Horns vs. direct radiators, and their sonic differences - Page 6 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #151 of 188 Old 05-25-2019, 04:43 PM
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Originally Posted by noah katz View Post
I've never quite grasped this idea.

Assuming the recording and electronics have accurately captured the instruments, a good speaker will transparently reproduce them, and I'm always instantly impressed by the immediacy, clarity, and dynamics of live instruments.

So maybe it's just poor choice of program material.
It's more that with a neutral the program material dictates the spectral balance. With a less neutral speaker you hear the same colorations with a bunch of different program material, and especially if the speaker is expensive or looks great the typical listener is going to think that they're hearing something revealed for the first time.

Another issue is the marketing of "exotic" drivers (ribbons, planars, AMT, plasma, etc.) Often (note: "often," not "always") a speaker will be hot in the region played by the "exotic." At first, someone may think "oh wow, that exotic thing really sounds amazing." But sooner or later a critical listener will realize that the exotic puts its imprint on everything s/he listens to.

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post #152 of 188 Old 06-02-2019, 01:23 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by RoboAVS View Post
I stand by these comments and my own. its my semifirm belief that 50hz is 50hz no matter how you slice it.
"Semifirm belief".. There's room for something here; doubt, or the realization that what can be measured isn't an exhaustive approach? Do we know, or have we defined all measurement parameters to supply sufficient data for what is, effectively, an all-encompassing telling of how something sounds? It's not that I need the mystery, I just question an exhaustive correlation between what we perceive audibly, and how or even if there're sufficient measure(ment) to properly quantify these impressions into data. I'm not saying it can't be done ultimately/eventually, but we're not there yet.

Indeed, to the ones who believe our ears is the limiting factor we should not undermine the systemic ability of our hearing, not that it's a much finer and way more sensitive instrument than the sound-by-numbers brethren would have us believe. Why go to the lengths one does if it's not gratified through our ears/body?

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A horn may well eliminate distortion if very carefully built and theres no getting around that fact. Music lovers, imo, tend to love horns because they either have "left the building" when it comes to ULF or maybe never cared for it in the first place.
This is a telling paragraph. Maybe music lovers who love horn bass simply cherish it because it actually sounds, god forbid, more musical (i.e.: better) to their ears? "Musical" to me is what sounds more like live music and makes it all cohere, and horn bass does exactly that in my setup - and in other setups I've heard as well. It's not that I don't care for ULF, but how often does it enter the mix apart from movies? What's mostly in the mix is content from 25-30Hz on up, so IMO it makes more sense to judge bass from what's actually found in the music, or films for that matter - most of the time. This is not saying I wouldn't like to have it all, from ~10Hz to past 100Hz clean and effortlessly, but from what I've heard you can't readily have your cake and eat it too.

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A sealed sub will in almost all cases be EQd to create the desired response...but they can play a fullrange better than the other alignments. Ported, if large and very well built can mimic most of a horns clarity and lack of distortion and can also play down much lower, esp when you reach the typical cabinet size of a horn.
And this is my stance from the outset, as proposed: horns and direct radiators don't sound similar, and part of the reasons for this I'm sure can be explained via measurements, just as there're likely remaining aspects that haven't yet been dealt with quantifiably that could explain the sonic difference between them.

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If the choice is how to get really clear distortion free sound from the 30 to 80 range, we will be hard pressed to show with measurements anything better than a horn. Not a dts10 per se, a true well built horn designed to play a typical music subs range.
I'm glad you're not using the DTS-10 as an example here as a (tapped) horn sub representative of the typical musical range. I'd wager you could even have 20-80Hz cleanly from a horn (with a quality digital XO), at least going by my own pair of MicroWrecker tapped horns (I'm sure they're to be disregarded as "true" horns, but they a horn variety nonetheless). On paper at least I'd say one of the only viable alternatives to my MW's is a pair of Josh Ricci's Skrams (slightly modified spilt-in-two SKhorn), but perhaps the defining quality of theirs isn't at all unrelated to them being anywhere near ULF-performance (unless blocking more than one or two ports). Oh, obviously the Skrams aren't horns per se, a 6th order BP hybrid at best, but maybe their "merger"-design will prove me wrong on my stance..

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To the MAIN question-- I still respond that 50hz is 50hz. But in most rooms, 50hz will sound different if you play it at 110db using the different alignments.

Put another way, I am confident MK could build me a near perfect DR sub that plays from 30 to 80 without distortion and without much EQ and sounds just as good as a horn, Thats an opinion, not close to a fact. But ported or sealed subs that only play that range are usually crap subs bought from a well known brand, thus leading so many to look elsewhere and many to think ported sucks!

Theres no way around the fact that a well built horn can use very little power and with a great driver sound "perfect" in a certain range, and most DRs cant match that. But beyond that, my OPINiON is still that there are NO actual differences beyond the space they are played in and its own acoustic issues.
My own setup and history of purchases isn't my only reference, obviously, but in any case my opinion on the above differs from yours.

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post #153 of 188 Old 06-02-2019, 03:46 PM
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Rezag you are quite thoughtful and have very clear opinions that I think make a lot of sense.

I always go back to a single thought -- the first time I ran Audyssey in a room and heard what that same setup sounded like with a flat response.

I believe ds21 said it - it seems to almost lose its "character". I mean exactly what he does. It takes several weeks listening to a flat response to acclimate to it, to begin to create the ear-brain link telling you this may well be the correct baseline.

And I ask also, why did Audyssey create an Audyssey curve and why did they create an Audyssey flat curve?

