How to Choose a Loudspeaker -- What the Science Shows - Page 118 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #3511 of 5313 Old 07-09-2019, 09:31 PM
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Originally Posted by motrek View Post
If you're just going to post pretty YouTube clips and nothing of any scientific value, what's the point? The clips are very nice but they have nothing to do with choosing loudspeakers and they have nothing to do with science, which are the only two things in the name of this thread.
Show me some science about stereo imaging, phantom imaging? Can a spinorama show me how well a pair of speakers will presents these? I want science.
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post #3512 of 5313 Old 07-09-2019, 09:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Scotth3886 View Post
Bullchit, they have everything to do with choosing speakers if its my wallet being used.
That's great for you but how does that help anybody else.

We already know (from science) that going to stores and auditioning is a crap way to choose speakers. Stores are rarely/never set up to do proper A-B testing, and even if they were, we know that people are influenced by the appearance, brand, and cost of whatever they're listening to. So double-blind testing is necessary, and correct me if I'm wrong, but no store is set up to do that. And even if you could do double-blind testing, individual human beings have poor auditory memories and are thus inconsistent in their relative evaluations. Who knows if you prefer a speaker because it objectively sounds better, or if you prefer the exact content you were just listening to, or if you just had a beer, or you were thinking about the promotion you got last week.

So there is a need for science to tell people which speakers sound good, not pretty YouTube videos.

Moreover, there's a need for science to tell manufacturers which speakers sound good. Because the last thing we need is Joe Speakerdesigner thinking that Prototype B sounds worse than Prototype A because he just had a fight with his wife.

Lucky for you, any reputable speaker manufacturer is using science to design their speakers, so you are benefitting from science regardless of whether or not you like it or appreciate it. Sort of like how flat Earthers can benefit from GPS on their cell phones.
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post #3513 of 5313 Old 07-09-2019, 09:39 PM
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Originally Posted by jamesyates View Post
Show me some science about stereo imaging, phantom imaging? Can a spinorama show me how well a pair of speakers will presents these? I want science.
I'm not an acoustic scientist. I don't know if science has been done re: stereo/phantom imaging. I would be surprised if it hasn't but I'm not aware of anything specific.

I don't know if a spinorama plot can show you how well a pair of speakers will image. I suspect it can but I don't know how and I don't have any evidence either way. I would like to know the answer to that myself.

I want science too.

I suspect from your argumentative tone that you think that if I can't answer your questions definitively, that proves that science is stupid and worthless, but you're proving nothing of the sort.

Just like religious people aren't disproving evolution just because they can point to some holes in the fossil record.
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post #3514 of 5313 Old 07-09-2019, 09:46 PM
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Originally Posted by motrek View Post
That's great for you but how does that help anybody else.

We already know (from science) that going to stores and auditioning is a crap way to choose speakers. Stores are rarely/never set up to do proper A-B testing, and even if they were, we know that people are influenced by the appearance, brand, and cost of whatever they're listening to. So double-blind testing is necessary, and correct me if I'm wrong, but no store is set up to do that. And even if you could do double-blind testing, individual human beings have poor auditory memories and are thus inconsistent in their relative evaluations. Who knows if you prefer a speaker because it objectively sounds better, or if you prefer the exact content you were just listening to, or if you just had a beer, or you were thinking about the promotion you got last week.

So there is a need for science to tell people which speakers sound good, not pretty YouTube videos.

Moreover, there's a need for science to tell manufacturers which speakers sound good. Because the last thing we need is Joe Speakerdesigner thinking that Prototype B sounds worse than Prototype A because he just had a fight with his wife.

Lucky for you, any reputable speaker manufacturer is using science to design their speakers, so you are benefitting from science regardless of whether or not you like it or appreciate it. Sort of like how flat Earthers can benefit from GPS on their cell phones.

