In part 3 of the interview Peter Lyngdorf explains why -at some point- he felt the need to develop RoomPerfect.
Peter Lyngdorf – CEO Steinway Lyngdorf : Yes. RoomPerfect is the result of many…many years of thinking into compensation for your room acoustics. Why was I interested in that? I have a lot of retail shops. I’ve been designing and selling loudspeakers, amplifiers and all of that with my engineers for many…many years. Whenever I went out to see customers, which I’d like to do a lot, I was always kind of shocked to hear that our Dali speaker sounded completely different. And not quiet the way it was supposed to sound, when I come home to people. The people were quiet happy, but I knew it could be better.
So I always wanted to make something available so normal people could get the optimal sound in their own house. One of the things that people don’t realize is, that if they buy the best speaker in the world and put it in their normal living room, that about 85% of the sound they hear is coming from the room. The speaker is 15% of the sound, the room 85%. Typically those 85% are not so good. When you can digitally compensate in the correct way, we can actually make sure that if you buy a Bower & Wilkins speaker or Dali speaker or any good loudspeaker, that speaker will sound at its best in your own room. That is what really matters. In practical terms, most people cannot put the speakers exactly where to would want to have them, because they have a wife and children. They have a real life to live. They cannot put the speakers exactly in the sweet spot. They cannot put the sofa exactly in the sweet spot and move it 2,5M away from the rear wall. It just doesn’t work for people. With good room compensation technology you can make virtually every room work, so that every speaker works the best possible way in a room. You can even have the speaker close to the wall and get a fantastic sound. When we go to different hi-fi shows, people always say that we are lucky with our room. No, we’re not lucky. We designed RoomPerfect to take care of the room. Our room is as shitty as everybody’s else’s room. We have RoomPerfect, we can fix it. That’s the big trick.
RoomPerfect was actually the fourth iteration of room compensation technology. It was a total departure from everything we have done before. In the beginning we made one measurement. We looked at the response and the system would compensate for that measurement: the frequency response that you would see. Then we realized, that what you see in a single frequency response from a microphone is totally different from what you’re hearing when you sit in the room, because the sound comes at different times. It’s not a minimum phase, it’s 85% out of phase. A measurement that you look at is totally meaningless. It was only when we understood that what you hear and what you measure from a single microphone position are two completely different things. That’s also why, when you use RoomPerfect as a user, you don’t know what’s happening. The only thing that you’re sure of is that after you do RoomPerfect, the speakers sound like they are supposed to sound. You don’t have to think about all your room problems anymore.
What happens in between is a hugely complex process. We spend between 8 and 9 million dollars to optimize the technology of RoomPerfect. One of the things we developed is a completely new measurement technology that has never been used before. For instance, we are complete immuun to noise in the measurements. Three days ago we set up one of our multichannel processors when they had a cocktail party in the room. Everybody said..now we have to leave the room. No, you can stay. Don’t jell and scream, but keep your party going while we do the measurements. It doesn’t affect the measurements. The technology is really fantastic!