Originally Posted by amirm
As with anything you need to understand what your tool measures and doesn’t measure.
Glad to see you're slowly coming around. Or so I thought...
My main beef with ETC is not any of this but the fact that what it tells you is devoid of psychoacoustics. Psychoacoustics involves the knowledge of frequency spectrum and how it relates to us hearing them. Such data is absent and misleading at times in ETC. This is why you don’t want to use it. Not because of accuracy errors.
"My main beef with frequency response is not any of this but the fact that what it tells you is devoid of psychoacoustics. Psychoacoustics involves the knowledge of the timing and gain of reflections and how it relates to us hearing them. Such data is absent and misleading at times in the frequency response. This is why you don’t want to use it. Not because of accuracy errors."
I thought perhaps this might demonstrate how rational thinking evolves into dogma, and why you receive such resistance in how you present information and your opinion. ETC may be devoid of spectrum, but it is not devoid of psychoacoustically important information, despite your insistence to the contrary. For goodness sake, the precedence effect was researched, what, more than half a century ago??
It would be wrong of me to make a blanket statement such as "you don't want to use frequency response measurements because psychoacoustically important timing data is absent from them", even if my statement is true. It is wrong to make this statement because there is obviously psychoacoustically important information contained in the frequency response as well. This can be said equally of time domain measurements. As you have stated in the past, you may believe providing tools to the user, and thus more information upon which to make informed decisions, is wrong. I do not.
Unless you are making the strong argument that all
possible specular reflections within residential sized spaces will always
be within timing and gain windows felt to be unilaterally benign by past or current research, then the converse by default must be true... there are such reflections that may not be benign. And in those cases, such data necessary to identify and remove them is absent from frequency response measurements.
Toole's position does not seem to be that all possible reflections in all possible cases will be benign. My take or summarization or interpretation of his work in this area is that for the average person, in the average residential room, with the average or typical program material (for most people this is TV/movies with speech and non-critical music listening), lateral reflections from untreated walls are unlikely to be destructive and may even sometimes prove beneficial. I know your position as stated based on Harmon listening tests is that most people should consider themselves average, and thus their preferences will likely match the general preferences discussed by Toole. However, I'm not an average anything. I'm just me. And my room isn't an average anything, it's my room. And I don't listen to average stuff, I listen to specific movies and recordings. And perhaps I don't want the increased spaciousness from lateral reflections, perhaps I would prefer greater imaging preciseness and more distinct localization cues. Or perhaps speech intelligibility isn't a problem in my room when the volume knob is appropriately turned. Or perhaps I like ambiance extraction techniques that I would prefer to supplant for the room's rendering of spaciousness. Or perhaps.....
The point is, there are many such possible conditional criteria that Toole's work can't speak to directly. He even gives explicit leeway for such preference, as Sanjay has tried so eloquently to highlight. And if in the end I
want to know whether the reflections contained in my
room, with my
speakers, using my
preferred source material improve or detract from the experience to my
ears, how am I to find out armed with only frequency response data? If I were to take an informed, proactive approach to my own listening environment, where in the frequency response data you suggest is wholly sufficient will I find the information necessary to identify in order to manipulate specific reflections that may, or may not, be detrimental to my own personal listening experience? And if not the frequency response, what data, gathered by what tool, would I need?
This is the message dragon and local have delivered, buried under mountains of nitpicking, sidestepping, and misdirection, twisted by your manipulations, and ignored by your dogmatic need to have everyone conform to the average of your latest hero.
It's a pretty simple message Amir. If you want all the information possible upon which to make informed decisions about your own personal environment, you need to use the tools necessary to collect that data. It's as simple as that.