Well, how would you or anyone else know that its 'pretty'? View count is still the same since I posted it. Give it a shot and tell us how that sax is out to the left far beyond the boundary of the left speaker Mr/Ms scientist? It's there, clearly heard, so why. You tell me about the science.
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post #3515 of 5313 Old 07-09-2019, 09:54 PM
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Originally Posted by motrek View Post

I suspect from your argumentative tone that you think that if I can't answer your questions definitively, that proves that science is stupid and worthless, but you're proving nothing of the sort.

.
Not at all.

I am asking these questions because I do not know. There are people participating in this thread that have a lot more knowledge of stereo equipment and also have knowledge of research that has been done that I do not.
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post #3516 of 5313 Old 07-09-2019, 09:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Scotth3886 View Post
Well, how would you or anyone else know that its 'pretty'? View count is still the same since I posted it.
1) I don't watch or listen to every video you've posted a link to. Maybe half-ish.
2) I don't necessary watch or listen to the entire video. I don't know how much I have to listen to to trigger an increment in view count.

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Give it a shot and tell us how that sax is out to the left far beyond the boundary of the left speaker Mr/Ms scientist? It's there, clearly heard, so why. You tell me about the science.
Wait a second, did anybody ever say that stereo/imaging effects don't exist?

Why are you asking me to argue how something exists when I never said it didn't?

Or do you honestly not know how imaging works and you want somebody to explain it to you?
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post #3517 of 5313 Old 07-09-2019, 09:56 PM
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Originally Posted by jamesyates View Post
Not at all.

I am asking these questions because I do not know. There are people participating in this thread that have a lot more knowledge of stereo equipment and also have knowledge of research that has been done that I do not.
Sorry, in that case I misread your tone. I would also like to know the answers to these questions myself. Hopefully somebody will chime in. Dr. Toole has been active on this thread but we can't expect him to answer all of our questions.
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Speaking of which, can I get an autograph? Blank check preferably.....
Why, did you spend more money recently?

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post #3519 of 5313 Old 07-09-2019, 10:00 PM
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Originally Posted by motrek View Post
1) I don't watch or listen to every video you've posted a link to. Maybe half-ish.
2) I don't necessary watch or listen to the entire video. I don't know how much I have to listen to to trigger an increment in view count.



Wait a second, did anybody ever say that stereo/imaging effects don't exist?

Why are you asking me to argue how something exists when I never said it didn't?

Or do you honestly not know how imaging works and you want somebody to explain it to you?

Just you
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post #3520 of 5313 Old 07-09-2019, 10:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Scotth3886 View Post
Yes. Top of the line for a certain company. Big mess, but I bet good measurements.

"After all, the whole point of stereo is L &R with a phantom center"

No, far far more than just this. You're describing something akin to an early Beatles or Monkeys album

"Steve Allen is suppose to be in the center of your room if you have stereo and good phantom imaging"

This is panned hard right center and hard left. Not a good example. I've been posting many good example once in a while 'time to talk a little music break' and now you know why I've been doing it

Steve Alan can also be 5' off to the left and back 20' and you should be well aware of it.

For a good example of what's possible, listen to where the sax is in this one.

https://youtu.be/AVCb65YKQ7U
The youtube stuff is meant to be a very basic example. Some people have not even heard a phantom image and when they do they are blown away. That is what happened to me. If younger people heard what two speakers are capable of they would buy stereos again. I will listen to your youtube post when I have at my stereo. Thank you for the clips.
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post #3521 of 5313 Old 07-09-2019, 10:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Scotth3886 View Post
Just you
So wait, just to clarify, you would like me to explain how stereo imaging works because you don't already know.

Because if you do know, why do you need me to explain it to you?
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post #3522 of 5313 Old 07-09-2019, 10:08 PM
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Originally Posted by motrek View Post
So wait, just to clarify, you would like me to explain how stereo imaging works because you don't already know.

