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This is a handbook for audio engineers and professionals in the field. It has sections on acoustics, microphones, speaker types & placement, audio amplifiers and their technologies, mixers, and professional recording. This handbook isn't really created for the layman - there are no cut and tried easy answers. But if you are a professional in the field or have a serious interest in sound reproduction this book is a great technical reference. The information is generally clear and free from non-technical platitudes and instead concentrates on what is measureable and scientific.
The most expensive thick book I've ever bought. Explanations tend to be too complicated for beginners and much information is too shallow to be of use to designers. Many of the authors are experts in their field but disappointingly poor communicators. Unfortunately many of the authors of the various chapters simply plug their company products rather than show objective comparisons and applications of sound engineering design. Competitors' products tend to be skipped over or denigrated without objective data. In the chapter on subjective listening comparisons specific CDs are recommended for comparison listening. The CDs recommended are all heavily doctored popular music which no doubt would sound best on the very studio speakers used during the doctoring. BBC comparisons in other literature would compare the live sound of musicians to that reproduced on the subject speakers - a far more valid procedure. The chapter on room acoustics delves deeply into the complexities of the data from room test software and lists complex remedies without outlining the relatively simple principles of proper room acoustic design which begins with the equal spacing of fundamental room resonances - not mentioned. This handbook can't hold a candle to the ancient RCA Radiotron Designer's Handbook or Machinery's Handbook that designer's would routinely turn to. A very expensive book that turns out to be a bit of a superficial sales plug for various products rather than delving into how they were designed.