messages:
    53
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Steve,

    Back in the 70's when I was into Stereo systems hot and heavy you had to make sure everything was set to the same loudness level. The human ear is a work of art, but if you are listening to speaker A at 90 DB and switch to speaker B at 95 DB your ear is going to tell you that speaker B sounds better. The same holds true today with electronics I would think. There is a reason why I ended up with McIntosh seperates back in the day, (wish I still had them).

    Comments welcome.

    Bill
     

Share This Page