If you think this hobby is about the most precise
listening experience you would be wrong in my eyes.
It's more about the presence/power you get from a system
that can saturate a 20A circuit with transients.
The research done by Floyd Toole and Sean Olive and others tells us that all other things being equal, listeners prefer speakers that accurately reproduce the input signal.
But, I also agree 100% that gobs of power and accurate reproduction of those transients is also key to listener enjoyment and that this is something that is currently (no pun intended) undervalued by the objective audiophile world.
In a modestly sized room one can have their cake and eat it too, with regards to studio monitors. My den music room is about 200 ft^2 / 19 m^2. In this room I have studio monitors crossed over to a pair of subwoofers and it's able to push some very satisfying output levels.
I'm at work but I fired up Skitch and made this ridiculous little drawing, which should explain the situation somewhat. https://www.amazon.com/Sound-Reproduction-Psychoacoustics-Lo...
But back to business, with this nice house we don't really need to do much. The log walls absorb a lot, while leaving a nice little lively touch that makes it not feel like a padded room (one of my friends had a padded room before for music, and I've decided I definitely prefer a room that feels a little bit alive).
My friend has this DSpeaker Anti-Mode 2.0 for room correction http://www.dspeaker.com/en/products/20-dual-core.shtml
The same friend has two Genelec 8330A active speakers that could do room correction on their own https://www.genelec.com/studio-monitors/sam-studio-monitors/...
Then we have a previous model of the Genelec F One form factor subwoofer, I can't remember the model number, which is alphabet soup, even though it's connected to my system at home. https://www.genelec.com/home-speakers/f-series-active-subwoo...
The Genelecs are both compact, durable and easy to transport, and we have telecope model stands for them. They have a super nice mid range for guitar and the human voice, and they're also quite nice to look at.
When we set up the space, we basically let the DSpeaker box do its frequency swipes for ten minutes or so. We'd be fine without it even, but it just clears up the bass so nicely.
This is irrelevant. They're measuring frequency response, not trying to map the entire world of psychoacoustics. Log sin wave sweeps are a perfectly adequate way of measuring a transducer.
> Sine wave measurements of audio gear ignore impulse response, intermodulation distortion, phase shift, and a host of other real-world physical device responses to real-world musical signals.
No, when you do a sin sweep and measure the impedance you can recover all that. Pick up a basic textbook on loudspeaker testing.
> Scientific, reductionist thinking is inadequate to get an accurate picture of the factors that matter to human listeners.
You are completely mistaken. Here's the research itself: https://www.amazon.com/Sound-Reproduction-Psychoacoustics-Lo...Learning from it will require you to shed the chip on your shoulder, but it will put you miles ahead of your peers in understanding what's actually going on when we listen to music vs all the commonly repeated mythology.
Learning from it will require you to shed the chip on your shoulder, but it will put you miles ahead of your peers in understanding what's actually going on when we listen to music vs all the commonly repeated mythology.
I second this recommendation. Chapter Two of Dr. Toole's book is titled "Preserving the Art" and directly addresses the concerns you're raising. He uses a great quote at the end of this chapter:
"Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted".
Dr. Toole then spends 500 pages addressing how you can correlate objective and subjective evaluation of loudspeakers. It's a great read.