Odd title for a web page, huh?
Well, truth be told, I’m a fan of alliteration. Thank my High School Literature teacher for that. So, given my middle name starts with an “M” and the goal of this site is to not only focus on objective data but also ideas, thoughts, and general oddities as I go, what better word to choose than “Musings” to accompany it.
Speaking of goals, let’s try to define what this site’s purpose is:
- Provide 3rd party, objective data for audio transducers and electronic components which can be used by the audio community to not only make purchase decisions, but also to begin correlating what you see with what you hear. Ultimately, knowing how to read a graph can take a lot of the guesswork out when you’re shopping for a speaker, or trying to identify problem areas you may want to avoid in a design (ie: if a speaker exhibits distortion at some SPL at a given frequency, you’ll know the limits of the speaker and how that plays in to your use). Furthermore, if you can correlate what you see with what you hear, you may find you’re able to make adjustments easier to a driver and/or system’s response.
- The data should also be a backbone for discussion. If there is data to reference in discussion, it needs to be done. Mostly, that data is provided only via a manufacturer spec sheet. I have learned that some manufacturers’ data is to be trusted. Their products need not be tested and their spec sheets can do the talking. Unfortunately, I cannot say this goes for all and that’s a reason why independent testing is so useful. Sometimes, however, there just isn’t data at all and that’s when user testing comes in to play.
- Finally, this site allows me a place to put my data, free from the bounds of internet forums where conveying a message through data is a bit tough. This site will operate at the speed I desire and permit me the luxury of keeping a hobby a hobby; and most importantly, keeping it fun.
You can see the use of the word “objective” is in abundance on my site. I’m not a fan of providing subjective analysis. The buzz words often used to describe audio components and systems such as “warm”, “neutral”, “dry”, etc simply leave too much to interpretation. One’s definition of subjective terms may be different than mine. Moreover, they don’t tie to anything directly… so what does the community gain from that? Probably not much.
Objective being the goal, I can’t say everything I provide is always going to match another’s results. Test methods and techniques always impact the final result. The degree to which varies, though. My approach, then, is to provide you knowledge of my techniques and setup. Not so you can repeat it, per se, but so you can understand its potential shortcomings. I’ll address specific techniques once I’ve gotten them down. Suffice it to say, repeatability is paramount. Other gray areas of testing, such as baffle size, are things that have to be understood but – as long as they’re known – can be handled. Again, this will all be addressed in future updates to the site.
You may wonder what the “Odds ‘n Ends” menu is. Well, that’s for the non-component testing. I play a lot with car audio. Not the boom, boom stuff, but the man, that sounds really good (aka: Sound Quality) stuff. I spend a lot of time using audio analysis tools (such as RTA, Impulse Response measurements, etc) to learn why I hear what I’m hearing. Lately, I’ve spent a lot of time studying room modes and the interaction of the car to the response below the transfer region where pressure dominates the response. So, as I go forward in that realm, I’ll try to update the site with my findings in hopes that others can learn from it, too. All in all, I find car audio is much more of a challenge than anything else I’ve done. And since I spend so much time in my car driving to and from work, that’s where all of my stereo time is spent. Which will influence how I test things.
I’m doing this all on my own. There is no advertising or financial support from any vendor or manufacturer. I spend a lot of my time doing this. I enjoy it, sure, but it is quite a time hog. So, I ask, if you like what you see here, please help me keep the gears turning by contributing to the cause via the “Contribute” button.
I think that covers it. I probably missed some things, but hopefully not.
If you have any questions feel free to ask.