The obvious answer is the 2 situations that exist -- the standard expectation of the Audyssey implementation is an untreated room with relatively close walls...thus the high end rolloff to remove the excessive HF sound an untreated toom will have from reflections. And not just measured as FR...it is the smearing reflections that Toole said sound good to many hearing music. I think back to my Bose system (! 😜) and again realize...that " Bose sound" was a mind trick designed to make an untreated room with a decent at best setup sound like it has lots of treatment -- high end rolloff, and bass modules that only cover a range that decays fast like a movie theater.

Then Audyssey has Audyssey flat, you have to scroll far to find it, they obviously dont expect it used often.

But then again, in my treated room flat is ideal, and indeed flat.

But then again, flat does not guarantee even decay times, so treatment is not just measured in FR, of course. I have spent a few years adding treatment and lowering and evening out decay times.

My humility in only having a semifirm belief that 50hz is 50hz comes from the realization that what I think will evolve over time, exactly as you say.

But lets take an anechoic chamber with a DR playing 50 hz directly at you, and a horn doing it. Say 70db. Great drivers, great boxes, great designs.

In that one situation, does 50hz sound the same? That is why I believe what I believe -- that the rest is all box defects/limitations and the room.
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post #154 of 188 Old 06-02-2019, 06:00 PM
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Originally Posted by RoboAVS View Post
...But lets take an anechoic chamber with a DR playing 50 hz directly at you, and a horn doing it. Say 70db. Great drivers, great boxes, great designs...

Your treated room might be closer to an anechoic chamber than most listeners rooms.
If the OP made his original statement in a more typical reflective room, would the following question be somewhat relevant to his beliefs?


Is there a difference between generating 50Hz at 70dB from a 2.5" port, versus 50Hz at 70dB from a large horn mouth. One being closer to being a point source and the other being closer to a plane wave.
Sure the 70 dB level will be exactly the same at the microphone position (and thus, indiscernible), but if you walk around the room will the two sound generating methods create identical sound intensity fields everywhere?


I know, I know, the wavelengths involved don't really allow differentiating one method as a point source and the other as a plane wave, but at mid and high frequencies the differences between a point source and a planar transducer is very noticeable within the room. (a point source gets much quieter as you walk away from the speaker whereas a plane source does not)


So my question is, at what frequency does this discernability between the two sources vanish?
In a more reverberant room, is it possible that the highest bass frequencies just might have a slightly different enough sound field intensity throughout the room, when generated from different source sizes, to be noticeable?
(Note: I'm assuming typical horns are a bigger sound source than ports, area-wise)
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post #155 of 188 Old 06-02-2019, 07:22 PM
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Is there a difference between generating 50Hz at 70dB from a 2.5" port, versus 50Hz at 70dB from a large horn mouth. One being closer to being a point source and the other being closer to a plane wave.
Sure the 70 dB level will be exactly the same at the microphone position (and thus, indiscernible), but if you walk around the room will the two sound generating methods create identical sound intensity fields everywhere?


I know, I know, the wavelengths involved don't really allow differentiating one method as a point source and the other as a plane wave, but at mid and high frequencies the differences between a point source and a planar transducer is very noticeable within the room. (a point source gets much quieter as you walk away from the speaker whereas a plane source does not)


So my question is, at what frequency does this discernability between the two sources vanish?
In a more reverberant room, is it possible that the highest bass frequencies just might have a slightly different enough sound field intensity throughout the room, when generated from different source sizes, to be noticeable?
(Note: I'm assuming typical horns are a bigger sound source than ports, area-wise)

Good question. From the calculator here: http://www.baudline.com/erik/bass/xmaxer.html a 2.5" port would require the slug of air to move 2.236 mm one way, or a bit less than 4.5 mm p-p to produce 50 hz at 70dB at 1m.



I'd expect the bass horn driver to produce that output with a few microns of excursion. In the theoretical example, the woofer driving the port at tuning is also barely moving, distortion should be non existent for either case.



Your question about discerning between two apparent source sizes is addressed in this paper by Pat Brown at SynAudCon. https://www.prosoundtraining.com/201...-loudspeakers/
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post #156 of 188 Old 06-02-2019, 10:00 PM
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...Your question about discerning between two apparent source sizes is addressed in this paper by Pat Brown at SynAudCon. https://www.prosoundtraining.com/201...-loudspeakers/

Sorry but my take on that article isn't the difference between source sizes, but the difference between the number of boundaries surrounding a directional versus non-directional speaker.
Unfortunately the mid-range horn they used as a directional example had a response graph that only started at 200Hz, which is too high for subwoofer duty.
My gut feeling is that the wavelengths are too long to be affected by directional versus non-directional speaker designs at subwoofer frequencies, so both designs would probably add coherently with the resulting gain only dependent on the number of boundaries present.


However, I remember reading an AVS thread somewhere where owners of the Stereo Integrity 24" subwoofer driver expressed hearing something different from such a large driver that they hadn't heard before.
They couldn't pin down what the difference was, only that is was definitely there and quite noticeable.
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post #157 of 188 Old 06-02-2019, 10:46 PM
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Sorry but my take on that article isn't the difference between source sizes, but the difference between the number of boundaries surrounding a directional versus non-directional speaker.
Unfortunately the mid-range horn they used as a directional example had a response graph that only started at 200Hz, which is too high for subwoofer duty.
My gut feeling is that the wavelengths are too long to be affected by directional versus non-directional speaker designs at subwoofer frequencies, so both designs would probably add coherently with the resulting gain only dependent on the number of boundaries present.


However, I remember reading an AVS thread somewhere where owners of the Stereo Integrity 24" subwoofer driver expressed hearing something different from such a large driver that they hadn't heard before.
They couldn't pin down what the difference was, only that is was definitely there and quite noticeable.

