Originally Posted by mike lavigne
maybe explain why a concert hall uses diffusion.
Not all do. My last visit to Tanglewood, they were using flat panel reflectors. Here in Los Angeles, the Walt Disney Concert Hall was tuned using abosorbers.
my room mimics a concert hall in it's layout
But not its size, which is more important since small room acoustics are very different from large room acoustics. You cannot, for example, mimic concert hall reverberation times.
it will out-soundstage any absorbtive room with multi-channel as far as recreating the event.
How do you know? Have you done any sort of A/B comparison to a listening room similar to your's but with more absorbtion and optimized for multi-channel playback? Do you have some objective measure to support your claim? Or maybe explain why 2 speakers would image better than a surround set-up?
multi-channel can do a better job of envelopment......but not localization of the stage or layering within it.
Imagine a live event where you have a vocalist in the middle of the soundstage. She is pressurizing the air at that location, just as a centre speaker would. How does a phantom image, which is created by your ear/brain mechanism, get the air to pressurize at that location?
The sound from the vocalist goes straight to both your ears, just as it would with a centre speaker. With 2-speaker playback, the sound from each speaker is first heard in the nearby ear and then wraps around your head to be heard in the opposite ear. Which means you literally hear the same mono sound four
times, with a timing delay between each pair of arrivals. Those timing differences compete against the ones that allow us to hear soundstage depth (front to back layering). How do your two speakers overcome that?
When it comes to envelopment, 2-speaker and surround can both deliver. With a surround set-up, ambient/spatial cues are heard from the same direction as they were at live event, arriving initially from your sides and behind you. Absorbtion will help cut down on the sonic signature of your listening room. With 2-speaker playback, recorded ambience arrives initially from the wrong direction: in front of you. It is then
reflected and scattered around the room for you to hear as ambience. But that adds spatial cues that describe your listening room on top of the spatial cues in the recording that describe the original venue. How do your 2 speakers up front initiate sound from your sides?
Please understand that I am not arguing your personal preference, just explaining the difference between how live events are heard vs how 2 speakers play back the same event.
absorbtion is needed when spaces cannot handle the musical energy or speaker interaction.
What do you mean by "cannot handle the musical energy"?
i have not heard a center channel that approached my stereo pair in center performance.
And you probably won't, until you use another of the same model as your centre speaker. When setting up a 2-speaker system, you wouldn't use similar speakers for left & right. You'd use the exact same speaker at both locations. No reason to change that way of thinking just because the soundstage is made up of 3 speakers instead of 2.