Originally Posted by desertdome
Consider that fullrange identical speakers in a 7.1 system correspond to 7 sources of bass in the room, not one. If the sound is mixed with the bass decorrelated, like most music, then you get multiple sources of bass.
I've never seen measurements of the bass in a home theater with all fullrange channels. I don't think the argument is as simple as "individual bass sources" vs multi-subs, though. Is is easy to find a home theater to listen to that only has one source of bass. It is much more difficult to listen to a home theater with fullrange channels (since there aren't many) and check the experience between seats.
I do understand what you are saying, but even with decorrelated bass, you have a single arrival time at the ears of a bass event regardless of direction. The very limited space between our ears is the deciding factor in determining what direction the LF is coming from, and has a cutoff before the direction of arrival cannot be determined due to increasing wavelength.
Scott Simonian has a theater with fullrange channels. We could ask him to bass manage and then not, and let him tell us/measure the difference.
I would find it VERY difficult to make a multi kilo-dollar investment based on the anectdotal evidence of a manufacturer selling said kilo-dollar speaker setups. In my experience, whenever I have found something 'off' in a recording I knew well, I could measure and find a freq response/impulse response abnormality. Using 7 'full range' sources in a small room guarantees response unique abnormalities from every channel save for at a single seat where most problems could be equalized out, making problems anywhere else in the room worse. Of course, listening to a recording for the first time, with no frame of reference, no freq response abnormality will seem 'off'. There is no reference to compare to.
The guy has a point in that steady-state signals are not a good way to measure. But MLS and swept sines are NOT steady state signals, and they are what most people (and Audyssey) use for measurements.
I think it would be a very interesting exercise to compare bass-managed vs not in a small room and then compare it to a 7.1 fullrange setup out in a field with no room effects; but by essentially stating that room modes don't matter, and that low freqs are directional make me suspect his logic. But what do I know.
I think the SEOS Maximus project would be awesome for anyone renovating the sound in an old movie theater, like the single screens that can be found in small towns around the US, where full-range channels would be justified, or in the uber-HTs of the world. Somewhere the impressive SPL capability would be used.