I’ve always been a bit mystified by all the graphs that Stereophile publishes, I’ll just admit that now. Some of them are pretty self-explanatory, like the impedance graphs, make sense. If they dip too low, your amp is going to have a harder time pushing the speaker. Got it. But the phase graph? Or how about those cumulative spectral decay “waterfall” plots? Eeek.
What I want, but have yet to find, is a concise description of what these things mean. More specifically, what does a “good” result look like, what does a “bad” result look like, and what would those results mean, that is, what sonic impact (if any) could you expect if you saw a particular result appear in an article talking about a speaker?
Well, I found something. It’s more on the comprehensive (but not exhaustive) side rather than concise and the whole “good|bad result” thing is kind of buried, but it’s the best I’ve found so far. Interestingly, the article — actually, a series of 3 articles — are by Mr Measurement himself, John Atkinson of Stereophile Magazine.
- Measuring Loudspeakers, Part One
- Measuring Loudspeakers, Part Two
- Measuring Loudspeakers, Part Three
Mr Atkinson posted the links to these articles in reference to a talk he’s giving at SSI and Axpona this year, which he says is an update of these articles (they’re from 1999-ish). Good stuff, and quite helpful, generally.