PS AUDIO: Try it sometime

Paul McGowan writes:

When I sit in the sound room for critical listening of course I always grab the “hot seat” because certainly in my system, that’s the place where the best imaging and tonal balance take place – and not just by a little bit – it’s seriously better than any other seat in the house.

But over the years I have learned that many times I can hear more in the way of differences between equipment and circuit changes up for review when I sit off to the side; off axis.

I first noticed this interesting twist to critical listening when I would hear something I wanted to show to someone else.  So I would first sit in the hot seat, make a judgment between two samples and then call in another listener.  I sit that person in the hot seat and tell them merely “listen to A and then listen to B, and tell me which sounds more like live music in the room”.

When I do this I sit in the seat next to them and I am always surprised at the amount of detail and change I hear in that seat, relative to the hot seat.  In fact, many times if I am having trouble trying to figure out specifics of what’s different between A and B, simply moving off axis helps me identify the different elements of the presentation I am hearing.

Try it sometime.