Testing for Dummies?

If I want to test what comes out of my system, what do you recommend using?

Is this roughly the testing process? 1) load the testing software onto your laptop, 2) buy a mic and mic preamp and plug it into your computer's sound card (I assume these need to be compatible), 3) plug the mic output from the soundcard into your system's preamp in, 4) play something from the test software, and 5) bingo... read the computer's measurement of what the mic pics up coming from the system's speakers. I imagine you must calibrate some stuff.

Does this work (for the audiophile hobbyist, not laboratory) and what product did you find works well? Jeff
Well, the direct answer is: It depends. Your description is, in general, correct but imperfect in details.

However, the question is: What do you want to measure? It seems like you want some idea of what your speakers/system is doing in your room.

I suggest that you look at TrueRTA and Room EQ Wizard. Both have websites with descriptions what they do, how they work, what other items they require and what you will get out of them. The base version of TrueRTA and REWQ are free-ware.

Yes, I'm interested in what the speaker is doing and how placement affects it.

I'm also interested in what happens when I swap one piece of equipment for another.
Be careful. There are some really neat Test CDs out there that sonically push your system to the Max.

The problem is that we like to turn the volume up a bit to enjoy the 'test' and this can blow your super tweeters, which are already working hard under norman conditions.

If you get one of these, READ THE FINE PRINT!

I should have......($$$$)--ouch!

Unclejeff, Care to guess at how loud (db) your system was playing the test cd when you blew your super tweeters?

Other than your unfortunate tweeter experience, did you feel like you learned anything interesting or useful from your tests?

That's the 'rub' of it all. My speakers are rated at 300 watts and my amp's capacity is rated at 100 watts, although being a tube amp it can peak at much higher levels.

Yes, since my speakers should have been able to handle much more power, I must admit that I was pushing the volume.

It is just that when the test CD pushed the envelope the super tweeters blew. Only later did I read the warning on the test CD.
Aside from blowing the tweeter, did you learn anything useful from the test results? Jeff
Okay, at least prior to the blow...I gots one great system.
I'm also interested in what happens when I swap one piece of equipment for another.

There's some relatively recent software available (for FREE!) from an audio testing software manufacturer called Audio DiffMaker.


The idea is to record a piece of music with the tool, make a change to your system, record the same piece of music again and then use the tool to evaluate the two recordings for any differences.

If you give the software a try, please let us know what you think.