Because if you do know, why do you need me to explain it to you?
Do whatever you want
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post #3523 of 5313 Old 07-09-2019, 10:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Scotth3886 View Post
Do whatever you want
I'm pretty sure you're only asking because you think that if you can make me do something (like explain something as simple as stereo imaging to you) then that means you're winning an argument, which is an obvious logical fallacy.

But just in case you honestly don't know how stereo imaging works, here's the Wikipedia article on sound localization:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sound_localization

I trust you can work backwards to figure out how two speakers can operate to essentially trick the human systems of sound localization.
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post #3524 of 5313 Old 07-09-2019, 10:17 PM
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Originally Posted by jamesyates View Post
The youtube stuff is meant to be a very basic example. Some people have not even heard a phantom image and when they do they are blown away. That is what happened to me. If younger people heard what two speakers are capable of they would buy stereos again. I will listen to your youtube post when I have at my stereo. Thank you for the clips.

The youtube clip had to do because Dave and Norm Chesky won't allow their recordings on Tidal or to the best of my knowledge, on any streaming service. Its an excellent example though. All of the Tidal links and/or youtube clips I've posted have outstanding soundstage/imaging/scale in common. I was posting to see if anyone noticed. Nope, of course not.

But yeah, I've had several visitors here where its been a real epiphany to hear what properly selected and setup two channel can do where some others are absolutely oblivious to it like I would be in re a discussion of pitch.

I have a budget system up here in the LR where I can show mostly my grandson's friends what you can do for $1,000 or so with the new Maggies LRSs, cheap little Yamaha AS301, cheap Tascam CD player and cheap Musical Fidelity table. True, it doesn't go real loud, but in re tonally and soundstage its really as good as anything I've had.

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Originally Posted by motrek View Post
I'm pretty sure you're only asking because you think that if you can make me do something (like explain something as simple as stereo imaging to you) then that means you're winning an argument, which is an obvious logical fallacy.

But just in case you honestly don't know how stereo imaging works, here's the Wikipedia article on sound localization:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sound_localization

I trust you can work backwards to figure out how two speakers can operate to essentially trick the human systems of sound localization.
Do whatever you please
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Originally Posted by jamesyates View Post
Show me some science about stereo imaging, phantom imaging? Can a spinorama show me how well a pair of speakers will presents these? I want science.
I think this research on perception of stereo imaging is potentially useful to keep in mind concerning the above:

http://deutsch.ucsd.edu/psychology/pages.php?i=201
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Guys, which factors do you think influence the listener's stereo imaging experience the most? I assume the most important is the process of recording itself. As far as I am aware the diaphragm of the microphone as well as the orientation vis a vis other microphones may have the most significant impact. I guess the factors could be grouped into two main categories, i.e. recording and playing/recreating. Could you rank them by the scale of impact on the final imaging?
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post #3528 of 5313 Old 07-10-2019, 05:41 AM
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I'm not arguing that. Having said that, I virtually never listen to 2-channel content in 2-channel mode anymore. The algorithms to expand 2-channel to multichannel have gotten so good that I now only listen in one of the multi-channel modes, usually DTS Neural:x. In particular, I like the "hard" center speaker reproducing all the "dual-mono" content that would otherwise be phantom imaged from the position of the CC. The "hard" CC produces a much more pinpoint image than a phantom image can. It also allows for off-axis listening positions to experience the central image, which doesn't happen with 2-channel listening to a phantom image.


Craig
I agree with that and that is how I listen to most music. The setting is a little bit obscure in Dolby Surround, so not all users may be aware of it.

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AFAIK imaging "outside the speaker" can be accomplished via phasing/timing of the source material or from reflections in the room. At least that is how I have seen/heard/measured it. On the recording side there are microphone techniques like M-S that allow you to vary center/side signals and separation. Similar things can be accomplished with standard X-Y pairs or an array, natch.
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post #3530 of 5313 Old 07-10-2019, 05:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Jon AA View Post
I'm not sure how you're making that circle. Much of the information you are saying is important is contained in the spinorama, or at least can be surmised from it. So there's your correlation.



