The Path To Whole House Audio: Part 5- Verification By Measurement

My brother-in-law Fred is something of an audiophile. Not the ridiculous, “I-paid-a months-wages-for-that-rca-lead cantcha-just-feel-the-increased-sonic-emotion*” kind of guy, more pragmatic but with an open mind.

*see Pear Audio Cables vs James Randi for details

A few years ago Fred built a set of speakers from a kit. It was a pricey kit but they sound great so why quibble. They look great, too. He had fun making them and the reward of making something exceptional with your own two hands cannot be overstated.

To verify that his completed speakers were as good as they could be he bought a Behringer digital EQ and a reference microphone. The EQ has an on-board real-time spectrum analyzer allowing him to accurately measure their in-room performance from 100 Hz upward, making corrections as necessary. Upon making the measurements I think he decided that while the addition of a little EQ could make a subtle difference it wasn’t necessarily an improvement. So the EQ sits idle most of the time.

One weekend I asked him to bring the test & measurement rig down to my house so that we might share a bottle of good wine and measure the performance of my relatively inexpensive Behringer setup.

The B2031As each come delivered with a frequency response plot. It’s unbelievably flat. So much so that some in room measurement seemed warranted. It would also help me adjust the crossovers to achieve the cleanest transition from the subwoofers to the main monitors.

Behringer B2031A response plot cropped 440 pixels

We used Fred’s Behringer DEQ2496 and let it’s automatic mode make measurements based on pink noise bursts. We made the test repeatedly adjusting the sub/woofer and woofer/tweeter crossover levels. When we were done the system measured extremely flat.

It also sounded a bit cold & bright to my ear. My office is a little too reflective which is something that I should address one day soon. This tends to brighten up the sound so I dropped the tweeter level just a wee bit to warm it up.

I was pleasantly surprised to find that my powered monitor setup, costing under $700, measured as good as it sounds to my ear.

In Part 6: Onward To Whole House Audio

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