Speaker demos… what are you actually hearing?
It is widely acknowledged in the industry that the Funky Junk speaker demo room is far and away the most accurate in the UK, if not Europe. Why?
Of course the room itself is a main feature. Unlike other demo suites that merely comprise a lick of paint, some acoustic foam and a shelf of two of speakers, we invested £20,000 in building an accurate replica of a studio control room. We employed Stephen Pickford (Fritz) of eHz, specialist acousticians and studio builders, to ensure a flat response and excellent soundproofing so clients would hear the speakers rather than the room. That was only the start…
Many people don’t realise the tremendous difference stands make to speaker response. Most people know that stands must be as rigid and solid as possible, to ensure that energy is not dissipated into the stands rather than projected into the room, but even with high quality stands (a MUST HAVE, folks), different stands have different acoustic properties. We can demonstrate this by demoing speakers on one stand then moving to different stands and show how the characterises change; certain stands limit or accentuate low and high frequencies.
We therefore deemed it essential that insofar as possible all the speakers are granted an equal playing field by having identical stands. Visitors will know that most of the speakers are mounted on a heavy duty overbridge, an acquisition from the world famous TOWNHOUSE STUDIOS (along with the sofa in the demo room). This solid custom metal framed shelf is lined with concrete and clad in rubber – it’s a four man lift and rock solid.
As with the room, those auditioning monitors at FJ hear the speakers, not the stands.
One more piece in the jigsaw is the comparator used to compare different monitors. We auditioned many options and found them all to colour the sound. Eventually we discovered the unique PALMER comparator – by no means cheap at a little under £5,000. This amazing device is transformer balanced and discrete and adds no noticeable colouration to the sound. What’s more, it allows for up to ten different pairs of monitors and three different subbase units to be compared at the touch of a button on the (10 metre|) wired remote control, meaning that clients can sit in the sweet spot or on the sofa with their eyes closed moving from monitor to monitor and judging the response accurately. The icing on the cake is that the system allows for LEDs to positioned beside each monitor, indicating which is active, far more than a cosmetic touch; one of the great problems in most comparison suites is knowing which of the many pairs of speaker’s you’re actually listening to. The Palmer lets you see immediately.
All in all, we’ve invested an awful lot of time, thought, care and money into creating a unique listening environment designed to let customers HEAR THE SPEAKERS, NOT THE ROOM. It’s hardly surprising that so many monitor manufacturers now bring their prototypes here to listen and compare during development.
Just one more major difference between Funky Junk and all the rest.