The horn used in the article was large enough that pattern control at 500 hz was possible, even at 200 hz, the horn would have to be closer than 1.4 feet from a boundary to experience a cancellation at 200 hz, if you take 1/4 of the distace x 2 ( return distance of half wavelength ~ 180 degree phase reversal null )



At 50 hz, a subwoofer baffle size would have to be enormous in order to provide pattern control. ( a large baffle acts as a 180 degree horn, giving front to back isolation )


200 hz wavelength = 5.65 feet

50 hz wavelength = 22.6 feet


There are ways to make the physical baffle seem larger than it actually is, commonly H frames and U frames are used in conjunction with arrays of woofers in open baffle speakers. These extend the distance the wave has to travel, moving the cancellation frequency down.



Drivers powered with the same signal located < 1/4 wavelength at the highest frequency of interest will appear as one large acoustic source. Reflections of the original source that are within 1/8th of a wavelength ( 1/4 wavelength return path to the original source ) will sum 100% and again make the virtual source larger.
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post #158 of 188 Old 06-03-2019, 12:21 PM
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stereo and michael, excellent points that i am pondering now. thank you both

if i could go back in time i might have gone to school to become an audio engineer i enjoy this so much. its highly sophisticated yet still seems to have many unexplored and maybe even unfound elements that make it a very exciting field i.e. it surprises me how much is not clearly settled
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post #159 of 188 Old 06-03-2019, 10:41 PM
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Originally Posted by RoboAVS View Post
I always go back to a single thought -- the first time I ran Audyssey in a room and heard what that same setup sounded like with a flat response.

I believe ds21 said it - it seems to almost lose its "character". I mean exactly what he does. It takes several weeks listening to a flat response to acclimate to it, to begin to create the ear-brain link telling you this may well be the correct baseline.

I saw a talk by Dr. Floyd Toole on youtube, part of which explains why room correction above Schroeder freq is unlikely to be doing what is claimed, i.e. giving the same result as a good speaker in a good room.

I think it's this one, but even if not it's highly educational:


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post #160 of 188 Old 06-04-2019, 05:35 AM
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Controlled directivity does help in most rooms, but you cannot replicate room design and treatment by using EQ.

I do understand his points about reflections within 20ms. In an untreated or lightly treated room with a good design, music is livelier but more to the point i think, it sounds like what most people hear 99% of the time they hear music. Cars arent treated, most rooms arent and so many people configure their rooms to sound as good as possible with a lot of limitations.

However just like building a really good box for a sub can improve the sound, so can careful treatment. And removing some of the within 20ms reflections can sound better...i get we incorporate smearing within 20ms as the original source...but imo thats kind of a "talking to the 99%" situation vs what truly is best.

Hearing additional detail is the wow moments imo. Every change to a setup takes time to acclimate to, i.e. it will sound weird or wrong. The first time a good sub is eqd in a room it sounds "light" to many...but soon your hear the midbass detail that was smothered by a ragged response.

Likewise when near reflections are lessened (smearing and decay reduced) it sounds better. Toole is a big proponent of this.
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post #161 of 188 Old 06-04-2019, 11:13 AM
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Controlled directivity does help in most rooms, but you cannot replicate room design and treatment by using EQ...

Yes, that was (part of) the point - claiming a RC system actually corrects for room effects above the modal range is a stretch.

Witness how many say the Audyssey app's ability to limit the freq to which correction is applied improves the sound.
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post #162 of 188 Old 06-04-2019, 02:41 PM
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And I ask also, why did Audyssey create an Audyssey curve and why did they create an Audyssey flat curve?
I put "Audyssey flat" in the same category as their crappy speakers midrange notch - just a bad idea. Treble absorbs in air. Boosting treble to be flat at the listening position, aside from inducing headaches and unnecessarily stressing tweeters, severely colors reproduction of live unamplified instruments with strong treble overtones.

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But then again, in my treated room flat is ideal, and indeed flat.
That sounds like a good reason to rip down some of the superfluous padding and rebuild the acoustic scene!

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But lets take an anechoic chamber with a DR playing 50 hz directly at you, and a horn doing it. Say 70db.
Again, there's no such thing as "horn" at 50Hz in a small room. It's just not a real thing, because there's no such thing as directivity in that region in a small room.

It is possible to make a bandpass box with some acoustic gain over a limited bandwidth, often at the expense of truly terrible resonances. These contraptions are generally not higher in fidelity than simple closed boxes that take up much less space. Split the gigantic bandpass thing into multiple sealed boxes distributed around the room and, given at least marginal installer competence, fidelity will massively improve.

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Your question about discerning between two apparent source sizes is addressed in this paper by Pat Brown at SynAudCon. https://www.prosoundtraining.com/201...-loudspeakers/
The most important line in that article regarding most of the discussions in this thread, which are not about "horns" but bandpass bass bins:

"Room modes will also dominate the subwoofer response in most applications."

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Controlled directivity does help in most rooms, but you cannot replicate room design and treatment by using EQ.
Controlled directivity is a necessary but not sufficient condition for high fidelity reproduction, nothing more. How directivity is controlled (e.g. omni, omni progressing to a fixed pattern - and what pattern? - with steep dropoff outside the defined pattern, progressively increasing directivity, etc.) makes for interesting listening comparisons. But I think by now it's well settled that uncontrolled directivity speakers is just a synonym for "bad speakers."

If "room treatment" is needed for subjectively pleasing results, that's a big sign that maybe the speakers aren't very well designed.
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I put "Audyssey flat" in the same category as their crappy speakers midrange notch - just a bad idea. Treble absorbs in air. Boosting treble to be flat at the listening position, aside from inducing headaches and unnecessarily stressing tweeters, severely colors reproduction of live unamplified instruments with strong treble overtones.



