Originally Posted by paul54
Sorry, but this entire discussion seems to ignore something: when these multichannel sources were mixed, the engineers didn't just dump different sounds on your DVD or other source for YOU, the listener, to "place" based on YOUR speaker placement in YOUR listening room. The engineer had to be listening over HIS (or HER) studio monitoring system and its own speaker placement. The mixing engineer was constrained based on his monitors. Just like a stereo music mixer mixes "into" the frequency response of his monitors (eg, if the mix monitors are too bright, his mix on your "flatter" system will seem dull), a multichannel mixer is gauging his voice, FX, and music placement based on his mix room. Unless you know ITS measurements, there is no "correct" setting you can impose on your system. Someone alluded earlier to letting your ears (and eyes) be your guide. That's all you can do. But your settings have nothing to do with right or wrong or accuracy. Which may be why "all zeros" might sound better: your going with the mixers dimensions without imposing other dimensions (delays or advances) on top of them, thus mucking up the intended mix.
Umm, I'm pretty sure the professional mixing/recording studios are mixing the audio as equal distance to all channels, equidistant to the prime the seating position in a home environment.
As such, where the audio is being played back, it is up to the listener to position themselves in the same position.
It matters not what the original distance was, if there even was a distance at all, but all channels arrive simultaneously, so then the distance is moot.
It can be 1ft, 12ft, or 25ft, it doesn't matter. It only matters when the distances from each speaker are not identical, and that is when the distance settings in the player or pre-amp come into play.
They are then used to correct the channels so that all the audio arrives at the listeners ears when it needs to.
Human hearing capable of so much more than what the speakers produce. Depth perception of how far way sound is coming from in the soundstage is done by your brain, not by the speakers or audio source.
That is why it is so important for the audio to arrive when it's supposed to, so that your brain can process it properly.
This is more obvious with movie soundtracks than with music, but it is still important for both.
There is a youtube vid that demonstrates binaural audio and how you brain determines where sound is coming from, despite the actual audio being 2 dimensional,
our brains can make it 3 dimensional. This will be also be better understood as "XI" audio is brought to market soon.
My point being, is that you should use the proper real world distance setting if you are not sitting equal measurements away from every speaker in your setup.
Here's the vid if anyone wants to check it out. You'll need your headphones.