Originally Posted by DC solah
Wow! The attacks on Lotus on this thread are almost shocking. Are you doubters working for speaker companies (like Bose) who feel threatened by the potential influence of the results of this test, or what?
Let's take a step back for a moment here and consider what Lotus is attempting. He and his collegues are trying to evaluate a large number of speakers using what seems to be reasonably objective scientific measurements of subjective evaluations. Yes, there are always issues with bias and other contaminating variables, but hopefully, with a significant number of data points in a trial such as this, the results can provide a reasonably accurate portrayal of relative speaker performance.
By no means will the final rankings provide the ultimate reference in speaker performance. However, for a great number of us as consumers--those of us who have neither the time nor interest in personally comparing hundreds of products in a given price range--we can consider these results as a valuable reference to help us select speakers for future purchases. I find a list of evaluative rankings like this especially valuable for identifying value--those models that compare favorably with others at a significantly higher price point. You so often hear indivual reviewers hype speakers (or other products) with similar language, but I consider testing like this to have at least as much weight, if not more, than such limited and often biased tests done on an individual basis.
I, for one, applaud these efforts, at least on a conceptual level. I reserve final judgement of the results, however, until I see more details about the specific methodology, the organizations involved, the sources of funding, and the final list of tested products.
My problem with this study is multifactorial.
First off, attempting to obtain 'science' from something as objective as preferences is not science, by definition it is quantification of taste, biased by the test subjects, music selected, room, etc... You even said something to this point in your post; "objective scientific measurements of subjective evaluations"
Second, I don't believe the study is being done as the cost to perform such an assay of subjectivity is HUGE and their os no reason to do such a 'study' as the data is inherently biased. EVEN if the study is being done, you could easily change any one variable slightly and have completely different results. No speaker maker would fund this as they are all pretty tight, even the big box dealers are feeling the economic crunch.
Third and most important, the 'goal' of the study is irrelevant. There is no 'best' speaker. On a one by one basis, their can be, but to say X speaker is best is total BS. My musical tastes, components, cables, and hearing are different than yours, Lotus', and everyone else in the world. What is best to me may not be any good for you at all and vice versa.
Oh, and to be totally clear, I am not involved with sales of any speakers or audio gear for that matter. I am a reviewer and editor in this business as well as a hard core audiophile, nothing more. I have no financial gains or losses based on these supposed results, nor do I find any significance to them if they actually do come to fruition.