That sounds like a good reason to rip down some of the superfluous padding and rebuild the acoustic scene!



Again, there's no such thing as "horn" at 50Hz in a small room. It's just not a real thing, because there's no such thing as directivity in that region in a small room.

It is possible to make a bandpass box with some acoustic gain over a limited bandwidth, often at the expense of truly terrible resonances. These contraptions are generally not higher in fidelity than simple closed boxes that take up much less space. Split the gigantic bandpass thing into multiple sealed boxes distributed around the room and, given at least marginal installer competence, fidelity will massively improve.



The most important line in that article regarding most of the discussions in this thread, which are not about "horns" but bandpass bass bins:

"Room modes will also dominate the subwoofer response in most applications."



Controlled directivity is a necessary but not sufficient condition for high fidelity reproduction, nothing more. How directivity is controlled (e.g. omni, omni progressing to a fixed pattern - and what pattern? - with steep dropoff outside the defined pattern, progressively increasing directivity, etc.) makes for interesting listening comparisons. But I think by now it's well settled that uncontrolled directivity speakers is just a synonym for "bad speakers."

If "room treatment" is needed for subjectively pleasing results, that's a big sign that maybe the speakers aren't very well designed.
I think you veered off a bit here so i will try to clarify.

Audyssey flat doesnt mean boosting the teble. It simply means flattening the response. It can be done easily by lowering a few peaks. I dont disagree boosting 10k+ is a mistake. I EQ my mains through DSP before Audyssey gets a final touch on it.

Treating a room properly simply accounts for the room. Im lost in your assumption, if i understand you correctly you are saying an untreated room sounds good? Maybe if you are lucky! And you would be hard pressed to tell me when i add say 4 or 6 key location panels that it doesnt sound better.

I have an untreated music and theater room, then a heavily treated theater. Night and day difference. Theres no doubt the untreated room is more lively. The theater has fast decay for its purpose. Clarity is unmatched vs an untreated room. There is no ideal covering both imo. But there IS a benefit to some treatment in every room (even though i have removed it in my music room, due to inability to incorporate it with enough stealth for the rooms look).

Controlled directivity through the massive SEOS guides or Jbl design is def a step beyond your typical horn or guide, but i agree with your underlying points.
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I think you veered off a bit here so i will try to clarify.

Audyssey flat doesnt mean boosting the teble. It simply means flattening the response. It can be done easily by lowering a few peaks. I dont disagree boosting 10k+ is a mistake. I EQ my mains through DSP before Audyssey gets a final touch on it.

Treating a room properly simply accounts for the room. Im lost in your assumption, if i understand you correctly you are saying an untreated room sounds good? Maybe if you are lucky! And you would be hard pressed to tell me when i add say 4 or 6 key location panels that it doesnt sound better.

I have an untreated music and theater room, then a heavily treated theater. Night and day difference. Theres no doubt the untreated room is more lively. The theater has fast decay for its purpose. Clarity is unmatched vs an untreated room. There is no ideal covering both imo. But there IS a benefit to some treatment in every room (even though i have removed it in my music room, due to inability to incorporate it with enough stealth for the rooms look).

Controlled directivity through the massive SEOS guides or Jbl design is def a step beyond your typical horn or guide, but i agree with your underlying points.
His point was flat response at the listening position is not ideal.

Standard audyssey actually targets a better curve, minus the stupid 2-3khz dip.

This is my response at the listening position, which is much closer to "ideal" than a flat response.

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post #165 of 188 Old 06-04-2019, 06:53 PM
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Audyssey flat doesnt mean boosting the teble. It simply means flattening the response. It can be done easily by lowering a few peaks.
Unless one's speakers are truly wretched ear-bleeders, making the treble flat at the listening position (what Audyssey's Flat curve does) will jack up the treble. A speaker with flat treble will have attenuated treble at the listening position due to air absorption etc.

Basically Audyssey Flat is exactly wrong: it neuters the room gain one's ear-brain expects to percieve (thus sucking the life out of the upper bass) and jacks up the treble. Its only virtue is that it does dispense with the crappy speakers midrange notch, which is why before Audyssey came out with the app to allow bandwidth-limited correction, and turn off the crappy speakers notch, sometimes people with upstream DSP who wanted Audyssey's other technologies would calibrate with "Flat" and tame the treble barbarities after the fact.

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I dont disagree boosting 10k+ is a mistake.
That's exactly what Audyssey's Flat curve will do, assuming one is starting with sanely-voiced speakers.

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Treating a room properly simply accounts for the room. Im lost in your assumption, if i understand you correctly you are saying an untreated room sounds good?
The research shows that if a room supports normal human conversation then no additional room futzing is required for audio (MF/HF). If possible, there are things that can be done to improve LF, but they are very large and not sellable as audio product per se. (OK, I guess Green Glue technically is a product that, when used properly to provide constrained layer damping between two panels of drywall, actually can provide audible benefits.) The "treatments" in my own living room* consist of: an upholstered ottoman instead of a coffee table, drapes on the windows.

*No dedicated room here, and no interest in one. I'd rather enjoy living in a walkable neighborhood than suffer a McMansion in the hinterländer.

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Your point about taking out room gain makes no sense to me. Flat is flat...your ear may not like it though.

With dynamic eq, it boosts the low end up in a linear fashion.

On my Audyssey flat correction, it only boost the very last band which i agree is wrong, but has no ill effects in a treated room (i hear a flat direct response, and there is not a significant reflection added to it)...which is why the regular curve has rolloff...for exactly what you said. An untreated room with even a true flat response will crush you at high volume let alone boosted -- because of the reflections.

Not having any treatment is common, i get it, but when you go further by saying your untreated room is "good enough" I dont disagree. What i am saying though is i guarantee it will be better with some treatment.

