The Science and Emotions of Lincoln Center’s New Sound

The Lincoln Center’s concert hall was lambasted for its lousy sound for many years, with Leonard Bernstein’s daughter telling people that her father dismissively referred to it as the Travertine Mausoleum. In stepped David Geffen with $100 million dollars to correct the deficiencies… and do even more.

Imagine my delight, as a fan of Vivid Audio speakers and Laurence Dickie, to discover that one correction was to eliminate the hall’s corners. Dickie has long been a proponent of speaker design with curves and no sharp edges, as none are observed in nature.

My second takeaway involves the marriage of measurements and psychoacoustics for the best sound. As this article in The New Yorker points out: “In the past, acousticians relied primarily on what was easiest to measure—things like frequencies and reverberation times. Blair, in an essay on concert-hall design, noted that this started to change in the nineteen-nineties, when acousticians ‘began to rely more upon their ears, informed by historical precedence, than their measurement devices.’”

This second takeaway will surely be dismissed by followers of Audio Science Review Forum, so it’s refreshing to read that psychoacoustics is used as a valuable complement to measurements.

1 Like

I’m being facetious here but sometimes reading ASR is a lot like reading incel forums.
ie: People with very strong opinions about things they have no actual day to day experience with.


I’m not sure why measurements vs. listening becomes a dichotomy for so many. While the fanboy pile-ons on ASR aren’t pretty the raw measurement data is factual, and useful IMO. You don’t have to read the comments. John Atkins Stereophile speaker reviews were great examples of measurements and listening in perfect harmony. It’s not either or…


Exactly that!
Black or white thinking, garnished with face-value common-sense beliefs, is what causes a lot of the controversy these days in many fields, not just audio.
It’s more the grey zone, rigorous study and wise marrying of the many facets of accumulated knowledge, that makes up the whole picture.