Originally Posted by jaxter
Your rhetoric assumes that you must have stereo bass to maintain accurate representation subjectively in a listening room.
'Assumes' is incorrect. My observations are based on the measurement of real soundfields in real venues. While one might argue about the method of measurement, one can not argue about the sound of the resulting playback.
In a concert hall the acoustic instruments are all individual mono sources. The spaciousness comes from the reflections of the room or the reverberation time. The source is still mono.
Wrong, but not at bass frequencies. At anything but bass frequencies, acoustic instruments are nothing like monopoles. However, we'll let that go for bass frequencies, except for Bodhrans and a few other implicitly dipole instruments.
So, at bass freuquencies, as I've pointed out already, the issue arises from the hall. Yes, good, fine, true. This has nothing to do with "mono bass" from multiple uncorrelated instruments in a hall that performs massive amounts of further decorrelation over a several-second period.
I also do not know of very many stereo recordings that actually utilize stereo bass in the final mix, including multi-channel recordings which usually sum the bass into a single channel. Stereo is simply a psychoacoustic way of achieving multiple sources of sound with only two speakers.
We've already discussed this. It's very true that most recordings are in fact made wrong. I agree. As to what "stereo" is, well, you're kinda-sorta right. You don't achieve multiple sources, you achieve the perception of multiple sources, which is a very important distinction that will continue to arise.
Admittedly this is a difficult area of acoustics to define clearly with the given research at this time. But I do believe that the possible benefits of stereo bass (if any are proven) would be overridden if any sacrifice was made to the timbre. Our sensitivity to tone (frequency response) is well researched and documented. The idea that we lose much detail in spaciousness from frequencies below say 100 Hz in small listening room belies the fundamental physics of acoustics and hthe crrent level of knowledge about human perception of sound.
Really? You say "belies ...", now I think you need to support that contention.
You are using an irrelevant point (mono sources), and an assumption "timbre problems" in order to justify a huge leap to a conclusion that is not, in my opinion, warranted.
What's more, your projected theory does not account for what actually happens in the original venue, and does not address how you can transport that to the playback venue.
You argue about "the fundamental physics of acoustics" but you don't bother to address the modal density in a large vs. a small venue. Perhaps you need to review your argument on that basis?
As to modes in small rooms, you certainly won't be creating an even, complex mode structure with ONE woofer. Right?
And you won't match the concert hall's if you do something involving lots of memory and DSP, either. Right? (Match even in a perceptual sense, let alone in any real measurable sense.)
Now, Todd said "you can not create ... in a small room". That's an interesting statement, I dare say, but I won't discuss it THEORETICALLY since I am previously accused of being an empty theorist.