Hi Fi Technical Measurements

We carry out numerous technical measurements but wish to introduce a word of caution about the weight you attatch to measurements. Subjective listening results sometimes contradict the interpretation of technical data. When this occurs we pay attention to the subjective results to develop a better interpretation of technical measurements. Designers often short circuit this stage as it is time consuming and expensive to carry out extensive listening tests.

Some companies pride themselves on technical measurements and lean heavily on theoretical ideals. The big problem with this approach is that theoretical ideas often conflict and the only way forward is by conducting the countless hours of listening that we put into product developmant.

The seductive nature of technical prowess is that one can supposedly "prove" conclusively that a product has technical superiority and therfore must sound better.  The appeal is also that it simplifies complex issues and negates the need to admit that there may be shortcomings in the actual results delivered.

The problem (and it is a big problem) with this approach is that it inhibits real progress and blinds people to the true nature of what is going on. It is also highly misleading for the poor consumer who ends up with pages of brochures claiming various technical merits that many a designer would laugh at. A few examples of this are listed.

Low noise in the electronics is often cited as a sign of conclusive superiority – although low noise is important, it is relatively low down on the list of what will produce a good sound. There are at least 20 other factors that are as important (if not more so) but probably not even mentioned.

On axis frequency response of loudspeakers is measured at the expense of off axis and in room response.

We suggest that you avoid making choices purely on technical measurements or the advice of those who major in this area. Technical prowess is simply not a guarantee for good listening ability or an unbiased approach. It is far better to simply go with what YOUR ears tell you – period.


Origin Live Ltd. Unit 5, 362B Spring Road Sholing, Southampton SO19 2PB, UK