I really like the thread about what the relative importance of each piece of the audio chain contributes to the over-all sound. It made me want to try and see what people think about in terms of how they ration out their expectations of what a system does or should do - how they would rate the relative importance of performance characteristics.
So how about a thread regarding system balance in terms of aspects of sound, rather than which components are most responsible for that sound?
So first, some words:
1) Imaging (recreation of a soundstage and the environemnt in which the sound originated)
2) Macrodynamics (total loudness, slam, impact)
3) Microdynamics (small changes in texture or background)
4) Open/natural treble balance - sweetness and "air"
5) Midrange "liquidity" - getting the mids "just right." I'd put vocal accuracy in this part, natural voice reproduction.
6) Bass reproduction - depth, authority, speed
7) Speed, rhythm, pace - how well the system portrays to "timing" of the sound of the original event. Things like sonic "overhang" for slow equipment would be here, so would the tingles of how fast a cymbal strike or trumpet note erupt into space.
OK, that's seven things.
Say that "the real thing" (live music) would equal a score of 20 for any given aspect, but you only get to give out 100 points for your rankings, how would you portion out your points for each aspect?
14 points each (with two left over) for good balance? Or are there parts of the sound you would use more points at the expense of other aspects, like 20 points for imaging and speed, and the other 60 points divided elsewhere?
That was tougher to do than I thought it would be!
I figure I'd most readily give up bass to get more elsewhere.
*Results subject to change in response to other people's ideas!