Lousy Trade Show Audio

naijeru -- Sun, 05/03/2009 - 07:35

Every hi-fi magazine I read that covers a trade show always comments on the terrible quality of the room acoustics at the show. Regardless of the reputation of the brand or the sophistication of their equipment, it always seem to be set up in a room that does not allow the equipment to perform its best. I would think that show organizers and manufacturers would take great pains to choose venues in which they can make sure room acoustics, electronics, power etc would all be working together to show the equipment in the best possible light. Why is this not the case?

Steven Stone -- Sun, 05/03/2009 - 09:46

 Because this is the real world...
 
Most rooms regardless of whether they are in hotels or homes are acoustically terrible.
 
As long as shows are level playing fields where most  displays have equally awful rooms we can still determine who's gear is worth getting a second listen, and that's the real goal at any show.

Steven Stone
Contributor to The Absolute Sound, EnjoytheMusic.com, Vintage Guitar Magazine, and other fine publications

naijeru -- Tue, 05/05/2009 - 22:22

 Since when has "the real world" mattered to audiophiles? Why don't we just go back to listening to dinky Radio Shack radios and abandon this insane hobby! 
Seriously though, thanks for the reply. Understanding the goal of the exhibitors helps a lot. But to follow up on that, are rooms usually equally awful? And if most rooms are usually acoustically bad, it sounds like ideal living arrangements are at odds with ideal acoustics. What would an ideal audio room look like then? A sphere, a trapezoid? Something with intersecting planes at weird angles?

Steven Stone -- Tue, 05/05/2009 - 22:41

 Squarish rooms are much worse than rectangular rooms.
 
Oddly shaped rooms (like the old non-parallel wall methodology) are also terrible.
 
Something closer to a golden mean rectangle AND placing everything - speakers, prime seating and head height off-center ever so slightly works best.
 
Ultimate AV's home theater architect Russ Herschelmann developed an Excel spreadsheet that let you do "what ifs" for room dimensions and speaker/listener placements. I used it to design my large room.
 
At shows some of the best sounding rooms are often set up on the diagonal and with speakers that are more appropriate to the room's size.

Steven Stone
Contributor to The Absolute Sound, EnjoytheMusic.com, Vintage Guitar Magazine, and other fine publications

Cemil Gandur -- Mon, 05/04/2009 - 06:35

As long as shows are level playing fields where most  displays have equally awful rooms we can still determine who's gear is worth getting a second listen, and that's the real goal at any show.
It also shows who took more care in setting up his room/equipment. Having said that, some equipment is better suited to the available room sizes, and i would think some of the rooms will sound horrid whatever the equipment or the setup .. (the huge rooms on the ground floor of the Venetian come to mind)
 

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