Help understanding comb(ing) and acoustical interference (line arrays) - AVS Forum
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Old 08-27-2014, 10:45 AM - Thread Starter
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Help understanding comb(ing) and acoustical interference (line arrays)

I have been doing some research, but am having a hard time wrapping my head around this and how it affects a line array.

Say 4 inch full range speaker separation in an array. That means your "comb line" would happen at 3390 hz, then again at 10170 hz, and 16950 hz. Am I correct that these are generally the places where heavy eq would be needed in such system?

If that's the case, other frequencies in that area are not as much of a problem because of more (uniform/uninform) interference due to multiple drivers. Where the 3 frequencies above are exactly 180 degrees out of phase, causing the comb line?

Is this the reason some designs use odd spacing or curved arrays to hide this effect?

If I'm thinking about this correct, with just two speakers, you could in theory have full cancellation at 3390, 10170, 16950, (180 degrees out of phase) and up to a +3dB peak inbetween?
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Old 08-27-2014, 10:50 AM
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Line arrays don't comb filter, which is a variance in frequency response as you go across the sound field. To understand what comb filtering is and what line arrays are all about read this, and the subsequent chapters:
http://www.gtaust.com/filter/05/07.shtml

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Old 08-27-2014, 11:28 AM - Thread Starter
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What about acoustical interference then if it's not comb filtering? I'm trying to understand how the graph in this link applies to line arrays, and why a speaker in an array playing a wavelength as long or longer than speaker separation us undesirable, or causes problems?
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Old 08-27-2014, 01:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Handyman439 View Post
What about acoustical interference then if it's not comb filtering? I'm trying to understand ... why a speaker in an array playing a wavelength as long or longer than speaker separation us undesirable, or causes problems?
The only problem that it can cause is lobed response. Eventually lobed response will go away, as the individual wave fronts coalesce into a single wave front, as shown is this applet:
http://www.acoustics.salford.ac.uk/f.../diffract4.htm

The distance from the line at which the wave fronts combine depends on their center to center distance and frequency. If the sources are less than 1 wavelength apart CTC they combine at less than a wavelength out. That's where the 1 wavelength CTC recommendation comes from. But it's not a necessity, unless your listening position is also less than 1 wavelength out.

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Old 08-27-2014, 03:10 PM - Thread Starter
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I was definitely missing the part about a wave smaller than c-c spacing eventually combines into the same wavefront. That clears things up..
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Old 08-27-2014, 07:47 PM
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[QUOTE=Bill Fitzmaurice;26922809]Line arrays don't comb filter, which is a variance in frequency response as you go across the sound field. To understand what comb filtering is and what line arrays are all about read this, and the subsequent chapters:
[url]http://www.gtaust.com/filter/05/07.shtml[/quote


And now for some truth....


Line arrays achieve directivity through constructive and destructive interference. A simple thought experiment illustrates how this occurs.

Consider a speaker comprising a single twelve-inch cone radiator in an enclosure. We know from experience that this speaker’s directivity varies with frequency: at low frequencies, it is omni-directional; as the sound wavelength grows shorter, its directivity narrows; and above about 2 kHz, it becomes too beamy for most applications. This is why practical system designs employ crossovers and multiple elements to achieve more or less consistent directivity across the audio band.

Stacking two of these speakers one atop the other and driving both with the same signal results in a different radiation pattern. At points on-axis of the two there is constructive interference, and the sound pressure increases by 6 dB relative to a single unit. At other points off-axis, path length differences produce cancellation, resulting in a lower sound pressure level. In fact, if you drive both units with a sine wave, there will be points where the cancellation is complete (this is best demonstrated in an anechoic chamber). This is destructive interference, which is often referred to as combing.

A line array is a line of woofers carefully spaced so that constructive interference occurs on-axis of the array and destructive interference (combing) is aimed to the sides. While combing has traditionally been considered undesirable, line arrays use combing to work: without combing, there would be no directivity.

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Old 08-27-2014, 07:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Handyman439 View Post
I was definitely missing the part about a wave smaller than c-c spacing eventually combines into the same wavefront. That clears things up..
It shouldn't have... Bill has claimed to have a masters degree in acoustics; however he constantly post statements that shadow his claims with doubt. This is an example of such postings.