It is why every recording studio and concert hall is carefully designed - its better!

People spend 1000s or 10000s on equipment, all searching for a way to make a room with issues sound better.

$200 of treatment is more valuable to most rooms than anything else.

Your midbass issue is imo exactly wrong (no offense). When you add large broadband absorbers to your room and reduce the decay times to a more even result, the midbass is much clearer and hits way harder. Nothing can replace bass trapping imo.

FR is obv very important, but decay time is just as critical. Not addressing this is fine, in one room I dont. But its beyond noticeable and inferior in this regard, especially for music. It is simply that we get used to what we like and believe it good enough...but often it can be better is my only point. Not that anything is less than great in your setup.
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post #167 of 188 Old 06-04-2019, 07:51 PM
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Originally Posted by RoboAVS View Post
Your point about taking out room gain makes no sense to me. Flat is flat...your ear may not like it though.

With dynamic eq, it boosts the low end up in a linear fashion.

On my Audyssey flat correction, it only boost the very last band which i agree is wrong, but has no ill effects in a treated room (i hear a flat direct response, and there is not a significant reflection added to it)...which is why the regular curve has rolloff...for exactly what you said. An untreated room with even a true flat response will crush you at high volume let alone boosted -- because of the reflections.

Not having any treatment is common, i get it, but when you go further by saying your untreated room is "good enough" I dont disagree. What i am saying though is i guarantee it will be better with some treatment.

It is why every recording studio and concert hall is carefully designed - its better!

People spend 1000s or 10000s on equipment, all searching for a way to make a room with issues sound better.

$200 of treatment is more valuable to most rooms than anything else.

Your midbass issue is imo exactly wrong (no offense). When you add large broadband absorbers to your room and reduce the decay times to a more even result, the midbass is much clearer and hits way harder. Nothing can replace bass trapping imo.

FR is obv very important, but decay time is just as critical. Not addressing this is fine, in one room I dont. But its beyond noticeable and inferior in this regard, especially for music. It is simply that we get used to what we like and believe it good enough...but often it can be better is my only point. Not that anything is less than great in your setup.
Not getting into the treated room debate, obviously I lie in treatments camp.

That said, a flat speaker is not flat at the listening position due to hf attenuation from the air, as has been said by ds-21. This is ideal. Audyssey flat corrects to a flat response at the LP, which sounds not good unless your hearing is damaged or you're older.

The standard Audyssey target is actually fairly good, minus the awful crossover correction bump.



I took measurements a while back a couple feet from the speaker then again at the listening position. You can see the HF attenuation just from the distance.

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Your point about taking out room gain makes no sense to me. Flat is flat...your ear may not like it though.
Measured flat in room as read a microphone and perceptually flat in room as determined by a human are different concepts. If you take a source that's actually flat at LF and put it in a small room, the trendline will be an upper bass rise. Obviously it won't be linear, because room modes. But the trend is clear. That upper bass rise is what the ear-brain expects in a small room. Likewise, flat treble at the listening position is not perceptually flat treble. The ear-brain expects some HF attenuation, unless it has been trained to accept unnatural sounds. The Rx to remediate such training is frequent attendance of live, unamplified musical performances.

Try it. Take a speaker, any speaker with response down to at least 60Hz or so, measure it outdoors or in a large room (gymnasium, auditorium, etc), and then measure it in a small room.

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With dynamic eq, it boosts the low end up in a linear fashion.
It boosts HF too, which is less than ideal. That said, DEQ makes Audyssey listenable at low volumes.

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Originally Posted by RoboAVS View Post
On my Audyssey flat correction, it only boost the very last band which i agree is wrong, but has no ill effects in a treated room
Sure, whatever.

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Originally Posted by RoboAVS View Post
there is not a significant reflection added to it)...
That sounds literally painful. Anechoic chambers are not pleasant listening environments.

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Not having any treatment is common, i get it, but when you go further by saying your untreated room is "good enough" I dont disagree. What i am saying though is i guarantee it will be better with some treatment.
I have yet to hear an MF/HF "room treatment" that didn't suck. Padded cells are not only ugly and expensive, they sound bad too!

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It is why every recording studio and concert hall is carefully designed - its better!
Write each of these on the blackboard 100x:
"Large rooms are acoustically distinct from small rooms"
and
"Performance/production are different from reproduction"

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Your midbass issue is imo exactly wrong (no offense). When you add large broadband absorbers to your room and reduce the decay times to a more even result, the midbass is much clearer and hits way harder. Nothing can replace bass trapping imo.
What "midbass issue" are you talking about? Not quoting the actual text you're responding to directly above such a comment is unhelpful, because one cannot easily see exactly where the misinterpretation lies.

Now, most "bass traps" are useless scam nonsense. Basically if it's sold as a product and not built into the room it's a scam. There are things that can be done to improve bass reproduction, but they are neither cheap nor temporary. Such things include lossy walls (like half the surface area of the room), wall-sized deep fiberglass traps (that cost between thousands and hundreds of thousands of dollars in lost square footage), and the like.

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I have yet to hear an MF/HF "room treatment" that didn't suck. Padded cells are not only ugly and expensive, they sound bad too!

Diffusors, but maybe you were just talking about absorption.

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Im replying to your comments on midbass. When you even the decay times the midbass frequencies it will be more clear and impactful.

I use the term broadband absorbers and bass traps interchangeably. I hear you getting angry because i describe something that is real that you believe not so.

No, you arent trapping 20hz, but if you think trapping the midbass from 80 and up has no impact in a room with 4 or 6 inch panels...you are again hoping your less than ideal setup is still the best when its not! Your talk of midbass is a result of poor decay times.

