November 2004 Meeting
Date : Sunday, November 28, 2004
Time : 6:00 PM
Place : Broad/MIT Institute for Genome Research, 320 Charles Street, Cambridge MA
Featured Guests : Alvin Foster and Ira Leonard
Topic : Utilizing Sophisticated Acoustical Test Equipment to Help Understand and Measure A Critical
Listening Room at Lowell University
On Sunday, October 26, BAS members traveled to Lowell, MA, to hear a very expensive and well-executed 'critical' listening speaker
+ room system designed by the consultant firm of Alactronics (Route 9, Wellesley, MA). The critical listening room is housed within a room in Durgin
Hall. It is Lowell University's main recording and listening room. BAS members were asked to bring along their favorite CD and multi-channel disc to
evaluate the room and sound.
After touring the facilities and the school's music department, Ira Leonard and Alvin Foster sat down to listen critically to Alactronics'
sonic creation/presentation. At the conclusion of our BAS meeting a non-binding poll of members in attendance resulted in an unusually wide divergence
of opinions; they ranged from 'poorly executed' to 'a very good sound'. Alvin's opinion was very positive. However, he suggested that there were some
minor frequency response errors that needed to be fixed. Ira's opinion was also very positive, but he felt it lacked a certain quality of sounding 'live'.
At the conclusion of our BAS meeting, Ira suggested to the room's staff that he and Alvin return, accompanied with measuring gear,
for more critical listening and tests. The staff agreed. Alvin and Ira revisited the room on Tuesday, November 16. They were armed with a laptop loaded
with acoustical analysis software, excellent recordings, and four golden ears. We will display our audio charts on Sunday: Waterfall Plots, Cumulative
Delay Graphs, Psycho Acoustic Frequency, Reverberation Time, etc. Our graphs may help explain why member opinions varied so widely.