Originally Posted by jim19611961
Originally Posted by kbarnes701
Sanjay, you have repeated twice in recent posts that you feel there is a need to "improve intelligibility" or to "make dialogue more intelligible". This would suggest that dialogue is lacking in intelligibility to start with (or it clearly couldn't be improved'). But what about those of us who do not find that dialogue intelligibility requires any improvement at all? If I can clearly hear every word that is spoken, what need for improvement is there? And given that I have no assistance from 'good' reflections, what is the explanation for this dialogue intelligibility that I have?
I am all for using any and every tool in the box in order to get the best sound possible, and it may well be that using 'good' reflections can aid in dialogue intelligibility, along with many other measures. Where I take exception is when someone (not you) keeps pushing the concept that these 'good' reflections are an integral/essential part of clear dialogue. And especially when they use hilarious mumbo-jumbo in an attempt to support the view.
What I seem to be getting from this conversation is this.
The improved intelligibility caused by early reflections seems to be so mainly because of the gain given to them and the brain fusing the direct and early reflections together. As has been pointed out already, in a amplified speaker system, improved gain isnt necessary given provided amplification. Some seem to claim that early reflections gain you improved intelligibility in an amplified system, but omitting the context that these findings were derived from.
A succinct summary of what I have been trying to convey, Jim. Roger also put it very well too IMO, and with great authority.
In an home audio system, I cant see how fused early reflections from the room can be an improvement in hearing the recording over hearing the recording without these room reflections. In my experience, the more I remove the room from the first 20ms of the time domain, the better it sounds.
So I have basically some of the same questions as you.
That has been exactly my own experience too. When my room was untreated, I did sometimes struggle with dialogue intelligibility. I read somewhere on AVS that some people, whose judgement I respect, sometimes attributed the lack of clarity of dialogue to reflected sound 'interfering' with the direct sound from the speaker. I had already decided to treat my room at some point, but this was a catalyst for me so I set about trying to learn what treatments I would need. I took advice from Bryan Pape at GIK Acoustics and from F. Alton Everest's book, 'The Master handbook of Acoustics' and, of course, from anyone on these threads who would help me (which was many).
Along with learning to use REW, I eventually added significant treatments to the room and guess what? Just as you say, the more I removed the room from the first 20ms of the time domain, the better it sounded. I also noted that whereas my typical (close to reference) listening level on the MV had been -9dB, it was now typically -6dB. A full 3dB of energy had been removed from the room - all of it unwanted (by me at least). I now have a room that some might describe as 'dead' but which I prefer to describe as 'inert' and the sound is fabulous. And, to the point, dialogue intelligibility is just never an issue.
Of course, I only use my HT for movies, as I have mentioned often, and I may well feel differently if I wanted a dual-purpose movie/music room. But, IMO, all the ambience and spaciousness etc is already recorded into the soundtracks and is capably reproduced by my 5.1/7.1 system. I am transported fully to the environment the sound mixer intended, whether it be a vast open outdoor space, a large, echoey indoor space, a 70's discoteque, an intimate interior space or whatever. It is truly wonderful to hear all of these different environments, often in the same movie, in my physically small room. I have made the walls disappear and I am hearing much more of the speakers themselves.
I fully accept that this may not be what everyone wants, but it is what I want and I have become convinced that a NE room is just the ticket for me. It may be a hangover from the numerous hours I have spent in small editing suites when finalising the soundtracks for the radio and cinema commercials I used to produce as part of my work - I was always transfixed by the sound the guys in those suites enjoyed, and the one characteristic they all shared was a more or less complete lack of reflections. It is also worth considering that in commercials, the dialogue is often (usually) the most important single element in the whole soundtrack, so dialogue intelligibility was of paramount importance to us - yet we achieved this absolutely without the aid of any reflections in the editing environment.