Small rooms need more treatment than large, in fact a well built hall is often is full of reflectors.

Audyssey flat does not raise the high end, it is flat vs having a rolloff. It does not automatically raise it.

Lastly i have read toole -- i did not watch this video. Dispersion is a great choice for a lively room, but requires some distance from the panels to be effective.

This is science not just opinions. Its provable. Audyssey is no hero, its just a tool and has issues, sure. Toole likes absorpotion at near reflections.

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Not getting into the treated room debate, obviously I lie in treatments camp.

That said, a flat speaker is not flat at the listening position due to hf attenuation from the air, as has been said by ds-21. This is ideal. Audyssey flat corrects to a flat response at the LP, which sounds not good unless your hearing is damaged or you're older.

The standard Audyssey target is actually fairly good, minus the awful crossover correction bump.



I took measurements a while back a couple feet from the speaker then again at the listening position. You can see the HF attenuation just from the distance.

Sorry i didnt see this last night.

I agree with you both. The notch is a relic and a rolloff of hf is a pretty good sounding response. Ive listened to both a lot.

Ive never claimed great hearing up high and have no beef with any personal preference.

Untreated room i use audyssey (400-500ms), treated room is flat and heavily treated (100-200ms). I guess up high i need flat in my treated room to hear it best.

Arguing treatment is ridiculous imo, its not a debate. But for music there is no standard and as such preferences for most are all that matters and most people adjust to their rooms.
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With room treatments I probably wouldn't treat it to the point it kills ALL early reflections, I personally like dispersion so it doesn't do nasty things with the response but you still maintain a room sound too. You do have to treat ceilings and all of that too, depending on room layout.

With bass, there is just not getting around this and treatment is a must, unless you do a baffle wall type scenario.

Treated vs untreated really isn't debatable.
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post #173 of 188 Old 06-05-2019, 07:58 AM
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A typical sized residential room can be made to sound fine using items that also serve as room decor... chairs, curtains, rugs, etc.

To argue that "treatments" suck and "sound bad" is just being dramatic and silly, since the decorative items are doing the same thing. Sure, you can overdo it. You can underdo it too, especially if you are constrained to using decorative items.
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post #174 of 188 Old 06-05-2019, 11:42 AM
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This conversation is now far afield of "horns vs. DRs," but I guess since it was never in fact intended to be about "horns" anyway (bandpass bass bins are not "horns") I guess that's OK.

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Diffusors, but maybe you were just talking about absorption.
Fair point. You are correct both that some diffusion is beneficial to make a room sound "larger," and that the conversation thus far had concerned absorption.

That said, diffusion does not mean buying "diffusors." one can get set the same virtual enlargement from items that are an essential component of the communal or semi-communal spaces in any civilized human's home: well-stuffed bookcases. One just needs to convince the SO not to align them by the spine, so there's some depth variation. The depth variation also makes individual books easier to pull out to read!

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Im replying to your comments on midbass. When you even the decay times the midbass frequencies it will be more clear and impactful.
For the second time, I have absolutely zero idea what text you're misinterpreting here. Please, highlight -> command-c -> quote mark -> command-v > quote mark.

I made no comment so far about your "delay time" infatuation, so I will make one here: I've never considered it important enough to bother measuring.

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Originally Posted by RoboAVS View Post
I use the term broadband absorbers and bass traps interchangeably.
Incorrect terminology makes parsing out the misconceptions hard, so better to avoid incorrect terminology.

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Originally Posted by RoboAVS View Post
I hear you getting angry because i describe something that is real that you believe not so.
Huh? I never denied the existence of padded cells. I just wrote that they're ugly and invariably sound bad.

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Originally Posted by RoboAVS View Post
No, you arent trapping 20hz, but if you think trapping the midbass from 80 and up has no impact in a room with 4 or 6 inch panels...you are again hoping your less than ideal setup is still the best when its not! Your talk of midbass is a result of poor decay times.
Again, what talk of midbass? Highlight -> command-c -> quote mark -> command-v > quote mark.

At any rate "4 or 6 inch panels" can affect the bass, if they are very wide and tall. Probably the most space efficient room damping approach, CLD walls with viscoelastic adhesive between the panels, reduces room dimensions by maybe 1" in every dimension (assuming one wall damped per pair of walls, i.e. left or right + front or back + floor or ceiling). A good rule of thumb: if it can be shipped using a standard carrier and simply placed in the room by the user, then it's a scam. The discription of effective upper bass absorption requires use of the phrase "reduces room dimensions by [a material amount]."

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Audyssey flat does not raise the high end, it is flat vs having a rolloff. It does not automatically raise it.
What kind of wretched speakers do you have, such that getting them to emit flat treble at the listening position does not require jacking up their treble? Or is the "listening position" six inches from the tweeters?

Please take some measurements and see for yourself.

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Originally Posted by RoboAVS View Post
Toole likes absorpotion at near reflections.
Cite?

Can you download this image and edit it with arrows where you see such absorption? (I'll give you the drapes visible on the left and back walls, which I assume cover windows.)



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SArguing treatment is ridiculous imo, its not a debate. But for music there is no standard and as such preferences for most are all that matters and most people adjust to their rooms.
Agreed, if you can comfortably converse in a room, use well-designed mains speakers placed properly, and have multiple competently calibrated subwoofers distributed around the room to randomize (thereby smoothing) bass mode excitation, clamoring for passive "treatment" is ridiculous. If some or all of the above conditions are unmet - best to start there!

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A typical sized residential room can be made to sound fine using items that also serve as room decor... chairs, curtains, rugs, etc.
That is precisely my point. With normal human furnishings and enough damping to support normal human conversation, audiophool "treatments," inasmuch as they even have an effect*, just muck things up.

