A (VERY) BRIEF HISTORY
It’s the 30s, and British engineer Alan Blumlein is at the movies with his wife when he notices that the dialogue is coming from one side of the room while the actor on screen is speaking from the other (not very realistic). So, Alan tells his wife, ‘I can fix this.’ And 70-some patent claims later, years of testing, a bunch of new technology, and wallah! Stereo is born.
BUT WHAT IS IT?
Very simply, two speakers producing two individual sounds that converge to create one multi-directional sound stage.
AND WHAT’S A SOUNDSTAGE?
Picture this, you’re sitting at Hamer Hall before the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra – dead centre, half a dozen rows back. Do the strings hit you from the same direction as the percussion? No, it doesn’t.
Maybe you’re at the Enmore in Newtown and Gang of Youths are belting out a killer set. Again, you’re dead centre, half a dozen rows back. Do David’s vocals hit you from the same angle or have the same depth of sound as Donnie’s drums. Don’t think so.
Get the picture?
That multi-directional projection of sound is what hifi refers to as soundstage. And it’s this three-dimensional listening experience that stereo works to replicate.
SO HOW DOES IT WORK?
The power of two. It takes not one but two speakers to create stereo sound. Anything less and you’re only getting mono: mono meaning one or a single projection of sound
A single wall of audio with no depth, no directional difference, lacking instrument separation and the feel of a live performance. It’s audio without the sparkle.
Seperate instruments across the soundstage and a 3-dimension depth.
Let’s break it down with a diagram.
Seated at the apex of this audio triangle, left and right speakers generate a soundstage replicating the dynamics, imaging, and authenticity of live music experiences.
Between left and right speaker you hear your music not as one wall of sound but as seperate instruments and musicians within the soundstage, the way you would if you were seated in the audience.
A TICKET TO THE SHOW… EVERY NIGHT!
The average punter might see their favourite band a dozen times in one lifetime. But you’ll listen to the album a thousand times over. The real question is, will you truly hear it?
Listening to Bach's Fugue in G minor or Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon or even Beyoncé's Lemonade on a single speaker is like looking at the Mona Lisa on Instagram – through a dozen different filters. The basic figure exists but none of the spark that makes your heart race and your skin tingle.
There are spine tingling moments from all your favourite albums that stereo’s just dying to reveal. All you need are the right tools to secure your seat at the show. And the best part, showtime is every night of the week.