At the beginning of this thread I made the promise to cover topics relative to the Trinnov in the R972. The following is a post to a $20k thread regarding spatiality. As I know you may be interested in undestanding the concepts behind what you are hearing, I'm repeating the post for you here. Cheers, Curt
The following is a discussion regarding the benefits of loudspeaker correction with respect to spatiality- where it helps and where a different kind of correction is needed.
The highest spatial detail comes from a point source- like one loudspeaker. The amount of reproduced spatial resolution will be how big the image appears. Often we see speakers placed away from walls- that would cause early reflections and reduce spatial detail. Most spatial detail comes between pairs of loudspeakers, and again, many are placed away from walls to reduce reflections. Here we have the added problem of needing the speakers to be matched- to each other and the room in order to have utmost spatial detail. If the speakers don't sound the same at the listening position(s) (in both amplitude and time), then there is no hope to have robust spatial detail.
Enter loudspeaker correction. The best improves spatial detail between the speakers. To my way of thinking, this benefit is bigger than the target listening curve. I'd easily give up my favorite curve to have better spatial resolution, because it has every thing to do with seeing into the performance, revealing subtle details. Some recordings have layers of spatial detail that can easily be lost without the right balance of speaker, room, and correction. For stereo reproduction, this may be all you need, but for surround, there is more to the puzzle then speakers, room, and EQ correction.
So we have our spatial detail between two speakers. Now make it surround-with any number of speakers. You have a completely different spatial problem, even if we assume you have the spatial detail problem (outlined above) solved. That problem is what I'll call Spatial Angular Resolution. Will images appear and move where they should? Will you hear only the images, with the speakers seemingly disappearing? You could achieve this, for one dedicated playback format, only if you have exact placement of your speakers to the format and spatial detail correction outlined above. Then, as soon as you change formats (there are several - movie, ITU misic, etc), you'll need to change everything: move the speakers to positions required for the new format, re-calibrate for the new positions otherwise you will have lost your spatial angular resolution. Maybe you're thinking, Ah that won't be so bad, I can live with that!. You can, but here's what you are missing, and it's easy to tell: you'll be listening to loudspeakers, not images. Why?
Angular Resolution is very important to Spatial Resolution because you are listening in what we call an Acoustic Field. It's 3 dimensional. In the studio, just as there are layers of sounds created by the harmonic textures of instruments and voices, there are also often spatial layers of sounds created by more then one loudspeaker that form together in the acoustic field and appear to come from an intended direction. The loudspeakers are spatially coherent, supporting the 3d acoustic field. If everything is right, then you hear the images originate in the field from the intended directions. If it's not right (the loudspeaker/room placement is off), the waves from the loudspeakers will not be coherent and won't properly combine in the acoustic field. The result is that you just hear sounds from speakers and the imaging is lost (or incorrect).
What to listen for? Those who have heard Trinnov Spatial Correction (separate from room correction) understand the difference, but what if you haven't? Maybe here's one way to describe it, and those of you who have heard Trinnov Spatial Correction can respond. I'm going to use a rough example to get the point across. Here goes.
First consider a stereo recording you've heard that has one singer singing a duet with themselves, their voice recorded separately to each channel. The harmony is excellent, so listening on average stereo, it appears as one voice, but clouded somewhat and lacking detail. As you improve Spatial Detail through a better playback system, you now hear the two voices distinctly.
Second, let's consider a stereo recording with one voice. If the system lacks Spatial Detail, then the voice can appear cloudy, possibly swishy, and as though there are two voices- a duet- even though it is just a single voice. You are hearing both loudspeakers, rather then the single voice. This is an example of what to listen for: do you hear loudspeakers or images? In stereo, spatial detail comes from matching speakers and room. In surround, detail comes from this and speaker placement. If placement is not exact, one can use Trinnov spatial correction, called Spatial Remapping. The result is seamless imaging. This is at the heart of what Trinnov Spatial Correction provides as a benefit, and it should never be confused with room correction alone.