Originally Posted by Nyal Mellor
Those measurements are unsmoothed, so again misleading. You know as well as I do that we don't hear what the graph shows.
It's not misleading, and it does affect what we hear. Hang on, I'll get to that. I agree that comb filtering that's different left and right is not as damaging as when the same response reaches both ears. If you run mono music through a recording studio flanger effect (comb filter) and play that through a loudspeaker, you will absolutely hear
the severely affected response. But in a room the response is different left and right, so the nulls in one ear are not likely present in the other. However - and this is the big point - such a skewed response that changes drastically with small head movements harms imaging. As you move around slightly, the sound source locations change. This does not happen when early reflections are treated fully with absorption.
And what did you mean by 'a normal nearfield listening position'? AFAIK
our normal listening position is not what you would call nearfield which I interpret as where the contribution of the direct sound to measured frequency response is greater than the reflected sounds.
Yes, exactly. The measurements I posted were taken near field, which reduces the strength of the reflections. If the microphone had been farther back in the room, the response would be even more skewed.
Why do you think comb filtering is psychoacoustically relevant? ... But maybe I am missing something?!
Yes, what you (and some others) miss is how the changes in comb filter frequency versus position harms imaging, as explained above. I know anecdotes are not proof of anything, but here's a very short story anyway: When people visit me and hear my HT system playing stereo music, they're always surprised by the stable imaging and pinpoint phantom center. One time AlexO, a regular in the Stereophile forum, drove out from NYC to visit me. I have three front speakers, all active models with small power LEDs, and the middle speaker's light stays on while playing stereo. Alex was certain the middle speaker was playing as he listened, and he had to get up and walk right up to it before he believed me that it was not playing.