Combing is not only present in line arrays - it's requisite to produce the intended benefits of line array topologies.
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Old 08-27-2014, 08:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Garidy View Post
It shouldn't have... Bill has claimed to have a masters degree in acoustics; however he constantly post statements that shadow his claims with doubt. This is an example of such postings.
This links to the user of one of Bills line array systems. How about showing us a link to one of yours?

https://www.facebook.com/dancetronauts?ref=ts

OP, Bill has forgotten more about speakers since he ate this mornings breakfast than Garidy will ever learn. If you look at Garidys post history youll see why hes not someone you should pay attention to.
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Old 08-27-2014, 08:38 PM
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Originally Posted by RickJames View Post
This links to the user of one of Bills line array systems. How about showing us a link to one of yours?

https://www.facebook.com/dancetronauts?ref=ts

OP, Bill has forgotten more about speakers since he ate this mornings breakfast than Garidy will ever learn. If you look at Garidys post history youll see why hes not someone you should pay attention to.
I'm glad you asked

http://meyersound.com/support/papers...ray_theory.htm

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Old 08-27-2014, 08:57 PM
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If you have finished reading the thread at the end of the link, you will have noted that it's a more credible source and it's statements are diametrically contrasting, to that of Bill's!

I've heard of Olson, I've heard of Meyer but I haven't heard of Bill's line arrays!

You're not arguing against me, but them...
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Old 08-28-2014, 06:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Garidy View Post
I've heard of Olson, I've heard of Meyer but I haven't heard of Bill's line arrays!
Bill is one of the worlds leading loudspeaker designers. If you knew anything about speakers you'd know who Bill is. Tom Danley does, Mark Seaton does, Don Keele does, Joe D'Appolito does. I doubt you know who they are too. I posted a link to one of the systems he designed. Everyone at Burning Man will hear it this weekend. Everyone within five miles of Burning Man will hear it. I asked you to post a link to a system that you designed. Still waiting for that.
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Old 08-28-2014, 08:01 AM
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Originally Posted by RickJames View Post
Bill is one of the worlds leading loudspeaker designers. If you knew anything about speakers you'd know who Bill is. Tom Danley does, Mark Seaton does, Don Keele does, Joe D'Appolito does. I doubt you know who they are too. I posted a link to one of the systems he designed. Everyone at Burning Man will hear it this weekend. Everyone within five miles of Burning Man will hear it. I asked you to post a link to a system that you designed. Still waiting for that.
Hey

You're being very assumptive about my back ground and emotionally charged as to blind you to the fact that Bills statements are false.

It is his statements, not mine that are in error. His claim that line arrays don't comb, is embarrassing, as are his statements surrounding lobbing, working itself out...

A line array cannot be a line array, not only if it doesn't comb, but comb as prescribed.

So he may know better, making his post at a minimum clumsy, but he hasn't commented with a correction.

The men that you cited would all agree with me, not because I know most of them either, but because I am correct. You left out Ivan, Toms lead tech at Danley, who contributes to R&D, who is also a member of AVS...

Myself and others have had need to correct Bill with some frequency as of late.

Perhaps it would be best that Bill bail his own water and you watch from the shoreline.


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Old 08-28-2014, 09:36 AM
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These are the same BS arguments you used in the last thread that you got closed down. You haven't posted any links to any designs of your own, you haven't posted any credentials to back up your claims to be an expert in anything. You claim to be a licensed engineer of some sort, but exactly what field it is you've never said. It could be a sanitation engineer for all we know. And you know Bill isn't going to reply to you because he publicly put you on his ignore list. I'd put you on my ignore list too, but someone needs to keep tabs on your nonsense and point it out to others. The first thing they should look at is how many 'Liked' points Bill has, and how many you have, keeping in mind that you get ten Likes automatically when you join the forum. I bet if there was a way to take away Liked points you'd have a negative number.

My apologies to the OP for the thread derail, but you deserve to know who the real deal is and who is not.
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Old 08-28-2014, 09:48 AM
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Move along guys...

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Old 08-28-2014, 11:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Handyman439 View Post
I have been doing some research, but am having a hard time wrapping my head around this and how it affects a line array.

