Video: Introducing the Crutchfield Labs
Steve Kindig has been an electronics enthusiast for over 30 years. He has written extensively about home and car A/V gear for Crutchfield since 1985. Steve is also a volunteer announcer in the folk department of community radio station WTJU, where he is one of the regular hosts of "Atlantic Weekly."
More from Steve Kindig
Steve, Crutchfield A/V Editor, gives us a tour of the Crutchfield Labs. He talks about why we built the Labs and how they can help us find you the right gear.
Steve: I'm standing in Crutchfield Labs. And Crutchfield has always been about researching products and passing that information along to our customers. But with Crutchfield Labs, we've expanded the space that we have dedicated to it and the resources quite a bit so that we can dig even deeper into products and provide a lot more information to our customers.
So most of the Crutchfield Labs area is brand new but this research area is really a core of what Crutchfield Labs is about. And these guys have been doing product research for years. What they do is when we get new equipment in, they take the stuff out of the boxes and measure it and turn it on make sure that it does everything that it's supposed to do. And then they enter that information into our database so that when you go to our website you'll see some information called Hands-On Research. And that's the information that these guys have entered.
So this section of the Crutchfield Labs is our TV viewing area. And we've set this up so that we can take one video source and feed that signal to all four of these TVs at the same time so we can do head-to-head comparisons between different TV brands.
So in this part of the labs we've got several demo stations set up and they're there for a couple of reasons. First our sales advisors, tech support guys, writers, really anyone who wants to, can come down here and check out some of the gear that we have set up. It's a great opportunity to get hands-on experience with products that we sell, and makes it a lot easy to answer customers when they have questions. We also have a couple of stations down here where we can do more involved, more scientific measurements and we use those to supplement our subjective reviews when we're looking at equipment.
So this is the Home A/V listening room in the lab and this is actually my favorite part of the lab. I've been spending a lot of time down here. And what we've got set up in here is we have actually two systems in this room. We have our two channel stereo music listening set up at this end of the room and then at the other end we have a multi-channel surround sound set up. We were able to build new walls down here and we had access to the ceiling joists so we were able to do some pretty serious structural sound proofing. Much more of the sound is kept in the room and it worked out really well. We took measurements both before and after we did the soundproofing treatment and it made a huge difference.
So Crutchfield Labs isn't just about home audio/video. We also have another listening room right next door for car audio/video. And you'll be seeing a lot more videos and articles based on research that we've done here in the lab coming soon.