I’m tired, I’m VERY tired. Tired and annoyed when people ask me (be it as a calibrator or as a photographer) “which equipment do you use?” or “Nice photo, you must be using a professional camera”. Aaaaaargh!
Calibration Tools are just that…TOOLS. It depends on the operator (the user) whether or not they can utilize the equipment properly. Having high-end equipment and not knowing how to use it will have a worse end result than having a basic equipment and truly know how to use it. It’s been proven over and over again that expert knowledge trumps having high-end gears.
Case in point, a couple of days ago I re-did my buddy’s Pioneer SC-75 Auto MCACC. He did it his way (which by the way, follows what the manual says) and I did it my way (which follows not only the manual but also my knowledge in psychoacoustics). No other equipment was used other than the supplied basic included microphone. He stored his calibration setting in Memory 1 and I stored mine in Memory 2. After that, we invited members of his family, his neighbours and a couple of his friends to have a listen to the same video clip from Dolby Demo Disc “I’ve Got You Under My Skin” (Katherine MacPhee and Chris Botti). The result? Eleven people listened and switched between M1 and M2 (without knowing which one was done by whom), all of them chose M2, which is the reading done by yours truly. This is a concrete proof that even a basic tool, used by a more knowledgeable person WILL yield a better result.
Another parallel is in photography. Too many people blame their bad photography due to their camera phone. “I don’t have a dSLR like you do”, they said. What a bunch of crock! Just look at the photo below taken simply by using an iPhone by Stacey Sniderman.
To give further example, below you can see two photos, taken using identical camera, the one on the right was taken by me and the one on the left by another person. Same angle, same camera, same lighting condition, both came straight from the Blackberry Q10 cruddy camera. It’s clear that the user is a whole lot more important than the camera being used.
To put it simply, it doesn’t matter how much of a high-end power tool you give me, an expert craftsman with basic worn out tools will be able to do much better job than me. Why? Because it’s the expertise that counts.