The Pareto Effect in Audio – The 80/20 Rule Is Real

More of the Music of Ambrosia

Reviews and Commentaries for the Music of Ambrosia

Ambrosia’s first album does exactly what a Test Disc should do. It shows you what’s wrong, and once you’ve fixed it, it shows you that it’s now right.

We audiophiles need records like this. They make us better listeners, and they force us to become better audio tweakers.

You cannot buy equipment that will give you the best sound. You can only tweak your equipment to get it.

At most 20% of the sound of your stereo is what you bought. At least 80% is what you’ve done with it. (Based on my experience I would put the number closer to 90%.)

This is known as the Pareto Principle

The Pareto Principle, also known as the 80/20 Rule, The Law of the Vital Few and The Principle of Factor Sparsity, illustrates that 80% of effects arise from 20% of the causes – or in laymens terms – 20% of your actions/activities will account for 80% of your results/outcomes.

The Pareto Principle gets its name from the Italian-born economist Vilfredo Pareto (1848-1923), who observed that a relative few people held the majority of the wealth (20%) – back in 1895. Pareto developed logarithmic mathematical models to describe this non-uniform distribution of wealth and the mathematician M.O. Lorenz developed graphs to illustrate it.

Dr. Joseph Juran was the first to point out that what Pareto and others had observed was a “universal” principle—one that applied in an astounding variety of situations, not just economic activity, and appeared to hold without exception in problems of quality.

In the early 1950s, Juran noted the “universal” phenomenon that he has called the Pareto Principle: that in any group of factors contributing to a common effect, a relative few account for the bulk of the effect. Juran has also coined the terms “vital few” and “useful many” or “trivial many” to refer to those few contributions, which account for the bulk of the effect and to those many others which account for a smaller proportion of the effect. — Juran


RECORDS THAT ARE GOOD FOR TESTING THESE SPECIFIC QUALITIES

Records that Are Good for Testing Ambience, Size and Space

Records that Are Good for Testing Bass and Whomp

Records that Are Good for Testing Bass Definition

Records that Are Good for Testing Big, Clear and Lively Choruses

Records that Are Good for Testing Compression

Records that Are Good for Testing Energy

Records that Are Good for Testing Grit and Grain

Records that Are Good for Testing in General

Records that Are Good for Testing Midrange Congestion

Records that Are Good for Testing Midrange Presence

Records that Are Good for Testing Richness and Smoothness

Records that Are Good for Testing Sibilance (It’s a Bitch)

Records that Are Good for Testing Side to Side Differences

Records that Are Good for Testing Smear

Records that Are Good for Testing Speed

Records that Are Good for Testing String Tone and Texture

Records that Are Good for Testing the Lower Midrange and Mid-Bass

Records that Are Good for Testing Transparency

Records that Are Good for Testing Treble Issues

Records that Are Good for Testing Tubey Magic

Records that Are Good for Testing Tubey Magical Acoustic Guitars

Records that Are Good for Testing Upper Midrange Shrillness