- Mar 28, 2017
Regarding Toole's use of mono to assess "sound quality". I believe this it is also experimentally best to use only one speaker as it removes the variation in frequency response that one gets from variation in the positioning of two speakers relative to one another. If a stereo pair was used someone would argue that a panel of listeners preferred speaker A over speaker B because speaker A was positioned better or more accurately.More on the monophonic testing paradigm Toole adopted:
The fact remains that speaker performance measurements are mostly all done in mono. That is the almost universal practice. It is thus entirely reasonable that subjective performance evaluation of speakers, especially subjective evaluation of frequency response smoothness/flatness, distortion, and dispersion, also should be done in mono. The burden of proof should not be on Toole to prove the reasonableness of his procedure. The burden definitely is on those who would dispute it. Toole adjusted his testing protocol since he noticed that mono listening produced a higher and more consistent ability to distinguish among speakers' sound quality. That is a truly scientific method--redesigning a test for higher discrimination on the variable under test. Likewise Toole eliminated the variable of hearing acuity because he noticed that those who did not test normal on standard hearing tests were not as discriminating or as consistent in their judgements of frequency response, distortion, etc. as other listeners.