Say 4 inch full range speaker separation in an array. That means your "comb line" would happen at 3390 hz, then again at 10170 hz, and 16950 hz. Am I correct that these are generally the places where heavy eq would be needed in such system?

If that's the case, other frequencies in that area are not as much of a problem because of more (uniform/uninform) interference due to multiple drivers. Where the 3 frequencies above are exactly 180 degrees out of phase, causing the comb line?

Is this the reason some designs use odd spacing or curved arrays to hide this effect?

If I'm thinking about this correct, with just two speakers, you could in theory have full cancellation at 3390, 10170, 16950, (180 degrees out of phase) and up to a +3dB peak inbetween?
It is NOT the center to center spacing that affects what freq will have combfiltering.

It is the distance from each source TO THE LISTENER that make the comb filters appear where they do.

The center to center distance would only be good for positions directly above and below the line. Most people don't listen there.

As Tom Danley likes to say (when talking about line arrays) " it is all about tiiiiiimmmmmmmeeeeeee"

Meaning that you hear the same thing over and over again.

This creates a smearing effect or loss of intelligibility or clarity in the sound.

There is NO EQ that can fix cancellation. You might can make it appear to be better-but it will NEVER be as good as without the cancellation.

The method by which a line array works is by destructive interference-ie cancellation.

This is why when you listen to a line array (or a bad array of point sources) outside when the wind blows it appears to swirl around. But with a SINGLE point source-the sound is steady.
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Old 08-28-2014, 11:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Handyman439 View Post
I have been doing some research, but am having a hard time wrapping my head around this and how it affects a line array.

Say 4 inch full range speaker separation in an array. That means your "comb line" would happen at 3390 hz, then again at 10170 hz, and 16950 hz. Am I correct that these are generally the places where heavy eq would be needed in such system?

If that's the case, other frequencies in that area are not as much of a problem because of more (uniform/uninform) interference due to multiple drivers. Where the 3 frequencies above are exactly 180 degrees out of phase, causing the comb line?

Is this the reason some designs use odd spacing or curved arrays to hide this effect?

If I'm thinking about this correct, with just two speakers, you could in theory have full cancellation at 3390, 10170, 16950, (180 degrees out of phase) and up to a +3dB peak inbetween?
I forgot to attach a paper that I wrote about ten years ago.

It gets into combfiltering a little bit with some measurements and predictions etc.
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Old 08-28-2014, 01:21 PM
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No link Ivan.
I was going to post what you did about time of flight difference.
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Old 08-28-2014, 01:30 PM
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Originally Posted by RickJames View Post
These are the same BS arguments you used in the last thread that you got closed down. You haven't posted any links to any designs of your own, you haven't posted any credentials to back up your claims to be an expert in anything. You claim to be a licensed engineer of some sort, but exactly what field it is you've never said. It could be a sanitation engineer for all we know. And you know Bill isn't going to reply to you because he publicly put you on his ignore list. I'd put you on my ignore list too, but someone needs to keep tabs on your nonsense and point it out to others. The first thing they should look at is how many 'Liked' points Bill has, and how many you have, keeping in mind that you get ten Likes automatically when you join the forum. I bet if there was a way to take away Liked points you'd have a negative number.

My apologies to the OP for the thread derail, but you deserve to know who the real deal is and who is not.
Wrong guy.

I've never had a thread of mine closed nor have I even received an infraction. So you must have me confused for someone else.

It's easy to get confused in here. No harm...

Let's move on as directed...

PS I started off with zero likes, not ten. The truth is often less popular...

Last edited by Garidy; 08-29-2014 at 09:07 PM.
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Old 08-28-2014, 03:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Ivan Beaver View Post
It is NOT the center to center spacing that affects what freq will have comb filtering.
Actually, it is both.

Quote:
It is the distance from each source TO THE LISTENER that make the comb filters appear where they do.
That, too.

Quote:
The center to center distance would only be good for positions directly above and below the line. Most people don't listen there.

The way I usually test a line array for phasing and lobing is to stand in front of it and vary the height of my ears while listening to something with stable high frequency content such as pink or white noise or certain test tones.

I built my first line array in 1965 or so using a stack of four 3.5" cone tweeters. It had lobing and phasing up the ying-yang. Ironically it was a take-off on a highly regarded speaker system of the day, a Bozak.

