I was showing Carl, one of our sales reps, our sound room and talking about the prospect of increasing the availability of the in-home demo. I suggested I have always loved the idea of people taking equipment home and trying it out – we used to have a slogan “your living room is our showroom”.
Carl countered with “I would never suggest this because if you can’t control the demo, you can’t ensure the results. How would you know the customer has a clue how to get the most out of the equipment he’s auditioning?” I have pondered this statement for a while – as Carl has a really good point.
Just recently I was demonstrating our experimental single enclosure loudspeaker prototype and I let the listener choose what they wanted to hear. The listener was unimpressed because it sounded “normal” and met his expectations – although I had to smile because I don’t think it dawned on him that what he was experiencing as “normal” was coming from a single point source (but that’s another story). It wasn’t until I put on a piece I knew would show off the system’s capabilities that his eyes lit up and his jaw dropped.
Counter the above statement with your experience at consumer shows where it’s become quite popular to bring your own source material and listen to different rooms with known music to test the systems. While this is a great idea and one I support, it also perplexes me as to how might you answer the fundamental question being asked here?
How do we, as manufacturers, make sure you hear the best qualities of the equipment as perhaps only we know what those are?