Boom, rattle, roll, and shake... The Shock And Awe Technique of showroom demo techniques...

Boom, rattle, roll, and shake... The Shock And Awe Technique of showroom demo techniques...
I just sat down to a demo at a large electronic shop just now, they were using a JBL / Harmon Kardon based system.... and you could see or perhaps more accurately hear what they were trying to do...
It was a classic "shock and awe" demo.... with the volume turned way up.... and the system calibrated to be bass heavy.... it was certainly attracting plenty of bypassers to stop, listen and enjoy the chest-thumping bass... Transformers II made a very solid bass demo and you could get plenty of trouser-flapping moments, sending vibrations through the furniture and your body.
But if you sat down and paid attention, there was little clarity in the voicing, and all the peripheral effects were drowned out, especially since the centre was not up to the task of conveying the human voices... furthermore, as you listened a little longer, and if you are familar with the movie, you will know where the lower bass is missing, and whilst you got loads of mid bass, you will be acutely aware of the missing octaves.
In addition, the transition of sound effects from the rears to the fronts and back was not well done, partly due to the position of the rears, their size and their quality, but the calibration was largely done with attention to bass and loudness rather than the details.
Finally, after about 20 minutes of listening, there would inevitably be a dullness to your hearing, as your ears shut down due to the exuberance of SPLs, burning a hole in your ears as the Decibels climb....

So when you audition (not audit for Pete's sake!), decide what matters, the boom, shake, rattle and roll, or more?

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