Making line arrays that don't have phasing and lobing problems is at this point a fairly well-understood art but you have to read he right authorities.

A general rule is that the diaphragms of the drivers have to be really close. My 3.5 cone tweeters failed because they had lots of cone breakup and at high frequencies their effective diaphragm was a lot smaller than the cone. So,even though they were stacked touching edge-to-edge the actual radiating portions of the cones were still significantly separated.

Today there are dome tweeters on the market whose chassis is only a few mm larger than the voice coil, and they can be stacked very tightly and operate up to fairly high frequencies without unmanageable phasing effects.

One general approach is to roll off the high frequency response of the drivers near the ends of the array. In a way its a cheat because it shortens the line array as the frequency goes up. But, its a good first cut if you do it right.

However it takes more than reducing effective separation of the diaphragms to avoid phasing. There are a number of approaches and there are papers that have analyzed them every which way but loose. This oldie but goodie has been very helpful for me:

http://www.xlrtechs.com/dbkeele.com/...l%20Arrays.pdf

This paper includes a 5 driver line array that basically works like a the single driver multiplied that I have built and it works.

This author has a lot of papers that are still relevant: http://www.xlrtechs.com/dbkeele.com/papers.htm

Quote:
There is NO EQ that can fix cancellation. You might can make it appear to be better-but it will NEVER be as good as without the cancellation.
+1 In line arrays, AKA Comb filtering. Bad stuff.
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Old 08-29-2014, 06:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Handyman439 View Post
I have been doing some research, but am having a hard time wrapping my head around this and how it affects a line array.

Say 4 inch full range speaker separation in an array. That means your "comb line" would happen at 3390 hz, then again at 10170 hz, and 16950 hz. Am I correct that these are generally the places where heavy eq would be needed in such system?

If that's the case, other frequencies in that area are not as much of a problem because of more (uniform/uninform) interference due to multiple drivers. Where the 3 frequencies above are exactly 180 degrees out of phase, causing the comb line?

Is this the reason some designs use odd spacing or curved arrays to hide this effect?

If I'm thinking about this correct, with just two speakers, you could in theory have full cancellation at 3390, 10170, 16950, (180 degrees out of phase) and up to a +3dB peak inbetween?
Hey Handyman:

You're new in here, so I will share some insights, as to the repute, of a couple of the men that have comments in your thread.

I'll start with Ivan, who comments first, then I'll move on to Arny who commented lastly.

Ivan is a well known and respected member of Danley Loudspeakers, of Tom Danley fame, the exceedingly well reputed NASA scientist and audiophile. He is a lead member of Toms team and next to Tom Danley is the biggest technical asset. All day long everyday, he has his hand and his mind upon all aspects of design, manufacturing, debugging and repair. This is his truly professional life. Danley has built several custom solutions, for almost a dozen stadiums, which later entered their main catalog, and became industry leading innovations (Genesis Horn). Ivan was apart of all of such events, making him the real thing. And he's a good guy to boot!

Arny, besides being the most vocal member of this community, has a legacy, of well noted contributions, to the home audio / consumer markets; which span several decades. All you have to do is Google his name and start reading (ABX Comparator - Foo Bar 2000, and countless writing publications in magazines and online forums, etc.). He also claims to have BS in Engineering, but hasn't claimed to be an EE or to ever have achieved his full designation, as a professional engineer; however, if he's telling us a fib, he has then become exceeding competent at masking it. Outside of moments/postings when Arny is clearly engaged for the purposes of gamesmanship, he has posted some of the most profound and actuate statements within this forum (which isn't to say that he's close to being alone in such regard).

In this thread, these two gentlemen have replied to you with the absence of gamesmanship and find themselves in tight accord (even though one slightly mis-read the others post). They are both clearly evidencing that comb-filtering not only takes places within true line arrays, but that such is requisite to produce the intendant application benefits.

Their comments mirror the central assertions of my own comments, but come with a known repute that you can trust and verify.

You have posted some great questions, and you deserve the most correct answers available from with AVS.

I hope this helps set your eyes on such.

Last edited by Garidy; 08-29-2014 at 08:43 PM.
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Old 08-30-2014, 10:01 AM
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Bill is one of the worlds leading loudspeaker designers.
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Old 08-30-2014, 06:30 PM
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Hey Riffmeister

What movie did you clip this from?

