I was at a local hi-fi group meeting last weekend and the speaker was Kevin Voecks. Lots of great information from someone who REALLY know his stuff.
What impressed me was due to how much money Harman has available for research, all their ideas about sound are based on actual experimental results NOT the opinion or tastes of any particular designer. They test everything with test equipment AND by having a bunch of people listen in blind tests.
They have a rig that uses pneumatically operated platforms that can move very large speakers very quickly. So when comparing speakers, all the speakers are moved to the exact same position in the room in less than 6 seconds. It's quite a contraption with moving floor panels that "shuffle" the speakers back and forth.
The other interesting research they did was that they found, on average, a person's "audio memory" only lasts about 6 seconds! That means that 7 seconds after you stop listening to something, you cannot reliably remember what that sound was like! I was shocked. I trust that their research is accurate since they test and screen hundreds of people for their results.
That's why they built this huge machine that could move speakers into place in less than 6 seconds.
So when people are reviewing or comparing one speaker, amp, headphones, etc. to another, unless they can change back and forth very quickly, the comparisons may not be as accurate as we think. Sure, overall impressions are valid, but I wonder how much accuracy is compromised when you are trying to compare the sound of something you listened to on different days. It's kind of like remembering the nuances of the color of a particular flower many days after you saw it.
Anyway, whether you believe it or not, it got me thinking about the Realiser. With the Realiser, we can switch all the components of a system including the room in less than a second! For me this capability has been very intriguing.
I could never hope to be able to quantify the differences from one room to another when listening to the systems weeks or months apart. But with the Realiser, I can hear HUGE differences between speakers, rooms, etc. What a great tool for evaluating all audio gear.
Want to see if these cables make a difference? Just do one PRIR with them and one without and you can compare the sound much more easily and keep all the other variables the same.
For Realiser owners who were looking to buy a set of speakers, you could do the same type of testing that Harman does with blind tests. You would need the all the models of speakers in one place, but once you did the PRIR's I bet the differences would be MUCH more apparent.
I would think that would be a huge selling point for hi-fi stores. They could have clients do much better A/B comparisons if they took the time to do PRIR's for their clients. Of course, if they found out that they couldn't tell the difference between a $2000 amp and a $20,000 amp, that would be bad! ( on a side note, one person I know did exactly that. He went to a local hi-fi store with his A/B switch box and challenged anyone to tell the difference between some super cheap preamps and mega buck preamps. Not a single person was able to tell definitively which was which.)
Just a thought...