I don't agree with that--but maybe my definition of "excellent" is different than yours. How are you defining "excellent?"


For example most would agree the Spins of the M2 are brag-worthy, and they are a very well controlled directivity speaker over much of the frequency range. Yes, they have a wider coverage than many other CD speakers, but are more narrow than some (Grimani, etc). Compared with many non-CD cone/dome designs, they're much more narrow over some portion of the frequency range.



Let's assume for a second the criteria you gave above are correct. If one wants precise, accurate imaging, you would look for well controlled directivity--flat or only slightly declining early reflection and sound power curves, but you'd want those curves to fall well below the listening window curve, indicating less energy is being directed outside the listening window. If you want more spaciousness, envelopment, you'd look for the early reflections and sound power curves to be much closer to the listening window curve, indicating the speaker is producing more energy outside the listening window than the first speaker.


Seems plausible to me. If you could show through testing that this (or a similar) correlation held up, a Spinorama would tell you much of what you needed to know if you knew what to look for.
Let me try again...

Imaging doesn't actually exist as a physical phenomenon in space and time. Imaging only exists in your brain. It is totally and completely a psycho-acoustic phenomenon. In order for the brain to determine the point of origin of a sound, it must determine its location in 3-dimensional space. Sound localization and directionality are determined by the listener using arrival times and intensities. In order for the brain to determine where a sound is originating in space, there needs to be two ears to hear the sound and a brain to calculate the similarities and differences between what one ear is hearing and what the other ear is hearing.


The sound source exists in 3-dimensional space. However, the imaging of that sound relative to the listener in terms of 3-dimensional space only exists in the listener's brain. The ears hear a slightly different sound at the right ear than the left ear, and the brain calculates the sound origin in 3D space. This is known as the Head Related Transfer Function or HRTF. It is a mechanism that evolved to help mammals to determine the source of threats. Have you ever seen a dog tilt it's head? This is so the dog can change the effect of the HRTF ad more easily locate a sound source:



A "phantom" image is calculated by the brain when the two ears receive signals from two different sound sources.



A "central" phantom image, as depicted above, is a construct in the brain where the ears hear the exact same sound, ("exact" in terms of arrival times and intensities) and the brain calculates that the sound originated at a point in between the two sound sources. However, there is no "real" sound source at the point the brain calculates to be the sound source. It's a "phantom." Equally importantly, these phantom images only exist in the brain when the listener is listening from the exact position that allows them to be created. If the listener is seated off-axis of the two speakers, the central phantom image created in the brain disappears and the sonic image collapses to the side of the closer speaker.

Phantom images can also be located in other imaging locations by using the Precedence or Haas Effect. This is also known as "The Law of the First Wavefront."

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The precedence effect or law of the first wavefront is a binaural psychoacoustical effect. When a sound is followed by another sound separated by a sufficiently short time delay (below the listener's echo threshold), listeners perceive a single auditory event; its perceived spatial location is dominated by the location of the first-arriving sound (the first wave front). The lagging sound also affects the perceived location. However, its effect is suppressed by the first-arriving sound.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Precedence_effect

While the ear/brain uses both arrival times and intensity differences to determine the point of origin of a sound, the arrival times are the predominant factor. In fact the intensity differential of the sounds arriving at one ear vs the other needs to be on the order of 10 to 15 dB to become dominant. This why the law is called the Law if the FIRST Wavefront, not the Law of the LOUDEST Wavefront. (You can verify this in your own system very easily. Setup the system for ideal central imaging, using a recording that has a strong central image, (female voice recordings are good for this.) Listen to the voice and ensure it is phantom imaged from directly in front of you. Then change the distance setting of one speaker vs. the other. The central image will move side to side based on whichever speaker has an earlier arrival time.)

