Genre Specific Set-Ups
We have a slightly tricky dilemma looming. It relates to people's broadening listening habits and is in all, a very good thing despite potentially adding a set up headache for your local installer. There has been a definite swing toward better quality listening. Driven in part by the earbud generation but also improved speaker technology being employed by manufacturers of everything from kitchen radios to TVs. The availability of preference related and random playlists have also had an undeniable effect. All the way back in issue III of Driving Sounds Magazine we came across a Bentley with an upgrade that should have made my CD's sing but it didn't! (Ball Room Bentley
) - However, it could have done had it not been set up to match the owners specific instruction. The owner had a vast collection of nostalgia-inducing club music on an iPod. In those days iTunes music files were heavily compressed and the compression algorithm was akin to MP3. The compensatory set up made them sound energetic, bright and bass-heavy, but it did not suit the Pink Floyd CD I tried to play on it.
The experience opened my eyes to what a FOUR MASTER was capable of and I have been very careful to ask car owners to bring some of their own preferred listening with them to an audition ever since. For years now, head unit manufacturers have allowed eq settings to be selected by genre - typically: Rock, Pop, Jazz, Classical, Speech. I never liked any of these settings mainly because they were often set by engineers and not musicians but also, because the equalisation available was a bit like a hammer is to a walnut!
These days we have Digital Signal Processors which are more like microscopy is to quantity surveying! The subtlety of adjustment available is truly astonishing enabling a good installer with the right equipment to create a setting that suits your listening as precisely as you want it to. The best processors like those from Audison
, will offer a number of presets allowing users to have a choice which is a very good thing. I feel that there is no situation a good set up cannot deal with so please, if you are in the market for a car audio upgrade, take some of your favourite tracks along with you. Your installer will not mind in fact it can save a return trip at a later date!
That's all for another month folks so, take care and listen responsibly!