*some "treatments," such as padded tubes stuck in corner, do nothing except make a room look like a dunce's science experiment rather than a sensible human's abode.

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Horns vs direct radiators. Some say they perceive a difference in how they sound. We know that ported subs feel different around port tune even at the exact same SPL(compared to sealed) due to the increased particle velocity from the output of the port. Is it possible that a horn feels different than a direct radiator at the same SPL and hence is perceived as sounding different, perhaps with more impact, than a direct radiator at the same SPL? Does the horn provide increased particle velocity throughout its bandwidth much like a ported sub does around tune?

Just thinking out loud here.
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I used to think the same thing, until I added a LT boost to sealed with enough spl and excursion to equal the ported. Adding that LT makes the sealed system just as tactile in my room, with my drivers even more so.

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post #177 of 188 Old 06-05-2019, 09:26 PM
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Agreed, if you can comfortably converse in a room, use well-designed mains speakers placed properly, and have multiple competently calibrated subwoofers distributed around the room to randomize (thereby smoothing) bass mode excitation, clamoring for passive "treatment" is ridiculous.
Sorry, but your black or white all or nothing stance is ridiculous. Your taste is your taste and not up for debate, but claiming someone else's taste and priorities is ridiculous is ridiculous. Being able to converse comfortably in a room is a good starting point, but by no means is a guarantee that the room is as objectively and subjectively as good as it could be. Arguing otherwise is silly. Typical furnishing and decor can make a room sound pretty good. It may be all you need. Doesn't mean there aren't still objective and subjectively gains that can be made. You may want to avoid 'unsightly' acoustic treatments at all costs. Maybe others think they look good and more importantly appropriate for the room. Maybe you want to live in a 'walkable' neighborhood and have no desire for a mcmansion. Mabe others think a 'walkable' neighborhood would be a living hell.

We all have our tastes, our styles, our preferences. Claiming your way is the only way, ridiculing all others, and quite honestly ignoring simple facts robs all your other arguments of the credibility they otherwise deserve.

Don't be that person.
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post #178 of 188 Old 06-06-2019, 07:53 AM
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Is it possible that a horn feels different than a direct radiator at the same SPL and hence is perceived as sounding different, perhaps with more impact, than a direct radiator at the same SPL? Does the horn provide increased particle velocity throughout its bandwidth much like a ported sub does around tune?
That may be worth examining outdoors or in a very, very large room (think dome stadium, 747/A380 hangar, etc), where a device large enough to be a real bass horn could actually be fitted. With the bandpass boxes some mistakenly call "bass horns," additional "impact" could only be due to nonlinearities, such as FR peaks (because one messed up by trusting in one big honking box instead of thoughtfully calibrating 3-4 rationally sized boxes at different locations around the room) or port ("mouth") resonances.

Note that I'm not writing that well-designed boxes in this format cannot or do not exist. Admittedly, I don't see the point for home use, though if someone else wants to do it right good for them. IMO

-the cost of time and materials to design and iterate a cabinet configuration with sufficient bandwidth for the application and sufficiently mild resonances
-plus the increased size,
-plus the attendant lack of placement flexibility due to said increased size

combine to make such cabinets considerably more expensive in fact than simple closed boxes. The thing is, given the measurement tools and processing readily and inexpensively available today, high bass fidelity is a much easier problem to solve than it was when people like me first started following the lead of Earl Geddes (as operationalized by Markus Mehlau - wish he were still around here), Roger Dressler etc. and began setting up multiple distributed subwoofers.

In performance venues, constraints are different, and approaches in all things generally should align with maximizing benefits within the given constraints.

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Your taste is your taste and not up for debate,
You seem offended by my aside about ecologically unsustainable, and antisocial, housing patterns. That is your prerogative, of course. Fortunately it is a free country, though sadly backsliding for the last few years.

However, my "taste" is neither here or there when it comes to applying the research, as opposed to idiot dogma, about "room treatments" for music reproduction in small rooms.
I think some posters in this thread would do well to re-read (or read in the first place, if one is opining from a position of pure ignorance) Chapters 6 and 7 of Dr. Toole's current edition of Sound Reproduction in their entirety. And then go back to 7.6.2 several more times.

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Typical furnishing and decor can make a room sound pretty good. It may be all you need. Doesn't mean there aren't still objective and subjectively gains that can be made.
Gains in what exactly? And determined how? Sure, if someone turns a perfectly fine room into a padded cell with the intent of getting "better sound," they will probably hear an "improvement." Call it expectation bias or whatever. One's SO may even report being able to hear the "improvement" from the kitchen down the hall! The same can be written regarding someone conned into wasting money on "cable lifters" or whatever the audiophool idiot fetish du jour is.

Stopped clocks tell accurate time...for about one forty-thousandth of the day. One forty-thousandth sounds about right for the probability of actual sonic improvements from using "room treatments" marketed to audiophiles. I suppose it's theoretically possible to use some of those products in a manner that actually addresses a problem. But most of them (especially those allegedly targeted at bass) are physically incapable of doing the advertised job. Others are generally a solution in search of an actual problem.

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You seem offended by my aside about ecologically unsustainable, and antisocial, housing patterns. That is your prerogative, of course. Fortunately it is a free country, though sadly backsliding for the last few years.

However, my "taste" is neither here or there when it comes to applying the research, as opposed to idiot dogma, about "room treatments" for music reproduction in small rooms.
I think some posters in this thread would do well to re-read (or read in the first place, if one is opining from a position of pure ignorance) Chapters 6 and 7 of Dr. Toole's current edition of Sound Reproduction in their entirety. And then go back to 7.6.2 several more times.