Now look at the Spinorama. I don't see ANY information about arrival times contained in the FR measurements. Frequency Response measurements, (also known as Magnitude Response measurements), only describe intensity differences of speakers at different frequencies. There is no time response information in the measurements. More importantly, there is definitely no time differential response information between the arrival times of TWO or MORE speakers... in the FR measurements of a single speaker.

There may well be a way to measure a speaker PAIR's ability to portray a binaural acoustic event. However, I suspect it will need to be a measurement of multiple speakers with multiple mics... in the time domain, not the frequency domain. There must be a way to describe the differing abilities of speakers to portray sonic images. However, as I said previously, the Spinorama ain't it.

Craig
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post #3531 of 5313 Old 07-10-2019, 06:02 AM
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Originally Posted by Scotth3886 View Post
"multi-directional speakers like dipoles"

Dipoles radiate in a figure 8 so very little is reflecting off side walls

"However, whenever I've heard such speakers, I've walked away shaking my head at the lack of pinpoint imaging within that large, spacious soundstage."

Next time you're in the neighborhood, give me a shout and stop on by. I'll put the above to rest real quickly. Of course, I cheat …. been doin dipoles for 60+ years
The next time I drive through Albany, Ohio, I'll be sure to look you up.
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I thought Floyd Toole already told us that the sound of a mono speaker (in blind tests) DID indicate likely performance of a stereo pair, including imaging/soundstaging. That is, colorations and resonances are most easily heard when judging a mono speaker, and as resonances are where you tend to "hear the speaker," a lack of such coloration tends to predict better "speaker disappearing" and good imaging in the stereo pair.


Unless I misunderstood something along the way....
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Originally Posted by R Harkness View Post
I thought Floyd Toole already told us that the sound of a mono speaker (in blind tests) DID indicate likely performance of a stereo pair, including imaging/soundstaging. That is, colorations and resonances are most easily heard when judging a mono speaker, and as resonances are where you tend to "hear the speaker," a lack of such coloration tends to predict better "speaker disappearing" and good imaging in the stereo pair.

Unless I misunderstood something along the way....
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I am officially done with buying equipment and speakers.
Sure.
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post #3535 of 5313 Old 07-10-2019, 07:39 AM
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Originally Posted by R Harkness View Post
I thought Floyd Toole already told us that the sound of a mono speaker (in blind tests) DID indicate likely performance of a stereo pair, including imaging/soundstaging. That is, colorations and resonances are most easily heard when judging a mono speaker, and as resonances are where you tend to "hear the speaker," a lack of such coloration tends to predict better "speaker disappearing" and good imaging in the stereo pair.


Unless I misunderstood something along the way....
My recollection is that he said those things could *infer* better imaging. I don't remember him presenting any specific scientific evidence that such is definitely the case. Inferring things from a measurement would fall under the category of "expert opinion" which is useful, but not high on the "Quality of Evidence" scale:




Edit: Having said that, I'm sure his "expert opinion" has a higher chance of being correct than my non-expert opinion.


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post #3536 of 5313 Old 07-10-2019, 07:55 AM
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Next time you're in the neighborhood, give me a shout and stop on by. I'll put the above to rest real quickly. Of course, I cheat …. been doin dipoles for 60+ years
1 of my boys lives on Reynoldsburg-New Albany Road. The next time I go over there, I'll send you a message. He has Polk towers and center channel with built-in amplifiers in each speaker from the early 2000's.
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post #3537 of 5313 Old 07-10-2019, 08:26 AM
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Really? That seems a bit unnecessary.
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post #3538 of 5313 Old 07-10-2019, 08:36 AM
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Really? That seems a bit unnecessary.
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post #3539 of 5313 Old 07-10-2019, 08:37 AM
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2nd childhood?

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post #3540 of 5313 Old 07-10-2019, 08:45 AM
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I need to find myself an encyclopedia of these emojis.
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