Cheers
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Old 08-30-2014, 06:44 PM
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Gotta be Office Space. Considered a workplace comedy classic, in some circles.

Not sure I'd go that far, but it does have its moments.


Mourning the disappearing usage of the -ly suffix. Words being cut-off before they've had a chance to fully form, left incomplete, with their shoelaces untied and their zippers undone. If I quote your post (or post in your thread) without comment, please check your zipper.
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Old 08-30-2014, 07:51 PM
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Gotta be Office Space. Considered a workplace comedy classic, in some circles.

Not sure I'd go that far, but it does have its moments.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fy3rjQGc6lA
Cheers!
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Old 08-31-2014, 09:23 AM
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Hey Riffmeister

What movie did you clip this from?

Cheers
Yes, as they said, Office Space. A funny movie that could have been a lot funnier.
The statement I was responding to is pretty darned funny as well. It showcases a ridiculous extreme of the whole personality cult/fanboy situation at play in this forum.
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Old 08-31-2014, 09:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Riffmeister View Post
Yes, as they said, Office Space. A funny movie that could have been a lot funnier.
The statement I was responding to is pretty darned funny as well. It showcases a ridiculous extreme of the whole personality cult/fanboy situation at play in this forum.
Yes indeed - "Ridiculous Extreme"
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Old 08-31-2014, 10:29 AM
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It showcases a ridiculous extreme of the whole personality cult/fanboy situation at play in this forum.
I'll take being labeled a BF fanboy as a compliment.

BF 'Likes': 1295
Riffmeister 'Likes': 34
Garidy 'Likes': 15

We're still waiting for a single example of one of Garidy's speaker designs.
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Old 08-31-2014, 01:06 PM
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I'll take being labeled a BF fanboy as a compliment.

BF 'Likes': 1295
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Which only serves to underscore my point about the personality cultists that dominate the discussions here. Quite apropos also that you refer to him as your "BF".
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Old 08-31-2014, 01:35 PM
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Originally Posted by RickJames View Post
I'll take being labeled a BF fanboy as a compliment.

BF 'Likes': 1295
Riffmeister 'Likes': 34
Garidy 'Likes': 15

We're still waiting for a single example of one of Garidy's speaker designs.
Hey Rick:

No need to get your nickers to tied up in all of this. We get that you like Bill, point well made and taken.

However, the use of 'Likes' as a metric for measuring a statements validity, isn't rooted in science or even common wisdom.

But using your wisdom, adding up the group wisdom of: Arny, Ivan, Riffmesiter, myself and others, which have chosen to post comments that disagree with Bill's statement(s); the total likes, greatly exceed, all of the likes, in Bill's camp, if you will.

You are the only one attacking persons in here, we're all responding Bill's false claims and defending ourselves from your untoward attacks. You haven't produced one shred of 'real' evidence that Bill's right and the rest of us are wrong.

Lastly, there was no compliment paid to you, within this thread; and Bill still remains silent, because he knows he's dead wrong; no way out for him or you, on this one! He should concede his error, so that other blind followers such as yourself, will permit the truth to enter into your respective educations, etc.

I hope these truths start to register with you soon.

Last edited by Garidy; 08-31-2014 at 06:23 PM.
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Old 08-31-2014, 02:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Garidy View Post
However, the use of 'Likes' as a metric for measuring a statements validity, isn't root in science or even common wisdom.
The use of likes indicates people have found a reply helpful, and they're giving respect to the person who posted it. You should think about the implications of your 15 likes, 5 really, the first 10 you got for signing up. As for your views versus Bills, his work is out there for all to see and hear. Still waiting to see one of your designs.

Quote:
we're all responding Bill's false claims
There is no we, its just you. If you read exactly what Bill said none of the other qualified posters contradicted him. You've had a bug up your butt against Bill since the first day you showed up here and he revealed you in thread after thread post after post as being wrong. He hasn't been alone either. In every thread you've posted in its always been you against everyone else. Its been pointed out that your probably someone whos been banned here before for trolling and being an insufferable egomaniac. IMHO we'll see a repeat of that probably sooner than later.
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