Gains in what exactly? And determined how? Sure, if someone turns a perfectly fine room into a padded cell with the intent of getting "better sound," they will probably hear an "improvement." Call it expectation bias or whatever. One's SO may even report being able to hear the "improvement" from the kitchen down the hall! The same can be written regarding someone conned into wasting money on "cable lifters" or whatever the audiophool idiot fetish du jour is.

Stopped clocks tell accurate time...for about one forty-thousandth of the day. One forty-thousandth sounds about right for the probability of actual sonic improvements from using "room treatments" marketed to audiophiles. I suppose it's theoretically possible to use some of those products in a manner that actually addresses a problem. But most of them (especially those allegedly targeted at bass) are physically incapable of doing the advertised job. Others are generally a solution in search of an actual problem.
Not offended at all. We all have our preferences. I'd never chastise someone for their own tastes and preferences. Maybe just a bit amazed and mostly amused you seem so unapologetic in doing so.

As for the aside, I do find it strange the words you apply to anything different than living in a densely polulated town/city. We lived with space around us for thousands of years, and ecological decline only appeared after we all crowded together. Perhaps it isn't the root cause, but you'd have a hard time convincing me that it is the cure. Antisocial? That does seem to be the way the world is going... despite increasing population density. Your characterizations are simply nonsensical.

Lumping ALL room treatments in with cable lifters and wife from the kitchen memes? I don't think a rational discussion is really possible. You come off as a bitter old man for whatever reason, so I'll leave you to it.
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post #180 of 188 Old 06-06-2019, 04:49 PM
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This conversation is now far afield of "horns vs. DRs," but I guess since it was never in fact intended to be about "horns" anyway (bandpass bass bins are not "horns") I guess that's OK.



Fair point. You are correct both that some diffusion is beneficial to make a room sound "larger," and that the conversation thus far had concerned absorption.

That said, diffusion does not mean buying "diffusors." one can get set the same virtual enlargement from items that are an essential component of the communal or semi-communal spaces in any civilized human's home: well-stuffed bookcases. One just needs to convince the SO not to align them by the spine, so there's some depth variation. The depth variation also makes individual books easier to pull out to read!



For the second time, I have absolutely zero idea what text you're misinterpreting here. Please, highlight -> command-c -> quote mark -> command-v > quote mark.

I made no comment so far about your "delay time" infatuation, so I will make one here: I've never considered it important enough to bother measuring.



Incorrect terminology makes parsing out the misconceptions hard, so better to avoid incorrect terminology.



Huh? I never denied the existence of padded cells. I just wrote that they're ugly and invariably sound bad.



Again, what talk of midbass? Highlight -> command-c -> quote mark -> command-v > quote mark.

At any rate "4 or 6 inch panels" can affect the bass, if they are very wide and tall. Probably the most space efficient room damping approach, CLD walls with viscoelastic adhesive between the panels, reduces room dimensions by maybe 1" in every dimension (assuming one wall damped per pair of walls, i.e. left or right + front or back + floor or ceiling). A good rule of thumb: if it can be shipped using a standard carrier and simply placed in the room by the user, then it's a scam. The discription of effective upper bass absorption requires use of the phrase "reduces room dimensions by [a material amount]."



What kind of wretched speakers do you have, such that getting them to emit flat treble at the listening position does not require jacking up their treble? Or is the "listening position" six inches from the tweeters?

Please take some measurements and see for yourself.



Cite?

Can you download this image and edit it with arrows where you see such absorption? (I'll give you the drapes visible on the left and back walls, which I assume cover windows.)





Agreed, if you can comfortably converse in a room, use well-designed mains speakers placed properly, and have multiple competently calibrated subwoofers distributed around the room to randomize (thereby smoothing) bass mode excitation, clamoring for passive "treatment" is ridiculous. If some or all of the above conditions are unmet - best to start there!



That is precisely my point. With normal human furnishings and enough damping to support normal human conversation, audiophool "treatments," inasmuch as they even have an effect*, just muck things up.

*some "treatments," such as padded tubes stuck in corner, do nothing except make a room look like a dunce's science experiment rather than a sensible human's abode.
So if in the same sentence I say broadband absorbers and then bass traps youre having trouble following?

You dont think Toole believes in absorbing near reflections? He thinks furniture is superior to a dedicated studio?

You think "maybe 4 to 6 inch" panels help with something which youve never bothered to measure but have quite an idea that its all a scam?

You are allowed your opinions, but they can also be wrong.

If tooles living room is built with furnishings used as his way of showing you can have a nice room without making it a dedicated room, do you believe good enough is the best one should attempt? When you go to a theater, or a concert hall, is it designed with home furnishings used to create the best playback? Are you sure that most recording studios are fools, buying and building treatment in their rooms? Spend a few dozen hours in rhe recording forums to see just how much goes into treating their rooms...scam lol

Treatment for bass is great, but the fact you are unaware of what the benefits of even a 1" panel at near reflections does is a bit telling.

Im far from an expert, but when youve never looked at a decay measurement in your room you say more than anything else no matter how many words you use.

Yes, my htm12s are earsplitting because they use audyssey flat, and in fact you could say Audyssey flat was never tested before release, its just crazy...except youve never built a room with treatments and suggest the best ways to treat a room, while again not knowing what to measure, or why you should.

Learning is good
Thats what im here for

Watching toole videos is cool, reading the book is better. My 2c.

Most of the posters here have more knowledge and experience than me. But feel free to show me where im wrong. I mean, i guess those scam decay measurements where my treated room mimics a Dennis Erskine philosophy isnt any different from the other room using home furnishings where the decay is 3x. Dude

Last edited by RoboAVS; 06-06-2019 at 04:55 PM.
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