A few days ago, a customer came to our store with a question. Our customer was relatively new to our store and had visited once or twice before. On his initial visit, his problem was that he had assembled a great music system that didn’t deliver the quality of sound that he was expecting. Of course our first question (after getting details on his system) was about the room shape, size and how he had installed the product in his room.
The room shape was somewhat of an issue as rather than being a rectangle, the area where the equipment was an interesting end wall. See figure below.
The customer had newly added to his system a pair of great speakers and was very concerned that the bass response was not at the level that he knew they were capable of.
After looking at his room diagram it was fairly apparent that with his speakers placed in the top of the octagon, changes in placement were called for. Myself and one of my reps explained that the problem was likely due to bass cancellation and threw out some ideas – everything from room treatment to changing placement of the speakers. The simplest advice was to simply move each speaker a little sideways and toe the speaker in, basically creating a triangle from where he was sitting to the speakers. I am always for the simplest solution, and the customer did not want to rebuild his “just completed” music room.
His second visit was to say – WOW! The character of the speaker had completely changed. Bass response (like real bass not 12″ Boom, Boom) was great – deeper and cleaner. What a dramatic change and the only cost was some “muscle”! After he spoke about how good they now sounded, he then admitted he was still hooking up his small speakers as a comparasion and he was slightly confused about the sound as they still sounded pretty good. My thought was the customer was used to these small speakers but not totally happy as he had purchased this new pair.
My advice to him at this point was “move the small speakers completely out of the room and listen to his new speakers.” He took the advice and as I write this, the customer has just walked in the door and said “wow, the speakers sound good, much better than the small speakers”. He was simply used to the sound of his small speakers and didn’t give his large speakers a chance for a true listen. His comment was ” Wow, not only is the bass response better but the midrange is awesome!” The sound will only improve over the next few months as his new speakers need to burn-in.
The lesson here is, when you change a component, give it a true chance to perform. A new component was added for a reason but give it time and “break the habit”. Don’t listen for what you think you heard before – listen for the reason that you bought the new items. Just Listen!