outdoor audition

I have recently read in the Decware forum about setting up your system outdoors. The idea being, getting an idea about how reflections, both good and bad affect your system. Things like phase canceling come to mind. I would think that bass in particular would be greatly deminished. Clearly volume levels would be down as well. My speakers are rather large, the main reason I have not tried this. Any thoughts on what this test should prove?

thanks, Paul
Unless you live out in the middle of nowhere, it will prove how much better your system sounds in a quiet listening environment : )

This "should" give you a good idea of what the system sounds like with the sonic signature of your room acoustics removed from the equation. You will still be listening with outside influences affecting the system though as you have to mount the equipment and speakers on something. The soil or concrete will influence the sound as it will both absorb and reflect sound at a non-linear rate as you listen.

In all honesty, i think it is a waste of time. That is, unless you intend to listen with your gear like that on a regular basis. Sean

PS... I would bet tall cash that Bose 901's, Ohm A's & F's, Maggies, E-Stat's, etc... would sound VERY different outside.
How would you deal with neighbours? I have had the one living immediately next to my house and the one living immediately behind ring the doorbell asking that I turn down the system while listening to blues in my living room at what I consider realistic levels (well levels that Muddy Waters would have found realistic...). I have had them complain when playing bluegrass at a very very reasonable level on a terrible little portable while gardening. Strangely enough (or maybe not so strangely) no one ever complained regardless of volume levels while listening in my dedicated room in the basement. Maybe the double layer of plaster board (with joints taped and filled on both layers), on metal resilient channels, the fibreglass stuffed between joists and studs and the two small basement windows of that room have something to do with it.

The concept of doing what you suggest just once is interesting, if only to satisfy your curiosity. However, like Sean, I don't think you would improve your system by the mere fact of going through this experiment. Your speaker system is designed to be played in a room so that putting it out there with very little reflected sound is hardly fair. Maybe what you really need is an anechoic chamber. The price tag, however, would floor you.

As Rives would no doubt suggest: improve your room's acoustics by trying out the various improvements that have a basis in reality. Once you have done that, you can tweak to your heart's content. You probably won't feel like moving the whole tweaked out system to the backyard once you have done all the work required. Regards.
I actually used Maggies outdoors once...set them up for a party. As I recall, they sounded OK, but the volume was way down. (Maybe because it was a party we wanted the music too loud).

I have heard of testing box speakers by burying them in sand, pointing up, and then evaluating their sound signature using microphones suspended in the air over them. If you are in the process of developing a new speaker design such a test might the valuable, and much less costly than an anechoic chamber.